Any FZ200 Users Here?

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions
richj20
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Any FZ200 Users Here?
Jun 21, 2013

I'm considering the FZ200 as a second camera. I've posted some questions in the Panasonic Compact Thread:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51679304

I'm interested in m4/3 users' experiences with the FZ200. Please answer in that thread!

thanks,

- Richard

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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Colin Franks
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to richj20, Jun 21, 2013

As a second camera to what?

I think that the Bridge cameras are a fantastic camera for general shooting, but they do have a small sensor.  There are those who can make 'em sing though.

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sderdiarian
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to richj20, Jun 21, 2013

Not a user, but here's a thread worth checking out, shows what an FZ200 is capable of in experienced hands:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3505006

I had a very early Panny superzoom, the FZ3, which I found to be a lot of fun and quite liberating not having to deal with lens swapping to enjoy its broad range, but of course requiring good light.

The FZ200 is leagues ahead of that, obviously, but still I think limited to decent light given its smaller sensor, even with the f2.8 constant aperture.  It's also gotten to be pretty large compared to earlier iterations and current mFT bodies:

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=panasonic_dmcfz200&products=panasonic_dmcfz35&products=panasonic_dmcg5&products=oly_em5&products=oly_epl5&sortDir=ascending

The G5 is a bargain right now, the kit being less than a new FZ200, but more should you throw in a 100-300mm zoom.  You may also want to check out an E-PM2 or E-PL5 just to see how small you can go while still retaining great image quality, another form of flexibility.

I personally love my E-M5 with kit 12-50mm and 75-300mm lens combination, but that currently retails for $1,700, so a different category.  The E-P2 and E-PL5 have the same sensor, so same IQ, and one lens kits are on sale for $425 and $525 respectively, allowing for a $975-1075 cost with 14-42mm and 75-300mm combo, mimicking the FZ200 range but with much larger sensor:

http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/featured_weekly_deals

I'll be curious which direction you decide to go in and your final reasoning for same, please feel free to share.

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historianx
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to sderdiarian, Jun 22, 2013

I have a EP2 and GX1, along with a couple Olympus E-3s and an E-5, and an assortment of High and Super High Grade lenses. But I also have a FZ200 that did this:

Cooper's Hawk, Lumix FZ200

Right. If I wanted the 600 2.8 FF equivalent in olympus (same as the shot above) it'd run me $8,000. But I bought the FZ200 as a travel and lightweight walk about cam with stellar optics. Small sensor? I could care less. Noise?  Sorry I have better things to do than OCD pixel-peeping, and I come from a film background so Im used to grain. This is one fun and versatile camera that just about does it all, thanks to that constant aperture Leica lens. Score.

PS speaking of the GX1 bodies are now under $250.  For its IQ and DR, that is a screaming deal people.

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sderdiarian
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to historianx, Jun 22, 2013

historianx wrote:

I have a EP2 and GX1, along with a couple Olympus E-3s and an E-5, and an assortment of High and Super High Grade lenses. But I also have a FZ200 that did this:

Cooper's Hawk, Lumix FZ200

Very nice shot and the detail really holds up well.

I've lent my E-620 with kit lenses to my son for an upcoming safari he and his wife are going on in August, and told him to rent a 70-300mm or possibly the 50-200mm with 1.4x teleconverter for added reach.  This has me wondering if he'd be better served with an FZ200, being new to photography.  Eliminates lens swapping and the possibility of dust getting in that goes with it.

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G1Shooter
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to historianx, Jun 22, 2013

Nice photo of the Cooper's Hawk on a kill.

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LMNCT
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to richj20, Jun 22, 2013

You will probably find the bulk of the Bridge Camera users hiding in the Panasonic Forum, but the FZ200 is really a great travel camera that we would do well to investigate.  Having a constant f2.8 all through the wide and long (600mm, right?) reach of the lens makes it a si[er all in one camera.  The sensor, although small, seems to be very capable.  Good camera. The orignal FZ20 had the f 2.8 throughout it's range and the FZ50 did also.  I owned both of those and was amazed by what could be done with them.  Maybe it is time to get anFZ200.

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historianx
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to LMNCT, Jun 23, 2013

What I love about it is its fast response, almost zero shutter lag, albeit at 400-600mm it takes about a sec or 2 to lock focus. Yeah it has some quirks, like very mild noise at base iso, but hopefully the first firmware update will resolve many of the minor issues. And it is fully compatible with all of my Olympus flashes, in every mode. yes, the perfect travel camera, Made in Japan at that!

PS the GX1 body is now under $200 at Adorama...

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Isacas
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?For sderdiarian
In reply to sderdiarian, Jun 24, 2013

sderdiarian wrote:

historianx wrote:

I have a EP2 and GX1, along with a couple Olympus E-3s and an E-5, and an assortment of High and Super High Grade lenses. But I also have a FZ200 that did this:

Cooper's Hawk, Lumix FZ200

Very nice shot and the detail really holds up well.

I've lent my E-620 with kit lenses to my son for an upcoming safari he and his wife are going on in August, and told him to rent a 70-300mm or possibly the 50-200mm with 1.4x teleconverter for added reach. This has me wondering if he'd be better served with an FZ200, being new to photography. Eliminates lens swapping and the possibility of dust getting in that goes with it.

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Sailin' Steve

I have an OMD EM5  plus a couple of older pens and I also have a Panny FZ200 and I LOVE it. In good light it has great image quality. In the Panny forum I have seen several samples of safari photos taken with the FZ200 and from the results and given that your son does not seem to be an experienced photographer, I would say that he and his wife would be much better served by the FZ200 (no lens swapping  24-600  f2.8!!!!) It really is an excellent camera and there is a lot of info  and samples on the Panasonic forum. Good luck! Here is a sample of a blonde pelican taken wiith the FZ200

Blonde pelican in Miami Beach.Panny FZ200

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jkrumm
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to richj20, Jun 24, 2013

I don't use an FZ200, but I shoot with a super-experienced photographer who does. He has written many books on Alaskan wildlife, and he has long used superzooms for a variety of purposes and for all around light hikers. He controls it remotely with a couple different controllers and a Cactus motion detector. His Nikon flashes work well on it (and it has a higher sync than a dslr). He has two Rayco attachments, one for extra reach, another for macro, and both work very well. He can zoom in on a mosquito emerging from larva form in some water on his kitchen table. He set it hear his bird feeder and got some amazing fighting pine siskin shots using a remote and flash.

I've shot side by side with him using my OMD with the sharp OLY 50-200 and EC14 attached, with FL600r flash, aiming at a hummingbird nest. The OMD managed a little more detail, but the flash really helped even out any differences for his camera.

It's a nice all around shooter, with some limitations. If you are using it for the web or for making slightly smaller prints (like with books) it works very well.

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John Krumm
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Detail Man
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to LMNCT, Jun 24, 2013

LMNCT wrote:

You will probably find the bulk of the Bridge Camera users hiding in the Panasonic Forum, but the FZ200 is really a great travel camera that we would do well to investigate. Having a constant f2.8 all through the wide and long (600mm, right?) reach of the lens makes it a si[er all in one camera. The sensor, although small, seems to be very capable. Good camera. The orignal FZ20 had the f 2.8 throughout it's range and the FZ50 did also. I owned both of those and was amazed by what could be done with them. Maybe it is time to get anFZ200.

Small point. All FZ cams after the FZ20 (prior to the FZ200) have not featured constant minimum F-Number lens-systems. The FZ30 and FZ50 lens-systems are F=2.8 (wide) to F=3.7 (telephoto).

The FZ200 has impressive Dynamic Range (actually exceeding the G3 and GX1 at their base ISO settings, when normalized to an 8 Mpixel display-resolution in the default "Print" data display mode):

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/818|0/%28brand%29/Panasonic/%28appareil2%29/701|0/%28brand2%29/Panasonic

The Signal/Noise Ratio falls well below M43 image-sensors (around 1.5 EV, or "stop" lower), due the fact that the Crop Factor of the image-sensor is 2.78 times larger than that of a M43 image-sensor.

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Detail Man
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to Detail Man, Jun 24, 2013

Detail Man wrote:

LMNCT wrote:

You will probably find the bulk of the Bridge Camera users hiding in the Panasonic Forum, but the FZ200 is really a great travel camera that we would do well to investigate. Having a constant f2.8 all through the wide and long (600mm, right?) reach of the lens makes it a si[er all in one camera. The sensor, although small, seems to be very capable. Good camera. The orignal FZ20 had the f 2.8 throughout it's range and the FZ50 did also. I owned both of those and was amazed by what could be done with them. Maybe it is time to get anFZ200.

Small point. All FZ cams after the FZ20 (prior to the FZ200) have not featured constant minimum F-Number lens-systems. The FZ30 and FZ50 lens-systems are F=2.8 (wide) to F=3.7 (telephoto).

The FZ200 has impressive Dynamic Range (actually exceeding the G3 and GX1 at their base ISO settings, when normalized to an 8 Mpixel display-resolution in the default "Print" data display mode):

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/818|0/%28brand%29/Panasonic/%28appareil2%29/701|0/%28brand2%29/Panasonic

The Signal/Noise Ratio falls well below M43 image-sensors (around 1.5 EV, or "stop" lower), due the fact that the Crop Factor of the image-sensor is 2.78 times larger than that of a M43 image-sensor.

In FZ200 applications where one would use a F-Number higher than F=7.863 on a M43 camera system (the equivalent to F=2.828 on the FZ200), DOF can then be traded (decreased) for improved SNR (relative to the baseline 2.78 times SNR advantage of a M43 image-sensor).

Extinction of the highest spatial frequencies in the composite system MTF will (begin to) occur at the following Wavelengths and F-Numbers in the case of the FZ200's smaller 1.51 Micron photosites:

700 nM - F=4.314

550 nM - F=5.490

400 nM - F=7.549

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springsnow
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to richj20, Jun 24, 2013

Just a general comment as I am not a pro photographer, but I have used the FZ200. The zoom flexibility is great, and the f2.8 is awesome. However, do keep in mind that it is a small sensor. The general output on screen is fine, but if you are a pixel peeper, you won't be happy as pixel peeping will reveal the weakness of the sensor and the over sharpening of the JPEG. Also, details can be mushed, a lot, especially at full tele.

Still, it's probably the bridge camera of choice compared to the other ones.

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Future user
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to richj20, Jun 24, 2013

Treat it as a low iso cam, don't pixel peep, don't try to get shallow DOF, and you'll be happy.

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richj20
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Re: Any FZ200 Users Here?
In reply to sderdiarian, Jul 14, 2013

sderdiarian wrote:

I'll be curious which direction you decide to go in and your final reasoning for same, please feel free to share.

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Sailin' Steve

Hello, Sailin' Steve!

I purchased a FZ200 and have enjoyed using it in a variety of photographic opportunities, including a week's trip to the Sequoia National Forest (California).

I've posted a short review here:

http://urs2.net/rsj/photo/fz200

regards,

- Richard

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"Careful photographers run their own tests." - Fred Picker

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