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Movie Mode

The DMC-FZ200's movie mode is essentially unchanged since the FZ150. The camera can record Full HD Progressive video, which is 1920 x 1080 at 60 frames per second for the uninitiated. The bit rate is an impressive 28 MBps at this setting, so you'll want a large (not to mention fast) memory card if you're recording at that quality. Don't need a resolution quite that nice? You can also select from 1080/60i or 720/60p resolutions. For all three of these resolutions, you can record up to 30 minutes of continuous video (thank you, AVCHD codec). Naturally, you get Dolby Digital Stereo sound along with the high res video. The FZ200 has a zoom microphone, too.

If you want to avoid the AVCHD codec entirely - which you might, since it's difficult to edit and share - then you can also use MPEG-4. You can record video at 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, and 640 x 480, all at 30 frames/second. The downside of the easy to edit and share MPEG-4 format is that recording ends when the file size hits 4GB, which takes about 24 minutes at the 1080p setting.

Being a "hybrid" camera, it should come as no surprise that you can operate the FZ200's optical zoom lens while you're recording a movie. The side zoom controller makes zooming in and out especially easy. The optical image stabilization system works, as well, with an "active" mode that helps suppress severe camera shake. The camera can focus continuously while recording a movie, to help keep your subjects in focus, wherever they are.

The Motion Picture menu is where you'll find options for movie recording such as file quality, file type, and wint cut options, to reduce the effect of wind noise on footage.

Movie recording can be a totally point-and-shoot experience, or you can adjust the exposure manually. To do the latter, just put the camera into Creative Motion Picture mode, where you can adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. A wind cut filter is available for shooting outdoors. Still photos can be taken while recording a movie, though the resolution will be 3.5 Megapixel.

The only new addition to the FZ200 movie movie is the ability to record at high frame rates. You can choose from frame rates of 120 or 240 fps, at resolutions of 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480, respectively. While these movies are recorded at fast frame rates, they are played back at normal speed, giving you a slow motion effect. As you might have guessed, sound is not recorded in high speed movie mode.

I have a pair of sample movies to share with you in this review. Both of these were taken at the 1080/60p resolution and converted into QuickTime format using Final Cut Pro X. I've provided links to the original MTS files in case you'd like to view those, as well. Be warned that all of these files are quite large!

Sample Video 1

1920 x 1080, 60 fps, 72.5 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format

Sample Video 2

1920 x 1080, 60 fps, 42.1 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format

Overall, the quality looks pretty good. If you want an additional sample, check out this video I took of a 777 landing gear demo at a recent United Airlines event.
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Comments

Total comments: 30
BobFoster

In my opinion, the bridge segment has been a damn one until the introduction of CMOS sensors.And there were good reasons for that.Many people have felt deceived by the fake appearance of this cameras, DSLR at the exterior but P&S at the heart.

Not too much has changed; after all, is a 1/2.3” sensor inside. Aside optics, a bridge is more or less the same camera as a compact superzoom.Very often, they share the same sensor, the same processor and the same controls.

This cameras define itself only by their optics. If focal range is not crucial, there´s no reason to spend that amount of money when you can achieve the same IQ with almost half the $, or achieve a way better IQ with a big sensor compact for a similar price.

1 upvote
Lost Aussie

My final word on this camera... I've persisted with it for almost six months and the only reason I'm still using it is because my Nikon has broken down, new D7100 body coming up! Meantime, the Lumix is a great paperweight

0 upvotes
Frank17

Can i see a live view on a monitor or tv (using the HDMI cable) when i'm using the camera.

0 upvotes
YashG

You can but not with the HDMI cable. You need the AV out cable and connect it to the Reg, White, Yellow ports at the back of the TV. Then Press the Trash can button for a few seconds and you will see live view on your TV. I have the cable and I have used it. Works fine.

0 upvotes
Evil Eye

I've had this camera 1 year 6 months and suddenly the Record button when pushed the Burst menu comes up. This happened a few times a month ago, but then Record worked. Now it won't record at all. Every time I push the Record button the Burst menu comes up.

I do shoot a lot of soccer video with this camera and loved it till now. So I press the Record button probably 100 times per 1 hour game. And I shoot a lot of games.

Other than that I've been pleased with the camera.

1 upvote
franckberlin

It is surprising how the reviews from actual users differ from the review published by DPreview for this camera. It seems that the more this camera is used, the more disappointing it is. I have bought this camera after having read this DPreview and took it back within 2 weeks of purchase.

0 upvotes
OldSnapper2

As feature-filled as this camera is, I have been having a terrible time with it. I have found it's ISO settings changed to 3200 without my knowledge on a number of occasions resulting in terrible results. It seems that, because of the way the controls are located on the back of the camera, when I grip the camera with my right hand I mash the ISO and white balance settings resulting in disastrous results. Is there a way to lock those controls? I have returned to shooting with my ancient 14mp Kodak/Nikon which has never failed me but weighs a ton and is getting difficult for me to carry around as I age. I have made my living doing photography for many decades and I have never had such embarrassing results with any of the closet full of cameras I have previously used.

1 upvote
Lost Aussie

I agree, am having exactly the same problem with my FZ200..... I have just ordered a "C" bracket on eBay so I can handle the camera without having to touch the right hand side. I too am a retired news photog and agree about the image quality, I have to Photoshop every image I want to print. The old film days were cumbersome and time wasting, but at least we knew we'd get consistent quality!

0 upvotes
Dave Jaseck

Same thing happened to me. Simple fix, buy this ring, fits perfect around the control button.
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53390946

0 upvotes
lumixfz200pointshooter

The best Point and Shoot ever. I would prefer this than a bulky DSLR.

0 upvotes
Quixpeed

one Note, this camera has time lapse feature, embedded in the Creative Control mode.

2 upvotes
phototransformations

Not seeing this. It has the opposite - slow motion - under creative video, but where are you seeing an intervalometer or equivalent?

0 upvotes
Quixpeed

a question, isn't there any mod and dongle that can be fitted on this cam so that we can make a wifi connection or any method of wireless connectivity possible for the Lumix-FZ200?

0 upvotes
phototransformations

Wouldn't a WiFi-enabled SD card do that?

1 upvote
ashokvashisht

I had decided to purchase this camera (I live in India) till I was educated on the importance of the sensor size. The sensor this camera has is much smaller than a APS-C. I loose on quality of image. I really hope the next model has a bigger sensor so I needn't invest in an DSLR & two lenses. My interest is wildlife & landscapes & a little of bird photography.

1 upvote
minimole

Bridge cameras offer a compromise to larger SLR cameras. The smaller sensor lacks the low light/ISO performance of the larger SLR but enables a much smaller lens of equivalent focal length to be used. There is a direct mathematical relationship between the format/sensor size and the actual focal length of the lens. There is a similar relationship between the focal length and the maximum aperture. Therefore if you fit a bigger sensor you will need a correspondingly larger camera and lens to support it. Sports and wildlife photographers don,t carry those heavy pieces of kit around to impress, they have to be that size to go with the larger sensor.

7 upvotes
Quixpeed

i have it, and believe me you don't need to carry any additional gear with you, the 2.1 F gives great details even in the distant objects. shutter speed is great too, i attended this Abu Dhabi F1 GP 2012, and took excellent snaps during the cars top speeds. it is just a fine camera and good enough for people who work and have little spare time to practice their hobbies.

2 upvotes
Lost Aussie

Further to my recent post, I have to say that the more I use this camera, the less I like it. Having taken some stills and video over the weekend, I find that the autofocus is pathetic, especially when you start to zoom out, even at 3x it starts to hunt all over the place for a focal point. This camera is so bad that I am beginning to think I have bought a faulty model. I just photoshopped some of my grand-daughter's images from her $100 Nikon Coolpix and the resolution is far better that this Panasonic thing i.e. the Coolpix images come up at 300 DPI while the Lumix images are only 180 DPI and I find this sub-standard. I am using a Sandisk SDHC class 10 card, so it is nothing to do with card quality. Any other digital camera can be taken from the box and immediately start producing beautiful images, not so with this one as I have yet to make an image or video that I call sharp ...... NOT HAPPY

2 upvotes
balkam

I totally agree with You, after shooting more than 2000 photos with these B...SH...camera, lot of the raws or jpegs are fuzzy, with chromatic aberrations....not at the level of a FZ35/38 or an LX3 4 exemple. it's not gold award is "led award" , its heavy, and the results in raw or jpeg are not that good, my smartphone does better photos ! so wher's the trick ?

1 upvote
Lost Aussie

I bought this model camera recently on the strength of the rave reviews I have read on this and other sites & the f2.8 lens, but I am not impressed with it. I bought it as a replacement for my old worn out Canon Powershot S51S, but the Lumix does not come close to the image quality of the Canon. I find the Lumix has much less colour depth and much less highlight detail. Further, the video function shows no recording time on the display like the Canon does, and also I find the controls cumbersome and fiddly to handle, AND it is not good on battery life as the reviews suggest.I do know a bit about cameras as I am a retired press photographer, not a megapixel and zoom spruiker as most self appointed specialists emphasise. I will use this camera mainly for video, but for serious stills I'll stick to my old Nikon D80 thanks !

0 upvotes
Spookpadda

Looks like a beautiful camera - how robust is it (mist or rain) - would you take it on a boat? Pity it doesn't have built-in GPS - it is such a pleasure to have photos automatically geolocated…but it already has loads of features. I'm sold.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
balkam

avoid it on seashore, I'e faced some problems with it...failures etc,
try a dlsr with waterproof functions, like pentax K30....

0 upvotes
kyleraabit

is this camera good for taking quick pictures one after another?
i just got mine at http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/PNDMCFZ200K.htm, cause they had a special sale price in cart for $449.

0 upvotes
carterh2425

I have had my camera for 6 months and have mixed feelings, mostly good. I have probaby taken over 5,000 shots.
The design and workmanship are excellent. On occasions I have accidently hit a button I did not want to hit. In my opinion the camera has too many features.

My biggest complaints are the owners manual and the software. The manual and software are on an enclosed CD disk. The manual is poorly done with some features missing entirely or so vague as to be useless. Hard copies are available for as little as $10 on the internet.

The software is SilkyPix. If you plan on shooting RAW, you should give this program a trial run first. Some may like it, I can't stand it. My solution is a program called Helicon Filter. While the current version will convert RAW for this camera, an older version, Helicon Filter 4.93 is much faster and much easier to use. To get this older version you will need to make a special request
for an unlisted download.

3 upvotes
ArJunaBug

How do I make this special request for Helicon Filter 4.93? I have been looking for this and cannot find it. I would love to download it. Thanks.

0 upvotes
Obadiah Stone

I have this camera as well, and while it certainly is a phenomenal point-and-shoot and very high quality, I tend to agree with you that it probably has too many features in a point-and-shoot. Is that possible? Well, kinda, yes. The camera is so sophisticated that it almost becomes tricky to use real well. I suppose any complex thing is like this, and I am definitely not a super-expert when it comes to photography. I have had a couple of other digital cameras over the years, and this one is by FAR the best, but I'm not sure if I will ever be perfectly comfortable with all of its features and intricacies.

I also agree that the manual can be quite a puzzle to figure out. It isn't the best on documentation, unfortunately.

Is this an awesome camera? Absolutely! The power zoom is incredible, the optics are super quality, the articulated LCD is SO nice to have, and the price is quite reasonable too. Do be prepared for a cornucopia of features!

2 upvotes
Aberaeron

Do a search in Youtube for Graham Houghton. He has a superb series of videos explaining how to get the best out of this camera. Just what you need by the sound of it. This is a real enthusiast's bridge camera and many owners, through no fault of their own and despite some effort on their part, are overwhelmed by its potential.

8 upvotes
Mr Haber
0 upvotes
lumixfz200pointshooter

I agree with the positive comments here. Graham Houghton is an excellent reviewer and web-teacher on how to use the camera. I have taken really good pictures out of my FZ200. It may not be a DSLR, but its potential is just amazing. I would prefer to use this in my everyday shooting than a heavy DSLR.

0 upvotes
Lost Aussie

Well, as good as this guy may be, I don't think anyone with any digital photography experience should need to take an on-line course on how to use this camera. If I buy a new state of the art motor car, do I have to take an on-line course on how to drive it? Another retired news photog friend of mine recently purchased a similarly priced and optioned Sony Cybershot (24 meg & 350 dpi) and its results make the Lumix look like a toy. My FZ200 has been ok for landscapes etc but the results are repeatedly poor when it comes to photographing people, kids etc. With stills and video alike, the colour saturation and skin tones are pathetic, redardless of lighting conditions. Some of the flat, lifeless images I have taken could not even be improved in Photoshop! You can talk all day about the bells and whistles, but the bottom line is a nice clean, balanced image and I'm not getting that. I think that Pansonic have exploited the Leica name by putting a good 2.8 lens on a lousy micro-processor.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 30