Panasonic Lumix FZ200 Digital Camera Review$599.00
The FZ200's overall sharpness numbers are below expectations. Sharpness averaged under 1500 MTF50s overall, with spikes up to 2000 and above in the center of the frame, and dips down below 600 at the edges. Focal length also dramatically affects sharpness. Considering only test results from the closest focal length, sharpness averaged over 1700 MTF50s, but identical shots captured at maximum zoom averaged only 1200 MTF50s.
We've seen worse, but such is the curse of the superzoom. Glass can only be pushed so far before the geometry starts to introduce unsharpness. Panasonic wisely stuck to 24x for this year and last, but it seems the move to f/2.8 all the way down has been slightly detrimental to sharpness. More on how we test sharpness.
Other than during testing, we found it best to leave the FZ200's stabilizer active during most of our shooting. The feature protected our maximum zoom shots from motion blur about half of the time. That's not great, but we could see no downside—such as a dip in sharpness—to leaving the system turned on, so we recommend you do the same.