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Lumix FZ200 – game changer?

2012 has been an amazing year for photographers. We’ve seen the Nikon D800 and D600, the Sony RX1, the Canon 1Dx and the Nikon D4 at the start of the year. Then there was the Leica M, M Monochrome, the Nikon 1 series and more 4/3rds cameras that I can mention.
But, the camera that caught my attention was the Lumix FZ200 earning a rare Gold award from DPReview. The camera has 12MP, the same as the 4 year old Nikon D3, but its unique feature is a fast f2.8 Leica lens with a 35mm equivalent  of 25mm-600mm focal length. For a sports or wildlife photographer a 600mm lens is a dream, and until now, none was available with a 2.8 aperture. Nikon and Canon make a 600mm with a f4 speed at over US$10,000 compared to this camera at around $500. That’s 20x more and you don’t get a camera with it!
I’m looking at this camera as a 2nd or 3rd camera for covering sports. Possible applications are: remote camera, low angle perspective (using the flip out LCD), 600mm reach for long reach, and versatile pre/post-match camera with wireless transfer using WiFi card.
A full review to come in a few weeks after I’ve had a chance to shoot with it more. But for sure, if you’re looking for a camera for the sports or wildlife photography enthusiast the FZ200 is well worth considering.

MELBOURNE – 8 DEC: Perth Glory players warm up prior to the round ten A-League match between the Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory at AAMI Park on 8 December 2012. (Photo Sydney Low/syd-low.com/Melbourne Heart)