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    Default Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    Iím looking for another family camera. We have a Panasonic LX3 and a Canon SX240. I find the LX3 to be good, maybe even better than the SX240. The latter was bought because of itís zoom capability. In general, I still prefer to use the LX3 as it seems to take better pictures specially in low or indoor lighting. To upgrade, I was looking into the Panasonic FZ200 which have good reviews. Iím not keen on the weight, but it seems that the small cameras just canít compare with capability of bigger once. It may not be portable, but I think itís lighter than DSLRís which I also think is too much for me since I just basically just a novice point and shooter. Someone suggested an Olympus OM-D E-M5 because itís small and compact. Upon searching for this, I learned that itís called a micro four thirds and mirrorless. Iím not exactly sure what type the FX200 is considered but I know itís not a micro 4/3 nor mirrorless. Frankly, Iím not really sure how I can even compare this to the FZ200 because itís not apple to apple. Itís also difficult to compare the specs as for instance while one indicates the zoom, the other has nothing shown. Can anyone tell me the merits of one against the other. Thank you.

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    Default Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    The Panasonic FZ200 is one of the finest ultrazooms on the market. It has a full array of manual controls, fast accurate auto-focusing, a very good long zoom (24x) lens that can also be used for close-up macro shooting, the ability to shoot in RAW, a flash hotshoe, a nice (though small) electronic viewfinder, fold-out LCD, quick operation and a good, though small, sensor. It also has an F2.8 aperture throughout the lens range, which should result in better looking images. However the low light ability of the FZ200 will not equal that of your Panasonic LX-3, which has a larger sensor.

    The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is a different type of camera than the Panasonic FZ200. The Olympus is a mirrorless camera that's essentially a small DSLR. It has a large 4/3 sensor (larger than your LX3), can shoot in RAW, has a flash hotshoe, has full manual controls, has a very nice electronic viewfinder (larger and sharper than the FZ200), tilting LCD, quick operation and can be used with all micro 4/3 lenses that you buy separately (and there's a lot to choose from). Image quality is excellent.

    Here are recent images taken with the FZ200 and the OM-D E-M5:
    Flickr Search: panasonic fz200

    Flickr Search: olympus OM-D E-M5
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 330 HS

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    Talking Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    If you shoot telephoto a lot, the FZ200 is a strong choice. I'm happy with my Olympus M4/3 (happens to be the PL2), but I shoot very little telephoto. If you were looking to replace only the LX3 (keep the SX240), then there are mirrorless cameras a lot less expensive than the Oly E-M5 to consider. Such as the Canon G1 X, EOS M, Olympus PM2, PL5, and Panasonic G6. For enthusiasts it's fun that there is such variety to the mirrorless market, but understandably confusing for any novice.

    Kelly Cook
    Olympus PL2, Canon EOS 50D, Fujifilm F45fd, various film dinosaurs

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    Default Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    I was already sold on the Panasonic FZ200, till this suggestion of the mirrorless camera which made it more complex. I have no idea how this mirrorless camera works. When I asked about the zoom, I was told it depends on the lens. So does it mean I have to buy many lenses? I'm used to a camera that is all built in one. I hope you'd be able to explain this a bit, as zoom capability is one of my considerations.
    It's just the idea of having a better camera and more portable (as what seems to be when I see the weight of the Olympus OM-D) than the FZ200 is appealing to me. Does this micro 4/3 mirrorless camera works the same way as a compact camera? Meaning it has automatic functions to just point and shoot? Up to how many times zoom can it go? Is there a pro/cons from having a mirrorless type or the FZ200 type?

    Andy-- when you say that the sensor is smaller for the FX200 does it mean that it won't make better pics in low/indoor lighting than my LX3? I was hoping for an improvement. I don't use telephoto lens a lot, but occasionally (like in taking pics of kid's on stage which is always indoor with poor lighting) it happens and that's exactly why I took into consideration a good zoom lens compact camera.

    Kelly- I will look into the other cameras you mentioned. The reason I'm comparing it to the Olympus OM-D is just because it was suggested to me and before this I don't even know anything about mirrorless. I just presumed that they are DSLR cams and I'm not going into that as I'm not a pro anyway.

    Thank you very much. I appreciate very much the information you have shared.

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    Default Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    Mirrorless cameras are like DSLR in that you can change the lenses, there are a good number of shooting options, and they all can shoot RAW images.

    But . . . mirrorless cameras are like compacts in that they have a pretty strong Auto capability, they can all shoot JPG images (in some cases better than DSLR), and most of them use only a LCD for composing the shot (though a few do have a viewfinder).

    So, mirrorless cameras are a kind of bridge between compacts and DSLR. Unfortunately that term "bridge" has been applied to SLR-like ultrazoom point-and-shoots (such as the FZ200) for years. Which are very different from mirrorless cameras.

    A mirrorless camera can take better low light photos than the LX3 if you ALSO shoot RAW images instead of JPG, or use an external flash (not all mirrorless cameras can do that, the LX3 also can do this), or switch out the kit zoom lens with a fast prime lens (does not zoom). Simply picking a mirrorless camera out of the box and blazing away with it in JPG mode will not be better than the LX3. You don't really have to be a full fledged "pro" to use a mirrorless camera, but you do need to learn some basic technique.

    Kelly

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    Default Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    Quote Originally Posted by wanderintraveler View Post
    I was already sold on the Panasonic FZ200, till this suggestion of the mirrorless camera which made it more complex. I have no idea how this mirrorless camera works. When I asked about the zoom, I was told it depends on the lens. So does it mean I have to buy many lenses? I'm used to a camera that is all built in one. I hope you'd be able to explain this a bit, as zoom capability is one of my considerations.
    As Kelly said, mirrorless cameras are like DSLR's but they are usually smaller (some much smaller) because of the absence of a mirror system. As is the case with DSLR's the body and lens are sold separately, though most mirrorless cameras come with a "kit" lens that usually has 3x optical zoom. If you want a long zoom lens you have to buy it separately. Most photographers with mirrorless cameras (and DSLR's) use a short zoom lens most of the time and change to their specialty lens (long zoom or a prime (non zooming) lens) when the situation calls for it. This means, however, that you have to take these lenses with you if you think you might be using them, which is not as convenient as having one lens that "does it all" as in the FZ200 or other ultrazooms.

    It's just the idea of having a better camera and more portable (as what seems to be when I see the weight of the Olympus OM-D) than the FZ200 is appealing to me. Does this micro 4/3 mirrorless camera works the same way as a compact camera? Meaning it has automatic functions to just point and shoot? Up to how many times zoom can it go? Is there a pro/cons from having a mirrorless type or the FZ200 type?
    There are mirrorless cameras that are much smaller than the FZ200 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (and less expensive than the Olympus), but when you attach a lens, especially a long zoom lens, the camera becomes larger and bulkier. Mirrorless cameras do operate similarly to compact cameras, though they typically don't have as many scene modes. If your goal is excellent image quality a mirrorless camera will meet that need well. But if it's important to you to have long zoom capability all the time, it makes more sense to buy an ultrazoom, such as the FZ200 (or the less-expensive, longer zoom Canon SX40/50, the Sony HX200/300, or the Nikon P510/520).

    Andy-- when you say that the sensor is smaller for the FX200 does it mean that it won't make better pics in low/indoor lighting than my LX3? I was hoping for an improvement. I don't use telephoto lens a lot, but occasionally (like in taking pics of kid's on stage which is always indoor with poor lighting) it happens and that's exactly why I took into consideration a good zoom lens compact camera.
    Correct. A smaller sensor usually means less capability in low light situations. Long zoom shooting situations in low light can be difficult because using the long zoom usually means a narrower aperture, which lets in less light. That's one reason why serious photographers will use large sensor cameras (mirrorless or DSLR's) with long zoom lenses in such a situation, rather than an ultrazoom. The FZ200 is designed to improve such a shooting situation because its aperture does not get narrower when the long zoom is used, but its sensor is still much smaller than that of a mirrorless camera or DSLR and is thus less capable in low light.
    Last edited by Andy Stanton; 07-05-2013 at 08:07 AM.
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 330 HS

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    Default Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    Kelly—Sorry, I have no idea what is shooting Raw images. I only point and shoot and I believe that it just comes out in jpg when I download it. I definitely like the big sensor as you all say, it works better with low light. It’s exactly why I’m upgrading, to have a camera that works better than my old camera plus a zoom. I was disappointed with my SX240. It’s suppose to compensate for the LX3 that has little zoom. Not only does the image seems poorer than the LX3, it’s also slower. After I click on the shutter, it seems to take awhile before I can take another picture and that moment is lost. The LX3 seems faster. Hence I’m also looking for a camera that doesn’t lag like the SX240.

    I wonder if this M 4/3 is way out of my league. I feel it will become like buying a top speed computer, only to use it for typing documents. I see that it also doesn’t have the flash, so it means I have to buy lens and flash separately.

    I was disappointed to know that the FZ200 has a smaller sensor. I was hoping it would be an upgrade to the LX3 and SX240.

    Does anyone know if there is a camera with a sensor bigger than the LX3 but with a zoom like the FZ200 and where I don’t need to change lenses? It may even be lesser than 24 times zoom, as long as I’m able to capture my kid’s performance on stage. I actually don’t know how much zoom is needed, I just figured if there is extra length then it couldn’t be bad. Actually this is all I need for zoom. Not for birding or any landscaping need. I hope it’s not asking too much, after all a stage should be nearer than birds up in the sky. As you say, with a bigger sensor it can do better with low light so I guess by finding a cam with a bigger sensor plus zoom, then it could fit my need. Yes I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of weight to accomodate this big sensor and a bit of zoom. However I think I would limit it to below 500g or the lightest possible it can get. Any models in mind that I can look into?

    Thank you everyone for your time.

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    Default Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    Does anyone know if there is a camera with a sensor bigger than the LX3 but with a zoom like the FZ200 and where I don’t need to change lenses? It may even be lesser than 24 times zoom, as long as I’m able to capture my kid’s performance on stage. I actually don’t know how much zoom is needed, I just figured if there is extra length then it couldn’t be bad. Actually this is all I need for zoom. Not for birding or any landscaping need. I hope it’s not asking too much, after all a stage should be nearer than birds up in the sky. As you say, with a bigger sensor it can do better with low light so I guess by finding a cam with a bigger sensor plus zoom, then it could fit my need. Yes I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of weight to accomodate this big sensor and a bit of zoom. However I think I would limit it to below 500g or the lightest possible it can get. Any models in mind that I can look into?
    There's only one camera I'm aware of that has a large sensor and a built-in long zoom lens - the Fuji X-S1. It has good low light ability and a long 26x zoom lens, but it's very heavy - over 900 grams. It's also expensive.
    The Nikon P7700 has good low light ability and a 7x optical zoom and is less expensive than the Fuji X-S1, but I don't know if you'd consider 7x to be adequate for your needs.
    There are a couple of reasons why long zoom point and shoot cameras with large sensors are hard to find. One is that a large sensor requires a large lens, which makes the camera heavy especially as the focal length gets longer. That's why the Fuji X-S1 is much heavier than the Panasonic FZ200. Another reason is that photographers are used to using interchangeable lenses with their large sensor cameras.

    If I were you I'd go for one of the mirrorless micro-4/3 cameras with the standard 3x zoom lens and buy a long zoom lens to take with me and use when the need arises.
    Right now you can buy the excellent Panasonic G5, with a 3x lens, for under $400. I reviewed the earlier version of that camera (the G-2) for this website a couple of years ago and was quite pleased with it.
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 330 HS

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    Default Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    Point-and-shoot cameras normally produce JPG images. A few of the more advanced ones, such as the LX3, do have a RAW option. A RAW image by itself is useless however. You need to run the RAW image through a "conversion" program (photo editor) to adjust contrast, etc, and finally convert to JPG for everyday use. Pros do this all the time with their DSLR cameras. But it often comes as a shock to casual shooters.

    The LX3 has a serious advantage in low light due to its fast lens. The "kit" lens that comes with a mirrorless camera is a lot slower, so slow that the LX3 still has a low light advantage, in spite of its smaller sensor. There are fast lenses available for mirrorless cameras of course, they run $300-350 (just for the lens alone). With a fast lens a mirrorless camera will definitely beat the LX3. But with just the kit lens other measures will be needed with the mirrorless camera to match the fast LX3. Such as shooting in RAW instead of JPG.

    Many mirrorless cameras do have built-in flash (my Oly PL2 certainly does), it just happens that the Oly OM-D E-M5 does not. Built-in flash with a mirrorless camera works nearly identically to a compact. With the same range limitation.

    Lag with mirrorless cameras varies a lot from model to model. The newest, most expensive, models generally have less lag. For a big reduction in lag simply get a entry level DSLR. You can shoot with a DSLR in JPG mode. Compared to mirrorless cameras, DSLR are a better bargain. DSLR do come with a bit of a learning curve, mostly regarding how to best use their phase detect auto focus.

    Unfortunately there are no high performance cameras that do not come with a lot of options and settings. For low light the dummies' solution (and a lot pros do this themselves) is to simply slap a bright external flash unit on whatever camera. Which does you no good where the event does not allow flash. Or just hire a pro to take the photos for you, all the fancy equipment becomes his problem.

    Kelly
    Last edited by KCook; 07-06-2013 at 11:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Panasonic FZ200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5?

    Andy- I have looked into the Nikon P7700 and it is somewhat comparable to the LX7 that I was considering before. Do you have an idea how far from the stage should I be for the Nikon P7700 to still take decent pic? I just wonder if it’s enough zoom for me? Both definitely have more zoom that my LX3. I have been looking into cameras with bigger sensors and it seems to include m 4/3 and APS-C. Definitely making it more complex.

    I am considering the m 4/3, I’m not committed to having a dslr which may be more difficult for me. I understand it will be more expensive, but I guess I don’t need to buy it all at once. I suppose the zoom lens can be bought later. I would rather that the flash is built in though. Because it’s much more expensive, the more that I have to be sure what I’m getting into. It’s just I’m trying to understand it better. I see there are 2 kinds called a Rangefinder tyle and another is SLR style. What’s the difference? I was wondering also if there is a problem when changing lens. Is it susceptible to dust whenever I change this?

    Kelly, you mentioned that the kit lens are usually slower than my LX3. What spec (I don’t know the technical term) should I look into to know how fast or slow the lens are? This information would be helpful when I pick the zoom lens. You also mentioned prime lens. Is this another type of lens that is different from the kit?
    You mentioned also lag time. What is the technical term used in comparing the lag time of cameras?

    Thanks once again.

 

 
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