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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 - Flagship Super-Zoom Digital Camera

1/24/2014 11:40:06 AM
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Fast, elegant and excels for photo and video quality alike.

The FZ200’s 24x zoom is modest by today’s standards, but while other cameras’ lenses become increasingly dark as they zoom in, the FZ200 maintains an f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range. This means there’s four times as much light entering the lens for telephoto shots, compared to a typical f/5.6 aperture.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

The FZ200 is smart and compact, and there are lots of buttons, dials and switches for quick access to settings. Various functions are available via the Q. Menu button, and the main menu is well organized.

The EVF has a 1,312,000-dot resolution and is as sharp as our eyes can see. It’s a shame the view isn’t bigger, though.

Performance is excellent, taking just 0.6 seconds between shots in normal use and 0.9 seconds in Raw mode. The various continuous modes include 10fps shooting for 12 frames, or 5fps for 18 with updating autofocus. Fast shooting is useful in an ultrazoom camera for sports and wildlife, and the FZ200 competes with SLRs for continuous shooting with autofocus.

The FZ200 is smart and compact

The FZ200 is smart and compact

The video mode is well specified, with 1080p shooting at up to 50fps, 30-minute clip lengths, a microphone input and priority and manual exposure options. Picture and sound quality are excellent, and autofocus responds decisively and silently. It also captures 720p video at 100fps, playing back at 25fps for quarter-speed slow motion. Most slow-motion modes capture at lower resolutions, but this one is ready for serious use.

This is a camera that has been designed to maximize image quality rather than dazzle with big numbers. The 12-megapixel resolution is modest by today’s standards, but it helped the FZ200 achieve impressively low noise levels. Meanwhile, focus was significantly sharper throughout the 24x zoom range than rivals managed from their bigger zooms.

The video mode is well specified

The video mode is well specified

Then there’s the constant f/2.8 aperture. It made a huge difference when taking telephoto shots in shady conditions or overcast weather. While rival cameras succumbed to noise, the FZ200’s output was clean and detailed. This - and the sharp focus - more than compensated for the modest 600mm maximum focal length, capturing more detail in subjects than other cameras’ 1000mm and 1200mm lenses.

It’s not cheap, but $720 is a price worth paying for such consistently high quality.

It’s not cheap, but $720 is a price worth paying for such consistently high quality

It’s not cheap, but $720 is a price worth paying for such consistently high quality

Specifications

·         Rating: 6/6

·         Megapixels: 12 megapixels

·         Sensor size: 1/2.3 in

·         Viewfinder: Electronic (1,312,000 dots)

·         LCD screen: 3in (460,000 dots)

·         Articulated: Yes

·         Touchscreen: No

·         Optical zoom: 24x (25-600mm)

·         Optical stabilization: Optical, lens based

·         Orientation sensor: Yes

·         Maximum resolution: 4000 x 3000

·         File formats: JPEG, Raw; AVCHD, MPEG4

·         Video resolutions: 1080p at 25/50fps, 1080i at 25fps, 720p at 25fps, VGA at 25fps

·         Slow motion video modes: 720p at 100fps (1/4x), VGA at 200fps (x)

·         Maximum video clip length: 30m 0s

Controls

·         Exposure modes: Program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual

·         Shutter speed range: 60 to 1/4000 seconds

·         Aperture range: f/2.8-8 throughout zoom range

·         ISO speed range: )00 to 6400

·         Exposure compensation: +/-3 EV

·         White balance: Auto, 7 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin

·         Additional image controls: Contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction

·         Manual focus: Yes

·         Closest macro focus (wide): 1cm

·         Closest macro focus (Tele): 1m

·         Auto-focus modes: Multi, flexible spot, face detect, tracking

·         Metering modes: Multi, center-weighted, center, face detect

·         Flash modes: Auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction

·         Drive modes: Single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, HDR, panorama

Physical

·         Card slot: SDXC

·         Memory supplied: 70MB internal

·         Battery type: Li-ion

·         Battery life (CIPA): 540 shots

·         Connectivity: USB, A/V, Mini HDMI, 2.5mm microphone input, wired remote

·         Wireless: No

·         GPS: No

·         Hotshoe: Panasonic TTL

·         Body material: Plastic

·         Accessories: USB cable, neck strap

·         Weight: 605g

·         Size (H x W x D): 1 87x125x110mm

Buying information

·         Price: $720

·         Supplier: www.panasonic.com

 

 
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