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Keithpictures Contributing Member • Posts: 817

Hi all, first-time poster here.

I shoot with a Fuji X100V as my daily camera. I've been using a Panasonic GX9 as my ILC for travels, when I prioritize zoom flexibility over my "normal" FoV. But I'm not loving the GX9 anymore as a solution, and have been shopping around to replace it. (I also realized that I don't care about UWA, especially having the iPhone 11, and that 24mm is as wide as I need from a dedicated camera.) Long zoom is what I'm in the market for, currently.

I do value image quality (or quality images as I saw Henry Richardson put it), and have been looking at FF options. But I keep realizing how much I value compact size, and that the lenses on larger format sensors are simply too big (and expensive) to bother with, in most situations. (Maybe I'll upgrade to a Fuji ILC, but still, for those rare occasions when I want superzoom reach, a compact is making more sense to me.)

I find myself currently attracted to the ZS100 or 200, for all the typical reasons: nothing on the market rivals its combination of reach, sensor size, compactness and UI/handling. But given its lens issues (softness) and older body design (fixed lens?) I cannot help but feel that this is a series could use an update. It was released in Feb 2018, so it'll be three years old in a few months.

I don't care to instigate a fight with the RX100 series, but clearly Sony is doing some things better than Panasonic (a conversation that spills over in the m43 and L-mount forums as well, regarding focus specifically). And it seems to update its model constantly. Still, I'm very anti-Sony, for its user-unfriendly menus and interfacing. I also don't like how the RX100 series feels in the hand. It's too small, and the EVF implementation is strange.

But I'd still like Panasonic to compete better against Sony. The features I think would help are a tilt screen, USB-C charging, build quality (port door for instance, like the GX9) and generally better snappiness. Panasonic is capable of this, today. The ZS200 seems to lag a bit in performance, and its FPS seems quite low. And also sharpness, yes, is somewhat an issue. With Leica's supposed help, they should address this.

I'm not sure if these issues are dealbreakers for me, exactly, but they keep me on the fence, regarding the ZS200 (which I am favoring right now over the TZ100, for its extended reach, and more modernized features). I do think a one-inch sensor can be "good enough", but I also can lug around an ILC and not worry about sacrificing IQ (especially during twilight).

I do love this comparison:

And just adding equivalence to the topic for good measure:

ZS100: 25-250mm f7.6-16

ZS200: 24-360mm f9-17

GX9+35-100: 70-200 f8-11

This is to illustrate how bad of a deal the m43 ILC is by comparison, choosing its most compact zoom lens, which still doesn't cover nearly the range of either TZ camera, and doesn't even offer better light on the wide end. (Not to mention how much bigger it is.)

I'd prefer a compact travel zoom camera over a compact zoom lens for an ILC, I'm realizing, when convenience is a priority, to go along with my Fuji.

I'm just thinking I'd like to wait for an update to this series, even if that update is just the processing power. Lens improvements (sharpness and/or brightness and/or reach) would be very welcome too. I'm thinking zoom range is my biggest priority here, so if Panasonic can get that range to 400mm (rivaling the new Canon PowerShot Zoom thing) but with a one-inch sensor, that would be fantastic. Adding a bit more size would be worth it, as nothing even comes close to this package.

 Keithpictures's gear list:Keithpictures's gear list
Fujifilm X100V Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 GoPro Hero8 Black Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic ZS100 Panasonic ZS200 Sony RX100
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