Our verdict

Although they may seem like slight changes, the new EVF and the increase in maximum aperture throughout the zoom range make the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 a notable improvement over the FZ150. The small sensor is always going to be a compromise in a bridge camera, so until technology advances it is wise for Panasonic to have chosen to stick to the 12.1-million-pixel sensor and not push it to a 14 or even 16-million-pixel resolution.

While the bridge camera market is crowded, the Panasonic FZ series has proved extremely popular over the years, and this latest model should be no exception. For those wanting the control of a DSLR but with the features of a compact camera, it strikes a very nice balance. In the right hands, it is a very capable camera, particularly for those who might want to try their hand at wildlife photography but without the huge expense of expensive telephoto DSLR lenses.

Panasonic Lumix DMc-FZ200 – Key Features

EVF/LCD button
There is no automatic sensor for the FZ200’s EVF, so this button must be pressed to switch
between the EVF and LCD

Articulated screen
The 3in, 451,000-dot screen is hinged onto the side of the camera, which should help when taking low and high-angle shots, or self-portraits

As well as a pop-up flash, the FZ200 has a hotshoe that is fully compatible with the Panasonic flashguns for G-series CSCs

Quick menu
In playback mode, this button is used to delete images, but when shooting it acts as a quick menu button, displaying the most commonly used shooting and image settings

Image styles
As well as the standard colour setting,  vivid, natural, monochrome, scenery, portrait and custom settings can also be selected. The level of contrast, sharpness, colour saturation and noise reduction can be adjusted in any of these image styles

HDMI and video port

On the side of the Panasonic FZ200 is an HDMI port. This allows an HDMI cable to be connected so that images can be viewed via a compatible television screen. There is also an AV socket that works with a compatible micro-USB-to-AV cable

Panasonic claims that 540 shots are possible with the FZ200’s battery. I found that I was able to take almost 300 raw and JPEG images, with heavy use of the screen and menus. This is a more realistic figure in a real shooting situation

UHS-1 memory
As well as being compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards, the FZ200 is also compliant with the UHS-1 standard, which means that faster SD transfer speeds can be achieved with compatible cards. It also has 70MB of built-in memory

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