FZ200 F2.8 600mm ISO400 100% crop

Started Aug 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
VincentR
Regular MemberPosts: 123
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Re: FZ200 F2.8 600mm ISO400 100% crop
In reply to Vandyu, Aug 27, 2012

let's be clear about this. All cameras have their strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes the strengths of a small and cheap camera may outweigh, or at least equal, the weaknesses of a much more expensive, larger and heavier camera. It depends on the circumstances.

In circumstances where the weaknesses of the larger, more expensive camera are not an issue and don't come into play, as when lighting is good and the subject is reasonably static, the larger-sensor camera will usually produce better results.

My Canon 50D with 100-400mm zoom lens used at F8, 400mm and ISO 400 will produce better results than the FZ200 at ISO 400 whatever the aperture used with the FZ200, provided the shutter speed on the 50D is adequate. However, when the shutter speed on the 50D is adequate at ISO 400 and F8, the shutter speed on the FZ200 at F2.8 or F4 will be significantly more than adequate, so why would you use ISO 400 on the FZ200 in those circumstances.

The strengths of the FZ200, regarding image quality, are clearly its F2.8 and F4 apertures at 108mm (600mm), allowing one to use the same fast shutter speed, when a fast shutter speed is needed, but at a lower ISO setting than the DSLR requires, which tends to compensate for the deficiencies of the smaller sensor.

If one were to match the 600/F2.8 lens with an equivalent lens on an a cropped-format DSLR, which would be a 400/F2.8 prime, then the FZ200 clearly could not compete in terms of absolute image quality, except in certain circumstances when a DoF which is too shallow might spoil the shot. The 600/2.8 on the FZ200 produces a surprisingly shallow DoF. A 400/2.8 on a Canon 50D, used at F2.8 would produce a ridiculously shallow DoF, which might not be acceptable.

As always, best tool for the job should apply. I wouldn't expect the FZ200 to replace all my DSLRs and lenses, just that heavy Canon 100-400 zoom. For wider-angle shots I will still prefer my Nikon D800E.

However, in certain circumstances, even at wide angles and when a big file is required for a very large print, the FZ200 might equal the quality from a D800E provided the subject is really static. The auto-exposure bracketing feature of plus and minus 3 stops, on the FZ200, could compensate for any small-sensor noise, and stitching multiple images should provide adequate resolution for large prints.

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