fz200 - big disapointment or are my claims too high?

Started Oct 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
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31di05
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fz200 - big disapointment or are my claims too high?
Oct 13, 2012

Sadly I returned my FZ200. The reason was : Too bad image quality!

My history: After many years with analogue SLRs from Minolta and Canon I looked for a lightweight camera for mountaineering, biking and traveling. I found it 6 years ago in the famous Canon powershot S3IS. Then it was the best bridgecam (6 MP, 35 – 420 mm focus, fast lens 2.7 - 3.5, good stabilizer, nice colours, good and clean VGA-Video with stereo sound, fully swing-display, acceptable viewfinder, and excellent image quality for 30x45 cm sharp paper-posters ). Unluckily the lens happend to get scratched, producing bad reflexes in sunlight motives. Moreover the VGA video resolution is nowadays too low.

Because a safari in Kenia was planned, I bought a used Canon Powershot SX20IS (12 MP, 20x Zoom 28 -560, fully swing display, very big, pleasant viewfinder, HD-Video). But the IQ was not so overwhelming- especially when zooming near 500 mm. Returned it.

Then the new FZ200 was available for 599 € in Munich.

Positive: good zoom region 25 - 600 mm (but need no 25 mm wide angle), silent and soft zoom motor, good viewfinder but too small in my opinion, many, many options and functions, 3 configurable buttons, good large fully articulated display, fast cam and f 2.8 lens over the whole zoom range, bright flash up to 8 m, class leading video modes in MP4 and AVCHD with full HD.

First exemplar went back to the shop after 1 week, because of blurred fotos at max. zoom. 2nd cam seemed to be better, and went to safari for approx. 1500 fotos and videos in Kenia with bright weather. The results of the videos are excellent - but the fotos are disappointing, only at low to medium compact cam quality. Especially all zoomed but also low focal length pictures lack real sharpness, none is crisp sharp, suitable for enlargement to 18 x 12 inch on paper. Shutter speeds of the 600 mm fotos are 1/1000 or shorter, so it should be possible to produce sharp images. Looking on a 24 inch screen at 100 % most fotos are massive blurred and smearred.

To make clear: If looked at 30 % or lower, the fotos are sufficient for small prints up to approx. 13 x 18 cm (5 x 7 inch).

Do I request too much from a new bridge cam these days? It seems to me, that this lens, the autofocus, the stabilizer and the imaging sensor are by far overburdened. Or did I get two bad exemplars?

I add some 100% crops from my HD, because I have no flickr etc. account:

f3.5, 1/1600, ISo 100, 600 mm

f 4, 1/1000, ISO 200, 600 mm

f4, 1/1000, ISO 100, 600 mm

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3
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