FZ200 - Fantastic

Started Aug 23, 2012 | Discussions
John Miles
John Miles Veteran Member • Posts: 6,909
FZ200 - Fantastic

I have seen enough to realise that the FZ200 is a world beating iteration of the bridge camera design.

The crisp long end and wide aperture are together an awesome combination, testament to which will be a photo at some point of the FZ200 at full zoom with the monster DSLR set up needed to ace it in IQ terms sitting beside it. These games were played out with earlier superzoom offerings, but now it is getting serious.

I think with this camera the tables have turned; a hugely significant step. From here on people will no longer have to justify 'stooping' to a bridge camera. Instead we will hear, perhaps, the DSLR buyer compelled to justify forking out on, and lugging around, the huge DSLR setup.

Ultimately here the full frame DSLR vanishes into the diminished world of the professional photographer, where in turn it will become more competitive with the medium format camera.

The FZ200 is a landmark nail in the coffin for the domestic DSLR.

-- hide signature --

The FZ50: DSLR handling of a bright Leica 35-420mm lens that's this good: http://www.flickr.com/groups/panasonicfz50/pool/ (slideshow always good). And now add the LX2: http://www.flickr.com/groups/lx2/pool/show/
[Tomorrows camera is better and smaller than todays]

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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samualson Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

I don't know how you came up with that conclusion but modern DSLR'S still rule IQ wise. The problem with the FZ 200 is it's now priced out of the range of what most would consider affordable, which is a shame.

Mike Wrob Regular Member • Posts: 296
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

I don't agree. In the early 80s, the Canon AE-1 was the camera for beginning SLR users. It was $300, in today's dollars that's a little over $700. So I don't think the FZ200 is unaffordable.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 Panasonic LX100 Panasonic ZS100 Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Kevin Coppalotti Veteran Member • Posts: 9,053
noise still the achilles

Noise is still the achilles heel. It is one thing to to do an artificial iso test and quite another to go out into the gloom of night to do a sports action shoot.

People are shooting iso 12,800 on a good dslr, but in bright light the Fz200 might be 'good enough' to get the job done for joe average wanting a few shots of his kids at the local soccer match.

Kudos to panny for working on the focusing speed which in the past has been atrocious.
--
Kevin Coppalotti
http://maxhr.zenfolio.com/

howielenny Contributing Member • Posts: 818
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

John Miles wrote:

I have seen enough to realise that the FZ200 is a world beating iteration of the bridge camera design.

The crisp long end and wide aperture are together an awesome combination, testament to which will be a photo at some point of the FZ200 at full zoom with the monster DSLR set up needed to ace it in IQ terms sitting beside it. These games were played out with earlier superzoom offerings, but now it is getting serious.

I think with this camera the tables have turned; a hugely significant step. From here on people will no longer have to justify 'stooping' to a bridge camera. Instead we will hear, perhaps, the DSLR buyer compelled to justify forking out on, and lugging around, the huge DSLR setup.

Ultimately here the full frame DSLR vanishes into the diminished world of the professional photographer, where in turn it will become more competitive with the medium format camera.

The FZ200 is a landmark nail in the coffin for the domestic DSLR.

The FZ200 does look a promising camera but as with all bridge cameras it won't beat a DSLR for IQ for many reasons. The sensor is smaller which equals much more noise, the fast 2.8 Aperture on the FZ200 is the equivelant I believe to be F10 on a zoom lens on a DSLR.

I do believe it'll offer pretty decent image quality and a lot of flexibility and will satisfy the needs for a lot of enthusiasts. Do I see professional or semi professional photographers using one instead of a DSLR? I very much doubt it. There is also more to a DSLR than just IQ there is performance and as we all know the performance levels of a bridge camera are no where near the same level as a DSLR.

I did buy the Panasonic FZ100 when it was first released but it really didn't live up to what I wanted when it come to image quality compared to my DSLR. However I am still looking for a Bridge camera so I can take out on family days out when I want to travel light. I just hope the IQ of the FZ200 is far superior to the FZ100 which I found to be well below par, even for a bridge camera.

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Nikon D750 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD +9 more
BubbaHotepUK Regular Member • Posts: 466
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

Perhaps the FZ200 is a nail in the coffin of the DSLR as a populist imaging device, but I think there isn't a corpse in the coffin - the DSLR is transmogrifying into a different creature (to really stretch an analogy).

As fast as bridge cameras are evolving, DSLRs & mobile phones are evolving too. For example, it was only 3 years ago most DSLRs couldn't record video, and were looking at ISOs up 12,800. Now they can record HD video at 60fps and are looking at 128,000 ISOs.

Before too long (I hope!) DSLRs will be seeing in the dark, recording full resolution at 60fps, HD at 1000fps, with multi-focal point tracking & snapping. A sports photographer could grab a set of photos simultaneously, with different subjects in focus in each picture. Photo enthusiasts are going to love these features, and will be motivation enough to carry on investing in DSLRs. I think we'll see features we can't even imagine, and these will initially require the battery & compute power (and heat dissipation) that only be housed in physically big bodies.

Meanwhile, mobile phone photography is almost at a point that's good enough for most people - the Nokia 808 easily outclasses my 3year old Panny TZ65 in IQ, and almost can match it in terms of zoom, even without a zoom lens.

From my perspective, I hope there continues to be enough differentiation in the market for mobile phones, pocket cams, bridge cams and DSLRs to be supported. When we get a product that covers all bases, then we lose innovation.

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VincentR Regular Member • Posts: 124
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

The problem with P&S cameras for me, and although the FZ200 is described as a Bridge camera its sensor is still P&S size, is that they ultimately disappoint in terms of basic image quality when I want to make something of a particular shot, like print it large or crop it heavily.

In the past, I've always felt that the sheer convenience of the lighter weight of the P&S comes at the price of noticeably reduced image quality in all circumstances.

The FZ200 is the first P&S that has got me thinking that perhaps this camera can do something as well as, and perhaps even better than, a much heavier and more expensive DSLR, in certain circumstances.

If one separates the lens from the camera body, as one can do with DSLRs, then the FZ200 sensor is not a match for any DSLR sensor. But that 600/F2.8 lens possibly more than makes up for any deficiencies of the sensor.

In the DSLR world, the closest to the 600/2.8 equivalent of the FZ200 would be a 5.5kg, $10,000, 400/2.8 on an APS-C DSLR, which would undoubtedly provide better image quality. However, I'm not interested in such a heavy and expensive beast.

For me, the comparison is between a more modestly priced 400/F5.6 on an APS-C DSLR, and the 600/2.8 of the FZ200. I'd really like to see comparisons between a Canon 100-400, or Nikon 80-400, both used at 400mm, F5.6 and ISO 400 or 600, and the FZ200 used at 108mm/F2.8 and ISO 100. In other words, the same shutter speed and the same equivalent focal length.

Other features of the FZ200 which really do allow it to do things which many DSLRs cannot, are the 12 frames per second burst rate and the slow-motion video. The plus and minus 3 stops of auto-exposure bracketing, for merging to HDR, should also help to bring image quality up to the standard of a DSLR when the subject is static and shutter speed is not an issue, although one cannot expect a zoom lens to quite match the quality of a good prime.

Nevertheless, it's looking good.

rfactor
rfactor Contributing Member • Posts: 534
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

I have a feeling that the FZ200 is just a stepping stone for Panny. I expect a larger sensor in future models. But for now, the FZ200 gets my hard earned cash!

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Nikon D200 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G
Gary S Veteran Member • Posts: 6,156
Not quite THAT good

I understand the excitement but the optical specs on the FZ200 -- 600mm @ f2.8, can be matched by less when using a DSLR. You can achieve better subject isolation with shorter lenses and slower apertures because of the more narrow DOF from a large sensor camera. Not to mention the extra cropping ability to achieve the same field of view.

Cropping is not the same as optical magnification but it can substitute nicely for many scenarios and subjects.

The clean high ISO settings can provide the shutter speeds needed for freezing action.

The bokeh will generally be much more attractive on a DSLR when using appropriate lenses because the low noise from the sensor contributes to a very smooth out-of-focus background.

And you also have to consider the experience of using one. The large, clear viewfinder on a DSLR which does not freeze during bursts is a MUCH more enjoyable experience. It's so easy to follow your subject. I haven't tried the FZ200 yet though, only the 150.

There is a long way to go before I'd consider a camera like this as a replacement for my DSLR gear. But certainly as a compliment and alternative when I can't take the big gear, or just don't want to.

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morepix
morepix Veteran Member • Posts: 9,087
Fantastic + Magic?

rfactor wrote:

I have a feeling that the FZ200 is just a stepping stone for Panny. I expect a larger sensor in future models. But for now, the FZ200 gets my hard earned cash!

Please hurry and tell Panasonic how they can achieve such long effective focal lengths with larger sensors in a relatively compact-sized bridge camera.
--
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Tidewater Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

I have compared a high end Nikon zoom with my elderly FZ20. (also with the full range 2.8). The sharpness was very similar. The Nikon lens cost $2400.

The small sensor allows the designer to create a fine light compact lens with a huge range. The small sensor also needs good light to work best because the ISO is limited.

The new DSLRs have incredible usable ISO ranges. They have better viewfinders, better focus tracking, and manual zoom, and 100 settings. (See attached album) With a good lens attached however, the weight will keep you within sight of your vehicle, so there are a whole lot of places where it won"t go!

The bottom line is, I use the FZ a lot because I live in a sunny bright climate. Besides most good photos are well lit (and there is always PP.) The new FZ will be fine in most situations.

VincentR Regular Member • Posts: 124
Re: Not quite THAT good

Gary S wrote:

I understand the excitement but the optical specs on the FZ200 -- 600mm @ f2.8, can be matched by less when using a DSLR. You can achieve better subject isolation with shorter lenses and slower apertures because of the more narrow DOF from a large sensor camera. Not to mention the extra cropping ability to achieve the same field of view.

Narrow DoF can be a problem with long telephoto lenses. Focussing really has to be 'spot on'. Even when it is 'spot on', one may get undesirable effects such as a bird's eye in focus but its beak out of focus.

A camera like the FZ200 will always produce greater DoF at the same equivalent focal length of a DSLR. This can be a disadvantage if your goal is to get the shallowest DoF, which I admit can sometimes be very effective, but an advantage if you don't want a shallow DoF.

When I see a photo of a bird, or a lizard, or any wildlife, including macro shots of insects, I generally like to see both its eye and nose in focus.

songeun7 Contributing Member • Posts: 574
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

I was looking for a camera that I can carry in my golf bag and take pictures of wildlife on the course of course during day light. FZ200 will be perfect camera for this. I am very excited.

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Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Fujifilm X100S Sony Alpha 7S Zeiss Batis 25mm F2
Gary S Veteran Member • Posts: 6,156
Re: Not quite THAT good

VincentR wrote:

A camera like the FZ200 will always produce greater DoF at the same equivalent focal length of a DSLR.

This is where I actually prefer to use a compact digicam. When I want that wide DoF it's just simply easier to use a compact, provided the foliage or grass detail is not the highest priority in the photo. Stopping down a DSLR lens far enough can sometimes become an issue depending on the model, the stabilizer, lighting, etc.

When shooting animals like your examples, I usually will shoot at f5.6 or f8. Generally it's sufficient to provide enough DoF when you're close, but still isolate well from the background.

This one is f2.8 at 300mm but still provided enough DoF for the rider I wanted from the Canon 1DIII. Depends on the distance too of course. ISO 800 on this one.

 Gary S's gear list:Gary S's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM
lapdog99
lapdog99 Contributing Member • Posts: 528
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

The performance/weight/price ratio makes this a terrific travel camera to say the least, especially when traveling to places like Africa, where every pound is a factor on puddle jumper flights.

What I look forward to seeing is some slow motion video to blend with photos for slideshows. If you haven't seen some of Trey Ratcliff's earlier work (Images of Japan) take a look.

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VincentR Regular Member • Posts: 124
Re: Not quite THAT good

Gary S wrote:

This one is f2.8 at 300mm but still provided enough DoF for the rider I wanted from the Canon 1DIII. Depends on the distance too of course. ISO 800 on this one.

Excellent shot, Gary. Superb, in fact. If this was taken at F2.8 and ISO 800, then there's no way the Panny FZ200 could compete at F2.8 and ISO 100. The shutter speed would be too slow.

I agree than any F2.8 telephoto lens for a DSLR would produce better image quality than the FZ200 at the same focal length, F stop and shutter speed.

The issue for me is the quality of the FZ200 at 600mm and F2.8 and F4, compared with a 400mm DSLR zoom at F5.6 and F8.

safaridon Veteran Member • Posts: 3,255
Re: Not quite THAT good

Gary S wrote:

VincentR wrote:

A camera like the FZ200 will always produce greater DoF at the same equivalent focal length of a DSLR.

This is where I actually prefer to use a compact digicam. When I want that wide DoF it's just simply easier to use a compact, provided the foliage or grass detail is not the highest priority in the photo. Stopping down a DSLR lens far enough can sometimes become an issue depending on the model, the stabilizer, lighting, etc.

When shooting animals like your examples, I usually will shoot at f5.6 or f8. Generally it's sufficient to provide enough DoF when you're close, but still isolate well from the background.

This one is f2.8 at 300mm but still provided enough DoF for the rider I wanted from the Canon 1DIII. Depends on the distance too of course. ISO 800 on this one.

-- hide signature --

The FZ200 really will be a game changer in my view especially now that it is equipped with a high resolution EVF with little blackout at moderate FPS and for those birding or needing 600mm focal length range or something beyond the typical 300-450mm -F5.6/6.3 range typically found in most DSLR zoom outfits. In the past these superzooms were handicapped by slower lenses and lower res EVF compared to FZ200. Your picture using the 300mm f2.8 on a Canon illustrates why professionals use this combo a lot but now everyone can get similar results with a FZ200 many times smaller & less weight, and a fraction of the cost. You need to post a picture of your Canon DSLR combo along with your FZ150!

The smaller sensor on a long telephoto give a much more natural picture more 3D effect and less flat as will with all panoramic scenes. With its much faster f2.8 lens and smaller sensor the FZ200 gains and narrows the gap with DSLRs especially as very good even wide open enabling use of ISOs at least 3 stops lower for same shutter speeds. Fast lens also makes for fast and more accurate AF.

Expect the FZ200 with its swivel LCD and very potent HD video to be a real video game changer as well with its constant f 2.8 lens from 24-600mm plus 2X. Don't expect a future FZ200 with larger sensor unless willing to sacrifice half its reach.

Interesting I believe Pany could in the future produce a 24-75/f2.8 m4/3 fixed lens camera using essentially the same lens if they wanted to and with intelligent 2X zoom with little loss in IQ would extend its effective reach to 150mm? Come to think of it the new Pany 12-35mm may be a interchangeable version of this lens for m4/3!

theranman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,228
Re: Not quite THAT good

When I go to an art fair and see a photog selling large prints made from a tiny sensor cam like the FZ200, I'll be convinced. Not until then.

Gary S Veteran Member • Posts: 6,156
Re: Not quite THAT good

VincentR wrote:

The issue for me is the quality of the FZ200 at 600mm and F2.8 and F4, compared with a 400mm DSLR zoom at F5.6 and F8.

Yes, I'd think it will be a closer test then. And that's not considering the price of the DSLR plus the 400mm 5.6 lens, which will cost a LOT more. And you'd only have one focal length, unless you buy the 100-400 zoom. Always a trade-off and advantage with each option, I guess.

 Gary S's gear list:Gary S's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM
samualson Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: FZ200 - Fantastic

If i was traveling i would choose the ZS15 or 20 because they produce some nice images and have a fair sized zoom level. The price is much more in the range most people wouldn't have a problem with either.

At the FZ 200's price i wouldn't be letting it bounce around in a golf bag or suitcase.

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