Panasonic Lumix FZ200: Packing in the Megazoom for a Wider Coverage
The recently launched Panasonic Lumix FZ200 has a lot to offer in terms of specifications and features. While this can be considered as one extremely utilitarian gadget, noise complaints at high sensitivities were evident as is the lack of finer details. Brighter lens and a longer, supposedly, megazoom certainly factor in besides the high-quality movie soundtracks. What comes out as one enterprising feature is the great button layout making the device a highly tempting option for professionals and amateurs alike. One shall also focus upon the sturdy build of this gadget which effectively shapes up as a compact system camera.
The following review would surely be a detailed one as the Lumix FZ200 looks at quite a hefty specs sheet in addition to a spectacular user interface. We did find a great pack of utilities followed by the extreme performances which are quite obvious at the given price tag. Although this cannot be termed as one complete high-end camera meant for the professional needs but it certainly does the needful as claimed by the company. Be it the RAW shots or the brighter built-in lens, the Lumix FZ200 combines every single detail with utmost perfection. Brimming with details and a persuasive specs counter, this gadget is meant for that ambitious photographer who nonchalantly roams about his business waiting the moment of glory.
Build and Controls:
Loaded with the dual zoom rockers, this camera does pack in quite a lot for its size and also factors in the barrel mounted zoom track quite effectively. While the physical controls are well thought of, the shutter release comes out as one of the better prospects for this gadget. We did find a dedicated button besides the mounted-zoom which readily unlocks the focus point for a better regulation. One may also make use of the four-way controller which comes with several built-in specs and camera settings. Resting above the thumb mount is the multi-function tab which comes with the usual settings exposure mode based upon aperture shifts and shutter speed modifications. Sharper lens is another added spec which covers every single entity with utmost detailing. This is one light-weighted device with a rechargeable battery section making the body extremely functional. Be it the USB priority in picture, or the associated cables, the Lumix FZ200 is one perfect tool for handling most of your camera needs.
Here is a special section which pushes this gadget, literally off-limits. The mammoth detailing up to 24X is a great addition which effectively portrays the most prominent aspect of this gadget. Be it the body length or the front to back portrayal of the same, the zooming capabilities explains every single detail with perfection. We did consider the barrel width as for the constant f/2.8 with the minimal aperture zoom to be at f/8. While the zoom happens to be the most impressive feature about this gadget, one may consider this as the ideal replacement for the DSLRs loaded with interchangeable lenses. While the conservative resolution happens to be at 12.1MP, poster prints are quite easy to achieve. Some may take turns to criticize this device but it packs quite a lot to make up for this supposed loss.
Low-light performances are quite acceptable with the maximum ISO sensitivity at 3200. While the Lumix FZ200 keeps put with the originals, the noise level often gets heightened at the upper levels. Finer details are mostly preserved but magnifying the images may render certain softer edges, which are a tad difficult to perceive. This actually augers well as the professionals look to be more careful regarding the usefulness of the same.
The better parts are rendered with the minimal shutter speed of 1/4000 second whereas it can go up to a staggering 60 seconds. Low-light photography can get demanding at times but the Lumix FZ200 quite lives up to the expectations with the included hot-shoe. Burst mode at full frame corresponds to a level of 12fps whereas the auto-focus tracking may reduce the same, momentarily. Maximum rate can go up to a whopping 60fps but the 2.5MP resolution can often be a dampening aspect. As we go up the megapixel charts the burst rate gradually decreases and one needs to strike out the perfect balance.
While the video performances are quite acceptable, one may reduce the mechanical noises by keeping the magnification under control. Full HD recording is supported at 1920x1080 pixels which certainly makes this device a perfect bet for the starters. While the conservative allotment of 12.1 may hurt a bit, the versatile Superzoom kind of makes up for the same.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200 Rivals:
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Sony CyberShot DSC HX200V
Nikon Coolpix P510
Nikon Coolpix P520