Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Review
Body and Design
The Lumix DMC-FZ200 is a fairly chunky super zoom camera. The body is made of a mixture of metal and plastic, with the latter making the FZ200 feel a bit cheap for a $599 camera. The camera has a large right hand grip - and there's plenty of room under the lens for your left hand - making the FZ200 easy to hold. The FZ200 has a ton of buttons, dials, and levers, though they're well-placed, and typically serve just one function. One control that Panasonic can't seem to get right lately is the rear control dial - it doesn't always turn smoothly.
Without a doubt, the biggest feature on the FZ200 is its constant aperture F2.8, 25 - 600 mm lens. What this means is that, unlike the F2.8-5.2 lens on the FZ150 from last year, the FZ200's lens lets in just as much light at full telephoto as it does at full wide-angle. And that's big news for low light and action photographers. As with the FZ150, this lens features a nano surface coating to reduce flare and ghosting. The lens is threaded for 52 mm filters, and can use the two conversion lenses that I mentioned earlier (with the appropriate adapter).
On the left side of the camera there's a secondary zoom controller - a feature which separates the FZ200 from cheaper models like the FZ60. This extra controller comes in especially handy when recording movies, since using the conventional zoom control on the shutter button can pull the camera slightly left/right while shooting. You can also use this controller to handle manual focusing, if you'd like. Speaking of focusing, there's a focus mode selection switch right next to the zoom controller. The AF and AF macro modes are similar, with the latter focusing at shorter distances (note that this will reduce focus speeds). In manual focus mode you use the rear dial to set the focus distance. A portion of the frame is enlarged, and the camera displays a distance guide on the LCD/EVF.
In your hand
With its typical superzoom dimensions and weight (4.93 x 3.41 x 4.34 inches, 1.29 pounds fully loaded), the FZ200 won't fit into most pockets. However it's got a rubberized grip and thumb rest and is comfortable to hold and shoot with, even with the zoom lens fully extended.
Directly above the FZ200's lens is the built-in flash, which is released manually. The working range of the flash is 0.3 - 13.5 m at wide-angle and 1.0 - 13.5 m at telephoto (at Auto ISO), which is considerably better than the one on its predecessor. If you want more flash power and a reduced likelihood of redeye, then you can attach an (optional) external flash.
As with its predecessor, the FZ200 features a flip-out, rotating 3-inch LCD display. Rotating LCDs are great for shooting over crowds, using a tripod (where the camera is below you), or taking self-portraits. The screen flips out 180 degrees to the side, and can then rotate a total of 270 degrees. It can also go in the traditional position with the display facing straight away from the rear of the camera, or be closed entirely.
Above the LCD is the FZ200's new and improved electronic viewfinder. This 0.21" EVF has an impressive 1.31 million dots, which is up big from the 201,600 dot EVF on the FZ150. As you'd expect from a viewfinder with these specs, everything's pretty sharp. It's not as good as Sony's XGA viewfinder, but it's still pretty darn good.
Something that's surprisingly missing here is an eye sensor, so you'll have to switch between the LCD and EVF manually, using the button just to left of the viewfinder. Speaking of things on the left side of the viewfinder, it's there that you'll find a diopter correction knob which will adjust the focus of the EVF. To the right of the EVF we find buttons for playback mode and AE/AF lock (or something else, if you'd like), as well as the mushy rear control dial(used for adjusting exposure and replaying photos).
|Camera||Dimensions (W x H x D, excluding protrusions)||Volume (bulk)||Mass (empty)|
|Canon PowerShot SX50 HS||4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in.||68.5 cu in.||551 g|
|Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR||5.1 x 3.8 x 4.9 in.||95 cu in.||637 g|
|Nikon Coolpix P510||4.8 x 4.1 x 3.3 in.||64.9 cu in.||555 g|
|Olympus SP-820UZ iHS||4.6 x 3.1 x 3.7 in.||52.8 cu in.||485 g|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200||4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in.||71.6 cu in.||537 g|
|Pentax X-5||4.7 x 3.4 x 4.2 in.||67.1 cu in.||507 g|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V||4.9 x 3.5 x 3.8 in.||65.2 cu in.||531 g|
The DMC-FZ200 is the second largest camera in the group, with only the D-SLR-sized FinePix HS30EXR above it. It's not even close to being a pocket camera, so plan on carrying it over your shoulder or in a camera bag.
Sony recently announced the RX100 VI, the newest addition to its compact camera line. How does this new model stand out from the rest? Chris and Jordan take the camera for a spin and tell us what they think – and even manage to fit in some well earned hammock time in the process.
Greenland in winter is not for the faint of heart, but it's highly rewarding to those who can manage the conditions. In this final installment of his series, Erez Marom tells us how he made the most of getting stuck in the snow, and why it's worth the cost to charter a sailing into Disko Bay.
Lomography is crowdfunding its latest film camera, the Diana Instant Square. According to the company, this is the first Instax-compatible camera with a hot-shoe mount and support for interchangeable lenses.
Bing Visual Search is a direct competitor to Google Lens, enabling web search and online shopping through images.
The US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, has ruled online retailers such as Amazon, B&H Photo, and eBay can be forced to collect sales tax in states, even where they don't have a physical presence, overturning a 1992 Supreme Court ruling.
A popular Instagram user based in Singapore has been caught passing stock images off as his own work. Daryl Aiden Yow, who has worked with many recognizable brands, has apologized for his actions, and has deleted some images from his Instagram account while adding credits to others.
Instagram is the fourth Facebook-owned social media app to reach the coveted 1 billion users mark.
Chinese smartphone brand Oppo has employed a clever solution to the dreaded display 'notch' – a sliding mechanism that houses the device's front and rear-facing cameras.
The Kamlan 28mm F1.4 is an all-manual prime lens for APS-C (and Micro Four Thirds) mirrorless cameras. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, it'll go on sale to the public for just $200 – see what it can do on Sony and Fujifilm bodies.
Instagram TV — IGTV for short — is a new app and service from Instagram that puts the focus on video content. You can now follow content creators and watch up to hour-long vertical videos inside the new dedicated IGTV app, as well as directly within Instagram.
Researchers at NVIDIA have used artificial intelligence to train a system that's capable of turning standard 30fps video into 240fps slow-mo video with minimal loss in quality.
Loupedeck has updated its popular Lightroom editing console with a new '+' version featuring improved build quality, more customization and support for some non-Adobe software.
Apple released a new batch of mobile photography tutorial videos this week, each briefly demonstrating how to perform various camera actions using the flagship iPhone X.
Adobe has announced development of Project Rush, a cross-device video editing application that consolidates the entire video creation workflow, from shooting to social media sharing, in a single application.
Adobe's quarterly financial report was just published, and the news is good. Q2 2018 saw a new quarterly revenue record of $2.20 billion, and 22% growth to $1.55 billion in its Digital Media segment.
Just months after launching its QuartzLine filters for DSLR and mirrorless lenses, PolarPro has launched a buyback program that will give you credit towards a PolarPro filter for trading in an old one - even if it isn't theirs.
Sigma has announced that five of its Sony E-Mount Art-series primes, announced earlier this year, are now shipping.
Adobe has announced a raft of updates across its suite of Creative Cloud apps, including Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC.
The FUJINON GF 45mm F2.8 R WR is a 36mm equivalent fast prime for Fujifilm's GFX 50S. We've been shooting with one for a few days, and we're impressed. Check out our sample gallery to judge for yourself.
Video editing software package Video Pro X has received what is described as its biggest update yet to mark ten years since Magix Video Pro was launched.
Back in 2010, Canon announced that it was developing the world's largest CMOS sensor, measuring about 40 times larger than full frame. The company has just updated its website with more details.
Samyang has launched its latest lens, the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 EF. This telephoto prime is a direct competitor to Canon's $1,600 alternative—and considering it's expected to retail for half the price, it looks like quite the bargain.
Scanning film takes forever and photographing negatives is a pain. The Pixl-latr aims to provide a simple solution.
Google has published an 18-page study fully detailing its synthetic depth-of-field technology that makes its single-camera Portrait Mode possible. The in-depth paper shows a degree of openness and academic mindset unusual for the industry.
Rugged, waterproof compact cameras are tough enough to survive even the most action-packed vacation, but they're not the only choice for capturing those great memories. Photographer Josh Root takes us through the options.
Kodak has restarted production of one of its most famous film emulsions - Ektachrome. Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek recently go to take a look inside.
The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD is an affordable F2.8 standard zoom for full frame Sony E-mount cameras. What's it like, what are the trade-offs, and what are the alternatives? Chris and Jordan take a closer look...
We've updated our Best Drones buying guide and there's a new winner. Find out which drone was our favorite and learn more about all current models in our updated guide.
A teardown of a Nikon D850 has provided proof that the camera's sensor is made by Sony Semiconductor. The chip's design and performance already strongly supported this, but the confirmation also gives a hint about how the industry works.