Trustedreviews has published a new review on the Panasonic FZ200. It is a known fact that building a camera with a large sensor, a smaller lens and larger aperture is extremely difficult. Given this, most of the super-zoom cameras tend to use small sensors to keep the lens resonably small. In fact, just about all super-zooms used 1/2.3-inch sensor which is a typical size for low to mid range compacts, which makes it significantly smaller than enthusiast compacts such as Panasonic LX7 (slightly smaller than 1/1.7-inch), Canon G15 (1/1.7-inch), Nikon P7700 (1/1.7-inch), Fuji X10 (1/1.5-inch sensor) and Sony RX100 (1-inch sensor). First model to break this trend was Fuji X-S1 by using the same sensor found in X10. Obviously, with the use of smaller sensors, their high ISO performance suffers and even DR levels are reduced as well. But with the modern sensor technology, these smaller sensors are performing at much higher levels than the past. In the case of FZ200, with its 1/2.3-inch sensor, it appears to be producing pretty good images at ISO1600 and even ISO3200, which is very good. Canon SX50 HS performs even better (but no constant aperture f/2.8 lens). This, combined with the constant f/2.8 aperture makes cameras like FZ200 so much more useful than it has been in the past, able to handle much more difficult conditions. If you want very flexible zoom but don’t want to own a ILC, you really can’t go wrong by choosing the FZ200. But also consider Canon SX50 HS and Fuji X-S1 – they are all somewhat different.
Their conclusion: The headline feature of the Lumix FZ200 is undoubtedly its ‘world’s first’ constant f/2.8 aperture that runs throughout the entire focal range from 25mm to 600mm, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds and lower ISO settings even when shooting at the furthest reaches of the 24x zoom. Indeed, the overall optical capabilities of the FZ200 left us impressed, with the camera able to produce some excellent images with very few flaws. Performance is also pretty solid across the board, with quick start-up and shot-to-shot processing times. The vari-angle LCD screen is another welcome feature that greatly helps with tight angles and self-portraits, although it’s a shame that Panasonic couldn’t spec a screen with a slightly higher resolution. All told, you’ll struggle to find a better camera in its class than the Panasonic FZ200.