Dynamic range

This is one of the areas where a compact camera sensor will struggle against one of a larger format. Although the Panasonic DMC-FZ200 may be physically larger than a compact, the fact its sensor is the same size as a compact’s means that its dynamic range will be just as restricted. As such, the FZ200 behaves as would be expected, with highlights seeming to blow out quickly. This is particularly noticeable in blue skies, where white fluffy clouds appear devoid of detail.

That said, the metering system generally deals with difficult situations well, minimising burnt-out detail as much as possible while still illuminating the rest of the scene sufficiently. An HDR mode is also available, which shoots three JPEGs at different exposures and combines them to create a single image. Combined with the camera’s decent image stabilisation, this mode works well in landscape situations with no moving subjects.

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