Panasonic Lumix FZ200 review - official thread!

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Panasonic Lumix FZ200 review - official thread!

Postby Gordon Laing » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:51 am

Hi everyone, Panasonic's Lumix FZ200 is the company's new flagship super-zoom camera. Successor to the best-selling FZ150, it shares the same 24x (25-600mm equivalent) range but where its predecessor had a variable aperture of f2.8-5.2, the new model boasts a constant aperture of f2.8 throughout the entire focal range. Yep, that's right, f2.8 all the way to 600mm. In addition the FZ200 now sports an electronic viewfinder with six times the resolution of the FZ150. Excited? Thought so!

I recently published our in-depth Panasonic FZ200 review! Check it out!

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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby Ruben123 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:45 pm

The price isnt too bad, am I right?
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby Rorschach » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:31 am

Ruben123 wrote:The price isnt too bad, am I right?

I've heard prices of around £500...
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby had2B » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:32 pm

Thanks for the preview Gordon, I'm really hoping this is the one for me, after my disappointment with the FZ150 — and that was due to one issue only. :cry:
I bought the FZ150 some months back but returned it when I discovered that I was unable to view the full display thru the EVF, due to not being able to get my eyeball close enough to the viewer. I need to wear my specs at all times (I have astigmatism).

I discovered that the available viewing window on the EVF of the FZ150 is greatly reduced by a black masking which is applied to the inside of the viewing pane. Without that there would be no problem whatever, in my estimation. A ca. 17 x 12mm window is reduced to something like 8 x 6mm by this masking. I reported my observations to Panasonic UK, and they told me they would pass the info on as part of their next "Voice of the Customer" report.

I don't know what the reasoning was for the masking in the first place, but I hope they see fit to reduce it or eliminate it completely in future models, as I suggested — no extra cost involved, and we bespectacled folks can come on board! It was very disappointing to have to send back the FZ150, and I really hope the FZ200 will be a keeper.

So Gordon, if you have a chance to get your hands on another FZ200 could you please check out the EVF in this regard. Don a heavy pair of (sun)glasses and see what you can or cannot see, or just draw the EVF away from your eye and note when vignetting starts. Also, if you happen to bump into Panny blokes with clout, please make them aware of this grievance, which can be easily fixed in my humble opinion. :wink:

All the best, and keep up your great reviews!
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby Ruben123 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:01 pm

I can at least tell you that the FZ18 was the last Lumix superzoom to offer a big view EVF. If you really want a huge zoom, and not too bad IQ (but without HD movies), have a look at a used one. I still own mine and Im really happy with the results, even though I have some better eq.
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Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby had2B » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:09 pm

@Ruben... when i spoke with one of the official panasonic repair techs in germany a few months back i had him looking at past models in the fz series and he said that the fz18 was the only one he had there that had no masking on the viewing window. is this what you mean by big view evf, or was the pixel count also high?
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby had2B » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:10 pm

well, i checked up on the fz18 and it only had 188,000 pixels on a 0.44" display, whereas the fz200 has 1,312,000 on a 0.22" display --- so we've gone forward and backward over the same time!
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby Rorschach » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:58 am

had2B wrote:well, i checked up on the fz18 and it only had 188,000 pixels on a 0.44" display, whereas the fz200 has 1,312,000 on a 0.22" display --- so we've gone forward and backward over the same time!

But is it as straightforward as a simple numbers game? Is it not possible that some sort of magnifying lens was used on the FZ200?
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby had2B » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:16 am

i think that whenever there is a diopter adjustment provided, there will be a magnifying lens which can move back and forth between the eye and the display, controlled by a little wheel. the fz18 had diopter adjustment for the evf.
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby bugbait » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:19 am

Gordon do you have the final FZ200 in hand for an upcoming review?

Your FZ150 review was the best by far and not just because it came in a useful time frame. I more coffee that needs brewing ;-)

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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby SkullOne » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:07 am

Hmm, the FZ200 certainly is interesting. My FZ150 has become my second best used camera, after my iPhone that is *L*. I used to shoot a lot with DSLR's but for me the bridge format offers enough practical benefits (weight, bulk, no dust) while delivering reasonable picture quality.

The fact that there now is a constant aperture and an improved viewfinder appeals to me. However I feel the price of the package has been increased unreasonably. I bought the FZ150 when it came out for around € 465,-. The FZ200 is currently available for € 599,-. That's an increase of almost 29%.

The viewfinder update is nice, however they should have increased the size as wel. The extra resolution is more than welcome (and the FZ150 viewfinder quality is arguably its worst feature) but they could/should have made it more like a GH-series viewfinder. I wonder why they didn't.

As for astigmatism. Even if they increased the size op the viewfinder, I feel that that wouldn't really help. With a smaller viewfinder you're actually better of when wearing glasses as you're not able to get your eye close enough to the viewfinder to see 'more'. I always need to 'despec' when using the viewfinder using both my FZ150 or GH1 anyway. But lucky enough my astigmatism isn't too bad.
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby Gordon Laing » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:40 pm

I haven;t got a final sample for testing yet, but hopefully soon!

As I mentioned in my preview article, the viewfinder image is now much more detailed than before, but it's still very small.
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby had2B » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:35 pm

SkullOne wrote:As for astigmatism. Even if they increased the size op the viewfinder, I feel that that wouldn't really help. With a smaller viewfinder you're actually better of when wearing glasses as you're not able to get your eye close enough to the viewfinder to see 'more'. I always need to 'despec' when using the viewfinder using both my FZ150 or GH1 anyway. But lucky enough my astigmatism isn't too bad.


forgive me, but i am confused by what you are saying here. do you think it's a good idea to not be able to see the full display? i find it very annoying. please clarify your point as i cannot follow you. thanks
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby CAMERALABSJDW » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:15 pm

WHEN COULD WE EXPECT A FULL REVIEW OF THE PANASONIC LUMIX FZ200?
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Re: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - official thread - previewed!

Postby CAMERALABSJDW » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:39 pm

Could the owners of the Lumix Z200 please let me know what their experiences with the camera has been, as I wish to purchase one.
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