Video: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Camera
Zak Billmeier grew up in southern Vermont and coastal Maine. After graduating from Mary Washington College with a Geography degree he still isn't sure quite what to do with, he eventually settled in the mountains of Central Virginia. He spends his free time chasing his daughter around, taking pictures, gardening and cooking. He joined Crutchfield's car A/V writing team in 2007 and is now a lead producer on our video team.
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Panasonic's Lumix FZ200 may technically qualify as a point-and-shoot camera, but its features and performance rival some DSLRs. The FZ200's 14-element Leica lens delivers a whopping 24X optical zoom for extreme close-up shots, no telephoto attachment required. And when zooming in, the lens preserves its f/2.8 aperture value, so telephoto shots in low light turn out bright and detailed. For shots where your subject is literally within reach, the FZ200 can capture wide-angle and macro shots with exquisite detail. Even SLR users may find themselves reaching for this versatile camera for quick, easy shooting.
So I got a chance to try out the Panasonic FZ200 high-zoom camera. Now this is a 24X zoom lens built in here. It starts at 25mm equivalent, and goes all the way out to 600mm, which is pretty tight. And best of all, it carries a fast F2.8 maximum aperture across that entire zoom range, so when you get in tight you're not losing any stops of light like you will with some other cameras.
The design, as you can see, is a lot like an SLR, and I've even heard this camera called a "bridge" camera — where someone doesn't want to make the commitment to an interchangeable lens camera, this is really good option. The zoom lens covers so much ground it's really just the only camera you'd ever need.
It's got a nice screen on the back that can flip out and rotate, which is really nice. It's also got a really nice electronic viewfinder here with a handy switch right next to it when you want to switch. It's got really nice built-in image stabilization so you can take hand-held shots when you're zoomed all the way in. Personally I would choose a pretty high shutter speed at that point to help compensate, but the stabilization does a really nice job and you can shoot this without a tripod without any problem.
The FZ200 has a nice set of manual controls if you want to take control of everything, or it also has the nice auto modes and scene modes that you're used to with smaller cameras. If you're looking for a do everything solution this is a pretty good option. If you have any questions about this camera or any others just give us a call.