The new FZ200, something's different

Started Jun 4, 2013 | Discussions
GeraldW
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The new FZ200, something's different
Jun 4, 2013

As a lot of you probably know, I test my cameras to make sure it's OK before the return period runs out.  So, when my latest FZ200 arrived, I tested it.

It tested really well and with higher resolution than my FZ150.  Noise was also very well controlled.  The FZ150 was set to NR -2, Sh +1.  I tried the FZ200 at NR -1, Sh -2, iRes ON; but I didn't like the look- too much noise and a little soft.  So I tried NR 0, Sh 0, iRes ON, and that worked really well - much better than the last two FZ200's, and outdoor shots are very sharp.  Even at ISO 1600, noise was well controlled with good sharpness.  I also did a set with my G15, and the FZ200 produced higher resolution to 1600; but the larger sensor of the G15, and Canon's processing, showed a lot less noise; but more artifacts and less resolution by 10-15%.

Comparing exposure settings on the G15 Vs FZ200, the G15 uses slightly faster shutter speeds.  DPR says the G15 is 1/3 stop over-rated on ISO and the FZ200 was accurate.  Sorry, my tests show the opposite.  I did not check that on previous models.

Sorry, no pictures I care to post, those will come; but I'm absolutely delighted with this FZ200.  I have no idea what's going on here.  The first FZ200 has some issues, the second one was defeated by the FZ150 in a head to head test; and the third, and latest, has soundly defeated the FZ150.  Running changes, not reported?  Sample to sample variation?  Blind luck?

Jerry

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Ronomy
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to GeraldW, Jun 4, 2013

Careful Jerry...this camera can fool you!  LOL

If you recall you liked these settings you are using now with your old FZ200 for awhile.

That being said I too like using iA + mode now which uses default settings and a little less aggressive ires over PAS or M with ires on.  But I don't use this mode all the time.  I like Mikedigi's settings of NR -2 and SH -1 with ires on too in bright light.  But indoors iA looks good or your old settings too for higher ISO shots in low light.  IA+ has surprised me though.  After I got my LX7 I have been trying to match the sharpness I get with the LX7 and iA+ comes closer than any other modes and the images are clean most of the time.

I am sure there is fluctuation in lens quality too.  Some are sharper than others.  I wonder if the Leica version of this camera gets the better quality tested lenses or hand selected better lenses.  I am sure some or most of the panny's are great lenses too but some might get less than the best because they are not hand selected.  Just a guess...

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Ronomy
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to GeraldW, Jun 4, 2013

One other note...sensor differences...some are noisier than others and the noise reduction kicks in when there is more noise and softens the image more in some camera samples than others.  The noise reduction in this camera is smart.  When it sees noise it tries to smudge it away...sometimes it softens the image.  I have compared raw files with the jobs using a lot of different settings since I got this camera and that's what I see.  When the camera jpg smudges the image the raw file has noise in the areas that are smudged in the jpg.

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PTinTexas
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to Ronomy, Jun 10, 2013

I'm hoping someone who understands this stuff better than I do can help.

We just bought my wife an FZ200 and have been extremely frustrated by the noise in the photos.  It seems consistently worse than her very old Canon pocket point and shoot that she is replacing. It also seems worse than my LX3.

Neither mode nor lighting seem to matter much.  I'd expect pretty decent pics in the iA mode - but again, lots of noise.

I'm trying to reconcile this with all the great reviews for this camera.  I'd love to learn we are doing something wrong - but when it happens in iA mode?

Maybe I'm just expecting something I shouldn't.  Any help would be appreciated - right now we are about to send the camera back which would be depressing given the hours she has spent learning the controls.

Many thanks in advance for any help.

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Zbyszek_Z
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to GeraldW, Jun 10, 2013

Jerry, that is very interesting!

I wonder, if your new FZ200 could be equipped with an upgraded firmware?

Maybe they have improved its jpeg engine?

Interesting, thanks for your remarks and comments.

I wish, we all could upgrade that firmware very soon...

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sherman_levine
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to GeraldW, Jun 10, 2013

Jerry,

Didn't your current FZ200 have a serial number very close to one of your prior ones?

Sherm

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Ronomy
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to PTinTexas, Jun 10, 2013

You could try setting NR and SH to -2 to start. Then turn on ires/izoom to sharpen those settings a little. If that's still too noisy increase NR to -1. Ires on with -1 NR and -2 SH is probably the cleanest settings tha is still sharp. I am surprised iA is noisy for you. I recently started using iA with very good results most of the time. But I get less smudging with NR set to -1 or better yet -2.

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sherman_levine
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to PTinTexas, Jun 10, 2013

PTinTexas wrote:

I'm hoping someone who understands this stuff better than I do can help.

We just bought my wife an FZ200 and have been extremely frustrated by the noise in the photos. It seems consistently worse than her very old Canon pocket point and shoot that she is replacing. It also seems worse than my LX3.

Neither mode nor lighting seem to matter much. I'd expect pretty decent pics in the iA mode - but again, lots of noise.

I'm trying to reconcile this with all the great reviews for this camera. I'd love to learn we are doing something wrong - but when it happens in iA mode?

Maybe I'm just expecting something I shouldn't. Any help would be appreciated - right now we are about to send the camera back which would be depressing given the hours she has spent learning the controls.

Many thanks in advance for any help.

Best to post some examples for review - Don't process them - just upload what the camera produces

Sherm

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Rodger1943
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to PTinTexas, Jun 10, 2013

PTinTexas wrote:

I'm hoping someone who understands this stuff better than I do can help.

We just bought my wife an FZ200 and have been extremely frustrated by the noise in the photos. It seems consistently worse than her very old Canon pocket point and shoot that she is replacing. It also seems worse than my LX3.

Neither mode nor lighting seem to matter much. I'd expect pretty decent pics in the iA mode - but again, lots of noise.

I'm trying to reconcile this with all the great reviews for this camera. I'd love to learn we are doing something wrong - but when it happens in iA mode?

Maybe I'm just expecting something I shouldn't. Any help would be appreciated - right now we are about to send the camera back which would be depressing given the hours she has spent learning the controls.

Many thanks in advance for any help.

There seems to be big variations in quality between different FZ200s. I returned my first one, because the image quality wasn't as good as my FZ150. The second camera was much better. I would consider returning that particular camera (if possible) and ask for another one. Then see if the new one has similar issues.
Panasonic FZ200

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GeraldW
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to sherman_levine, Jun 11, 2013

Sherm,
Yes, about 2000 S/N's higher; but in the same S2HB sequence.  That was why I posted the message asking others for their S/N's.  It could be nothing more than poor QC on Panasonic's part.  However, it could also be a lot of variability in some upstream process, or a running change they didn't tell us about.  Although the latter would usually start a new S/N sequence - at least where I used to work.  In any case, I'm thoroughly enjoying what the newest one can do.

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Jerry

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sherman_levine
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to GeraldW, Jun 11, 2013

GeraldW wrote:

Sherm,
Yes, about 2000 S/N's higher; but in the same S2HB sequence. That was why I posted the message asking others for their S/N's. It could be nothing more than poor QC on Panasonic's part. However, it could also be a lot of variability in some upstream process, or a running change they didn't tell us about. Although the latter would usually start a new S/N sequence - at least where I used to work. In any case, I'm thoroughly enjoying what the newest one can do.

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Jerry

Are you comparing JPGs or Raws? If you're comparing JPGs then you might have inadvertently used settings which degraded the image. I know that when I got the camera last year I started with nr=0 and sharp=0 and didn't pay much attention to the various "i" settings. Now I use nr-2 and sharp-2 with iRes=zoom (I use the cropped raw file and discard the JPG for zoom > 24x).

Sherm

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Shane Burton
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to GeraldW, Jun 11, 2013

What is the return period you are talking about. I just bought a FZ200 and am considering returing it if possible.

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JoePhoto
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to Shane Burton, Jun 11, 2013

Can I please ask exactly what is iA+ mode ???

Is this in addition to the standard P-A-S-M modes, or are we talking something completely different ???

I don't have FZ200 yet but eagerly awaiting next model to replace a Nikon P500.

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Ronomy
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to JoePhoto, Jun 11, 2013

JoePhoto wrote:

Can I please ask exactly what is iA+ mode ???

Is this in addition to the standard P-A-S-M modes, or are we talking something completely different ???

I don't have FZ200 yet but eagerly awaiting next model to replace a Nikon P500.

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Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK --- and FORGET to START Again ??? )

iA mode is Panasonic's intelligent auto mode.  It is basically all automatic settings selected by the camera but not like P mode.  The camera has scene settings that are designed for taking pictures like macro, scenery and flowers.  Even HDR.  It also turns on more processing like intelligent dynamic and intelligent resolution (ires and izoom).  iA+ is the same but allows you to adjust aperture, white balance and exposure so it adds some override to iA only mode.

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JoePhoto
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to Ronomy, Jun 14, 2013

Ronomy wrote:

JoePhoto wrote:

Can I please ask exactly what is iA+ mode ???

Is this in addition to the standard P-A-S-M modes, or are we talking something completely different ???

I don't have FZ200 yet but eagerly awaiting next model to replace a Nikon P500.

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Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK --- and FORGET to START Again ??? )

iA mode is Panasonic's intelligent auto mode. It is basically all automatic settings selected by the camera but not like P mode. The camera has scene settings that are designed for taking pictures like macro, scenery and flowers. Even HDR. It also turns on more processing like intelligent dynamic and intelligent resolution (ires and izoom). iA+ is the same but allows you to adjust aperture, white balance and exposure so it adds some override to iA only mode.

Can you override shutter-speed instead of aperture ???

Shutter Speed is usually more-important to me than aperture.  (I at least always want to know what my Shutter Speed is.)

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Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto
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Ronomy
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Re: The new FZ200, something's different
In reply to JoePhoto, Jun 14, 2013

Ronomy wrote:

JoePhoto wrote:

Can I please ask exactly what is iA+ mode ???

Is this in addition to the standard P-A-S-M modes, or are we talking something completely different ???

I don't have FZ200 yet but eagerly awaiting next model to replace a Nikon P500.

-- hide signature --

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK --- and FORGET to START Again ??? )

iA mode is Panasonic's intelligent auto mode. It is basically all automatic settings selected by the camera but not like P mode. The camera has scene settings that are designed for taking pictures like macro, scenery and flowers. Even HDR. It also turns on more processing like intelligent dynamic and intelligent resolution (ires and izoom). iA+ is the same but allows you to adjust aperture, white balance and exposure so it adds some override to iA only mode.

Can you override shutter-speed instead of aperture ???

Shutter Speed is usually more-important to me than aperture.  (I at least always want to know what my Shutter Speed is.)

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Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto
( Do You Ever STOP to THINK --- and FORGET to START Again ??? )

No you can't set shutter in this mode. You will have to use S. You could use A and vary A to get the shutter speed you want using the meter. You can't force iso in iA either. So its only good for point and shoot a lot of the times.

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