Is Panasonic FZ-200 the best Bridge Camera

Is Panasonic FZ-200 the best Bridge Camera

Panasonic Lumix FZ-200 has been in the market for some time now (over a year) and is still among the best bridge camera anyone has ever  tested! There are new players in the market now . So, lets find if Lumix Fz-200 is still the best bridge camera around!

Bridge cameras or superzoom cameras are those compact cameras with huge lens in a compact body. Some camera like the Lumix FZ-70/72 have lens with 20-1200mm focal length which is just huge. It can do 60X optical zoom which is more than enough for almost anyone. The Canon Sx-50 HS is the closest competitor of the Lumix FZ-200 and it has stayed that way for some time. Even after a year, there is no replacement of FZ-200 and there seems to be a reason behind it.

The simplest reason behind them to not upgrade their flagship camera is that they don’t need one. There is not even a single player with that constant f2.8 lens with 24-600mm focal length. Even at the highest zoom, the shutter speed is fast and the camera is able to focus just as quick. There sure are bridge cameras with 50x-60x lens zoom but non of them have constant f number. It is like FZ-200 has no competition.  The camera has all the features that you would want in a bridge camera. Although the camera is pricy, it is well worth the money. There are very minor flaws with this camera which only some people with be able to notice.

For general users, this camera is more than enough. Some people may complain about this camera of having only 12MP, but trust me, it is more than enough for all your purposes. Infact, an 8MP shooter can produce better images. Let’s not look at the number and judge the picture quality. Others compare it to a dSLR and say the image don’t look just as good. To be honest, the pictures don’t look good enough because the image sensor is 12x smaller than capable dSLR. Bridge cameras are no dSLR replacement and it will stay that way until they use bigger image sensors. The selling point of bridge camera is not the image quality but the long zoom range in a compact body. The FZ-200 has 24x optical zoom which may not be the longest of zoom but is well more than enough for general users like me who do wild-life photography/sports photography and use it to take portraits.
The FZ-200 has dSLR like look feel and size. It also has got that good grip around the camera body which feels way better than you would expect! It uses Leica lens which is well known lens and the lens work just as advertised. The camera has many features that you would expect to see only in a dSLR but yes it is here too! You can control almost anything manually. There is RAW image shooting mode support as well. It has got a 3″ flip out screen and also has got a hot shoe! There is 2.5mm jack for mic input which can be linked to hot shoe. There is host of options for external flash which anyone and everyone will surely love.
The FZ-200 does significantly better than its competitors like Canon SX-50 in low lighting condition and tops the chart at its highest zoom. But it is not as good as a dSLR and the smaller image sensor is to blame. The battery life of the camera is really good. You can take around 450 shots before you need to charge it again. The screen and the electronic viewfinder does its job really well.Having that said, we for now believe that FZ-200 stays at the top with no other competitors near it. The SX-50 from Canon gets close but doesn’t have that good of a lens and doesn’t have support for external mic either. The screen is also smaller than the FZ-200 and the viewfinder is no good. The 50x zoom is good but the shutter speed gets slow and the lens sometimes finds it hard to focus the subjects. There is no replacement to FZ-200 and that is all we can say right now!*Image Sources :
Update: Successor of FZ200 has just come out. It is the Panasonic FZ1000. Be sure to check this one out!


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