Hands-on with Panasonic’s hot new camera range

Lots of zoom with the FZ200

We like cameras with lenses, but we can see the draw of having an all-in-one with plenty of zoom to work with, especially if you’re heading on a holiday.

Why carry several lenses with you to get the job done if you can find one camera that does it all?

Enter the Lumix FZ200, an advanced point and shoot with a massive 24x optical zoom spanning roughly 25 – 600mm, a larger range than most other cameras you’ll find out there.

Panasonic has given the FZ200 an aperture of F2.8 throughout the barrel, meaning there’s just that much more light for you to play with, whether you’re at 25mm, 125mm, or at the extremes of the lens at 600mm.

Like the Lumix G5, there’s an articulating 3 inch LCD screen here, but unlike the mirror-less cameras, there’s no touchscreen support, so you’ll have to rough it with regular physical button controls, just like the good ‘ol days.

The 12.1 megapixel shooter isn’t quite as powerful as its Micro Four Thirds brothers, able to capture RAW files but only supporting up to ISO 6400.

It does feature some new high-speed autofocus technology, and can even fire up to 12 frames per second in full resolution, with just over 5 frames per second with continuous autofocus.

An example of the black & white setting on the Lumix FZ200

While we didn’t spend as much time with the FZ200 as we had liked, the images we grabbed from it showed a camera with a lot of potential, especially for the photographer that wants to be able to take pictures of anything, from up close or even really far away.

Creative modes even grabbed our attention, making it easy for anyone to be arty where ever their travels would take them.

Panasonic’s Lumix FZ200 will hit stores in September, where it will retail for $799.