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Performance & Photo Quality

Like most Panasonic cameras, the DMC-FZ200 is a solid performer. You'll do very little waiting when using the FZ200, making it a great choice for everyday photography of demanding subjects like kids, and events. The table below sums up its performance in a number of areas:

Timing Measured Performance How it Compares
Startup 1.0 sec Above average
(Normal light)
0.1 - 0.3 secs (W)
0.5 - 1.0 secs (T)
Above average
(Low light)
~ 1 sec Average
Shutter lag Not noticeable Above Average
(JPEG, no flash)
~ 1 sec Above average
(RAW+JPEG, no flash)
~ 1 sec Above average
(with flash)
~ 2 sec Above average

There are a whopping six different burst modes on the DMC-FZ200. Full resolution burst modes include 2 and 5.5 frames/second (with continuous AF) or 12 frames/sec with the focus and exposure locked on the first shot. If you want to go even faster, there are 40 and 60 fps options, though the resolution is lowered to 2.5 and 5 Megapixel, respectively. There's also a flash burst mode, which takes five flash photos in a row at around 1.6 frames/second, albeit at 3 Megapixel.

Let's see if the FZ200 was able to reach its promised speeds at the two most interesting burst speeds:

Image quality 5.5 fps w/AF 12 fps
RAW + Large/Fine JPEG 10 shots @ 5.6 fps 11 shots @ 12.5 fps
RAW 11 shots @ 6.0 fps 11 shots @ 12.5 fps
Large/Fine JPEG 16 shots @ 6.0 fps 12 shots @ 12.3 fps
Tested with a SanDisk UHS-I SDHC card

As you can see, the FZ200 performed better than Panasonic's claims, which isn't something that I encounter very often! You can fire off a decent number of shots before the buffer fills up. When it does, it'll keep shooting at a slower rate (at 2 and 5.5 fps) or stop entirely (12 fps). It takes about 8-10 seconds for the camera to flush the buffer after taking a burst, especially if RAW images are involved.

Battery Life

The FZ200 accepts the same DMW-BLC12 lithium-ion battery that was used by the DMC-GH2 mirrorless camera. This battery packs 8.6 Wh of energy into its plastic shell, which is pretty good in this class. Here's how that translates into battery life:

Camera Battery life
(CIPA standard)
Battery used
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS 315 shots NB-10L
Fuji FinePix HS30EXR 600 shots NP-W126
Nikon Coolpix P510 240 shots EN-EL5
Olympus SP-820UZ HS N/A 4 x AA
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 540 shots DMW-BLC12
Pentax X-5 500 shots * 4 x AA
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V 450 shots NP-FH50

* With NiMH rechargeable batteries
Battery life numbers are provided by the manufacturer

The Panasonic DMC-FZ200 has excellent battery life by CIPA figures, second only to the Fujifilm HS30EXR in its current field of competitors. Super zooms are among the only cameras out there that still accomodate AA batteries, though the FZ200 isn't one of them. An extra DMW-BLC12 will set you back around $48.

F2.8 Constant-aperture Zoom Lens

Having a constant aperture of F2.8 means that the FZ200 is considerably more versatile in marginal light and/or at the long end of its 25-600mm (equivalent) zoom lens than the FZ150, and indeed its competitors, too. In effect, it means that you can select higher shutter speeds, and lower ISO sensitivity settings - both of which will ensure better sharpness and critical image quality at the furthest extent of the camera's zoom. Here's a quick example, showing the FZ200 alongside its predecessor the FZ150. We set both cameras to their maximum apertures, at 600mm (equivalent) and set the same shutter speed of 160sec. We set ISO sensitivity to automatic.

FZ150 - F5.2, 160sec, ISO 400 (600mm) 100% Crop
FZ200 - F2.8, 160sec, ISO 100 (600mm) 100% Crop

With its maximum aperture of F2.8, the FZ200 can manage an exposure at ISO 100. But as you can see, to ensure good exposure, the FZ150 has no choice but to increase the ISO to 400, which has introduced more noise, and lead to lower resolution. In automatic exposure modes, both cameras will try to keep ISO sensitivity down as low as possible for this reason, but the FZ200 has the advantage of that wider maximum aperture, meaning that shutter speeds can be higher, placing less workload on the image stabilization system and giving you a better chance of getting sharp images.

Image Quality


This shot was taken in aperture priority mode, at F6.3, at a focal length of 34mm equivalent.

Now it's time to see how the FZ200 performed in our studio ISO test. Since these photos are taken under consistent lighting, you can compare the results with those from other cameras I've reviewed over the years. Keep in mind that the crops only show a small portion of the test scene, so view the full size images too. I've opened up the full ISO range for this test, so here's how the FZ200 performed from ISO 100 to 6400:

ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 400 ISO 800 ISO 1600 ISO 3200 ISO 6400

The ISO 100 to 400 crops are nearly identical, with very little noise present. Noise becomes more obvious at ISO 800, but it's still quite usable for mid-sized and perhaps larger prints. When we reach ISO 1600 it's time to put on the brakes, as details are starting to get smudged away. ISO 3200 has pretty strong detail loss, and the ISO 6400 (High) setting is disastrous.

If you compare the test shots above with those from last year's DMC-FZ150, you'll find that the FZ200 captures a tiny bit more detail and is slightly sharper.


This shot was taken in full manual mode, at F4, at a focal length of 121mm equivalent.

As you can see, the San Francisco skyline is all decked out in orange, in support of the Giants baseball team in the playoffs. The FZ200 did an admirable job here, with sharp buildings and not too much highlight clipping (except on the building on the far left, which all cameras seem to blow out). Unlike Panasonic cameras of recent years, there isn't a strong brown/yellow color cast here. Noise and some mottling from noise reduction is noticeable here at ISO 100, though that's pretty standard for a camera in this class. Purple fringing levels are relatively low. Note that while I shot this scene using manual controls, you can do just as well using Intelligent Auto or one of the scene modes.

Now we're going to use that same night scene to see how the FZ200 performs as its sensitivity increases:

ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 400 ISO 800 ISO 1600 ISO 3200

There isn't a huge difference between the ISO 100 and 200 crops. We start to see some detail loss at ISO 400, and that trend continues at ISO 800. I'd make either of those your stopping point, at least if you're shooting JPEGs. The buildings really start to fade away at ISO 1600 and 3200, so I'd pass on those. I did not shoot the night scene at the reduced-resolution ISO 6400 (H) setting, and you can probably see why.


The DMC-FZ200 handled our macro test subject quite well. The subject has average sharpness, and colors are quite vibrant. If you look really closely in a few places you might spot a little detail smudging, but it's not enough to concern me.

The FZ200 can be just 1 cm away from your subject at wide-angle (and 1 meter away at full telephoto), though remember to flip the focus mode switch on the side of the camera first! If you want to get about three times closer at the 4X - 24X zoom position, then you may want to check out the close-up conversion lens mentioned in the accessory section of the review.

Red-eye Reduction

Like all Panasonic cameras, the DMC-FZ200 takes a two-pronged approach to reducing redeye. First, it'll fire the flash a few times (before the photo is taken) to shrink your subject's pupils, which occasionally works. If any redeye remains after the photo is taken, the camera will digitally remove it automatically.

As with the FZ150 before it, I found moderate levels of redeye in my flash photos on the FZ200. Since there's no way to remove this annoyance in playback mode, you'll have to remove it on your Mac or PC.

Distortion (wideangle 25mm equivalent)

Panasonic performs automatic distortion reduction when you take a JPEG image, which is why there's very little "curve" in our test chart. I did not find vignetting (dark corners) or corner/edge blurring to be a problem in the test chart, or in the real world.

Overall Image Quality

Overall I am generally pleased with the photo quality on the Lumix DMC-FZ200. My biggest complaints relatedto highlight clipping and noise levels that are slightly above average. In the exposure department, the FZ200 didn't require a lot of fiddling with the exposure compensation. That said, it loves to clip highlights, so you may want to shoot RAW (which should allow you to pull back some detail) or use the HDR feature when that issue arises. I have no complaints about color -- the FZ200 produced saturated colors in a variety of lighting situations.

Photos are generally sharp, though a few times I felt that things could've been a bit sharper -- and that's where the Intelligent Resolution feature comes in (remember, it's off by default in the P/A/S/M modes that I shoot in). I do feel that the FZ200's images are a slightly noisy at the base ISO of 100. That said, the camera doesn't smear fine details like previous models did. It's kind of a balancing act, and I think I'd rather have a little grain in my photos than something resembling a watercolor painting. Purple fringing popped up here and there, but it was generally not a major issue.

Don't just take my word for all this, though. Have a look at our extensive photo gallery and see if the DMC-FZ200's image quality meets your expectations!

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Total comments: 43

I have a love/hate relationship with this camera. Love it because it is light, has a decent Leica badged lens and zooms out to 600mm for those wildlife shots. Takes decent videos too. The bad features are many: cumbersome and slow menu driven settings, often slow focusing, needing to refocus on some other object with more contrast, poor online manual with some features mentioned (e.g., Forced Flash) but menu icons for this is not present in the Qmenu. Noise levels are objectionable above ISO 160 at full resolution when seen on a screen.

It's OK for snapshots and for those who do not want to carry large DSLRs with multiple lenses, especially while on travel.


After two weeks and watching the FZ200 utube videos by Graham Houghton I have come to the following conclusion. I really like this camera find the image quality great...the camera feels solid with good build quality. The images that after two weeks have surprised me in their clarity. I sold a SX50 to buy this and on my part feel very good about my decision. There was nothing wroung per say with the images from the SX50 but it felt like a plastic toy that wasn't going to last. I would buy this camera again. As mentioned in the comments watch the videos on utube. They are well done and answer questions that makes your images totally sharp.

1 upvote

Anybody encounter a strange phenomenon where camera goes to portrait when put in aperture or shutter priority, and then won't get to more than 3 M and no RAW? Also tells you to put the flash on. I need it for an upcoming trip and am thrown for a loop by this.

Africa Bound


This is a confusing collection of remarks! Most users seem to either love it or despise it, really polar opposites. It's almost as if the discussion is about two different cameras. Oh well, prices on the used market are pretty reasonable now, less than $300 for a very good example, so I bit. This is actually for my 10-year-old to take on an upcoming trip overseas. Not much time to teach her the nuances of photography, but hopefully this will capture sufficient IQ in Auto to make her efforts worthwhile.

Thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions!


Can I suggest that anyone who has operating difficulty with this camera visits Graham Houghton on Youtube where he posts a comprehensive array of video tutorials specifically dedicated to all aspects of the Lumix FZ200.
View these and your enjoyment of the camera will be greatly enhanced

1 upvote

Appreciate your review. I wish more attention was given to this class of camera. The PENs & point/shoots seem to get it all. As a photojournalist, this is a very handy all-in-1 body that I carry everywhere. Especially when changing lenses in inconvenient or not an option.

1 upvote

I hope someone can help. I got the dmc fz200 several weeks ago and I find the setting and menus terribly confusing. Primarily I want to just shoot in raw always. When I go to the Quality setting - I only get two options for JPEGs. Is there a way to globally choose raw? FYI - I have been a professional photographer for over 25 years shooting with canon, nikon, olympus but I am totally in the dark with this new camera. For the other manufacturers, I have been able to buy Field Guides which provided step-by-step instructions. So now I am very frustrated.

Rahul Vijayan

Well, I've been using this camera for more than 2 years now and I've to say it still blows my mind. And its a necessity that the user must be familiar with the setting and on how to use the camera properly to get the most out of it. The sharpness is incredible for a P&S, same goes for the dependable AF system. The F2.8 lens is staggering at the long focal lengths and it certainly can create superb BOKEH.
I've a YouTube channel, and I've many videos regarding this camera.
If anyone is doubtful about this camera and its abilities, please check this link out...its my short selection of photos taken from this camera.

All the pics are edited in Lightroom for better presentation.


I have used this camera for a number of years and it is still awesome. Great camera for Manual/Aperture/Shutter speed. Good lens, great colours, and the in-built creative filters can give you lots of fun playing around with the photos you have already taken. If you are into taking pictures in auto all the time you may be disappointed as it sometimes ups the ISO in lowlight. Its sensor is only 12mp and it gives decent shots, but if you do heavy cropping you will be disappointed. Not fantastic for low light hand held. Battery light is not so great. But still awesome pictures and awesome colours for those who can handle it.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
Barbados Live

We were told this camera can shoot up to 100 minutes via another web site, are you aware of that or is it false advertising.
What we were looking for is a camera, that can be shoot video for 100 minutes, and this was advertised. We shoot weddings etc. and that 29 Minutes wont do.


Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting

Hi there,
Could anyone who owns this camera tell me what the maximum recording times at 120fps and 240fps? My FZ150 goes up to 8mins which is important for me, many new cameras only seem to be able to record at these high frame rates for 30s.
Thanks for your help!


Awesome camera! owned it from around 6 months, shot thousands of pics and each day I learn something new with it, is lovely. Have read some comments saying that has not the quality of DSLR...
1) Is not a dslr
2) the camera lens are very versatile, allowing even to get decent shots in semi low light occasions, telephoto or close ups. I think it might fit the needs of a regular user around 80% - 90% of the times.

Just don't spill lens cleaning liquid over it's lenses coz you might end up having issues.


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


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


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.

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

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.

1 upvote

Have u ever tried to learn how to use it? Do you shoot in jpg or raw? Is not this review just the only good one and is highly rated by buyers at Amazon too...

1 upvote

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!

Dave Jaseck

Same thing happened to me. Simple fix, buy this ring, fits perfect around the control button.

1 upvote

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


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


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


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?


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

1 upvote

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

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.


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.

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


I totally agree with You, after shooting more than 2000 photos with these, 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 !


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

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


is this camera good for taking quick pictures one after another?
i just got mine at, cause they had a special sale price in cart for $449.


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.


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.

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!


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.

Mr Haber

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.

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.

Total comments: 43