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Panasonic FZ-200

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Old Monday 3rd September 2012, 07:46   #1
tom mckinney
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Panasonic FZ-200

Apparently a lot of birders interested in this camera, so I thought I'd post a few pics. I got it on Saturday, and so far I've only had about two hours to fiddle about with it at Pennington Flash in Manchester and behind my house in Glossop.

Trust me, I was the world's worst digiscoper and I know nothing about how to use this new camera. These were all taken in point-and-shoot idiot mode, but I'm definitely impressed with it.
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Old Monday 3rd September 2012, 07:51   #2
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This first one of the American Black Tern is admittedly terrible, but I checked on Google map measure and it was 700m away, so I think that's pretty decent for the distance. All taken handheld and in iA mode
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Old Monday 3rd September 2012, 08:50   #3
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just ordered one. Hoping for a good camera!
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Old Tuesday 4th September 2012, 02:05   #4
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Tom -

Thanks for the post. I have been looking at this model. Do you have any shots in low light conditions? Also, was the Black Tern pic really approximately 700 meters distant? Digiscoped, right? With what?

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Old Wednesday 5th September 2012, 12:08   #5
Swissboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamhed View Post
....... Do you have any shots in low light conditions? Also, was the Black Tern pic really approximately 700 meters distant? Digiscoped, right? With what?

Steve
I have the FZ-150 (predecessor with same zoom range), so from my experience I'd say that was not digiscoped but full zoom. I'm always amazed just how far away an object can be and still getting at least an ID shot.

Low-light pictures would be of interest to me as well.
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Last edited by Swissboy : Wednesday 5th September 2012 at 12:14.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2012, 16:51   #6
tom mckinney
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Hi Steve, sorry for late reply, only had the chance to use it again today. Yes, all handheld and not digiscoped. The Black Tern was using the digital zoom which goes up to 48x.

Had a few hours playing with it today, but unfortunately blindingly bright sunlight all day, so no low light shots. This is extremely unusual - ask anyone who knows what the weather is like in Glossop.

A few more pictures taken with a variety of settings and fiddling about with white balance.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2012, 16:54   #7
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If you have a Meadow Pipit phobia, then for Christ's sake don't look at these. I absolutely love Meadow Pipits, which is handy, seeing as they're about one of the only birds you get in this ornithological wasteland around me.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2012, 16:56   #8
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Had a pitiful attempt at flight shots as well. Sparrowhawk, Swallows and one final Meadow Pipit, just for fun.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2012, 20:50   #9
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Thanks for the shots, Tom. Have you tried using the manual focus yet?

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Old Wednesday 5th September 2012, 20:53   #10
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Have you had a play with the slow motion video? What is the highest zoom level that you can use the slow motion video with? ie would it be useful for a flyover taking slow motion video and then capturing stills from it?
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2012, 22:17   #11
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I'm trying to grow to love the FZ-200, Tom. Am considering getting the teleconverter, a friend of mine who has the FZ-150 has the tc and "wouldn't be without it". Anyone else used the teleconverter either with the FZ150 or FZ200?

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Old Friday 7th September 2012, 01:21   #12
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This is my first camera bought specifically for birding. I bought it for record shots, but figured I'd post a few of my recent pics with it. I'm fairly new to photography, but am finding that I'm able to get some decent shots with relative ease with this camera.

Cheers

Red Tailed Hawk

Black-crowned Night Heron

Merlin

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Old Friday 7th September 2012, 21:08   #13
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Also for those that already have this camera, where was the cheapest you found it for sale?
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Old Friday 7th September 2012, 23:22   #14
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took these today, just testing it out . Very user friendly camera so far!
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Old Saturday 8th September 2012, 11:17   #15
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A coal tit was busy with sunflower seeds on the feeder, so i took these with the fz200. So much easier than hauling a 500mm lens out for the occasion!

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Old Sunday 9th September 2012, 15:59   #16
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Grouse photo was taken an hour before dusk with zoom up to 24x. The herons and Speckled Wood butterfly were early morning in retina damaging bright light. Still messing about a lot with white balance.

I'm really enjoying the camera. I find it really user-friendly, intuitive to operate, and for what I want it for (just opportunistic shots when out birding, but in no way serious photography) it's perfect.
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Old Sunday 9th September 2012, 16:30   #17
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Also for those that already have this camera, where was the cheapest you found it for sale?
Well, it cost me 483 inc a Sandisk Extreme 8GB card from UK Camera Store.

Cheers,

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Old Monday 10th September 2012, 02:28   #18
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Here are a few test shots with the FZ200. Ive tried Nikon, Canon and Panasonic (FZ35) bridge cameras in the past and was hopeful, based on specs, and the glowing reports about the FZ150, that this would be a really useful camera. Eight hundred dollars later (camera = $600, extra batteries = $100 and another $100+ for an adapter and close-up lens), Im not so sure. This camera does have a much better viewfinder than any of the earlier bridge cameras Id tried, and it has very nice manual controls. However, I was almost forced to use manual mode as I didnt have many properly focused shots using auto focus. This camera also severely overexposes (at least that was what I repeatedly experienced in Aperture Priority mode). I believe the flash is disabled in macro mode which made no sense to me and I found that RAW capture is turned off if you try the iA (beginner) mode and that made no sense to me either. As you can see from my samples, most of my shots were close ups of insects and butterflies. I didnt find the auxiliary close up lens to be useful for butterflies it has a very limited distance range and I was either at scare-away distance or too far away to get a shot I did much better w/o that attachment. Perhaps one will achieve better results using this camera for birds, maybe in combination with the teleconverter attachment lens (another $200). All of my passable test shots are on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2320217...th/7967257846/
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Old Monday 10th September 2012, 17:21   #19
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Looks like something's wrong with your sensor - although I note all this were in spot metering mode - have you tried the others?
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Old Monday 10th September 2012, 18:38   #20
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Quote:
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.....I note all this were in spot metering mode - Sean
How can one get to that info?
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--PS: That's a Sooty Falcon on the avatar, photo taken near Sharm el Sheik, Egypt. My highest priority raptor at the time.
What's your species on the avatar? I often have no clue
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Old Monday 10th September 2012, 19:07   #21
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How can one get to that info?
With this http://www.wisegeek.com/how-can-i-vi...photograph.htm or another similar programme

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Old Tuesday 11th September 2012, 03:19   #22
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Looks like something's wrong with your sensor - although I note all this were in spot metering mode - have you tried the others?
Sean
I'll try another metering mode, but I use Spot on most other cameras w/o issue. I might do better with metering a broader area, particularly on butterflies and similar subjects.
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2012, 09:51   #23
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With this http://www.wisegeek.com/how-can-i-vi...photograph.htm or another similar programme

Regards

John
Thanks John! Need to give it a try.
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2012, 10:27   #24
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I'd take the camera back I think. Even in spot mode it looks odd.
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Old Tuesday 11th September 2012, 21:34   #25
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Got mine 2 days ago and really pleased with it so far! Shots so far can be seen on my blog here http://timsbirding.blogspot.com/
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