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Panasonic Lumix FZ200 Digital Camera Review$599.00
The FZ200 is highly color-accurate for a fixed-lens camera, producing an uncorrected color error value of only 2.32 in the most accurate color mode. This puts the sensor on par with even the best SLRs, and comes as no surprise considering the FZ150's—and especially the FZ47's—excellent rendition of color. More on how we test color.
Shades of red are by far the least accurate, followed by dark greens on the opposite side of the spectrum. Color saturation was also a bit high, up at 107.5%, but then again most people tend to prefer oversaturated shots.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
The new model trounces Panasonic's old FZ150, as well as just about every other recent ultrazoom. Just bear in mind, we haven't yet tested Canon's SX50 HS, which may give this camera a run for its money.
Strangely, "Standard" is the most accurate color mode in this camera, a distinction which usually goes to "Natural." But the differences are slight between the two. Natural is almost as accurate as Standard, and saturation is much better too, down to 99.72%.
White balance was good in our tests but hit-or-miss in the field.
In our test enclosure, under incandescent light the camera's rendering is too warm by about 650 Kelvin, however that number shrinks to only 300 Kelvin under fluorescent, and only 200 Kelvin too cool under daylight. By adding the extra step of a custom white balance, it's possible to keep all your errors under 200 Kelvin, regardless of lighting conditions.
The numbers are strong, but more than one of our sample photos saw problems with white balance, even a few that made it into the review. For this reason, we recommend a custom white balance whenever possible, since it was impossible to predict when the camera would make such a mistake.
White Balance Options
The FZ200 comes with only five white balance presets, but includes memory for two custom settings, plus direct Kelvin entry if you already know the color temperature of your light source.