Recently I’ve been working with a student who owns a very sophisticated digital camera; the Panasonic DMC-FZ200, (additional models in the FZ line include the 300, 1000, and 2500).
These cameras have received very high reviews from just about everyone including Image Resource and DP review. Every new technology in digital camera design is in the FZ line. These include image stabilization, 4K video, live view, electronic viewfinder, HDR settings, and an Intelligent Automatic ( iA ) mode of operation. The lens, designed by Lecia, is capable of zooming from 24mm (super wide) to 600mm (super telephoto). The entire unit weighs less than three pounds. It is smaller than you would think it would be but is capable of making eye-popping 4” enlargements. The price range on the FZ line ranges from $300 – $1,200.
This is a complete camera in a single purchase. You’ll never need to buy another item besides memory cards and maybe a second battery since it only comes with one.
The extreme macro shooting of this camera is impressive. It can zoom in on a turtle across the pond and look like you’re only 3 feet away. You can shoot totally in auto mode or if you want to advance your commitment to photography to control the principals of stop action, and depth of field of motion study, it can do that as well. You can also shoot in RAW format, a file format designed for Fine Art Photographers using Lightroom or Photoshop.
I don’t sell cameras anymore but I have guided 100s of students towards this exciting solution. No camera bag to carry, no tripod necessary, you can carry it all day long without pain and NO EXTRAS TO BUY! Your only limitation is you can’t go underwater.
Here’s the rub, they don’t look like DSLRs, aka professional cameras, sound like them or present the image of the pro photographer from the past. But who cares, right?
My above mentioned student signed up for a photography class covering Children’s Photography. When she got there they told her the class was only for photographers using DSLRs. Unfortunately, she had been “profiled” as a “Point and Shoot” user.
Even though I don’t own a camera store any longer, I have committed to following and educating myself about camera design and technology. Clearly, the instructor of this Children’s photography class does not have the same commitment!
In fact, you can, and many do make the point that DSLRs are behind the technology curve in many areas. If you would like to know more drop me an e-mail.
All photos below were taken with Panasonic DMC- FZ model cameras: