Housing, battery and processing:
The camera weighs a lot more than my old FZ18, but can be in an emergency still operate for quick snapshots with one hand; otherwise, the processing of the camera is clean and tidy. Minor complaint on my part would be at most that the lens is switched off does not disappear completely in the housing and thus the lens cap, unlike as in the "old" now on the lens barrel (bit fiddly) must be clipped. The original battery will last in our experience very long by (Amount of pictures I can not say, because I sometimes movies, knipse times with or without a flash and also do long exposures), the replacement battery I ordered the fully operational Lookit battery to because me the original Panasonic model was too expensive. The Lookit keeps my mind almost as long as the original, despite the 300mAh less.
Display and viewfinder:
The foldable display is a tremendous asset just for example when using a tripod or when shooting close to the ground. Otherwise, it is very sharp and can still even in bright sunlight see everything. Strange is the behavior of the display (and also of the viewfinder) in very bad light, it is extremely slow and begins to murmur that seems the obvious existing light amplification to hang together, showed the comparison with the FZ 18 that this in very bad light showed nothing on the screen, while at the FZ200 a very noisy, lightened picture can be seen. I initially thought it was a failure, but the model of a colleague shows the same behavior. The icing on the cake would be a touch screen like the G-models to focus before, but Panasonic still need features for next model). The viewfinder is indeed high definition, to me personally, but too small and the image too far away, it was for me but also not buying criterion for emergencies it is useful in any case.
Operation and menu navigation:
There's my view not much to complain about, the menus are clear and well-structured, only manual focusing is me not succeeded so far, either I'm too gross motor or manual focusing can be with the slide switch on the lens really solve only modest , A manual focus ring would have been more appropriate because, as I myself but eh exclusively use the autofocus, which for me is not the end. Something I do miss the mini-joystick personally the FZ18, as a substitute I have put my important functions such as auto bracket and flash intensity on the 3 freely configurable Fn keys. Something strange to me at first was the manual exposure setting, a shutter speed of 1/15 sec, for example 200 is only shown as 15 in the FZ, which is easily confused with 15 sec (is "shown as 15).
One thing to watch some of "blue haze" of photos: this can not be denied and is at one in my opinion is not optimally functioning automatic white balance, which often makes for cold colors in photos. If you really want to use the Intelligent Auto (iA) and want to avoid the blue cast, should "Yes" at dial position even go to the menu and then switch to "iA +", then can the white balance with the "arrow (WB)" button easily adjust the iA mode. When shooting outdoors, the default setting "daylight" for me turned out perfectly. In my view the only serious shortcomings on the camera, here Panasonic should urgently rectify update via firmware.
Otherwise, I have to say I am not a professional photographer, but the FZ200 produced in my opinion good for a bridge camera to very good pictures, as far as I can tell. The aperture F 2.8 at full 600mm KB make compared to the FZ18 definitely noticeable, the test pictures taken of me are still high contrast, sharp and colorful. Who initially produces pixelated photos at full zoom, should definitely consider before considering a defect of the camera if it does not iA mode has come into the area of "Intelligent Zoom", then really look at the photos that is no longer beautiful from. Positive noticed me especially the extremely fast autofocus in wide angle and knotless image stabilization, through this can be even in low light and steady images freehand still make great photos without flash. When ISO sensitivity, one should not go beyond ISO 800, ISO 1600 is no longer usable in my opinion, on the other hand ISO see 800 photos on my 24 "display on the PC still properly and sharp from, as long as you do not in the 100% view goes, but hand on heart, who please watch his 12 megapixel photos at 100% on a Full HD monitor? In about FZ200 about produced at ISO 800, the same photos, (terms of quality) as the FZ18 to ISO 400 Personally definitely for me a step forward. DSLR quality one must however expect under any circumstances due to the small sensor. Tele-macro can also create without conversion lens that I tested designs all saw, in my view, class. Mainly I personally use the mode "P" (Program AE) outdoor or manual exposure "M" on a tripod in dimly lit interiors.
The camera continues to offer many options to manually adjust according to your needs and a variety of scene modes, from the latter I've only used the HDR function and tested the Panorama shooting mode. The HDR program produced in daylight a subtle contrast enhancement without the photo to be as inflated as some acts HDR compositions, which can be found on the net and were generated via image program. I was pleasantly surprised, I believe that the HDR function of the camera fulfills exactly what I expect from a HDR photo personally. In low light, the function is however not to be used because it is gone automatically to up to ISO 1600, without which I can influence the ISO value, anyway, I can not find any ISO limit in scene mode. Since then gives the Auto Bracket (Exposure Bracketing) function Remedy, here the exposure can be adjusted up to + -3 EV, only Auto Exposure Bracketing 3 pictures are possible, too bad. The Panorama function is only for emergencies because it's hard to get the right swing speed out here you're better off with the manual creation.
The video quality is, if one takes into AVCHD, very high quality, the 50p in Full HD look pretty impressive from, high on a par with an equally expensive, reasonable video camera. Recording in MP4 format not mind not promised me, panning the camera in my opinion but a noticeable streaks could be seen. In bad light is noise power in all shooting noticeable "totally noisy and useless", as suggested by some recording is not, however, become with me. A nice gimmick is the high-speed movie recording, this leaves nice gimmicks with at least 100 frames / sec at a 720er HD resolution to (or 200 frames / sec at VGA resolution), do I do it but really, did a test at the car wash but entertaining from. Sound is recorded in normal videos in stereo and sounds actually on quite well, but the cameraman should not be out of breath, because the breath sounds are caused unfortunately clearly incorporated by the position of the microphone, here you could probably only with a external microphone gain improvement. Zooming can be when shooting video pleasantly soft, but you have only a sense of the zoom rocker develop. The image stabilizer works equally flawlessly even with video recordings.
Overall I am very happy with the camera, but it provides all the features that I need the "rumtouren". The image quality of the photos is convincing for me Photo laity and functionality of the camera is very extensive. However, those looking for a camera to take pictures in automatic mode, is in this model, due to the suboptimal automatic white balance, might not be as well served, but someone are so probably no 500 for a camera. The white balance is also my only major criticism, therefore only 4 stars.