FZ200. How Many FZ150 Users will upgrade?

Started Jul 18, 2012 | Discussions
gail
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rubber eye guard/proximity sensor
In reply to Vandyu, Jul 22, 2012

Vandyu wrote:

"Panasonic has proved that they listen to what customers want. Except for a rubber eye guard. I don't even wear glasses and find it annoying.

How bad are the eyecups on recent Panasonic cameras? I've preordered the FZ200 and plan to use the viewfinder a lot (I wear glasses).

Also, does anyone know if the camera has a proximity sensor so the LCD automatically goes off when you hold the camera to the eye. Or must you manually turn it on and off?

As mentioned in another thread, the last Pany superzoom I owned was the FZ18, so I've a lot of catching up to do regarding the newer models.

The FZ200 will replace my DSLR, which has become quite a burden to carry due to an injury I had more than two years ago. I usually don't carry any extra lenses because of this and too often I wish I had a different lens that was sitting back home.

Thank you.
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gail
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Re: Phew!!!
In reply to ehsanPRO, Jul 22, 2012

ehsanPRO wrote:

Intelligent D-range Control: This function offers natural looking by optimizing the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully.

Hopefully, Panasonic has implemented its approach to dynamic range adjustment better than Canon (who calls the feature iContrast.), Images can appear more coarse when using the feature. I rarely ever use it on my three cameras that have it. I'm not saying it's useless but I personally get better results when making dynamic range adjustments in photoshop.

FWIW, I have a few i-contrast test photos in my pbase gallery:

http://www.pbase.com/gailb/s100icontrast

Speaking of manual, does anyone know if there is a pdf version of the FZ200 manual available for download? I'd love to get a copy and get a jump start learning about the camera.

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sherman_levine
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Manuals
In reply to gail, Jul 22, 2012

Gail,

Here are the links for the FZ150 basic and advanced manuals.

http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMCFZ150.PDF
http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMCFZ150_ADV.PDF

I've not seen the FZ200 equivalents there yet.
Sherm

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sherman_levine
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Eyeglasses protection
In reply to gail, Jul 22, 2012

I use these. Once the top corners are padded, your eyeglasses are protected from the hard plastic. The smallest pads work without trimming.
Sherm

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gail
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Re: Eyeglasses protection
In reply to sherman_levine, Jul 22, 2012

I know they're functional, but they sure look yucky.

It's a shame Panasonic doesn't do a better job with the eyecup.
--
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sherman_levine
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Re: Eyeglasses protection
In reply to gail, Jul 22, 2012

I tuned the picture a bit to make them more obvious.
In life, they're quite unobtrusive.
Sherm

gail wrote:

I know they're functional, but they sure look yucky.

It's a shame Panasonic doesn't do a better job with the eyecup.
--
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Vandyu
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Re: rubber eye guard/proximity sensor
In reply to gail, Jul 22, 2012

Hi Gail. I don't see any change in the FZ200 EVF as far as Panasonic's having added an eyecup or protective coating for glasses. This is probably one reason I'm not hopping to upgrade. Also, I don't see any change in the manual switching between LCD and EVF. I've included a comparison photo from the DPR preview. The other features look wonderful. I'm debating, but not convinced. If Panasonic would offer an aftermarket eyecup for glasses wearers, I'd preorder the FZ200, so that would be a nice accessory since it isn't designed in.

Another option might be the new G5, which has an auto viewer switch and rubber eye guard, but you're into a lens swappable solution and closer to $1,000 with a telephoto zoom lens added in. Plus, you wouldn't have constant 2.8 and a shorter overall zoom range.

"As well as the large rear LCD, the G5 also offers an electronic viewfinder with 1.44 million dots. Coverage is 100% and + - 4 diopter correction is available. The small dark rectangle beneath the viewfinder is a sensor used to automatically switch between LCD and EVF live view, but the button to the left of the diopter correction wheel can also be used. "

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gail
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May be a dealbreaker for me :(
In reply to Vandyu, Jul 22, 2012

Vandyu wrote:

Hi Gail. I don't see any change in the FZ200 EVF as far as Panasonic's having added an eyecup or protective coating for glasses. This is probably one reason I'm not hopping to upgrade.

I don't mind the manual switching between the LCD and EVF but, the more I read, I'm beginning to think the lack of a rubberized eyecup is a deal-breaker for me. I want to be able to use the viewfinder almost exclusively like I do on my DSLR.

I'm extremely reluctant to pay $600 for a camera that I have to add some ugly patches in order to use the viewfinder with my glasses? I mean, how much would it cost Panasonic to include a decent eye cup like on some other brand superzooms?

I'm going to call Panasonic this week to get their take on this.

I am so excited about this camera, so much so that I've already started reading the manual for the FZ150 until the FZ200 manual becomes available. But I have a gnawing sensation that I may opt to sit on the sidelines all because of an................eyecup!?!?

AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

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gail
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Re: Eyeglasses protection
In reply to sherman_levine, Jul 22, 2012

sherman_levine wrote:

I tuned the picture a bit to make them more obvious.
In life, they're quite unobtrusive.

Thanks for the additional info. Still, I really expect a decent viewfinder eye-cup on a $600 camera!

Very disappointing and, quite frankly, hard to believe.

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Vandyu
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Re: May be a dealbreaker for me :(
In reply to gail, Jul 22, 2012

Gail, I've been beating the drum and banging my head against a brick wall (Panasonic) on this issue for several years. When I bought my FZ20, I first encountered the issue and made due with an old round eyecup from a Canon AE1 or Nikon film SLR. Anyway, been waiting model after model for Panasonic to come around, which they actually did with the FZ30 and FZ50. But then, they regressed again and all of us who wanted an eyecup, for all the right and sensible reasons, went back to the drawing board and makeshift adaptations.

I've draw fire recently for speaking out again, but that's OK. I appreciate all of the fine points of the FZ200 and would love to commit to an upgrade. But, it may be a deal breaker if for no other reason than the fact that my FZ150 works fine and it could easily cost me up to $200 or so to buy the new model. I don't think I should have to glue felt pads or a telescope eyecup to the new camera.

I've been collecting pictures of various workarounds over the years. Maybe Panasonic should take a look at all of the inconvenience caused by such a small savings on their part. I'll give them $14.95 for an aftermarket accessory eyecup made for this new camera and pay for shipping. How's that for an offer?
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gail
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Re: May be a dealbreaker for me :(
In reply to Vandyu, Jul 22, 2012

Vandyu wrote:

I've draw fire recently for speaking out again, but that's OK.

Don't apologize. I spoke out constantly about the very poor ergonomics of the Canon s90 and, finally, two generations later, they finally got it right with the S100. But, evidently, you've been speaking out longer than I did.

I forgot how the eye piece was on my FZ3 and FZ18. But at that time, I didn't have to wear eye glasses.

I appreciate all of the fine points of the FZ200 and would love to commit to an upgrade.

I do too however, depending on my conversation with Panasonic reps when I call them this week, I probably will not get the camera.

pay for shipping. How's that for an offer?

I don't think you should have to do that but it would be better than nothing.

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Stevie Boy Blue
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THANKS All
In reply to Dwight Brown, Jul 25, 2012

Thanks for all the replies, folks. It’s been interesting reading most of ‘em.

In some ways I envy those who are financially stable enough to afford/pre-order the new FZ200. Yet I view the bulk of images I’ve taken with my FZ150 and conclude from the quality last year’s model affords me that I really should wait, maybe even until the FZ200 is replaced next year before upgrading. In all but a few instances where low light is concerned, I just don’t see how the FZ200 will produce better still photographs than the FZ150. In my experience the 150 truly is one heck of a special camera and I see very little degradation between ISO 800 and 400 with this particular model. Yes, with F2.8, the FZ200 will give ISO 200 where the 150 affords only ISO 400.

But on those occasions were F2.8 at 400mm plus range is required, I shall persevere with my long-in-the-tooth FZ20 and its much slower focus for the time being and unless the current financial climate improves. Indeed, the FZ200 could well be a worthy replacement for the 150. In all fairness I believe the better EVF would be worth a trade-in. Since opening this thread last week, however, I’ve become less influenced by the gadget envy I was feeling at the time. F2.8 at 600 mm is no mean achievement and Panasonic/Lieca should be proud of themselves. Yet next year there’s a huge chance that we’ll see something even more special appear via this wonderful conglomerate. Consequently I’m now prepared to wait an extra 12 months that are sure to pass exceptionally quickly, courtesy of the sheer fun, enjoyment and generally excellent results the FZ150 brings my way.

In the unlikely event that I win the lottery or rob a bank in between time, I just don’t see the sense in spending £500 on a camera in 2012 and a further £500 in 2013 when I actually shelled out almost £500 in 2011. And in the unlikely event that the FZ200 replacement doesn’t prove to be as good as I expect it to be, I’ll be able to purchase the 2012 model at a 2013 post-replacement discount price. In the meantime I’ll keep an eye on the developments of those who buy and use the FZ200. I genuinely don’t, however, expect to see much, if any, improvement over FZ150 image quality in 90% of situations during which I would find the FZ200 a more useful tool, confirmed by the rare number of occasions I call on the F2.8 aperture of my FZ20.

So, in closing, good luck to all future FZ200 users, whether you upgrade from the FZ150 or not. Happy snapping, folks!

Regards always,

Stevie Boy

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DotCom Editor
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Will go nicely with my Canon DSLR bodies
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, Jul 25, 2012

Amazing though it might seem, there are actually times when I don't feel like schlepping 40 lbs. of camera gear, including a half-dozen lenses with me in a huge backpack. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for the right all-in-one -- something that would really deliver the goods in terms of image quality, ISO, zoom reach, RAW, and wide aperture. Neither Canon nor Nikon have come through; it looks to me like this Panasonic is the one. Count me in.

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Guimar
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Re: FZ200. How Many FZ150 Users will upgrade?
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, Jul 25, 2012

I am holding off on deciding about replacing my fz150 until I see results with final firmware, and that they are not implememnting a video length limit as stated on the panasonic site. I use my camera for both stills and video. 1/2 hour isn't long enough for the events I video.

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David247
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Oh so very tempting.
In reply to Stevie Boy Blue, Jul 26, 2012

The new FZ200 is oh so very tempting. The faster lens at telephoto lengths is a consideration but that alone would probably not get me to upgrade but then add in the additional features, especially the improved viewfinder, video, etc., and all of a sudden I find myself with a sudden onset of camera lust.

Of course I think I can wait to see what the price is and the first reviews, though it will be difficult. Actually I'll have to wait financially but at least lusting is free.

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DutchMate
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Re: Oh so very tempting.
In reply to David247, Jul 26, 2012

I agree. Just think about purchasing an f2.8 lens at 600mm for a dslr. think about the size and weight. I am saving money. Note i also have a different mindset for really low light pic at budget price iám not a high roller. At the moment that would be an d5100 or more expensive x100 i'm not concidering lx7 or sony rx100. Have not seen anything on the samsung 2, i dig schneider k lens.. the sony is not wide enough for me at 27/28mm eq.

. The x100 gives troubles with af as my eyesight is not what it used to be even with new prescription specs / stupid nose bicycle.

the d5100 with a prime and wide might work for low. But the size and weight are putting me off from ordering.

So waiting and lurkin for the low light but saving up for the fz200. Might take a couple of months.

Cheers
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bimbobo
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Re: Oh so very tempting.
In reply to DutchMate, Jul 26, 2012

If it could give 1600 ISO pics with much less noise than now, I could trade my FZ150 for it.

Low light pics are important for me, but not so important to by a DSLR.
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jesjose
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Re: Oh so very tempting.
In reply to DutchMate, Jul 26, 2012

but i guess theyll throw in fz250 by the time fz200 reaches india!!!! here i visited an official showroom they still taking about fz100 !! i got fz150 online and more than happy with it:)

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natattack
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Re: Oh so very tempting.
In reply to jesjose, Jul 28, 2012

I'm a canon user too, but have steered clear of bridge cameras since the Canon S2 IS. I currently own a 5d mk2, 50D, G10, olympus e-620, and have dabbled in the pens here and there.

The FZ200 is the first bridge cam to make me reconsider bridge cameras. I hear your points regarding the perceptibly 'slight' advantages of the F/2.8 lens & shooting at lower ISO's and faster shutter speeds- but to me , with this kind of camera those advantages are amplified because of the tiny sensor. Its really great to see newer cams like this handling noise better than ever, but I still would hesitate to use higher ISO's over shallow DOF , if there was the option.

I'm looking forward to reviews and the next model as well- I agree with your first post- its an amazing accomplishment to fit an constant F/2.8 lens into a modern bridge camcorder. Hopefully this will set a new benchmark.

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had2B
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Re: May be a dealbreaker for me :(
In reply to gail, Jul 28, 2012

EVF VIGNETTING MAY BE A BIGGER ISSUE

I bought the FZ150 some months back but returned it when I discovered that I was unable to view the full display thru the EVF, due to not being able to get my eyeball close enough to the viewer. I need to wear my specs at all times (I have astigmatism).

I discovered that the available viewing window on the EVF of the FZ150 is greatly reduced by a black masking which is applied to the inside of the viewing pane. Without that there would be no problem whatever, in my estimation. A ca. 17 x 12mm window is reduced to something like 8 x 6mm by this masking. I reported my observations to Panasonic UK, and they told me they would pass the info on as part of their next "Voice of the Customer" report.

I don't know what the reasoning was for the masking in the first place, but I hope they see fit to reduce it or eliminate it completely in future models, as I suggested — no extra cost involved, maybe something saved. It was very disappointing to have to send back the FZ150, and I really hope the FZ200 will be a keeper.

gail wrote:

Vandyu wrote:

Hi Gail. I don't see any change in the FZ200 EVF as far as Panasonic's having added an eyecup or protective coating for glasses. This is probably one reason I'm not hopping to upgrade.

I don't mind the manual switching between the LCD and EVF but, the more I read, I'm beginning to think the lack of a rubberized eyecup is a deal-breaker for me. I want to be able to use the viewfinder almost exclusively like I do on my DSLR.

I'm extremely reluctant to pay $600 for a camera that I have to add some ugly patches in order to use the viewfinder with my glasses? I mean, how much would it cost Panasonic to include a decent eye cup like on some other brand superzooms?

I'm going to call Panasonic this week to get their take on this.

I am so excited about this camera, so much so that I've already started reading the manual for the FZ150 until the FZ200 manual becomes available. But I have a gnawing sensation that I may opt to sit on the sidelines all because of an................eyecup!?!?

AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

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