Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...

Started Nov 2, 2012 | Discussions
Ron 1973
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Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
Nov 2, 2012

Hello Folks,

My FZ200 just arrived and the battery is charging. Just thought I would take a moment to ask what settings others are using as a starting point. I have seen some really nice shots on the forum, and thought I might lessen the learning curve. I am new to the forum, so I'll give a little personal background. I shoot as a hobby only, and once in a while get some really nice keepers. I currently shoot with a Nikon D90, D5100 (with a few decent lenses), Panny FZ35, and had and returned the FZ40 which I thought wasn't as satisfying as the FZ35. I really enjoy my DSLRs, but I never take them out to places where I think they will get  dirty or banged up. I take the FZ35 everywhere, and the video capability is great. I loved the thought of a 2.8 lens on the FZ35, so I bought the FZ200. I know the Panny will not have the IQ anywhere near the Nikons, but for everyday fun shots,vacations and video, it will do just fine. I have the latest PS software to help as well. Any input from currents users will be great appreciated...

Thanks,

Ron

RudyPohl
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ron 1973, Nov 2, 2012

Hi Ron:

Welcome aboard!

1) For JPEG output set camera to Standard Photo mode, Sharpness +1 and Noise Reduction -2.

2) try to use the rule of thumb for telephoto lens, which is the shutter speed should be as close as possible to the inverse of the focal length. Example, if focal length is 300mm, try to have your shutter speed at or near 1/300 second. We have found that many newbies to this camera did not 'respect' the principles of photography when first handling this whopping big zoom lens and were shooting at 300mm to 600mm at far too slow shutter speeds. They were getting many out of focus images and mistakenly thinking the camera produces poor quality images. I was one of those.

Try to imagine that you are using a honking long 600mm regular telephoto lens that weighs 8 pounds, it wouldn't occur to you to simply wave it around like a popsicle stick and still expect to get sharp images. The same is true for this lens. Because the camera is so light weight and because the zoom is so handy and easy to work, many us were shooting 600mm at 1/40th shutter speed and expecting sharp images.

Hope this is the kind of thing you're looking for.

Happy shooting!

Rudy

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okkie68
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to RudyPohl, Nov 2, 2012

hee Rudy, need your advice also: how do I know I am at 300 mm? I guess this is a really strange question but I dear to ask you, because you are friendly :))

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RudyPohl
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to okkie68, Nov 2, 2012

okkie68 wrote:

hee Rudy, need your advice also: how do I know I am at 300 mm? I guess this is a really strange question but I dear to ask you, because you are friendly :))

Hi Ella:

1) The lens actual focal length range is 4mm to 108mm approximately. The 35mm full frame sensor equivalent is 25mm to 600mm which is a multiplication factor of approx. 6.

2) The lens is X24 magnification and the LCD displays for you what the zoom magnification is at any time.

3) Therefore, when you are zoom in X12 (50% of your focal length of 600mm) then you are at or near 300mm. Kappish?

Cheers,

Rudy

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kkardster
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to RudyPohl, Nov 2, 2012

RudyPohl wrote:

Hi Ron:

Welcome aboard!

1) For JPEG output set camera to Standard Photo mode, Sharpness +1 and Noise Reduction -2.

2) try to use the rule of thumb for telephoto lens, which is the shutter speed should be as close as possible to the inverse of the focal length. Example, if focal length is 300mm, try to have your shutter speed at or near 1/300 second. We have found that many newbies to this camera did not 'respect' the principles of photography when first handling this whopping big zoom lens and were shooting at 300mm to 600mm at far too slow shutter speeds. They were getting many out of focus images and mistakenly thinking the camera produces poor quality images. I was one of those.

Try to imagine that you are using a honking long 600mm regular telephoto lens that weighs 8 pounds, it wouldn't occur to you to simply wave it around like a popsicle stick and still expect to get sharp images. The same is true for this lens. Because the camera is so light weight and because the zoom is so handy and easy to work, many us were shooting 600mm at 1/40th shutter speed and expecting sharp images.

Hope this is the kind of thing you're looking for.

Happy shooting!

Rudy

Note that this rule of thumb applies to 35mm equivalent focal length, not the FZ200's actual focal length.  For telephoto purposes only, multiply the actual FZ200 focal length by 6 to approximate the 35mm equivalent.

-- hide signature --

You learn something new every time you press the shutter

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Ron 1973
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to RudyPohl, Nov 2, 2012

Thanks Rudy...

I was expecting and hoping you'd be one of the first responders..hehe. It seems you are really happy with yours, and have taken the time to really find out what works for you. I'm hoping that I can learn to use it to get some great images like you and others on the forum. I would love to reach a point where I can feel confident to maybe let one of my DSLR bodies go. I really enjoy the FZ35, and am hoping that the FZ200 is just more of the same great stuff. I will try your suggestions, and heck, I may even manage to get a good enough shot to post up here!

Thanks again... any more thoughts you have, just shoot them my way..

Ron

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RudyPohl
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ron 1973, Nov 2, 2012

Hi again Ron:

Don't forget the focus system in this rig works on contrast differences in the scene or subject so if possible focus on a more contrasty part of the scene (assuming it's the same length away). Also try to get used to using the Autofocus/Exposure Lock button at the back,it very helpful... and here's one more tip I'm just about to use myself, when shooting close birds or other subjects that are low contrast on cloudy days with not enough light use fill flash, you get MUCH better results than without.

Cheers,

Rudy

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Ron 1973
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to RudyPohl, Nov 2, 2012

Thanks again Rudy... will keep these tips in mind. Too bad weather is kind of blah for shooting today.... But the battery just finished charging and it's time to play with the new toy. wu hu!

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Ronomy
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ron 1973, Nov 2, 2012

I am finding better results with sharpness set to -1.  Too much edge ringing using +1 in some shots and more noise with sharpness set higher in the camera which requires more PP NR that can soften the image.  I like to shoot with NR -2 and sharpness -1 then PP with Neat Image to remove grain which requires less NR during PP and more detail retained.  Then sharpen a tad more in Neat Image.  Most shots taken at ISO 100 to 200 range look clean and sharp enough without PP.  Its possible the sweet spot for sharpness varies from one camera to the next and with higher light levels the images can tolerate more sharpness processed in the camera.  I just prefer to leave it set to -1 sharpness and PP if required later.

Ron

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okkie68
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ronomy, Nov 2, 2012

thanks Rudy, I get it....(the mm question)

settings I used a lot till now, for most animal portrets, (you can see my photo's at flickr, not much, but to get an impression)

I set in the menu: standard - everything 0, only Noise reduction -1

and I like the shootings in P , whitebalance set to 'cloudy' on rainy days like this

digital zoom 'on', but I don't use it that much

i zoom 'off'

iso max 400 (i mostly try 100)

EV -1/3

AFF (most)

metering: (*)

intern dyn 'high' (but don't know what it is for

quick AF 'on'

hope to see your photo's, maybe tonight ? hahaha

we'll see and wait, have a good time shooting

greetings, Ella

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Ron 1973
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ronomy, Nov 2, 2012

Just been outside/inside taking a few shots... all I can say is.... WOW! Any worries I had about IQ are completely gone.  I am truly impressed with this camera. OOC shots look great! Very fast focus. Vivid colors. Sharp up to 400 in good light. Very easy to use, and good controls. This is definitely a keeper. Can't wait to take it out on a nice day! You cannot be disappointed with this FZ. If you are, you either got a bad one, or you don't know how to use it. And yes, all this praise and I've only had it for a couple of hours.... Fantastic. Good going Panny!

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okkie68
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ron 1973, Nov 2, 2012

post post

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Ron 1973
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to okkie68, Nov 2, 2012

I must say that the subject matter of the shots is too embarrassing to post !:-P I took a few shots of some rotting vegetation that was left over from the garden. I can't put them up here without feeling like a goof.  But I will find a more suitable subject soon and will post some straight OOC shots. I am just so pleased with what I have already seen....

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Ronomy
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ron 1973, Nov 2, 2012

If refraining from pixel peeping its great!  if you are a peeper then you may be disappointed a little with the noise but truthfully looking at the image full frame its an awesome camera.

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Ron 1973
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ronomy, Nov 2, 2012

Pixel peep all you like in this random OOC shot of decaying leaves ..... If you need more than this, then no superzoom out now will make you happy. I do have very expensive glass for my DSLRs, and I'm still very impressed by what this can do! Maybe my expectations are very low?

on my 24" led non calibrated monitor, this shot looks great even at 100%!

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Ron 1973
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ron 1973, Nov 2, 2012

Sorry, I know it's an ugly random shot, but it's at full zoom and still looks good with no PPing.:-)

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RudyPohl
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ron 1973, Nov 2, 2012

Hi Ron:

Nice looking rooting vegetation!

Here's another tip... they say that focus is never tack sharp when a lens is zoomed right out to the max, in our case 600mm or X24. So I always try to make a conscious effort to keep it under the max zoom, usually between X20 and X22.

Rudy

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okkie68
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to RudyPohl, Nov 2, 2012

hee, the first shot...you will never forget it

yes, looks sharp, but of course looking forward to more

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Ron 1973
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to RudyPohl, Nov 2, 2012

Hey Rudy,

I guessed that full zoom would be pushing to the limit, and that's why I'm surprised how good it still looked. Even this poor little rotting hot pepper at full zoom came out decent OOC. Love this cam...

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Ronomy
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Re: Panny FZ200 user settings advice wanted...
In reply to Ron 1973, Nov 2, 2012

Ron,

Are you using NR -2 and sharpness +1 on that fallen leaves image?  Just curious.  That looks like my camera set to NR -2 and sharpness -1 up close.  Little bit of grain at ISO 100 that is not even noticeable at full frame view.  I have not had any focus issues like some have posted.  Good focus at all focal lengths.   I have moved or the subject has moved and blurred but that's it.

Ron (another Ron) 

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