Panasonic FZ200 Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-09-2013, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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The Panasonic FZ200 is a very capable video camera, with a unique 28-672mm zoom lens that is f2.8 over the whole range (25-600mm for stills).

It has all manual features plus more tweaks than any consumer camcorder, plus a microphone input. It also can shoot 720p at 120fps for slow motion in camera. It, of course, also shoots at 108060p at 28Mbps.

You can also add an optical tele-extender that will give you a 1142mm lens (with an f4 aperture). And the OIS is superb, so you can handhold it even at that magnification.

Here is a clip straight from the camera - 1142mm handheld:



Select 1080p. Shot at 108060p using 1/125th shutter.

And here's a real video (without extender):

https://vimeo.com/58316168

And the camera takes 10 megapixel (real) jpegs and RAW.

Many people who contribute here have this camera, and there is some information in the Forum, but no dedicated thread that people can consult.
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-10-2013, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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The Panasonic FZ200 is now, for a limited time, $498.
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post #3 of 37 Old 02-10-2013, 08:49 PM
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You can shave another dollar off, to $497, at Electronics Basket via Amazon. I am so tempted smile.gif
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post #4 of 37 Old 02-11-2013, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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FZ200 Video: Cleaning Up After an Unprecedented Snowstorm (34-40"):

https://vimeo.com/59443412

Five men, in the rain, try to clear a big snow with small and large snowblowers.
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-12-2013, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

You can shave another dollar off, to $497, at Electronics Basket via Amazon. I am so tempted smile.gif
Costco is selling it bundled with a Lowepro Bag and and 8 GB card for $499.99.

http://www.costco.com/.product.100017400.html?&cm_mmc=BCEmail_818-_-Focus-_-5-_-panasonic

Costco's customer service and return policy is legendary.
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-12-2013, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

FZ200 Video: Cleaning Up After an Unprecedented Snowstorm (34-40"):

https://vimeo.com/59443412

Five men, in the rain, try to clear a big snow with small and large snowblowers.

The big guy appears to be the equipped the best. He has a Toro Power Max with headlight and there is an antenna sticking out from his hearing protectors. I'll bet he has a lot of friends when it snows!

In all seriousness, I can't imagine the mess from 3 feet of snow followed by heavy rain while the power is out.

Bill
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-12-2013, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-12-2013, 03:23 PM
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Also 2.5% cash back with Ebates at J&R.
http://www.ebates.com/stores/jr.com.htm
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-12-2013, 08:45 PM
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-12-2013, 09:37 PM
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To my mind the BIG question whether or not the LX7 & FZ200 can resolve as much image detail as the GH3? Or do they lag noticably behind the GH3? I wouldn't want to buy the FZ200 if the GH3 can resolve noticably more fine detail. I havn't yet devoted the time to download and compare original mts samples from Vimeo from the LX7 & FZ200 vs the GH3.
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post #11 of 37 Old 02-13-2013, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

To my mind the BIG question whether or not the LX7 & FZ200 can resolve as much image detail as the GH3? Or do they lag noticably behind the GH3? I wouldn't want to buy the FZ200 if the GH3 can resolve noticably more fine detail. I havn't yet devoted the time to download and compare original mts samples from Vimeo from the LX7 & FZ200 vs the GH3.

For what its worth i have a FZ150,I know the FZ200 has better low light recording ability but i think in daylight they are much the the same,i also have a GH2 possibly soon to be sold and an XA10 ,both the GH2 and XA10 can resolve at least 1/4 more detail than my FZ150,but its great lens make it very good for wildlife.
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post #12 of 37 Old 02-13-2013, 07:00 PM
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If you wanted a larger sensor 1080p60 camera B&H has the m4/3rd Panasonic Lumix G5 Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-42mm Lens for $498 and the LUMIX G Vario 45-150mm f/4.0-5.6 ASPH Lens for only $69 with G5 purchase for a total of $567.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/880959-REG/Panasonic_dmc_g5kk_Lumix_G5_Digital_Camera.html
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post #13 of 37 Old 03-05-2013, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Many people like to shoot birds (figuratively) with the long and fast FZ200 600mm lens, and sometimes with the tele extender, at 1100mm.

Here is a video of birds during the winter, in the North and in the South:

https://vimeo.com/61129618
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post #14 of 37 Old 03-07-2013, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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A nice feature of the FZ200 is the super fast 120fps 720p mode, which gives slo-mo at 1/4 -speed right out of the camera.

I have not seen too many effective uses, but this one is almost mind-blowing (not shot by me):



Choose 720p, of course.

Hummingbirds in slo-mo - the author not only used the camera's high-speed fps but also slowed the video down further in his editor. Looks great.
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post #15 of 37 Old 03-09-2013, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

....I have not seen too many effective uses, but this one is almost mind-blowing (not shot by me)
As you might remember, I gave my wife an FZ150 for a birthday present. Accessories (including the tele extender) were provided by her brilliant, charming and (drop dead gorgeous) granddaughters. So far, she has not pressed the video button. And, we are temporarily living in our Arizona RV lot that has a tree that attracts hummingbirds!

Maybe this clip will motivate her to press the red button.

Thanks.

Bill
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post #16 of 37 Old 03-14-2013, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Many birds are cute and/or colorful (hummingbirds!) and make for good pictures and videos. But some birds are neither colorful nor cute, like blackbirds or crows. When seen in a video, however, they become interesting, and perhaps more so in 1/4-speed slo-mo. And the FZ200 with its long reach, good HD video and built-in HD slo-mo can produce some interesting bird views.

This video begins with some cute (and tiny) local birds up close and then follows with less-cute birds taking advantage of a feeder, followed by their feeding in slo-mo.

The slo-mo feature of the FZ200 shoots at 120fps 720p slowed down to 30fps. Hence the posted video is 72030p, although the non high-speed video clips were originally 108060p (they are not slowed down).

There is no sound in high-speed mode, and you can hear how much is missing due to that! Another limitation is that there is no OIS, so you will see the handheld shot moves around - this was shot using a tele-extender so the effective focal length is 1100mm for all shots. You can see how effective the OIS is, as the OIS and the tele-extender was in use in the non slo-mo parts. Interestingly, in slo-mo a shaky cam is not so intolerable, as you get gentle motion.

Select 720p.
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post #17 of 37 Old 04-17-2013, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Pitching and Batting in Slo-mo: The FZ200 high-speed 120 fps 720 video mode for slo-mo was used here, shot from the stadium upper deck at full zoom, at night.

Select 720p.
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post #18 of 37 Old 05-05-2013, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Daylight baseball video action.

Daylight game with more than plenty of sun. Some shots at 1100mm with tele-extender from the bleachers; all other shots with ND filter from all around the stadium. Shutter speed set at 1/125th.

You can tell the distant shots, which look up close, by the lag between the sound of the ball hitting the bat and seeing it.

https://vimeo.com/65513578

The video was shot at 108060p, but Vimeo streams at 30 fps. To experience all the 60 fps smoothness of the action in highest quality you can download the original.

The Youtube version:



Select 1080p by clicking the lower-left gear symbol.
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post #19 of 37 Old 05-06-2013, 08:15 AM
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Well done and more "proof" that excellent video can come from today's consumer cameras. The "Looking To purchase a professional Camcorder" thread seems to suggest one needs to spend around $3K and up to get good video. It seems that maybe "good video" means video that has to be focused manually to achieve a blurry background. And, anything with a blurry background is good "creative" video. The last post in that thread (as I'm writing) is a video beginner who wants to shoot fast race cars. I considered a post recommending the FZ200, but didn't feel the energy to swim against the tide.

Bill
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post #20 of 37 Old 05-06-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Well done and more "proof" that excellent video can come from today's consumer cameras. The "Looking To purchase a professional Camcorder" thread seems to suggest one needs to spend around $3K and up to get good video. It seems that maybe "good video" means video that has to be focused manually to achieve a blurry background. And, anything with a blurry background is good "creative" video. The last post in that thread (as I'm writing) is a video beginner who wants to shoot fast race cars. I considered a post recommending the FZ200, but didn't feel the energy to swim against the tide.

Bill

I agree with you. Some contributors here seem to believe that one should aim for results that look like art films, and require weeks in post-editing, in making videos of soccer-playing kids (or weight lifting adults). And for race cars, it is impossible to use DSLRs.
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post #21 of 37 Old 05-06-2013, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

... for race cars, it is impossible to use DSLRs.
smile.gif

I agree with you about DSLRs, Mark. But fast-focusing Panasonic DSLMs like the GH3 do a pretty good job smile.gif

Best,

Bill
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post #22 of 37 Old 05-06-2013, 09:47 PM
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Bill,

That clip is a lot more about creative shooting and editing than the camera used. The same pro with ANY 1080p60 camera/camcorder could have shot that, as long as he was paid appropriately. That whole video was in bright light. The most dramatic shot is the slow vertical pan (tilt?) of a still photo. That is editing. It is not even a video! I'll bet that there were more than one shooter and the editor was an entirely different person who was given a large collection of clips to put into a short video.

When the cheap HX9V was new there were YouTubes as dramatic as that one. The GH3 may be a terrific camera but what part of my amateur work would get better if I spent the $3K to get one with a lens?

What am I missing? What is it that the GH3 does in that video that other cameras couldn't do?

Bill (the other one)
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post #23 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 01:01 AM
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Good to hear from you, Bill. The point was that the camera was holding focus on the moving car. I was reacting to Mark's DSLR comment, which I presumed was aimed at the average DSLR's difficulty with that problem.

This reflects my experience with the GH3, with or without editing. It holds focus on fast moving objects as a camcorder would. It is much better at this than the GH2 (or any DSLR).

Best,

Bill
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post #24 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 07:40 AM
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Bill,

Thanks for the reply.

My question is how would the same video look if the professional film and editing crew used a current $800 to $1000 consumer camcorder from Sony or Panasonic instead of a $3000 GH3. So far, it seems to me that the primary appeal of the GH3, and other DSLRs, is the blurry background achieved with wide open, manually focused lenses. I'm not getting it for the rest.

The point in asking the question is my theory that 1080p capability has done a lot to level the camera/camcorder playing field when the pinnacle of the viewing experience will be 1920 x 1080 60" televisions. iPads and YouTubes are smaller screens and may make less difference. The hobbyists, amateurs and newbies that come to this forum are not indy film producers that will have their work displayed with theater grade digital projectors at the movieplex.

Perhaps my real question is would my videos be any better if I bought a GH3 and a bag big enough to hold it and a couple lenses? My videos will never be viewed on anything bigger than a home TV. Other than increasing the bulk and weight of what a carry around, what would change? The price is not stopping me from getting a GH3. Not knowing what it would do for my travel and family photo and video shoots is stopping me.

For reference, you can watch my latest 5 minute attempt shot at the Grand Canyon here: https://vimeo.com/64474485. There is a lot of post production, transcoding and editing involved. The goal was to see if I could watch the video and remind myself of the overwhelming visual impact of the Grand Canyon. In a way, it is completely opposite of what Mark does. Mark works at capturing the perfect movie image in camera much like I used to do with Kodachrome slides. What would improve if I bought a GH3 for my next trip to the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rainier,Yellowstone or Switzerland?

Thanks in advance for giving this some thought.

Bill (the other one)
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post #25 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for the thoughtful question, Bill, and for sharing your work. I very much enjoyed watching it. To be honest, if you don't plan to use selective focus to advance a story, and you don't need the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, there really isn't any reason to buy a large sensor camera. Sometimes, in travel/scenic videos, shooters will start by focusing on a foreground object, like a flower, and then rack focus to a background vista - but that's not worth $3000+ for a $1300 GH3 body and a couple of constant f2.8 lenses.

Your analysis is absolutely spot on - if you don't see yourself ever needing shallow depth of field to advance a story, a small sensor camera or camcorder is absolutely the right choice.

All the best, and look forward to seeing some great video from Switzerland!

Bill
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post #26 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

...... Sometimes, in travel/scenic videos, shooters will start by focusing on a foreground object, like a flower, and then rack focus to a background vista - but that's not worth $3000+ for a $1300 GH3 body and a couple of constant f2.8 lenses.

All the best, and look forward to seeing some great video from Switzerland!

Bill
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My goto camera for both video and photo has become my RX100. For video I have two better cameras, but I enjoy what I get. It is so small I almost have to screw it to a monopod to hold it steady enough to operate the manual focus ring during a video clip, but I have done a "rack focus" a couple times. You motivate me to practice for the Switzerland trip.

For what its worth, my travel kit is the RX100, with a HX9V for backup and a carbon fiber monopod. Everything else stays home on the shelf.

We are flying to Germany with friends. They are renting a BMW from Hertz. We are driving through Switzerland to northern Italy, staying in small hotels in smaller towns. Video and photo ops will be good. Small gear is essential because it will be two weeks with only a carry on bag.
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post #27 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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You can rack focus with any P&S camera with a touch screen (I know the GH3 has this too). And with the P&S zoomed out and flower close up, you get a good effect from sharp flower and bokeh background to sharp background and fuzzy flower. I do this all the time with small cameras. The key point is the big zoom allows, in good light, control over dof even with a small sensor.

See the opening shots of these videos, although I do not shift the focus, I could have:



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post #28 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 11:20 PM
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Does the FZ200 have more resolution than the FZ150,I know it is low light capabilities have been inproved,the reason i ask is that my FZ150 has around 2/3rds the resolution of my GH2 and XA10.
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post #29 of 37 Old 05-08-2013, 05:39 AM
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Mark - I take your point. With long focal lengths or very wide apertures, you can get shallow DoF and "out of focus backgrounds" from a small sensor camera, as in this still from my FZ150.



Personally, I like having it available at medium to wide focal lengths, with the lens stopped down to 5.6 or so - but to each his or her own smile.gif

Best,

Bill
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post #30 of 37 Old 06-28-2013, 09:42 AM
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Hi, if anybody's had problems when handling this camera inadvertantly changing ISO & WB settings, read on...
Just picking this camera up, it is so easy to press the White Balance or the ISO buttons without realising it, resulting in max ISO being set with just two presses of the ISO button or the WB being upset if you catch the WB button. These buttons are not recessed in any way making them vulnerable to unexpected operation. Graham Houghton has come up with a simple mod that reduces that chance considerably, you can see it in his video on Utube under:-

Manual focus and Close up Macro Photography with Panasonic Lumix Bridge Cameras

It consists of a fiber tap connecter washer, coloured black with a felt tip pen and attached with a weak adhesive, I used 3m spray mount adhesive. These washers are about 1.8mm thick and have a 22mm hole in them and fit perfectly over the control pad of this camera. This goes a long way to help prevent accidental operation of the D pad. I have had two video shoots degraded by the ISO being set to max without me realising it until later on when its to late. Since fitting this "ring" I have not repeated the mistake to date. If it is done neatly it looks part of the camera.
If you only use iA setting (intelligent auto) this wont affect you, only if you use any of the PASM settings.
These washers are used in tap connecters in the UK to connect a standard half inch tap to half inch or 15mm copper pipe under sinks or wash basins etc. and screw on the underside of the tap not the outlet side.
Ron.

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