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Panasonic Super Zoom Camera: the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

Updated on November 4, 2013

Panasonic Super Zoom Has f2.8 Max Aperture Across Full 24x Zoom Range

Manufacturers keep extending the reach of super zoom compact cameras, with Canon now leading the pack with a 50x zoom camera. But an unlikely contender is challenging Canon and Nikon for the throne of the best super zoom camera. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 doesn't have the longest compact zoom lens, but the new camera can boast something the others can't - f2.8 optical brightness across the full 24x zoom (25 -600mm equivalent) range.

This makes the FZ200 the best choice for low-light shooting among compact super zooms. If you're considering a superzoom camera, here's why you should take a look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200.

(Image of Panasonic super zoom FZ200 compact camera provided by amazon)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Super Zoom Digital Camera - 24x Optical Zoom (600m) equivalent at fixed max f2.8

Super zoom compact cameras are great at getting you close to the action, but the tradeoff has always been increasingly smaller apertures (and, hence, slower shutter speeds) as you extend the lens to get closer to your subject. Panasonic is making that problem a thing of the past with the new FZ200.

Panasonic's new super zoom compact camera has a fast f2.8 Leica lens. In comparison, the amazing 50x zoom on Canon's PowerShot SX50 HS has an f3.4 - 6.5 lens, making it considerably slower than the Panasonic and less conducive to shooting at fast shutter speeds or in low light.

But the camera's lens isn't the only feature earning it high marks from users and reviewers. It also features full 1080p 60fps video recording and 12fps still photo burst shooting, a 1.3 million dot EVF screen, and High speed (0.1 sec) autofocus.

All these features are earning the camera praise from across the web. CNET dubbed it "The megazoom that has it all" and dpreview.com gave the camera a Gold Award, saying, "Panasonic has done almost everything right with the FZ200... With a few refinements in the design and image quality department, it would be darn close to perfect."

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black

Product features:

- 48x Intelligent zoom, less ghost with Nano Surface Coating Lens, Power O.I.S.

- 60p Full HD Video Recording with OIS Active mode

- Full range F2.8, 24x Optical Zoom Leica DC Lens

- 12MP new high sensitivity MOS sensor

- High resolution EVF (1.3M dot), High speed AF 0.1 sec, High speed burst shooting 12fps

 

Untouched Sample Photo from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 - Taken at 24x zoom

ground squirrel
ground squirrel

Photo by Lisa Howard

A $600 camera or a $2000 lens? - Continuous aperture on DSLR lenses is pricey

There's no question that the Panasonic FZ200 can't take pictures that compare with a DSLR; it's a smaller camera with a smaller sensor and less advanced features. But when it comes to price, you won't find any lenses or cameras with continuous aperture and the zoom range of the FZ200 for anything close to the price.

Nikon and Canon lenses with continuous f2.8 aperture across the zoom range (like the one shown below) cost well over $1000 for lenses with a "mere" 200mm range. If you want a 600mm or 800mm lens, the cost can be over $10,000.

Obviously, if you're a professional photographer who needs that kind of quality and range, you're not going to find it in a compact camera. But if you're an amateur photographer who wants to expand your zoom range without spending thousands, the Panasonic super zoom DMC-FZ200 is currently the best choice for continuous aperture.

The 24x Panasonic Super Zoom DMC-FZ200 lens is the 35mm equivalent of 25-600mm

Video Overview of the Panasonic Super Zoom FZ200 - Highlights and sample shots

This video gives you a good idea of what the Panasonic FZ200 is capable of. Of particular interest is the split-screen image shown at about :45 seconds into the video. It shows a swimmer captured in perfect clarity at f2.8 at 1/2000 second, compared to the same shot at f5.2 at 1/125.

Highlights of the Panasonic FZ200 Super Zoom Compact Camera

Features you'll love

  • 12.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor
  • 24x LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT optical zoom lens (equivalent to 25mm - 600mm)
  • f2.8 optical brightness across a full 24x zoom range
  • 12 fps (frames per second) in full resolution
  • 6 Creative Control Effects, including Star Filter and Toy Effect
  • 3D imaging, Panorama Shot, and Intelligent Handheld Night Shot
  • Full 1080 60p HD video recording in AVCHD or MP4 formats

How Close Can You Get? - Click the smaller photo below to compare

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here's a close-up photo of my son on a playground structure. This photo was zoomed all the way to 24x (600mm equivalent).Here's a photo of my son on the same playground structure, taken from the exact same spot as the other photo. This photo was taken with the camera at its widest angle (25mm equivalent).
Here's a close-up photo of my son on a playground structure. This photo was zoomed all the way to 24x (600mm equivalent).
Here's a close-up photo of my son on a playground structure. This photo was zoomed all the way to 24x (600mm equivalent).
Here's a photo of my son on the same playground structure, taken from the exact same spot as the other photo. This photo was taken with the camera at its widest angle (25mm equivalent).
Here's a photo of my son on the same playground structure, taken from the exact same spot as the other photo. This photo was taken with the camera at its widest angle (25mm equivalent).

More Super Zoom Cameras - Compare the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 to these compact cameras

Not sold yet? Then take a look at some of the other compact super zoom cameras on the market and compare.

...the FZ200 (is) by far the best choice in the superzoom segment for low-light shooting. - dpreview

Save on the Panasonic FZ200 Super Zoom on eBay - Find great deals online

Looking for a bargain? There's no better place to look than eBay. You can often find lower prices here many other online stores (with, perhaps, the exception of Amazon). Take a look and see what the FZ200 is currently selling for on eBay. If you decide to purchase, be sure to choose a seller with plenty of positive feedback.

More Sample Photos - Photos by Lisa Howard

Click thumbnail to view full-size

What Do You Think of the New Panasonic Super Zoom Camera DMC-FZ200? - Please share your thoughts

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    • pavlo-badovskyi profile image

      pavlo-badovskyi 4 years ago

      One of the best for those who need superzoom at moderate price

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I hv'nt use it so have no idea.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 4 years ago

      Lovely camera. compact and powerful.

    • NausetViews profile image

      Kristen 4 years ago from Boston

      Would love to get this super zoom camera for Christmas. Maybe Santa will surprise me :)

    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 4 years ago

      I'd like to get into photography one of these days. This looks like an awesome camera!