Is the Lumix FZ200 due a replacement soon? Should I hold back?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by damo_in_sale, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    Given that the earliest Amazon reviews I found of the following cameras are as follows:

    Lumix FZ150: 18/10/2011
    Lumix FZ200: 07/09/2012

    It's strikes me that we are due a replacement with possibly better tech/sensor etc. but I'm not up on Panasonics release cycle on cameras.

    I've now got two wonderful young children and lugging around a DSLR with two lenses plus a camcorder isn't practical when out and about.

    So I'm looking for a camera that can do both jobs, albeit perhaps not to the same quality.

    The Lumix FZ200 looks good. But should we expect Panasonic to be bringing out a better replacement very shortly though, given the length of time this camera has been on the market?

    I think I know the answer, but I'd appreciate some expert advice from the folk on this forum.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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  3. snerkler

    snerkler
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    If it's purely size/portability I'd be looking at a CSC rather than bridge, much better IQ and also good at video. The sensor on the FZ200 is tiny so image quality is going to be a big step back. Size and weight of a CSC will be pretty similar to the FZ200.
     
  4. twist

    twist
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    I agree, if you dont need a huge zoom get a CSC. Budget?
     
  5. Ugg10

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    If you shoot Canon Dslr you could always move to a EOS-M or a EOS 100D (small body similar to bridge) but with the video performance.

    Also Amazon deals of the day often have the Nikon 1 series on offer so keep an eye out but beware the deals are not always the cheapest so need a bit of research when you know they are coiming up. Also the Samsung NX1000 (APSC sensor Mirorless IIRC) has been on there is double lens kit form a couple of times recently as well, old model but good spec.

    An alternative if you don't need the super zoom (limit to 4x/100mm equivalent) is something like the Sony RX100, loads of threads on here about this camera.

    Agree with the posts above, if you are used to shooting Dslr the step down to a small sensor compact will be frustrating in terms of both image quality, AF and low light perfrorance.
     
  6. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    Thanks chaps.

    I should have provided a bit more info really, sorry!
    My current kit is as follows...

    Panasonic HDC SD700 camcorder
    Nikon D40 with 18-55 and f1.8 50 mm prime, neither lens stabilised.

    The Nikon is quite old now, but the Panasonic camcorder is quite excellent.

    The purpose of a new camera would be when out and about with the kids- the park, beach etc., so we need convenience and flexibility with acceptable, to pretty good quality. And the ability to take photos or videos with one device. Just getting the right shot is more important than the quality of the pixels when zoomed in 400% on Photoshop.

    There is no point getting the wrong shot but the wrong shot in pristine quality!

    Video must be shot at 1080 50p. 24p and 25p are too slow for typical handheld consumer level videography in my opinion (great for film students and pros though), and 50i I dislike for various reasons- temporal resolution being one of them.

    Mic input is a must- I've a Rhode VideoMic and 'dead cat' cover which makes all the difference in a bit of wind compared to inbuilt mic's.

    For stills, the ability to get the shot I want quickly, at a good enough quality, is paramount- take the beach example: last summer I could have done with 300mm+ when the missus took my son to the waters edge some distance away but I had to mind the baby. But when they came back I'd have needed sub 50mm.

    And the missus needs to be able to use it :)

    I think the best camera for what I want would be the Lumix GH3 or G6 with some fictional lens a few inches max in length, which can go from wide to 600mm (35mm equivalent), has powered zoom, is stabilised and costs very little. But I doubt even Batman has such a lens, and if he did I don't have his budget :)

    In all seriousness, the Lumix G6 with 14-140mm lens at £650 probably comes closest of the mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, but it's too expensive, doesn't have a powered zoom (needed for video really) and unless I could sell ALL my kit for a good price AND the results for video would equal my camcorder (which I will otherwise keep) would be pointless.

    For all these reasons I've come to the conclusion that something like the Lumix FZ200 offers the best set of compromises for the purpose (and my kind of budget- I've got other pressing needs like a bigger and safer family car). And all cameras are a compromise.

    If, given the above, you think you have alternatives better suited to the task, or there's other things that I haven't thought through sufficiently, then I'm very grateful for suggestions.

    Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  7. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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    Yup the GH3 would be my ultimate camera, but i think I'll have to settle for the G6 ( still a fantastic cam)
    When I can afford it.
    Think when i can afford to upgrade there will probably be a G7.:rolleyes:
     
  8. snerkler

    snerkler
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    I can't think of anything else then really, there's the X-S1 which has a considerably larger 2/3 sensor so IQ should be better. However, the aperture drops to 5.6 at the long end so lets in 1/4 of the light at the long end compared to the FZ200. As you say, always a compromise :confused:
     
  9. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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    Must admit, i was tempted by the FZ200 to replace my FZ50.
     
  10. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    Thanks for all your feedback chaps, it really is appreciated.

    I think I can get a Lumix G6 with the 14-42mm kit lens and also the 45-150mm lens for £469.00.

    That's only around a hundred quid more than the Lumix FZ200, which was until now my favoured option going on flexibility and price.

    Ok, the FZ200 would be more convenient overall (never need to swap lenses at the beach etc.) but at £469 that much bigger sensor is hard to overlook on the G6 and I can only assume the G6 with this kit would be a much better performer indoors where light is limited. Is my thinking right with those lenses?

    What do you reckon? Please keep in mind that I will not be buying an array of lenses as I just have other priorities for my wages, these two lenses will be it.

    If you had to have one or the other of the G6 with only the 14-42 and 45-150 lens, or the FZ200, which would you choose?


    The camera is for capturing family moments in the main, but that does include shots and videos of animals at the zoo etc. where I guess reach is useful, as well as great photos and videos of the children at home, in the garden and parks etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  11. xmb

    xmb
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    I think if I were you I would hold off until the new Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 is in the shops. This would seem to tick all the boxes you need in one device. OK the price will be £750 when it hits the stores but will fall within a few months. However even at this price it could replace all your current gear!

    Some of the pre-release reviews and images seem to be very good and seem to match or beat the Sony RX10, the other contender not yet mentioned in this thread. I reckon this will be a very popular combined still and video camera for those who want an all-in-one solution.
     
  12. twist

    twist
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    Although it looks decent Its going to take a hell of a long time for the FZ1000 to drop to £470. The G6 is a very good camera, the kit lenses are okay, you want quite a bit for your money so I wont recommend lenses. For the money its pretty tough to beat.
     
  13. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Agreed. £469 with 4/3 sensor vs £750 for 1" sensor, I know what I'd choose, even taking into account the benefit of f2.8 at the wide end of the FZ1000.

    IF you were going to spend £750 on a FZ1000 you could get the G6 package above plus the very good 45mm f1.8 and still have over £100 left over.
     
  14. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    The fz200 is my baseline really as it looks just convenient.

    The G6 with two lenses will need to be much better than the fz200 for the extra £100. Will this be the case?

    There's no way I can justify spending more than the £470 G6 option, it's at the top of what I am willing to spend I think.
     
  15. twist

    twist
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    Yeah, if you get the g6 you must get the 45 when you can afford it. Only 150 quid for what is imo optically one of the best lenses ive used and im talking much more expensive lenses.
     
  16. snerkler

    snerkler
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    The G6 has the potential to be much better imo, you're talking a 4/3 sensor vs a 1/2.3" sensor. In the right hands IQ should be considerably better, as should low light performance and you should have much better control over DOF.
     
  17. twist

    twist
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    Id agree with that. G6 all the way. You maynot be able to afford the additional lens now but perhaps you will in the future, then it goes from the better camera to the much better camera.
     
  18. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    Seems the feedback I'm getting is that the G6 will be much better than the FZ200, even with just those two kit lenses.

    Damn, wish it wasn't the case as the FZ does everything I want, feature wise, in one small package.
     
  19. twist

    twist
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    If you feel so strongly just get the FZ. Its only our opinions. Its your money. Do what YOU want.
     
  20. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Do you have a compact camera or good mobile phone camera? Are you happy with the pics from that? If so you'll be happy with the FZ200 as IQ will be similar as sensor size is similar/the same (should be slightly better than mobile due to better lens and processor).
     
  21. xmb

    xmb
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    How about a Panasonic LF1 (£265) for carrying around, as it is so small and get the G5 for £220 from Currys /PC World for the times you need better quality?
     
  22. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    Thanks for being so patient, I must be a real pain in the backside with all these dumb questions and comments.

    My general purchase pattern is to buy affordable quality, but still quality, as otherwise you just end up wasting money when you eventually buy the one that does the job. I want a product that I will be happy with for many years, at a sensible price.

    Please keep in mind that if I did buy the G6 with the twin lens kit I expect it to be obviously better with those kit lenses than the FZ200 (I wont be buying new lenses any time soon if ever). In fact, for the price difference I could buy a decent flash for the FZ200 for indoor use.

    One problem I've got is that the G6 is quite tricky to get hold of to have a look. None of the big stores seem to have one in stock so I can have a play about. No problem ordering one, just getting the chance to play about with one. I've heard the viewfinder is both larger and clearer than that of the FZ200 which would be a positive.

    The following images look good to me though:

    fz200

    After getting my calculator out, I came up with the following:
    The M4/3 is eight times bigger, but the F200 has constant F2.8, which is four times more light than the F5.6 these M4/3 kit lenses offer at worst. So now the M4/3 has twice as much light. But then the FZ200 is supposed to have much better OIS, so I expect that difference to reduced.
    So if I understand you guys correctly, both cameras will be using similar ISO settings for the same shot, but at the higher ISO settings the M4/3 will be MUCH better. Is my thinking right?

    The missus tells me I weigh things up too much and I suspect you chaps are in full agreement with her :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  23. snerkler

    snerkler
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    You research just like me, so it's no problem as far as I'm concerned ;)

    I think you might be getting slightly confused between sensor size and exposure. Exposure is 'only' controlled by ISO, aperture and shutter, not sensor size. Therefore you are right, at the long end the FZ200 will let 4 times more light in, ie f2.8 vs f5.6 which is definitely a major plus for the FZ00. Whilst the FZ200 overall will not be gathering as much light, as far as the exposure triangle is concerned it is. The other plus for the FZ200 is the IS but a number of the panny lenses have OIS built in.

    However, the smaller sensor means that IQ won't be as good, and especially in low light. The f2.8 won't be enough to compensate for the small sensor. You will tend to find indoor shots and night time shots with the FZ200 much more noisy/grainy. The other thing to remember is that DOF is also influenced by the sensor size. With compact and normal bridge cameras you have very little control over DOF.

    When I was starting out I bought a bridge as a do it all camera, the Sony HX300. It's a very good bridge camera, but I kept it 3 weeks before trading it in against a DSLR and losing a whole heap on cash in doing so. Whilst on the face of it bride cameras give you great flexibility, in reality they don't in certain respects. You have very little creative control on your shots due to the DOF thing. I found they are very good for 'snapshots', but not if you wanted to add creativity or wanted to make you images look special. Don't get me wrong in the right light and the right situation you can get very nice shots, but in anything but perfect conditions you can struggle.

    I've since also bought an Olympus EM10 M4/3 as a travel camera for when I don't want to be carrying my DSLR, and it's actually become the camera I use the most, I can't tell you how impressed I am. There's very little in IQ, you still have very good control of DOF and it comes in a very small package which is more convenient more of the time. I wasn't planning on buying a heap of lenses for the Olly, but I was so impressed I just wanted to get the best from it. Also the lenses are so small and you can get some really nice lenses relatively cheap (20mm f1.7, 45mm f1.8)

    As for sizes, here's the FZ200 vs G6 vs the EM10 (with the 14-42mm kit and 20mm f1.7 for low light)
    Compact Camera Meter


    These were taken with my HX9v which has the same sensor size as the FZ200 and they came out pretty reasonable in the sunlight.

    [​IMG]DSC04489 by TDG-77, on Flickr
    [​IMG]DSC04607 by TDG-77, on Flickr

    However, I in situations like this with high ISO the HX9v just could not get these images, they were that bad I just binned them.

    [​IMG]DSC00301 (1) by TDG-77, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC00479 by TDG-77, on Flickr
     
  24. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    That's great feedback and I appreciate it tremendously (that goes for all you chaps who have been so patient and posted your helpful opinions).

    snerkler, I'm not sure if those last two night time photos you posted are from your M43 camera or the small sensor camera.

    That's not a comment on your camera or photography skills, merely a lack of my understanding of what to expect. But I think I'm confused by you comment "However, I in situations like this with high ISO the HX9v just could not get these images, they were that bad I just binned them." That suggests to me they are from the M43 camera.

    Also, I'd like to know if the nighttime shots where long exposure, tripod mounted etc. or just handheld.



    Thanks,


    Damo
     
  25. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    if you click on each of Snerks shots it will take you to the shot on Flickr and at the bottom of the display you will see the camera used and the shooting information - EXIF Data :) - shoulkd show that these wer in fact taken with his APS-C Sony DSLT camera...
     
  26. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    Cheers mate!

    I'm such a dumbass at times :)
     
  27. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Lol, don't be so hard on yourself (were we separated at birth by any chance ;)).

    Yes they were indeed taken with the Sony A77. What I was trying to show was that in good light you can get very nice shots with any camera, but when lighting gets tricky the cameras with larger sensors will always excel. I wish I'd saved one of the ones from the Hx9 to show you the difference now.

    The nigh time shots were hand held, but using something to support myself (sun lounger, railings etc).

    Another thing to point out here is aperture. I had a f2.8 aperture which is fairly large meaning it let a lot of light in allowing for a faster shutter speed. If you had a smaller aperture (such as f3.5 which a lot of basic lenses start at) you would have had to have a longer exposure (meaning more risk of camera movement), or bumped up the ISO meaning more noise (grain) on the image.

    I think I may have said this already but I'm not sure which would give the cleaner image (less noise/grain), a compact size sensor shooting at f2.8, or a M4/3 sensor shooting at f3.5. My suspicion is that the M4/3 will give considerably cleaner images.

    Have we mentioned depth of field?
     
  28. Baron Von Death

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    I have been looking to get a new camera soon as well. Although the smart money always says that you should go for a dslr, I don't want the inconvenience of having to carry a bag with multiple lenses everywhere I go. Sometimes I just want a camera that has reasonable quality and convenience. as far as I can see the FZ200 meets that criteria, especially with the Leica lense and f2.8 aperture.
     
  29. snerkler

    snerkler
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    That all depends on what you want. If you want a pocketable camera it certainly wouldn't be smart to buy a DSLR ;) :D

    If you absolutely don't want to change lenses and want the flexility of a long zoom, plus want reasonable image quality, plus want a wide aperture then I'd struggle to look past the Sony RX10 or new Panny FZ1000 tbh, budget allowing.

    P.S. Don't underestimate how small M4/3 lenses are and how little hassle it is to swap them ;)
     
  30. damo_in_sale

    damo_in_sale
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    OK, I have a confession to make :thumbsdow

    I bought the FZ200 last Sunday, then went on a break with the family :thumbsup:

    Just in case anyone is wondering, I bought the camera for the trip, rather than booked the holiday to test my new camera :)

    As stated in my earlier posts, I wanted something for family day trips that's real convenient, has great flexibility (so I can get the shot in the first place) and has reasonable quality. A DSLR with a bag of lenses doesn't do this for me.

    And I have to tell you that I have some tremendous shots to show for it (by my standards). I took near a thousand images, probably due to injudicious use of the 5.5 fps burst mode. I've been sifting the wheat from the chaff and there are some really great photos of the kids, landscapes, twilight skyline, animals etc. as well as video. Even seagulls and parrots flying about shot at 500mm FL in burst mode (of the seagulls, nearly every frame contained the bloody bird in the first place, which I found quite shocking :)). The hawks though utterly defeated me, the damn things are fast and change direction in the blink of an eye (got the suckers on their handlers arm though :))

    All are shot outdoors during the day, but that's what the camera is for really.

    I'm at the stage where I really need to figure out where deficiencies in my ability end, and deficiencies in the camera (any camera) begin, if that makes sense. I think there is a great deal of the former.

    Everything you guy's told me about high ISO images is correct. But so far I have not needed to use high ISO in real photos, just tests.

    But I am wondering if I should reappraise my budget (I have funds to do this, it's just a question of priorities). Perhaps this can be the fun day out camera, and I should stop being such a tight arse and get a DSLR or M43 with some half decent lenses where flexibility is not required (the back garden, school plays, indoors etc.).

    For it's intended purpose though, the FZ200 has been great.

    Once again, thanks for all your help, it really is appreciated.
     

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