quiddity: The manual shows the icons that are on the quick menu. I believe that these represent the operations with the same icons that are on the "Record" menu. HOWEVER: Some of the operations on the Record menu have submenus that give you more options, whereas the corresponding icons on the quick menu sometimes (or always) do not offer these additional, submenu options.
ALSO: There are two items accessible from the Quick Menu that are invisible--they have no icons. I have described this in an earlier posting. Search these comments for comments with the words "Quick Menu" and find the one with my name, "quidity."
Masy depend on your browser. Try CRTL-F and type in the query word(s). (For Firefox, CTRL-F opens a search window at the bottom left of the screen.)
thepaperguy: What choices do I have in the quick menu when shooting still photos? Instruction manual is vague on this point and I have not yet bought the camera.
Any links to lo light shots would be helpful too.
Search for my comments on "handheld night shot."
The manual shows the icons that are on the quick menu. I believe that these represent the operations with the same icons that are on the "Record" menu. HOWEVER: Some of the operations on the Record menu have submenus that give you more options, whereas the corresponding icons on the quick menu sometimes (or always) do not offer these additional, submenu options.
Battery is Panasonic DMWBLC12PP.7.2 v, 12oo mAh, 8.7 WhLi-ion
Made in China.
"Handheld Night Shot" -- a workaround.
I previously posted a partial workaround to the 16-ft. minimum subject distance in the "handheld night shot" scene mode, but "zion1king" (http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Panasonic-Lumix-FZ200-Digital-Camera-Review/comments.htm) found a better one using manual focusing. So here are the two possibilities:
1) Use iA (or iA+) mode when it is dark and hope it is dark enough for the camera to invoke the "handheld night shot" process.
2) Using the SCN mode, choose "handheld night shot," set focus to manual, and then either focus manually or press the FOCUS button to autofocus..
If you intend to use this camera primarily in a manual mode, i.e., manual focusing, manually setting the shutter speed or aperture, or both, you will be frustrated. All of these adjustments are electronic: You have to turn a dial or slide a lever or press < or > while watching a display on the screen or in the viewfinder. About the only manual controls are the mode dial on the camera top and an AE/AF lock button.
That said, my own experience suggests that the images captured using the automatic modes (iA, iA+, P) almost always are quite good.
Note: If you choose to use one of the scene mode options, such as HDR, you have little or no control beyond zoom and possibly focusing.
Available Light Shooting - VERY initial experiences:
If one turns the mode dial to the SCN setting, one gets a menu of icons, one of which is "Handheld Night Shot." This setting causes the camera to take several shots in quick succession at reasonably high shutter speeds. The individual images are then combined (rather like HDR) to create a single image with lower noise than a single shot at a high ISO.
ONE BIG PROBLEM: Inexplicably, the minimum focusing distance, irrespective of zoom setting, is 16 feet! NOT EXACTLY CONDUCIVE to available light portraiture! (Panasonic's manual "conveniently" omits this 16-foot limitation.)
HOWEVER, there appears to be a PARTIAL solution: If one sets the mode dial to iA and one is in iA+ mode AND it is dark enough, then the camera automatically uses the "Handheld Night Shot" mode, apparently without the 16-foot limitation. Regrettably, the camera, not you, decides when it is dark enough to justify invoking the "Handheld Night Shot" mode.
1. In playback, some of the image modifications one can do are childish. They should be replaced with the ability to adjust the white balance of an existing image.
2. The Quick Menu has two additional "hidden" menus: Meter Mode and Exposure Adjustment.
These settings are not shown, but can be accessed by pressing > when one is on the rightmost icon. NOTE: After using these menus, press < once or twice to redisplay the icons before closing the QUICK MENU. (Otherwise reopening the QUICK MENU will display the menu you last used.
3. For those with $$$$$$$$$, Leica will be selling this camera under its name.
4. Finally, don't bother to post to Panasonic's FZ200 Web site. It hasn't displayed new postings since Sept. 7. Also, if you call and are asked to participate in a phone survey, say "No." The survey, which is supposed to phone you back, NEVER DOES.
(Continued from previous comment)
1) First exposure was 2/3 door and 1/3 wall. The camera chose the settings f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/125 sec. AWB & exposure were good.
2) Second exposure was only of the door. The camera chose the settings f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/125 sec. Exposure & AWB were terrible. The medium-dark brown door, was an over-exposed, uniform pink color..
I tentative conclude that:a) The AWB and exposure probably work well if the scene includes some white (or possibly contrasting colors).b) The AWB and exposure have problems if the scene is essentially one, almost uniform color.c) The camera uses some means of adjusting the flash output.d) The flash GN is probably closer to 40 or maybe higher.
It would be nice if Panasonic provided more technical information about a $600 camera.
Further comments on FZ200 flash:
First, I should explain that I emailed Panasonic Techincal Support asking about the flash guide number. It never responded.hen I telephoned Panasonic's Technical Support. It had no information on the flash other than its range. It did not know if the flash settings were based on distance or on the light reflected from the subject or >.
I therefore assumed that the simplest method is used, namely that the f-stop and ISO settings are calculated based on distance. It now appears that I likely was wrong.
I conducted a test of the flash in a dark hallway 15 feet from a medium-dark brown door & adjacent off-white wall. I made two exposures, both using P-Std setting and AWB. The viewfinder was completely dark.
Continuation of previous comment:
Also the shots of the small groups all had the same EXPOSURE on the P setting, The f-stop was f/2.8 in all of them, but the shutter speed and ISO varied for inexplicable reasons: Examples for nearly identical group shots: (SS - ISO)1/25-800, 1/10-400, 1/60-1600.
The built-in flash is pathetic. I estimate its guide number at IS0 100 to be 8. [Guide number/distance = f-stop.] Panasonic will not provide a guide number, so I estimated it using Panasonic's statement that the flash can be used as close as 1 ft. The minimum ISO is 100 and the smallest aperture is f/8. So, at ISO 100, GN/1ft = 8, yielding GN = 8. At ISO 400 I estimate the GN to be 16. [Doubling the ISO adds one f/stop and multiplies the GN by 1.4=square root of 2.]
If this is correct, I do not see how Panasonic claims that the flash can be used at 40+ feet, because, if my calculations are correct, the ISO needed for that distance would be close to 25,000.
I bought the FZ200.
I posted some initial comments on dpreview.
You can't manually change the white balance of a picture you have already taken.
I've only shot about 25 pictures, virtually all on the P=program setting. Those taken on a bright day seemed fine.
I took about 20 in a fluorescent-lit auditorium. Those taken of the audience at wide angle, f/2.8, ISO 400 looked OK on my 11" diagonal laptop screen and the auto white balance did a good job.
Those taken of small groups of people, UNDER THE SAME LIGHTING,using a telephoto setting at f/2.8 were a mixed bag: The sharpness left a lot to be desired. On my laptop screen, noise was evident, but 4x6 glossy photos of the same scenes did not show noise, and I was told that the print machine did nothing to suppress noise. Also, the auto white balance didn't do as well as on the audience shots. Sometimes faces has a slight blue/purple cast and sometimes a slight pink cast. (I didn't have time to use manual white balance.)
ImagesInstyle: see how tiny that view finder is..a joke.the fuji s7100 or even the s5100 back in 2003had a viewfinder twice as big as the panasonicsand some other ones for that matter.
I have to remove my glasses to see the entire viewfinder screen in the fz200.
jcmarfilph: Prolly you need to stop down the lens to f/5.6 to get the sharpest image =D
I, too, have an FZ10, BUT in dim light the viewfinder is essentially black. The fz200 apparently increases the brightness of the viewfinder in dim light. (At least mine does.)
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.
Zoom is fast, but difficult to precisely set. There are two zoom controls: Around the shutter button and a shot slide level on the lens barrel. The latter can be used for zoom or focus by a setting on a menu.
trungthu: With the sensor's dimension = 6.06 x 4.56 mm, and the resolution 4000 x 3000.I see that 6,06 mm / 4000 pixels = 0.0015 mm/pixel.And the most importance thing is how can the "Leica lens" SEE THAT PIXEL, with the very low price lens, even with the big brand LEICA?I want to say about the resolution of the lens, not only the resolution of the sensor.How and what it can achieve? I don't know, please let me see. Thanks.
There is a difference between "Leica" and "Leitz."
SUE O''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''BRIEN: I don't see where the exposure compensation button is?
In most modes, press the back dial once, then rotate it to set compensation.
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.