1st outing with new FZ200

Started May 16, 2014 | Discussions
Steve Potton New Member • Posts: 3
1st outing with new FZ200


My son and I recently got an FZ200 as a step up from an old compact.

We went for a day out and shot some old cars at Oulton Park. I'd appreciate some feedback on some of the shots we took. I know fast moving cars are not the easiest beginner subject, but I was still a little disappointed with the overall sharpness and focus of the moving cars. We tried with using burst mode with and without continuous focus, using focus lock on the track before the cars come round, iA most of the time with some shutter speed priority shooting. To be honest I lost track of what shots used what modes to try and nail down what worked for me and aim to be a little more methodical next time.

I’ve include some simpler static shots that I’m more than happy with in terms of camera performance for comparison.

Not a very interesting shot, but the car looks reasonable blur free and there is a little blur on the background and wheels. But overall I think the shutter speed was perhaps a little fast and the car looks parked? Should I be switching the auto stabilisation off for panning shots like this? Or using the sports scene mode?

No panning required!

A little soft/out of focus/noisy? I was half pressing the shutter release and pre-focusing on the track. If I get the focus point wrong and am late/early would this cause the “softening”?

With a decent crop this is a great shot, with the Jag being caught by the A40 through the bends. But critically, given the zoom, aperture, shutter speed, should the Jag be in sharper focus?

One of my favorites, but like the previous shot the A35 doesn’t seem as sharp as I’d expect.

Again, slightly soft/out of focus? As a positive, the background is nicely blurred laterally, the wheels are blurred. There is some movement in the shot, but it all looks a little soft. How would I improve this sort of shot?

A couple of statics for comparison.

Overall are these what would be expected in terms of noise and focus given the zoom, aperture, SS & ISO?

Thanks for looking,


 Steve Potton's gear list:Steve Potton's gear list
Canon PowerShot A710 IS Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Pentax Optio A40 Sony SLT-A35
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John Beavin
John Beavin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,282
Re: 1st outing with new FZ200

Steve, I think you are trying to run before you have learnt to walk, the static car is perfect  which proves the camera is  ok, keep working on it I am sure you will come right, as you remark fast moving cars are no easy.

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Rodger1943 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,131
Re: 1st outing with new FZ200

Hi Steve, I can't give you any advice on how to shoot moving cars, as I've never had that experience, but it sounds like you were doing all the right things. I shoot lots of birds, often moving. One thing I would ask you to try is turn off "quick auto focus" with that turned off the camera holds whatever focus you last set it to. With Quick AF on, the camera tries to focus on whatever the lens is pointing at and if its pointing down, will focus on the ground. When you raise the camera to focus on a more distant object it takes it longer to focus, than it would if its already focused on a more distant subject. Its a bit like pre-focusing the camera, but you're still in AF, so when you half press the shutter, it will respond quicker. That's my theory and I thinks it works in practice.

My observation of your shots is that they look good to me. I was looking closely at the Jag and A40 image, you can see the lettering around the Jag badge. You can't read it, but its visible, I would say that that's pretty good.

With regards to the static shot of the blue car (can't remember the type) its much closer and you will definitely get more detail in something that's close like that, than objects that are further away.

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Panasonic FZ200

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kkardster Veteran Member • Posts: 9,072
Re: 1st outing with new FZ200

Not a bad start. I'd suggest turning OIS off for panning or try the Panning Scene Mode, which may do that and more. Proper camera tracking takes practice - especially with a new camera - and you'll get better.

I agree that the shutter speed might have been a tad fast, but going slower is going to make panning even more difficult. Again, practice makes perfect. Keep posting do we can see how you are getting along!

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You learn something new every time you press the shutter

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GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,244
Re: 1st outing with new FZ200

Some nice shots of some grand old machinery.  What is the car in BRG (#49).  It resembles a D type Jaguar; but the nose looks wrong.

Anyway, I use my FZ200 in Program and set the Picture Adjust sub menu to Sharpening +1 and NR -2.  The light looks flat, so in those shots I would have set WB to Cloudy, which will punch up some colors.  If you want to blur the backgrounds, set the camera to Aperture preferred and set the aperture to f/4 or f/5.6; but no higher.  That will get you a slower shutter speed to get more blur in the wheels and background, and then work hard on your panning technique to keep the body of the car sharp.  If the wheels and background are blurred enough, nobody will notice the car isn't tack sharp.

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Brue Senior Member • Posts: 1,155
Re: 1st outing with new FZ200

One of my favorites, but like the previous shot the A35 doesn’t seem as sharp as I’d expect.

Thanks for looking,


Greatly Enjoyable. I liked the above so I did a quick crop - could have cropped lower and gain some lean

in_focus Forum Pro • Posts: 18,674
Re: 1st outing with new FZ200

Congratulations on your new camera! .. welcome aboard, Steve .. out of your test series is the blue car my favorite. Looking forward to see more of your work. Thank you for sharing..


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John Miles
John Miles Veteran Member • Posts: 6,919
Well hello Newby

Post No. 1 and an interesting set right off the bat. Boy stuff

Welcome to the forum Steve. The FZ200 is a gem. This forum is the place to talk about it and the photos it takes.

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OP Steve Potton New Member • Posts: 3
Re: 1st outing with new FZ200

Thanks for the feedback, it's really appreciated.

There are a few things there to consider next time I'm out. WB is something I didn't actually fiddle with and yes it was a cloudy overcast day.  I also think some time spent learning the different focusing modes and the tricks to help the auto focus will help.


The #49 car is a Tojeiro Jaguar, with a D-Type engine.  It won it's race.  It's good to see these old race cars doing what they were designed for rather than just sat in a museum.  The link below a short clip of an Allard J2X Le Mans 4 wheel drifting, just missing the kerb.


Once again, thanks for the feedback.


 Steve Potton's gear list:Steve Potton's gear list
Canon PowerShot A710 IS Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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