Monday, August 13, 2012

FZ200 - The F2.8 bridge camera

Just a quick note, Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is an impressive camera on paper. I wonder how well it will fare in practice.

The f/2.8 lens allow the use of a huge aperture at the end of the telephoto, this is great to blur the background/foreground and to avoid the use of high ISO, thus increasing the delivered quality in the photos.

Usually Lumix cameras are quick in operation, but their sensors could fare somewhat better. FZ150 did an excellent job for what it was.

So, with all this in mind I searched for some samples online, and found a few, sadly most are low resolution or/and pre-production samples, thus making it hard to assert a conclusion over this unique camera.

The best samples I found were in,1_8941

They are the best samples simply because they are RAW files, they don't display the performance over the entire ISO range nor zoom range, but they already gave me an idea of what the camera is capable.

The good thing on the camera (aside from the f/2.8 available through the entire zoom range) is that lens sharpness seems to be very good in center, with some variations in the edges and corners. At its worse the sharpness in the corners is tolerable and quite acceptable for such specs. Same thing goes for chromatic aberrations, even though they are a bit on the high side in some situations.

The bad thing is.... Noise and dynamic range, not that much of a surprise, but at ISO 100 it is just plain bad to have that much noise. Dynamic range is bad, but tolerable, shooting in high dynamic range setups would result in blown skies far too easily though.

You can see the converted RAW files here:

So ... what that leaves me with? A camera that is not that good, but packing some very nice specs. In the end is not the camera that will mark the difference, even though the f/2.8 lens are unique to it. Price will be scary at the release, but will get down to tolerable values in 3~6 months after the release.

Given the compact design of such lens, one can hope that a f/2.8 12x can be made with roughly the same size, while sporting a bigger and better sensor on the back.

And as an end note, LX7 samples that I found were quite impressive (specially when compared with the FZ200 ones)

Oh well, micro four thirds still has a huge distance over the compact realm ... specially with the new G5 and E-M5 cameras... as for me, the old GH1 will fit the bill till it is rotten.