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CNET First Look
Panasonic's Lumix FZ200 is across-the-board excellentFor those after a long-zoom camera that falls in between a point-and-shoot and digital-SLR experience, look no further.
-Hi, I'm Josh Goldman, senior editor with CNET, and this is a look at the editor's choice winning Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. A lot of other manufacturers have just increased the zoom ranges on their higher end long lens cameras to stay competitive. Panasonic decided to go another direction and concentrated on actually making the lens better. The FZ200's 24X zoom Leica lens has a large F2.8 aperture from start to finish which lets you shoot with less light or longer focal lengths with less of a need to use higher ISOs that introduce noise and softness. No other competing cameras offer this and it makes a big difference. Going beyond that, you get great direct controls over settings, a hot shoe for attaching the external flash, an input for an external mic, a nice high-res EVF, and rotating 3-inch LCD, a whole lot of shooting modes including full manual for photos and movies and it has a reliable auto mode too, making it a nice family camera as well as something someone can grow with. Photo quality and shooting performance are great for its class. It's fast enough for capturing kids and pets which is a rarity, and though, there are a couple of designed things I would change such as the plastic body and the position of the tripod mount next to the battery compartment. It isn't overall excellent camera. I'm Josh Goldman and that's the Panasonic Lumix FZ200.