FZ200 vs.X-S1: As I see it

Started Sep 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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eagle2a
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FZ200 vs.X-S1: As I see it
Sep 8, 2012

I received my Panasonic FZ200 two weeks ago this next Tuesday. I was very impressed with my initial investigation of this fine camera. But as we are all want to do, I continued to read about other bridge cameras. Since I had an excellent experience with a Fuji S9100 bridge camera I was quite curious about the new Fuji X-S1. I read all I could and it seemed that there were mixed opinion about this new Fuji camera. I read about the sensor problems, the lens droop problem, and how wonderful the EVF was and the very smooth manual zoom lens.

So I thought since I had several days to return my Panasonic FZ200 camera to Amazon (best “try before you decide” company policy on the Internet, it seems to me) I thought I would give the Fuji a try.

This is what I found out from my perspective.

The Fuji does have the best EVA of any bridge camera I have seen. And my old Fuji S9100 was really good. I would say in many respects it is better than the OVF on my Pentax K-x. The zoom lens is very smooth to manually operate and is a pure joy. The camera is quite large and heavy for a bridge camera; in fact it is almost the same weight and size as my Pentax K-x with the Tamron super zoom 18mm to 250mm lens installed. Now to the comparison with my Panasonic FZ200.

The FZ200 is quite a bit lighter and smaller, even though their focal lengths are almost identical. The ability of the FZ200 to accurately focus in low light at very low shutter speeds at the long end of the lens is quite remarkable. The f2.8 lens is a beautiful piece of glass. The partnership between Panasonic and Leica has really paid off. The thing that I noticed as being so superior on the LZ200 compared to the X-S1 was the ability to focus in low light at slow shutter speeds and still get a sharp picture. Many times the Fuji would refuse to focus at all and when it did, the picture would be blurry due to my handshake. This is where the Panasonic is far superior, it seems to me. I have only been trying out the Fuji for about 24 hours now. But it has been a very intense time of testing. I have tried both inside dim natural light pictures. And outdoor full sun type pictures, and in almost every situation the Panasonic FZ200 surpasses the Fuji X-S1. Actually, this disappoints me. I have had several Fuji cameras, still own the F 31 point and shoot, and as earlier reported, truly loved the S 9100. So I have wanted to get back to the Fuji experience with a bridge camera. But this testing that I have done has convinced me that the Panasonic FZ200 is the superior camera for me.

I am not going to go into video to any degree since it is not all that important to me. However I did take a few videos. Again the Fuji X-S1 was not up to the quality of the videos that I saw from the Panasonic FZ200. The FZ200 will continue to focus and adjust light as you zoom and shoot, the Fuji does not, at least not in my limited testing.

As I just said actually this was disappointing to me as I have truly wanted to get back to a Fuji bridge camera. The build quality of the Fuji is far superior to the Panasonic FZ200. This of course accounts for the smaller and lighter weight of the Panasonic camera. The Fuji looks like, feels like, and acts like, a digital SLR, and is quite comparable to my Pentax K-x.

I hope I have not frustrated those who like Fuji as I do. I'm actually sorry to make this report. But I have been helped many times by people on this forum who stated their actual experiences honestly. If we are going to get the maximum value from our experiences on this form then we need to give as unvarnished and accurate description of our experiences as we are capable of.

I'm going to post this short review in both the Panasonic and the Fuji forms.

Fujifilm X-S1 Nikon Coolpix S9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ20 Pentax K-x
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