The Lumix ZS200 – also known as the Lumix TZ200 outside the US – is made for travel. This small camera takes great photos and video, courtesy of its 20-megapixel sensor, and lets you get close to the action with its 15X optical zoom lens. Read on the following Panasonic Lumix ZS200 review to learn more about this camera.
Panasonic Lumix ZS200 Review
Despite the extra reach of its lens over the Lumix ZS100 / TZ100, the Lumix ZS200 / TZ200 is hardly any bigger. In fact, it’s only 1mm wider at 112mm, 1mm thicker at 45mm, and 2mm taller at 66mm; that’s pretty impressive considering the 15x zoom and 1-inch sensor it packs into its body.
The sleek design follows on from the Lumix ZS100 / TZ100, but a welcome addition over that camera is a slightly textured grip on the front of the camera to give you a bit more of a reassuring hold.
The controls on the Lumix ZS200 / TZ200 are pretty straightforward and are grouped in such a way that you can use the camera one-handed if you wish. There’s a dedicated mode dial on the top, and there’s an additional dial that offers control over different functions depending on the shooting mode you’re in.
The controls on the rear of the camera are clearly marked, while the Fn3 button provides access to the Lumix ZS200 / TZ200’s quick menu, enabling you to adjust common settings such as ISO, metering, and white balance without the need to dive into the main menu. The speed of adjustment is helped by the Lumix ZS200 / TZ200’s touchscreen interface, as you can tap your desired setting on-screen rather than having to physically select it.
The control ring around the lens facilitates quick adjustments to a variety of settings, depending on the mode you’re in. For instance, if you’re in aperture priority mode it’s default setting is to control the lens aperture.
The Panasonic ZS200 is quite speedy. It can shoot at up to 10 frames per second (6 fps with continuous autofocus), with generous buffer depths. In the lab, the ZS200 captured 139 JPEGs, 33 RAW, or 28 RAW+JPEG files before slowing down. The ZS200’s RAW buffer depth is a huge improvement over the ZS100’s 14 frame buffer in our tests.
The ZS200 not only shoots fast, but it feels fast in use. The menus are quick and the camera is responsive, except for sluggish buffer clearing after long bursts. Further, the camera has good battery life for a compact, being rated for 370 shots per charge when using the LCD (250 shots with the EVF).
3. Image quality
This bridge camera uses a 20MP 1-inch sensor, which provides a lot of power and quality, and gives you some leeway if you need to crop your photos.
You can see the quality in my bright-light test shot, which has very fine detail, even the very subtle lines in the drawings. It also captured accurate, vivid and saturated color. Dynamic range was spot-on in this image from bright highlights to the deepest dark tones.
Like many bridge cameras (though unlike many superzooms), the Lumix ZS200 can capture RAW files. Unlike JPEGs, RAW files are in an uncompressed format and aren’t processed inside the camera. That means you can bring them into a photo-editing app and produce better quality images.
4. Video quality
The Panasonic ZS200 has very nice video features for a compact camera. It can record 4K UHD videos at up to 30 frames per second, which is impressive and right up there with its competition. The 4K UHD video is recorded at a bitrate of 100 Mbps in the MP4 format.
4K video quality with the ZS200 is pretty solid. The camera can record 4K UHD video at lower ISO settings with a good amount of detail. The biggest downside to the camera’s 4K video is that there’s a 1.5x crop, which is quite extensive and limits wide shooting possibilities. This means that at 24mm, 4K UHD video is recorded with a field of view of about 36mm.
Autofocus performance during video recording is acceptable, although a bit indecisive at times, which leads to some focus hunting. This can be particularly distracting in 4K video, as there is more detail. It’s less noticeable during Full HD video recording. If you need a faster framerate, you can shoot at up to 120 fps at 1920 x 1080 resolution, which is also quite impressive.
5. Battery life
Panasonic claims that the ZS200 can capture 370 photos when using the touch-screen display in live view and 250 photos when using the electronic viewfinder, which is more than the 200 images you can capture with a bridge camera like the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III.
According to Panasonic, the camera can shoot approximately 100 minutes of HD-resolution video (although each HD-resolution clip has a limit of 50 minutes) or 90 minutes of 4K-resolution video (again, each 4K-resolution clip has a limit of 45 minutes). That’s quite a bit less than what you can capture with a pricey camera like the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III, which lets you shoot about 240 minutes of HD video (the G1 X Mark III does not shoot in 4K).
In conclusion, we hope that you find this Panasonic Lumix ZS200 review useful for your choice.