Panasonic ZS200 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally very good performance for long-zoom compact.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~2.9 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.9 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was a little sluggish a long-zoom compact, however switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was pretty quick.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Mechanical Shutter / Electronic Shutter

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF-S
Wide Angle

0.122 / 0.167
second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF-S
Telephoto

0.149 / 0.180
second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus
Single-area AF-S
Flash enabled

0.832 / N/A
second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. Auto Flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.051 / 0.093
second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.025 / 0.067
second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic ZS200's autofocus speeds were excellent in our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection only. The ZS200 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) was 0.122 second at full wide angle and 0.149 second at full telephoto using 1-area (center) single-shot AF with the mechanical shutter. Enabling the flash increased lag quite a bit to 0.832 second, though, to account for preflash metering.

When manually focused, the ZS200's lag time was 0.051 second, which is fast. The ZS200's prefocused shutter lag time of only 0.025 second is very quick.

As you can see above, using the electronic shutter mode adds some delay, and the flash isn't supported.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.30 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.38 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

YES

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG

0.10 second
(10.1 fps);
139 frames total;
16.7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 139 frames, then slows to an average of 0.17s or 5.8 fps when buffer is full with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
RAW

0.11 second
(9.42 fps);
33 frames total;
17.0 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 33 frames, then slows to an average of 0.58s or 1.7 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.11 second
(9.44 fps);
28 frames total;
25.1 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 28 frames, then slows to an average of 1.09s or 0.9 fps when buffer is full with a lot of variation.

4K Burst Mode
8.3-megapixel JPEG

0.03 second
(30.0 fps);
"Unlimited";
1.9 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 40 frames. Maximum burst is 15 minutes (~27K frames).

Flash Recycling

2.7 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SDXC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very fast at under 0.5 second, however there was a pre-press penalty (if you press the shutter release too soon after taking a shot, the camera will ignore it and you have to press again to take another shot).

Continuous High Speed "H" mode burst rate was fast at 10.1 frames per second for best quality JPEGs, meeting Panasonic's 10 fps spec with AFS (focus locked at the first frame). When shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG files, the frame rate dropped but only slightly to about 9.4 fps. With continuous autofocus enabled, the top frame rate drops to 6 fps according to Panasonic, however we do not test with continuous AF in the lab.

In Continuous High Speed "H" mode full-resolution buffer depths were very generous for Large/Fine JPEGs at 139 frames, and when shooting RAW files buffer depth dropped to 33 frames, or 28 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG files. That's still quite good, though, and a big improvement over the ZS100's 14 and 12 frames respectively.

The ZS200's 4K burst mode allows you to shoot 8.3-megapixel JPEGs at up to 30 fps continuously for up to 15 minutes.

Buffer clearing can take some time even with a fast card, though, ranging from 16.7 to 25.1 seconds for full-res files with our fast 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x SDHC card, but you can continue shooting (at a much slower rate; see table above) or change settings while the buffer is clearing. However, you can't view just-shot images until the buffer is flushed to the card.

Flash recycling after full-power discharge took an average of 2.7 seconds.


Bottom line, the Panasonic ZS200's performance is generally very good for its class. Startup is a bit sluggish but mode switching is fast, autofocus speeds are quick, and prefocused shutter lag is very low. Burst performance and buffer depths are quite good when shooting JPEGs or RAW files, however buffer clearing can take a long time with those deep buffers.

Battery Life

Good battery life for its type.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(LCD, CIPA standard)
370 shots
Still Capture,
(EVF, CIPA standard)
250 shots

The Panasonic ZS200 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with a single battery and an AC adapter for in-camera charging via USB. The CIPA-rated 370 shots per charge when using the LCD and 250 shots when using the EVF is good for its size and class, but we still recommend getting a second battery for your ZS200 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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