Panasonic ZS200 Field Test: Compact camera with ample zoom, many features & good image quality


posted Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 8:15 AM EST

Click here for my Panasonic ZS200 Field Test


The Panasonic ZS200 further develops its predecessor's largest advantage over the competition, its long built-in lens inside a compact camera body. The 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor remains unchanged, which allows the ZS200 to continue to deliver good image quality for its class, but the 25-250mm equivalent lens of the ZS100 is now a 24-360mm equivalent in the ZS200, even further besting the Canon G7X II and Sony RX100 series in terms of optical zoom.

There's no free lunch, however, and the longer lens has come with half-stop decrease in maximum aperture across the zoom range. This is an understandable tradeoff as the 15x zoom lens needs to stay very compact, but it does cause some issues as the ZS200 doesn't excel at higher ISO settings. Nonetheless, image quality remains pretty good.

In other areas, the ZS200 also performs well. The camera delivers good performance, competent autofocus and many nice features. On the video side of things, the camera is quite capable, offering 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. There is a substantial 1.5x crop when shooting 4K video, which is disappointing, but the video quality is pretty nice at lower ISOs.

132mm (360mm equiv.), f/6.4, 1/500s, ISO 3200.

At just under $800, does the Panasonic ZS200 offer enough to best its competition? Further, is it a substantial enough upgrade over the ZS100? Head over to my Field Test to find out. 

Panasonic ZS200 OverviewPerformance in the LabField Test