Want to like the fz200, but...

Started Dec 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 3,853
Re: Want to like the fz200, but...

eagle2a wrote:

In my opinion Helen, the Panasonic FZ200 is not the camera to choose if you want great looking photographs of all kinds of different type images, under all kinds of different lighting conditions, if you're going to print them quite large, 11x14 and up (or do not fill the frame and have to crop a lot).

But if you are like me, and I daresay the vast majority of photographers, and will only be printing at 4 x 6 sizes, or for the web, then anyone who is a halfway decent photographer and is even marginally careful, will find that the FZ200 is a marvel of photographic engineering.

Well, I disagree with most of the opinions expressed in this thread that the FZ200 images are particularly noisy or otherwise not "great looking".  And I am not easily pleased. 

Me and a few other lads from this forum are in the midst of doing some tests with FZ200 RAW images to see if we can derive some form of recommended settings for NR and sharpening, at various ISOs.  One of our benchmarks for comparing our efforts agin' are the camera-jpegs taken at the same time as the RAWs.

I have been surprised at how good both the RAWs and the camera-jpegs are; and not just for a small-sensor camera.  We are peeping at them too -sometimes at 200%, rascals that we are!

Will a large-sensor DSLR do better?  Well, yes.  But the FZ200 makes images that look bluddy good to me on a 30" 2560 X 1600 calibrated NEC monitor.  That is an unforgiving beast, when it comes to IQ.  6X4s?  Pah!

The FZ200 camera-jpeg engine is one of the best I've seen in a small-sensor camera. As long as NR, contrast, saturation & sharpness are set to "-2", the camera-jpegs are not really smeared at the lower ISOs.  They also respond well to photo-editor sharpening & tone/colour improvements.

The RAWs do need various RAW editor tweaks.  But using a good RAW editor such as AdobeCameraRawwill give very good results.  Once settings are found that work well, they are easily saved as presets for use on later images of similar kind.

Btw - ALL unedited RAW images are noisy and nasty-looking.  This is why they need to be developed through a RAW engine, which usually applies basic settings to improve them as a default - unless it doesn't.  Turn it's knobs and slide it's levers man!

I and the ladywife (the FZ200 owner) have taken a number of low-light photos with the FZ200.  It does NOT perform poorly in low light - unless you crank up the ISO to more than 800ISO.  Don't forget - it has a CONSTANT f2.8 max aperture, so whatever light there is can get in alright, even at 600mm tele.

Finally, there are many, many excellent photos kicking around this forum from the FZ200.  Have a look. The proof is in the pud and I suggest it is one worth eating.

One more snap (not quite a snarl)!

Is the convenience-society now so well-established that photographers want instant perfection straight out of their auto-set camera, in all circumstances?  I am tempted to remark that they might go the whole hog - pay some other lad to go and take the photos they'd like.  

SirLataxe, spurring away at a new hobby-hoss.

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