The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is super fast

$400

Panasonic Lumix FZ200While some manufacturers have concentrated on giving their super-zoom cameras a bigger focal range, Panasonic have preferred to give the new Lumix FZ200 a much faster lens. The zoom factor – x24 is pretty good and, remarkably, the Fz200 can offer a constant aperture of F2.4 from wide through to telephoto. This is a huge advantage, and I would argue, is much more useful than increasing the telephoto length. Shooting at 600mm at f2.4, with the fast autofocus, results in crisp shots with fewer images marred by movement blur and with pleasant background blur that makes the subjects stand out. Not surprisingly, this camera has become a favourite of sports and nature photographers.The fast auto-focus system,12fps burst shooting, tilt and swing LCD screen make it a great all-rounder.  With a competent sensor and good noise reduction, it is also excellent in low light situations. And 1080p video is pretty good too. It isn’t cheap, but it is quality.

The Lumix Fz200 has a great viewfinder

The electronic viewfinder has been significantly improved, offering  1,312,000 dots. This is just almost as good as the viewfinders Panasonic offer in their  Four Thirds cameras.  There s a use full button that allows you to switch between the articulated screen and viewfinder and it is a pretty easy camera to master once you are familiar with the button choices.  Though the lack of a proximity sensor can be little frustrating.

With 12fps shooting for 12 frames, or 5.5fps with continuous autofocus it competes with some of the top performing cameras out there. It is quick in normal use too, with hardly any time between shots Combining this sort of speed with the extended zoom lens, makes it really useful for sports and wildlife photography.

video mode is really quite excellent, with 1080p shooting at up to 50fps, ( slow motion videoing has been significantly improved, offering 720p, 100fps for quarter-speed playback at 25fps) 30-minute clip lengths, an external microphone input and manual exposure options. This rivals many DSLRs.

light brigade taken by a panasonic lumix fz200Munich Station: ISO 100, F2.8 at 2.5 sec shutter speed.

Creative commons: Charge of the Light Brigade

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