In general use, there was little to fault with the Intelligent Multiple evaluative metering system of the Lumix DMC-FZ200. Images are bright, have a good level of contrast and the colours are quite vivid, which I will discuss in more detail later. The metering system seems to pay little attention to smaller highlight areas in a scene, instead looking at the overall picture and making sure that it is well exposed. For the most part this system works well, and the vast majority of users will be happy with the outcome. However, I found that I left the exposure compensation set to -0.33EV for most the time I was shooting, just to preserve a fraction more detail in highlight areas, especially as there is more chance that some detail can be recovered from raw image data. Despite this slight tweak, exposures in evaluative mode were generally spot on. Even when given a fairly complex metering task – a backlit woodland, for example – the metering did a good job of lightening the trees just enough to make them clear, while still leaving some dark shadow detail.
For novices, the iAuto mode works very well. By using a combination of evaluative metering, focal length, focus distance, and scene and face recognition, the iAuto system will attempt to detect what is being photographed and alter the exposure and image settings accordingly. When switching between macro, portrait and landscape scenes, this setting worked well, and point-and-shoot users should feel confident.