Panasonic sample images
Don't be too negative, too early ! Why:
My guess is, these samples are JPEG's straight out of the cam, and (as usual) a rather heavy IN-CAM noise removal is applied to them. The unwanted result is, yes: ' Water-colour effect ' !
The reason behind this is (my guess, at least): When not pixel-peeping, when resizing for the web, when printing at 8 by 12 inches or less, this water-colour effect become practically invisible , and this heavy noise removal even make the pictures look better ( the common approach to noise removal for small-sensor camera vendors, these days).
SOLUTION: -The FZ200 has RAW ! Hence, in my mind the possibility still exist, to produce FZ30 / FZ50 -quality pictures (or hopefully, even better) from this cam ! (Yes, time will show, soon). If good quality at full resolution, let's say ISO 400 setting can be tweaked from these RAW-files, I'm NOT AT ALL concerned with this water-colour effect !
Lots of post-processing & noise removal must be applied to the RAW-files from my Canon 40D also , when using ISO 1600, to get decent results. And then, my 70-300 mm IS f4.0-5.6 with cropfactor 1.6 is 'only' 480 mm, opposed to the FZ200's whopping 600 mm .........(remember: Using the FZ200 at setting f=2.8 / ISO 400 long tele, is the same as using a 40D at setting: f=5.6 / ISO 1600 at long tele !)
The 25-600 mm equvivalent f=2.8 looks very promising, indeed !