Sometimes Less Is More


A few weeks back a deal by one of the major internet retailers of $297 for a Panasonic FZ200 prompted me to pull the trigger for two. One for my wife and one for myself. It’s a camera I’ve been looking at for some time due to a fast 2.8 lens throughout it’s zoom range. My wife’s FZ150, even with it’s slower lens, has consistently produced pictures of higher technical quality than my Canon SX40. The Canon has produced some very good images but it’s just not quiet a match given the type of shooting we do given it’s slower focus speed, difficulty focusing in shady areas, and sharpness issues at full zoom.


Why a super zoom rather than a DSLR you might ask. Generally it’s because we often do rather long hikes and lugging my DSLR “bird camera”, in addition to our always mandatory binoculars, not to mention extra clothing, food, and water, would take away from the experience of being there. Also, our pictures only need to be good enough to tell a story on this blog. To date no one has offered to compensate us for our “photographic excellence” so spending large amounts of money in the pursuit of image quality is hard to justify. The FZ200 gives up some reach over many of the other super zooms, including my SX40, but I haven’t found a longer zoom coupled with the EVF of most super zooms to be particularly useful for small critters that move fast. Having said all this, it goes without saying that super zooms aren’t for everyone. Modern DSLR’s offer image quality and control that’s not easy, and in most cases impossible, for a super zoom with it’s small sensor to duplicate and that say’s nothing of the ability of a DSLR coupled with a good lens to get the picture when high ISO’s and fast focus are required. So we have to accept that with our super zooms some pictures will always be out of reach.


So far theFZ200 has been a joy to use. Below are some initial photos from the last few days. Still working on a few adjustments to get the most out of the camera.



Golden-crowned Kinglet, study 1



Golden-crowned Kinglet, study 2

Golden-crowned Kinglet looking up best 1 122714 Griggs south cp1

Golden-crowned Kinglet, study 3, Donna



White-throated Sparrow


Red-bellied Woodpecker


Red-tailed Hawk


Downy Woodpecker

Downy with seed in beck best 1 122614 highbanks FZ200 cp1

Downy Woodpecker, Donna


Kingfisher, a little to far away.

White-breasted Nuthatch looking down best 1 122714 Griggs south cp1

Nuthatch, Donna


Gray Squirrel


Landscape along the Scioto River


Trees along the Scioto River


Bald Eagle a little too far away

Jelly Ear fungi and moss from below 2 122714 Griggs soouth cp1

Fungi, Donna

Fungi and moss from below 122714 Griggs south cp1

Fungi, Donna


Whatever camera you use I hope you find time to get out and enjoy nature in your neighborhood.



10 Comments on “Sometimes Less Is More

  1. I always love your pictures! I got a FZ200 a year ago because Jim McCormack was carrying one, and I love it! Pretty lightweight to!

  2. Congratulations on your new cameras! I know what you mean about lugging a DSLR and long lens around when hiking, there are times that I long for my Powershot.

  3. I’m in the process of buying a compact camera for the same reasons as you’ve just bought your cameras. I live in Australia and most times it’s just too hot to be carrying around the weight or several litres of water as well as a big DSLR on hikes. Great pics! I’m impressed and can’t wait to get my own new camera and try it. Now I just have to work out how to use it though! Enjoy!

    • Good luck with your camera purchase! From: Central Ohio Nature To: Sent: Sunday, December 28, 2014 12:04 AM Subject: [Central Ohio Nature] Comment: “Sometimes Less Is More” #yiv6963807263 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6963807263 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6963807263 a.yiv6963807263primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6963807263 a.yiv6963807263primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6963807263 a.yiv6963807263primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6963807263 a.yiv6963807263primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6963807263 | | |

  4. Those are some great photos from a small camera! I often use a small P & S because it weighs only 7 oz compared to 4 lbs for the DSLR.

  5. It continues to amaze me what even a small point and shoot can do. I’m sure part of the reason for my wife’s love of fungi was the first camera I got her, a Canon 590is, which she still uses on occasion.

  6. …and I have to say I agree with your choice of a smaller ‘carry’ camera. You’ve seen me with my Canon Powershot walking around, I find that the majority of times that a decent camera does perfectly fine. There are times when a big camera is best, but carrying such a piece of hardware for miles does wear one down…

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