Why I probably should return my FZ200 => Caveat emptor

Started Sep 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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morepix
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Why I probably should return my FZ200 => Caveat emptor
Sep 30, 2012

See thread by almost the same name, "Why I returned my FZ 200."
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=42609938

I have an FZ150 and more recently an FZ200. I'm finding the 150 does, with some help, a significantly better job than the 200.

The story is this. I do quite a bit if indoor shooting, sans flash -- to avoid disruption of the ongoing proceedings. The last session I did was with the 200; most photos were at ISO 400, f:2.8, and shutter speeds from 1/50-1/100. Results were OK, but only OK.

When I use the 150, I use DxO Optics Pro for conversion and initial processing. So I figured, here's a test: I'll shoot (at home) the same subjects at shutter priority with ISO 400 and 1/20 sec, letting the aperture fall where it may. That makes sense for me because I need to shoot the live subjects at a sufficiently quick speed to minimize motion blur. The 1/50-1/100 with the FZ200 shots were adequate for that. 1/20 is a more stringent test.

I process shots from the FZ150 thru DxO Optics Pro, which applies custom corrections for sensor and lens shortcomings. They've not yet issued a module for the FZ200, and I surely do hope they will . In my tests, I shot the FZ200 as ISO 400 as I'd used in the photo shoot mentioned above, and I figured to make things equal I should use ISO 1600 with the FZ150. So I did that.

The bottom line is that the FZ150 shots at ISO 1600 processed thru DxO were better (less noise, better contrast, sharper) than the FZ200 shots without DxO. What's more, applying sharpening and noise reduction available in Lightroom 4 did not bring up the quality of the FZ200 shots (noise, sharpness) to the quality of the FZ150 with DxO. The consequence: I'm going to Paris for a week's photo shooting two weeks from now, and I'm going to take the FZ150, not the 200. I could return the 200 to B&H, as I'm still within the return period. But there are other features besides basic IQ that I really like about the camera (in-cam HDR, the quality of the viewfinder, the speed, to name three.) So I may be throwing away $550, which doesn't come easy. But I hope that DxO will release a module for the FZ200 to bring its quality up. If not, then I've wasted my money. Too bad. Caveat emptor.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus OM-D E-M10
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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