The Panasonic FZ200 has "only" a 24x zoom because the manufacturer decided that a constant aperture lens is a better selling feature than more zoom. They could make it with both a longer zoom and and a constant aperture, but the camera would have to be even larger and more expensive. If more zoom is required, the FZ200 can accept a telephoto conversion lens, which would increase the equivalent longest focal length from 600mm to 1020mm. The adapter and conversion lens would cost approximately $250.
If you are after better image quality in a very long zoom camera, you should budget for a tripod; it is not a good idea to shoot very long telephoto images hand-held. The FZ200 may not have the longest zoom, but it would easily win in the category of low light performance because of its constant aperture lens. It also has the best autofocus performance compared to the competition.
which megazoom(30x or more) has the better picture quality,low light performance,quick autofocus. Best value for the $$$.canon sx 40,sony dsc-hx200 or,nikon p-510.Panasonic came up with the new lumix dmc-fz200,too bad they did not increase the optical zoom of 24x,why?Any idea when canon is going to come with the replacement for the sx40? sx50 maybe?