Want to like the fz200, but...

Started Dec 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
SirLataxe
Senior MemberPosts: 1,406
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Re: Want to like the fz200, but...
In reply to Lepewhi, Dec 7, 2012

Lepewhi wrote:

THanks SirLataxe,

I'll try the JPEGs to see if I like them. I've heard that the jpegs are good, so I'll try it and maybe that'll save a step if I can take them right out of the camera and tweak them for color and sharpness in photoshop elements. Lepewhi

Mr Hi,

Those FZ200 jpegs are surprisingly good for a teeny-sensor camera.  Many similar cameras smear their jpegs a lot more than does the FZ200.  But.....

I think you must keep the camera set to -2 for NR, contrast and sharpness to get the best out of the jpegs.  In fact, I would say turn the saturation down to -2 as well.

The jpegs coming out of the camera will then look pale, flat and soft.  If you didn't want to do any PP to change that, you might want to turn the colour, contrast or even the sharpness back up a bit with the camera controls - but not the NR.  That seems to be the prime source of the dreaded jpeg smearing.  It's least a problem at low ISOs.  At higher ISOs the smearing becomes chronic.

Less processing by the camera-jpeg engine - to perform NR, sharpening, contrast and even colour saturation - seems to leave the jpegs in a much better condition for you to apply your own photo-editor tweaks.  As with RAW files.

Which begs the question: if you're happy to do PP why not give yourself the best chance of success by doing it on RAW 16bit files rather than already part-processed 8bit jpegs? File space is not an issue; unless your SD card is a tiny capacity, you will get lots of RAWs on to it.  The FZ200 will take high capacity (and high speed) cards, which are inexpensive unless one buys at the tech-development cutting edge.  Mine was £10 for 16Gb Class 10.

It's likely that your computer-based and control-stuffed photo-editor, along with it's intelligent human operator (you) will be able to apply more subtle and appropriate edits than the camera jpeg engine.  If there are only 5 settings ( -2 to +2) in the camera for the above-mentioned things, that is not too many really.  The photo-editor will have a lot more gradations on the control dials; and a lot of additional controls.

Personally I think a small-sensor jpeg "as-is" out of a camera (especially good quality ones like those the FZ200 can do) is OK for casual use, smaller outputs (web or the dreaded 6X4s, etc.)  They can also work with larger viewing media if the subject-matter is suitable (eg softer portrait styles or other photos where sharpness, clarity, acuity of the content is not too important).

If you want to take detailed landscapes or some other clarity-critical subject; if you want to display them at larger sizes and/or in demanding media, then small-sensor jpegs are unlikely to be good enough......  But there's still RAW; and the FZ200 can do extremely good IQ from RAW for it's sensor size, as I have seen with my own peepers many, many times now.

SirLataxe, intent on squeezing the last drop of IQ-juice from the FZ200.

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