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-   -   Panasonic FZ70 or FZ200 (

ohio Sep 2, 2014 7:43 PM

Panasonic FZ70 or FZ200
I'm looking for a bridge type camera, something that's affordable, yet decent quality. My needs are basically amateur, outdoor shots, some low light, some that will require a good zoom.

I know that there are a lot of options, and what I have read so far I like the Panasonic cameras a lot. What has me a little confused, the FZ70 has a great zoom capability, and has a higher megapixel rating than the FZ200. The FZ200 I understand has a better lens? And the FZ200 costs more. So at an amateurs review, like myself, other than the better quality lens of the FZ200, the FZ70 seems like a much better deal.

Can anyone give me the scoop on these two cameras?


rudimaes Sep 2, 2014 11:17 PM

The FZ200 is the better camera of the two, more pixels don't mean higher quality.
The FZ200 has a better EVF, articulated screen, is faster and better in low light, due to the bright lens en bigger pixels on the sensor. The FZ70 has more zoomreach but the 600mm is enough in most situations. (You could use de iZoom wich doubles the reach, without reducing the quality to much). There are people that are satisfied with the FZ70, like I am very pleased with my FZ200. In the end it's your decision, of course.
Whatever camera you choose, I wish you much of pleasure with it.

pcake Sep 3, 2014 9:08 AM

the FZ200 also has a constant f/2.8 aperture, which would be super useful if you want to use the zoom in less than optimal light.

i wouldn't say that the FZ70 is a better deal - it IS, however, less expensive. the FZ200 is expensive, but you get a lot more for your money including a higher quality lens with f/2.8 available throughout the entire zoom. on the other hand, if you don't need those features, including a higher quality screen and EVF, the FZ70 seems like a decent camera with a very long zoom (but keep in mind that only at faster shutter speeds will you be able to use the zoom fully extended when handheld and still get sharp pics).

John J Sep 5, 2014 6:03 PM

In addition to the helpful replies above, I would just like to add that I cannot comment on the FZ200 but I have had a FZ150 for 1½ years and recently bought a FZ70/72.

The reason for buying the FZ70 was that I like taking wild life shots and found that very often what I wanted to capture was just beyond the reach of the 24x zoom of the FZ150 so I wouldn't get a full image shot.
At full zoom or extended optical zoom on the FZ150 I found that I got quite a lot of luminance noise and artifacts, which ruined the photos.
I had considered buying a Panasonic teleconverter lens for it to give an extra 1.7 zoom, and then discovered that the FZ70/72 was on offer for nearly the same price as the lens, so I took the plunge.

I do get better images as far as noise is concerned from the FZ70/72 at full optical zoom and into the extended optical zoom range, a whopping 120 x in Intelligent Auto mode ! The image stabilization is amazing, even using extended zoom at 120x zoom it is pretty steady. I wasn't expecting brilliant quality images at full optical zoom and especially beyond that, but I have been pleasantly surprised, especially by some of the (far off) bird photos I have captured.

The extra zoom has proven invaluable for me, as well as the extra wide angle when zoomed out.

The battery life when using mostly the Electronic View Finder is amazing, as is the FZ150 battery life and most likely the FZ200. I have now taken just over 2000 images with the FZ70/72 and am still on my third battery charge, and that's including a 2 hour session where the camera was never turned off.

Having sung some of the FZ70/72's praises, it is only fair to list some of the cons...
1. There are less dedicated scene modes available than with the FZ150 and possibly the FZ200.

2. It does NOT come with a lens hood, and there is no special thread for one on the lens barrel. Panasonic do not make one, and if a lens hood is required, it has to be one that screws on to the 55mm thread provided for filtres (if using eg. a pol filtre it may be advisable to attach a step up ring then a larger diameter pol filtre and then a lens hood to fit the diameter of the filtre thread.)

3. The Intelligent Auto mode has the added feature that one can adjust to whether one wants a blurry or sharp background (depth of field). I find that annoying, as I usually use IA mode to quickly capture a moment, and later find that the camera has chosen to use the sharp foreground mode, and what I wanted to capture is all blurry.:( I find having to remember to check this feature and in most cases adjust it a bit annoying. It is not possible to change the exposure setting in IA mode as it was with the FZ150. In "IA PLUS" mode, it is possible to manually change the exposure, white balance and depth of field.
I mostly use P mode with -2 noise reduction and -1 or -2 sharpening. Picture size 7M... 3072 x 2304.

4. One thing to remember with extreme zoom cameras, when zooming in on a far off object in the landscape, the captured image is made worse by heat shimmer and haze.

5. Not having an adjustable rear screen is a bit of a bind when taking low level shots, lying on a wet lawn is not very enjoyable, but luckily this is not a frequent occurrance for me.

The FZ70/72 is somewhat larger than my FZ150, and I guess, the FZ200. It really feels hefty and really good in the hands, however it also needs a good sized camera bag especially if you want to carry a spare battery or 2, a couple of filtres, a cleaning cloth and a mini tripod.

The FZ70/72 is made in China and I believe the same is true for the FZ200. My FZ150 was made in Japan. Not sure if this has any effect on the final quality.

Sorry this is long and rambling, I hope it may have helped a little bit.

ohio Sep 6, 2014 8:20 AM

Panasonic FZ70 or FZ200
I thank you guys for the reply's, and the info. I guess I was getting stuck on the 60x zoom specification, I had read that the FZ70 may not be as good as the FZ200, but first hand info from users is generally best.

I did come across the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS this morning, and am reading about it. I also saw the Nikon COOLPIX P520, and it looked interesting. One thing I noted about the Nikon was it seemed to have a low battery life compared to some other cameras.

VTphotog Sep 6, 2014 10:49 AM

If you are considering other brands, the Fuji HS50 EXR should be worth a look. There is a lot to recommend it.

John J Sep 7, 2014 6:07 PM

The Canon SX50 should be dropping in price, Canon are supposed to be introducing the SX60 sometime this month. It was announced early this year for release in May, but supposedly due to production problems it was delayed.

Nikon also has the P600 on the market, which seems to have a slightly better battery life.

When I was agonising over which camera to buy, I found the camera reviews here at Steve's, and the following sitesvery useful in helping to make a decision :-
I found reviews most helpful, as they often compare 1 or2 similar cameras to the one being reviewed and show cropped shots from each camera so it is easy to compare the image quality and noise produced at varying amounts of zoom. The Canon SX50 got a very good rating, especially for image quality at max zoom.
Here it is compared to the FZ200.

Don't rush into a decision weigh up the pros and cons of each camera that takes your fancy, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the differing features and specifications, but if it was me I would get the camera with the best image quality that comes nearest to the features I consider important.

guillermovilas Sep 12, 2014 7:09 PM

I've had the FZ5 , FZ150 and FZ200 , all were fine except for Low Light photography.
Today i just had a FZ1000 in my hand , ok it's way more expensive but what a camera.
Fabulous viewfinder , great lens and 1'sensor for much improved high iso .

I'm considering buying one next week

guillermovilas Sep 16, 2014 4:27 PM

Voilą , it's done , I've got myself a FZ1000

guillermovilas Sep 17, 2014 3:32 AM

I'll be posting a few pics soon

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