FZ200 - First Impressions

Started Aug 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
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GeraldW
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FZ200 - First Impressions
Aug 31, 2012

My camera arrived last evening, so after charging the battery I was ready to set up the camera and take a few (eight) shots. So, I have a few immediate impressions to share.

1) The camera is not as much bigger than the FZ150 as I expected from pictures and dimensions I had seen. It still fits in the Tamrac Expo Jr. bag I used for the FZ150, FZ28, and the Canon S5IS before that.

2) Weight is up a bit. With neck strap, 52 mm filter, hood, cap, card, and battery it comes in at 662 grams (23.33 oz.). In the same condition the FZ150 is 592 grams (20.86 oz.) . That's an increase of 70 grams or 2.46 oz. To put that into perspective, my Canon Pro 1 was 667 grams or 23.86 oz. without a filter; but with the hood and cap, neck strap, battery and card.

3) The new EVF is WONDERFUL!

4) The camera has a more serious, more purposeful feel to it. It starts with the power switch which is a lever under the mode dial and rotates like a DSLR's switch. Buttons are black, larger, and with white letters on the button and set flush with the surface. Takes a deliberate action to select and much less chance of inadvertant activation. You can have up to 3 Fn buttons. If you take advantage of those, there is little need for the menus. The mode dial is far less cluttered looking with many fewer selections.

5) Image quality is on par with the FZ150 at ISO 100 and lower noise at higher. That was reported earlier by others.

6) There seem to be more threads engaged on the filter mount.

7) The grip is a little taller. Nice for those of us with larger hands.

8) The hood has been redesigned and is deeper, although larger in diameter.

9) Color seems somewhat more accurate. Particularly in low light.

The FZ200 is definitely a keeper and will accompany my wife and I to the Galapagos Islands in October. The spare battery should arrive today. Now, if I can find a source for the LA7....

I've long has a love-hate relationship with the Canon Pro 1. I have owned several and sold them all in frustration. An excellent lens (28-200 f/2.4-3.5); but no IS. An articulated LCD and a decent EVF; but the LCD is small and the both lag real time by 1/4-1/3 second so you can't catch the peak of the action in sports, or that fleeting experession. Excellent IQ at ISO 50 and 100 thanks to minimal noise reduction; but ISO 400 is the top ISO setting, and it's noisy. I and other Canon Pro 1 users have wished for the Pro 2; but so far we've been left wanting. Anyhow, it looks like Panasonic has stepped in with the "Pro 200". The FZ200 has everything (and more) that was on my wish list for the Pro 2. The FZ150 was close; but not quite there.

Thank You, Panasonic.
--
Jerry

 GeraldW's gear list:GeraldW's gear list
Canon PowerShot A710 IS Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Canon PowerShot G15
Casio Exilim EX-S5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28
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