quiddity: I've had the FZ200 for one week. Cannot yet comment on picture quality, but:
1. Full manual is on a CD ROM. Not convenient for taking into the field. Of course you can print it, but there is no index and the organization is less than desirable. E.g., the graphic showing the icons that may be displayed on the LCD/viewfinder is near the end of the manual.
2. The ergomomics are less than desirable. You have to use only your middle and fourth finger on the grip, with your pinky below the camera. Otherwise your forefinger reaches beyond the shutter button & zoom control.
3. When holding the camera, the heel of your right hand can easily-accidently press one of the buttons on the camera back.
4: This MAY be just a fluke: I took a shot of a sky with dark clouds and bright sky shining between them. The viewfinder showed the bright sky as dull and the momentary display of the resulting picture showed the same. However, when I looked at the picture later, the sky was bright.
FZ50 had a printed manual, along with manual zoom.
flyintheointment: MANUAL ZOOM!!!!!!!!!!!
I hate the electronic zooms. Not fast enough or precise enough for framing pics.
I have an FZ35 that I still use.
I have been looking at getting something new with a new sensor in it. This would be a contender, except for not having a manual zoom.
I'm trying to upgrade my old FZ50. I got very excited about the FZ150 but there were 2 showstoppers. A really small low-res EVF (worse than the 50) and no manual zoom. Also, the smaller body size than the 50 wasn't great either.
I just discovered the new FZ200 in a shop - the large, high-res EVF looks quite beautiful - tick - and it does feel slightly bigger than the 150 in the grip - tick - but still no manual zoom! Framing a shot quickly is practically impossible with electronic zoom, as it feels like a process of trial and error, can take many seconds as opposed to half a second.
I agree manual zoom is not great for shooting video, but not the end of the world with a smooth, steady hand. Not sure which is worse though. Perhaps there needs to be both?... Electronic zoom controls on the body for video mode, and a manual override ring on the lens for shooting stills? Unfortunately no manual zoom is still a showstopper for me.