FZ200 - initial field report - somewhat disappointing

Started Sep 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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k27usa Contributing Member • Posts: 658
FZ200 - initial field report - somewhat disappointing

OK I have to preface what I'm about to write by saying that this could very well be all (or most of) my fault, (primarily I'm a DSLR guy) here then is my initial field report of the FZ200.

Admittedly I did NOT consult the manual all that much. One of my criteria for judging a camera is that, for all but the most arcane commands, the functionality should be intuitive. Especially for someone (like me) who is no stranger to digital cameras. So with that mentality I took my brand new FZ200 along to take some shots of my daughters varsity soccer scrimmage last Sat morning. Here are some observations. Please feel free to point out any areas where you may know that I should have engaged a specific command/function/menu that would have negated my complaint. You can see some examples (some good, some not good) of the results I achieved.

1. The overall build quality is just so-so, not terrible, but certainly not what you'd call 'built like a tank' and the lens hood is a joke - doesn't even attach properly, very unimpressive.

2. For the shots below I was shooting right into the sun, not my choice, but we weren't allowed on the other side.
3. I was shooting in aperture priority, @ f/2.8.

4. The shot to shot lag time is atrocious, it had to be about 3 seconds between shots. I finally engaged the 'burst mode' and was able to get off a bunch, but as you can see below the AF was struggling big time to keep up. And as a result a number of pics were OOF.

5. The size and heft of the camera, plus it being so much lighter, makes it difficult to balance and pan with your subject (again, I'm used to a canon 30D + zoom lens) but I guess this can be overcome with practice.

6. The manual is not well written or laid out, and I'm used to Panasonic as I have an LX5 & TS2 so I was surprised this one was so haphazardly put together.

It could be that I have unrealistic expectations for the FZ200, it is after all, a $600 camera and maybe, as the old song says; "there ain't no Coup de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker-Jack box".

I was initially so disappointed that I was ready to ship the unit back to Amazon for a full refund. But I'm resigned to give it one more try this Friday shooting another soccer match, and time I will read the manual, so maybe I'll have better results.

All C & C welcomed


Dave B

Canon EOS 30D Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 (Lumix DMC-FT2)
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