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on 30 August 2014
I should make it clear that I'm not a professional photographer. However , as a keen amateur I've been taking photos for more years than I care to remember. During that time I've owned many, many cameras and my current line up includes a Nikon D7000 and 3 lenses. The problem for me is the big camera and lenses weigh a ridiculous amount and I've got really fed up lugging all that stuff around. For a holiday I decided to leave all the big boy stuff at home and I bought the FZ200 to take with me just to record holiday snaps - nothing too serious as, well, a bridge camera can't be as good as a DSLR, right? No, wrong! This camera is amazing. The quality of photos as displayed on my iMac is every bit as good as the Nikon. The photos are sharp, the tonal balance is good and the fantastic tele lens gets the pictures that you might otherwise miss with a standard camera. The versatility and portability of this camera is exceptional and I can't recommend it more highly. I now take this camera with me as my first choice and I'm seriously thinking about selling the Nikon. To get the best out of this little gem tune in to Graham Houghtons YouTube videos and his website to obtain his free downloadable ebook FZ200 manual which is comprehensive and 1st class.
Well done Panasonic and a million thanks to Graham who is not sponsored by Panasonic (but should be!)
29 people found this helpful
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on 28 September 2016
Awesome! I have a DSLR and a lovely Sony compact, which are both great, but the DSLR is cumbersome with its lenses and weight. The Sony compact is almost perfect, but I want a viewfinder! It's hard to compose real pictures with a screen, what with light issues and hand wobble. So I wanted a compact camera with viewfinder which would fill the gap. Enter the "bridge camera", a concept derided by "serious photographers". Well, think again! This camera is simply staggering. I looked hard at comparable models, but none shared the design focus of the Panasonic FZ200, including later Panasonics. It has a great Leica lens, which loses no brightness even at 24X zoom. My DSLR can't do that. The viewfinder is bright and accurate. My Sony compact can't do that. It has an amazing range of photo capabilities: panoramic, incredible zoom, loads of arty effects modes,20+ photo modes (pets, food, snow, night, landscape etc etc etc), plus total or partial manual modes, including manual focus. For full guidance on how to exploit it view Graham Houghton's YouTube guide. This may be the only camera I ever need...
7 people found this helpful
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on 4 September 2016
I've been through alot of secondhand cheap ebay dslr's over the last few years which i use for backup to my proper Nikon system , after the last one failed it suddenly dawned on me a bridge camera might fit the bill perfectly and be a better long term investment that the worn out stuff i had been buying , After a lot of review reading of various bridge cameras the lumix fz200 became the model at the top of my list ,i know panasonic build great little cameras as ive also got a lumix G6 for street photography so i paid the cash and awaited delivery . I must say the fz200 is the perfect back up camera or infact the out and about travel machine as its of extremely high quality , gives superb results and has more than enough functions to satisfy even the fellow camerasexuals out there like me . And to top it all that f2.8 aperture puts the cherry on the cake and takes it into another league over other bridge cameras .
My only niggle isn't one with the camera at all but the way its packed in factory as for some completely mysterious reason panasonic send their cameras out without the lens cap attached ! the cap is all nicely packed in its bag as is the rest of the boxes contents so i shouldnt moan i know , but why they dont just click the lens cap on and avoid any chance of damage is beyond me . Anyway mine arrived completely perfect in every way so maybe its just me being picky ( its now got a uv filter and lens cap on lol ) . In summary then id say if your looking for a quality bridge camera this ones a belter and you wont go wrong buying a fz200 .
Im and enthusiast photographer and even though i admit it cant match a dslr for outright performance ( which i didnt expect it to ) it still gives fantastic results and above all feels and handles like a proper camera , and thats something other manufacturers never seem able to achieve with their bridges . Look no further if your after the bees knees of the bridge camera world (well apart from the fz1000 anyway) !
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on 19 February 2016
Bought this as I'm heading to Tromso in March to (hopefully) photograph the Auroea Borealis. Will post a pic to this review if I'm lucky. A couple of days after the camera arrived, I decided to try it out in St. James's Park, and luckily met this nice gentlemen who was feeding the birds and squirrels, which gave me an excellent opportunity to take my first snapshots. Was completely blown away by the quality of the photos. I am now like a kid with a new toy, I've even bought a tripod, a panoramic timer and intervalometer for time lapse photography. Here are some of the pics I took:

-Edit- I have since come back from my Northern Lights break, and here are also some pics I took of the "Green Lady". Granted, they're not as good quality as a DSLR, but certainly acceptable. A word of warning, I had to bump up the ISO to 800, thereby resulting in some considerable "noise". This however is easily remedied by using photo editing software (a certain very well known photo editing software company offer a free iOS app for download), the ones here however have been unedited:
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on 13 February 2018
As a professional photographer for the past several years, I've had a good selection of cameras & lenses to see me through most photographic situations. And as much as I love my trusted dSLRs for paid gigs, a bridge camera comes in really useful when you're just wanting a lightweight, all-round camera to use for personal photos or heading out for a walk.

When I first started photography, I bought a Lumix bridge camera to get a feel for zoom, range, composition, to see what I was going to enjoy photographing and what pro kit I'd eventually need to splash out on, and I got some great shots from it.

This FZ200 is no exception, and delivers some truly terrific photos straight from camera. I bought it for a trip to Barcelona about 18 months ago and it gave me photos good enough to sell afterwards.

Let me run through some reasons why I chose this bridge camera over a few others (Canon, Sony) of the same kind of spec & price range:

Firstly, it shoots RAW. Now if you're new to photography, the ability to edit in RAW might not be a priority for you, but as someone who spends a lot of time in Lightroom/Photoshop, the quality of the original image is critical to me, and jpeg-only would feel restrictive to me. For a RAW camera, this is a good price point, and if you're looking to further your editing skills then I'd suggest you pick a body that has RAW shooting.

Secondly, it has a viewfinder. Okay, it's an electronic one, and I do miss the clarity of an optical viewfinder a dSLR gives. But it's a small trade-off for a camera that's infinitely lighter to carry and easier to throw into bag for a day trip or holiday away. And I can't get my head around using an LCD screen to frame shots! But if you use an LCD, it's got a good one, so never fear!

Another plus point for me was the aperture. It's f/2.8 and can be fixed at that over the entire zoom range, which allows a lot of light to enter when at full telescopic zoom (600mm field of view equivalent to 35mm camera). To make it clear, this won't have the same 'depth of field' as an f2.8 lens on a full frame dSLR, but so what. You're not buying this camera for the amazing bokeh (you'd be spending a small fortune for an f/2.8 600mm lens for a full-frame camera). And it gives plenty enough 'background defocus' for most people's needs when you do zoom in fully. The importance of f/2.8 comes when you're wanting to shoot in low light or you're wanting to take pictures of your kids or dogs. A lot of other bridge cameras at this price point have a maximum aperture of f/3.2 or f/3.5, and that might reduce to f/5.6 or smaller when you're fully zoomed in. Again, for me, a big bonus to have that open lens.

And then there's the zoom. 24 x optical is plenty! There are lots of cameras that offer 35x or 50x and although that's impressive, you might find yourself having to use a tripod to keep the shot steady when you're zoomed in as much as that. 24 x optical (600mm equivalent FOV) will get you closer to those details, and you can always 'cheat' and crop the photo later if you really want.

It's a great all-rounder - it will see you through macro, portraits, street & landscape. Photos have a lovely depth of colour. There are also some handy scene modes and edit options, so you can be creative in-camera without any external software needed.

Of course it's not a dSLR or mirrorless camera - but you're not paying the price tag for one either, so it's comparing apples and pears if you're going to worry about the trade-offs you have to make with this camera. A good solid choice, imho!
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on 30 April 2015
This camera was obtained to replace a previous camera whose Automatic Focussing was getting to be too temperamental. In particular at airshows it would not focus properly on a displaying aircraft and I lost too many photographs. After much research I chose the Panasonic FZ200 and so far I have not been disappointed. To test its focussing I photographed parachutists (in the sky and moving, albeit not as fast as aircraft!). The resultant photographs were excellent. The lines to the canopy were pin sharp which showed me that the AF was working perfectly. The camera fits well in my hands and is ergonomically well designed. The viewfinder is crystal clear, and the screen can be positioned at most angles you choose,so that if for example you wish to take shot by raising the camera above your head the screen can be adjusted so that you can still frame the shot.. The lens of the camera is a Leica - one of the best lenses available and the quality shows. The menu is a delight to use and the panoramic feature is terrific. There is a very comprehensive Scene choice. I have not yet used the video properly but it does seem to be good. There are a lot of bells and whistle available on the camera, some of which many of us will never use, but they are there if you want them. Overall I am quite happy with this camera.
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on 13 April 2014
I bought this camera for use on off-road motorcycle trips where my DSLR and its ever-increasing selections of lenses are not only at risk of expensive damage but also take up too much space and weight too much. This Panasonic gives me a wide focal range with a fast lens even at the highest zoom setting. The photographs are not quite as sharp as my DSLR but they are sharp enough provided the camera is set to 100 ASA.

The real star, and the reason I bought this particular camera, is the viewfinder. Superb. In the past I've tried to take photographs while holding a camera (or phone) at arms length and it just does not work for me, especially when zoomed in to any degree. That said the screen on this camera is really rather smart - it lives with the side that shows the picture hidden until it is folded out so it is well protected in transit (and, in my case, it is also well protected while taking shots because I only fold it out when I want to admire my work or to use the menus).

I nearly bought a Fuji just to get manual zoom but I've found that using the EVF on my Panasonic the motor-driven zoom is easy to set to (pretty much) where I want it. The side-mounted zoom/focus control would be much more sensible if it moved in and out rather than up and down but I zoom using the switch on the top of the camera and the auto-focus has not yet let me down so I have yet to use manual focus.

There are, however, two issues that I feel that prospective buyers should take into account. Having read other reviews I was rather expecting the first of these but the second came as a bit of a shock.

First problem - if you want the excellent photographic quality that this camera can easily achieve then you need to set it to 100 ASA. Other reviewers have said that quality tails off over 400 ASA but having twice now taken the same shot at each supported ISO speed I found noticeable degradation even at 200 ASA.

Second problem - the menu switches on the back are quite sensitive to the touch so more than once I've found myself in a menu when I just wanted to take a photo.

In short if you want a light, small and easy to use camera with a long telephoto lens and a decent viewfinder then this is what you buy and you learn to live with its minor drawbacks.
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on 3 July 2017
I bought this camera as a back-up for my Olympus MFT while my son is borrowing it for a two month safari in Tanzania. The FZ200 is now an old design (just over 5 years) and the old technology and small sensor size means that noise is a bit of a problem unless you stick to really low ISOs though the f:2.8 lens makes this less of an issue than it might have been. However, in general I got what I had expected for the price and technology so I'm happy with that.
The one disappointment was that the first time I used it on a tripod, the threaded bush pulled out and super-gluing it back in didn't work. I've ordered a https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00BKU0L1C/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 mounting ring for a Canon lens that works (according to reviews) which I expect to be more satisfactory than using the normal bush so I'm happy to overlook the fault and just dock one star for it. I feel that few users of this camera would want the tripod mount anyway.
Otherwise, it is an excellent camera for it's vintage.
Graham Houghton's Youtube channel is an excellent resource for FZ200 owners.
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on 21 June 2016
Well pleased with this purchase. Have had many cameras in the past but this one does everything I need well and the results are very satisfying. Don't be put off by the number of pixels in comparison with the current trend for ever increasing pixels for this camera perform in an excellent manner. Just for a change (for me) I find that the software is self-explanatory! Certainly very good value theses days.
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on 31 August 2015
I love this camera!

I had a Sony Alpha 100 DLSR with a collection of lenses but needed something longer. A decent zoom for the Sony is ££££s but while searching I stumbled across the 'Super Zoom' Bridge Camera. To be honest, I'd never heard of them before...

After days and days of reading reviews and moving from "this is the one!" to the next 'perfect' camera I came across the FZ200 with its amazing lens. I figured that I didn't really need anything beyond 600mm and the wide aperture is just unmatchable.

So, slightly worried about the small sensor I sold the Sony on ebay which has funded the purchase of the Lumix... and I love it!

The picture quality is amazing and the zoom lens is just a complete joy. I like the EVF although it is a little slower than a DSLR (i.e. it displays the image you have just taken for a short while whereas on a DSLR you can 'see' again as soon as the mirror returns) but excellent quality and you soon get used to it. In fact, I haven't used the LCD at all - there is simply no need (although to be fair the EVF has a diopter adjustment and I'd need to put my glasses on to see the LCD).

The battery just seems to last forever, the camera is lighter than the Sony but a delight to hold and it has more tricks up its sleeve than you can shake a stick at - and I haven't even started on video!

The only thing I have missed about the Sony was the HVL-F56Am flash I had with it. The flash on the Lumix is adequate for close work and fill-in jobs but I have just ordered a Metz 52 AF-1 for the longer work...

The only strange thing I have found about the camera is transferring pictures to my PC. On the Sony I connected via USB and I could 'copy' or 'move' the pictures across. On the Lumix I can only 'copy' which means the original remains on the camera's memory card...

Overall, completely impressed and completely happy with my purchase!
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