Coming Back Again to the FZ200

Started May 29, 2013 | Discussions
GeraldW
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Coming Back Again to the FZ200
May 29, 2013

Some of you will recognize that I've previously had an FZ200 and FZ150 and sold off the FZ200 in favor of the FZ150.  Why?  In daylight, the FZ150 takes better pictures.  However...

...this afternoon a there was this squirrel, posing in a big old oak.  So, I wen6t and got my FZ150 and took some shots of him.  Plenty of zoom; but a storm was coming in, and the area was heavily wooded, and at ISO 800, the shutter speed was 1/25.  I got three out of seven decent shots; but two were spoiled by the squirrels movements, and two more were spoiled by me.  It drove home the benefits of the FZ200's f/2.8 lens.

And so, I now have another FZ200 on order.

In my comparisons of the two cameras (FZ150 and FZ200), I forgot something important.  You buy these things for the long lens.  Yes, they do have wider focal lengths, and hot shoes; but I have several other cameras that can do that, and they do it better.  The FZ's are in my inventory because they have long lenses.  And to make those long lenses maximally useful; they need the bigger aperture - otherwise, it's a bright light only camera.

The other question you might be asking is why buy now?  There may be a new and better FZ coming.  That's true; but I'm guessing it will be slower and longer.  There's also the possibility of Panasonic getting out of the fixed lens business.  Rumors abound after Panasonic's CEO's comments.  The fact is, they need to do something after losing $8 Billion USD last year.  So, I went witrh the certainty instead of the unknown.  And I know well the ins and outs of the FZ200.

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Jerry

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Ronomy
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 29, 2013

Some of you will recognize that I've previously had an FZ200 and FZ150 and sold off the FZ200 in favor of the FZ150.  Why?  In daylight, the FZ150 takes better pictures.  However...

...this afternoon a there was this squirrel, posing in a big old oak.  So, I wen6t and got my FZ150 and took some shots of him.  Plenty of zoom; but a storm was coming in, and the area was heavily wooded, and at ISO 800, the shutter speed was 1/25.  I got three out of seven decent shots; but two were spoiled by the squirrels movements, and two more were spoiled by me.  It drove home the benefits of the FZ200's f/2.8 lens.

And so, I now have another FZ200 on order.

In my comparisons of the two cameras (FZ150 and FZ200), I forgot something important.  You buy these things for the long lens.  Yes, they do have wider focal lengths, and hot shoes; but I have several other cameras that can do that, and they do it better.  The FZ's are in my inventory because they have long lenses.  And to make those long lenses maximally useful; they need the bigger aperture - otherwise, it's a bright light only camera.

The other question you might be asking is why buy now?  There may be a new and better FZ coming.  That's true; but I'm guessing it will be slower and longer.  There's also the possibility of Panasonic getting out of the fixed lens business.  Rumors abound after Panasonic's CEO's comments.  The fact is, they need to do something after losing $8 Billion USD last year.  So, I went witrh the certainty instead of the unknown.  And I know well the ins and outs of the FZ200.

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Jerry

Welcome back! Since I got the LX7 I use the FZ200 mostly for when I need the long zoom. Also in bright light and macro shooting its pretty good too. I have also been using iA + mode since you can force aperture, exposure and color balance. I also still like using the settings you settled on using PAS or M if I need to take an indoor image in lower light but the LX7 is better because I can open up to F1.4 With low ISO's over the FZ200.

Ron

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Vandyu
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 29, 2013

Makes perfect sense to me, Gerald. I agree that the "new" FZ model will likely be longer, not because that's necessarily the right thing to do photographically, but because Panasonic will be forced into it because Sony, Canon and Nikon have decided that "longer is better."  We'll just have to be careful not to knock the darn lens into everything within  arm's reach

Also, there is a big question mark hanging over Panasonic as an electronics company. Like Sony, Panasonic has allowed the two Korean twins (LG and Samsung) to dominate the TV industry and related electronics components. Sony once dominated, and I wouldn't have anything in the house but a Sony Trinitron. My HDTV is an LG because Sony dropped the ball.

Panasonic will likely leave the TV business, but whether the cameras go as well remains to be seen.

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Timj351
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 29, 2013

GeraldW wrote:

Some of you will recognize that I've previously had an FZ200 and FZ150 and sold off the FZ200 in favor of the FZ150.  Why?  In daylight, the FZ150 takes better pictures.  However...

...this afternoon a there was this squirrel, posing in a big old oak.  So, I wen6t and got my FZ150 and took some shots of him.  Plenty of zoom; but a storm was coming in, and the area was heavily wooded, and at ISO 800, the shutter speed was 1/25.  I got three out of seven decent shots; but two were spoiled by the squirrels movements, and two more were spoiled by me.  It drove home the benefits of the FZ200's f/2.8 lens.

And so, I now have another FZ200 on order.

In my comparisons of the two cameras (FZ150 and FZ200), I forgot something important.  You buy these things for the long lens.  Yes, they do have wider focal lengths, and hot shoes; but I have several other cameras that can do that, and they do it better.  The FZ's are in my inventory because they have long lenses.  And to make those long lenses maximally useful; they need the bigger aperture - otherwise, it's a bright light only camera.

The other question you might be asking is why buy now?  There may be a new and better FZ coming.  That's true; but I'm guessing it will be slower and longer.  There's also the possibility of Panasonic getting out of the fixed lens business.  Rumors abound after Panasonic's CEO's comments.  The fact is, they need to do something after losing $8 Billion USD last year.  So, I went witrh the certainty instead of the unknown.  And I know well the ins and outs of the FZ200.

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Jerry

I'm afraid you might be right about a new FZ250 having a longer and slower lens, basically spoiling a great camera. I'm sure it will have some nifty new bells and whistles, and maybe even a rubber eye cup finally, but I'm not confident it will be any better, picture-wise, as the FZ200. I think you made the right decision to pick one up now and maybe this new one will be even better in IQ then your previous one. I say this because I have both an FZ150 and an FZ200 and I see no significant difference between the two cameras. I think the FZ200 is such a fine camera that I don't plan on upgrading anytime soon. I should sell my FZ150 but it is such a great backup camera.

Welcome back to the FZ200 club.

-Tim

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Vandyu
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to Timj351, May 29, 2013

Tim, since you mentioned the rubber eye cup, I'm going to say for the 1000th time that Panasonic really needs to add this to the camera. A $0.50 item or lack thereof might just make me once again decide not to upgrade. Panasonic should acknowledge that bridge camera aficinadoes are as deserving of a rubber eye cup as the micro4/3 bunch.

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Zbyszek_Z
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 29, 2013

Welcome back, Gerald!

It is refreshing to discover after several months that the FZ200 is almost 2 EV faster (brighter) than the FZ150 at the long end (600 mm; 2.8 vs 5.2). But I think that your fast movements with camera gear keep you simply busy and awakened, not allowing to get old too fast.

I am looking forward to your new tips and hints concerning your third FZ200 

Welcome back to Panasonic Forum.

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Zbyszek

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GeraldW
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to Ronomy, May 29, 2013

Ron,

I haven't tried iA+; but I'll look into it.  What you say for your LX7 also applies to my G15.  It's not only faster than the FZ's; but has significantly lower noise at high ISO.

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Jerry

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GeraldW
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to Vandyu, May 29, 2013

That rings a bell here, too.  At one time we only had Sony or Panasonic TV's.  Now, we have 2 Samsungs in our collection.  There is still one Panasonic in my den.

Worries about Panasonic's future in the consumer electronics business don't bother me, as far as buying a current model like the FZ200; but it does for future purchases I might make for super zooms.  Panasonic has been the leader in that area since the FZ20, and I fear that without their presence, the more X and more MP crowd will dominate.

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Jerry

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GeraldW
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to Zbyszek_Z, May 29, 2013

Thank you!  As you correctly guessed, cameras are an indulgeance I allow myself.  They go very well with travel; which we do as much as we can; but I also enjoy testing them and trying out new things.

Looking back at the progression of super zooms and the earleir "bridge" cameras like the Canon Pro 1 and Sony 828, they all started with fast lenses.  That was necessary because of high noise levels beginning at ISO 400.  Then, as noise reduction and sensor technology improved, the cameras began to increase the maximum ISO.  As noise decreased at ISO 400 and 800, the lenses could be made longer and slower - the loss of speed being offset to some degree by the availability of higher ISO.  Canon has taken this trend to the extreme of 24-1200 mm equivalent at f/3.4-6.5.  The same idiocy happened in the 90's with point and shoot 35 mm AF cameras.  As high ISO film got better and better, lenses got longer and slower.  The insanity culminated with a 200 mm f/13.5 lens, made possible by acceptable quality of ISO 800 film.

I see the same trend in small sensor, fixed lens cameras.  Sony's new HX50V has a 20 MP sensor and a 700+ mm lens in a compact body.

Rant over!  Thanks for posting.

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Jerry

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RudyPohl
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 29, 2013

It's an pretty awesome camera Jerry, might turn out to be a classic!

Rudy

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tbaker
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to Vandyu, May 29, 2013

They would never do that, because that system is makes them more money(buying more lenses, newest body, optional evf and so forth), while Panasonic knows that the FZ cameras have always been better. They just want to keep the clients to give them money to come back, vs FZ users who will always stick with a FZ camera cause it is bar none the best cameras Panasonic makes! And it's a shame cause an rubber eye cup would make thins more comfortable for me.

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Timj351
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It's a Rudy 'sighting'
In reply to RudyPohl, May 29, 2013

RudyPohl wrote:

It's an pretty awesome camera Jerry, might turn out to be a classic!

Rudy

How you doing? I see you are handling things pretty well over on the Nikon Forum. Maybe you are thinking about coming back to our side with a new FZ200 or FZ250?

-Tim

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GeraldW
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to RudyPohl, May 30, 2013

Rudy,

Thanks.  I'm getting excited about it.  Should be here Friday in the late afternoon.  I'm 75 now, and I feel like a kid at Christmas who can barely wait.

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Jerry

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Vandyu
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 30, 2013

If only reason could prevail over the marketing of buying incentives...

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Vandyu
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 30, 2013

Gerry, you're only as old as your knees make you feel

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MJ Jones
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 30, 2013

GeraldW wrote:

You buy these things for the long lens.

There may be a new and better FZ coming.  That's true; but I'm guessing it will be slower and longer.

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Jerry

Definitely, this is their main asset.

My own guess is that Panasonic will use the FZ62 16 Megapixels sensor, add wifi and app like they provide on the TZ40 and GF6. I doubt the lens will be slower or longer because they have the lower variant  (successor of the FZ62) for this. 
We should have the answer before the end of July.

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Ronomy
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to GeraldW, May 31, 2013

GeraldW wrote:

Ron,

I haven't tried iA+; but I'll look into it.  What you say for your LX7 also applies to my G15.  It's not only faster than the FZ's; but has significantly lower noise at high ISO.

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Jerry

Jerry,

Using iA+ the camera uses a less aggressive ires setting.  You can see the setting using photome on you photos.  I like how it auto changes to macro mode for shooting flowers which yields nice smooth bokeh too and like I said you can still set exposure, F-stop and color temp.  If you want more control in PAS or M then your settings I still like and outdoors in bright sun also lowering NR to -2 and SH to -1 with ires on is real good too.

Give it a try!

Ron

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GeraldW
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to Ronomy, May 31, 2013

Ron,

Thank you, I will.  It should arrive this evening.

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Jerry

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GeraldW
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to Vandyu, May 31, 2013

Amen to that.

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Jerry

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GeraldW
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Re: Coming Back Again to the FZ200
In reply to Vandyu, May 31, 2013

That's odd, isn't it?  From this side of my eyes nothing seems to have changed.  It's only when i look in a mirror, or try something too physical that I realize I'm older.  I still play golf on the same courses as I did 35 years ago; but my drives don't reach the same landmarks.

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Jerry

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