Today Panasonic presented two new digital cameras, replacing the highly acclaimed GX8 and ZS100. Neocamera already reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 here and reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 here, both reaching our Excellent rating due to their high image-quality and innovative capabilities. Each of these models were first in their series, so their successors have been hotly anticipated.
The new models changed their naming prefix to better fit the new hybrid still and video convergence. So the DMC-GX8 is succeeded by the DC-GX9 and the DMC-ZS100 is followed by the DC-ZS200, actually this one is also known as the DC-TZ200 un Europe.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 retains the rangefinder style introduced by its predecessor which was also the first Panasonic mirrorless to feature built-in image-stabilization. While it offers the same high-quality 20 megapixels Four-Thirds sensor, the GX9 omits the Anti-Alias-Filter to resolve finer details than its predecessor could. A new stabilization mechanism has been upgraded to 5-axis and is now effective to 4-stops, compared to 4-axis good to 3.5 stops. This should result in higher image-quality and improved low-light performance. The mechanism inside the GX9 is Dual IS capable so it can deliver even greater stability when paired with compatible optically stabilized lenses.
While the GX9 inherits most GX8 features, the body was completely redone and is no longer weatherproof. It is 30% lighter and 20% smaller, placing it more in-line with other rangefinder-style mirrorless cameras. It still offers dual control-dials, a traditional mode-dial and a dedicated Exposure-Compensation dial for efficient controls. The rare tilting EVF element is also retained with a slightly smaller 0.39″ unit instead of a 0.44″ one, giving it a 0.7X magnification instead of 0.7X. Resolution though has been increased 10% to 2.7 megapixels, compared to 2.4 MP.
An improved processor gives the GX9 more speed with a maximum 20 megapixels continuous drive of 9 FPS for up to 100 JPEG images or 30 RAW files. The usual Panasonic 4K Burst mode that can capture 4K images at 30 FPS for 60 frames is still there. The same processor brings autofocus improvement using Depth-From-Defocus (DFD) technology.
The new Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 is the second-generation large-sensor Travel-Zoom on the market, the only other one being the ZS100 that precedes it. This compact digital camera features a relatively large 20 megapixels 1″ CMOS sensor with 2.7X crop-factor, similar to the one used in Premium Compact cameras. The key difference is that the ZS200 pairs this capable sensor with a 15X wide-angle optical-zoom lens, equivalent to 24-360mm which a maximum F/3.3-6.4 aperture. This is obviously rather dim yet is the only compromise possible to fit a 1″ sensor into a travel zoom.
Panasonic improved upon the original ZS100 to make the ZS200 even more compelling. Optical zoom has been pushed from 10X to 15X and made even wider, while only losing 1/3-stop of light-gathering. The new lens can focus closer, down to 3cm at wide-angle, giving it improved macro capabilities. Both the EVF and LCD have been improved too. A higher-resolution 2.3 megapixels EVF with 0.53X magnification, compared to 116K pixels and 0.46X, and higher-resolution 1.2 megapixels LCD, compared to 1 megapixel, should deliver a better user-experience with the ZS200.
The new ZS200 packs a considerable amount of features into a Travel Zoom form-factor. It adds Bluetooth 4.2 LE to its connectivity option while still offering HDR, Interval Timer, Time-Lapse Video and Automatic Leveling, something that only Pentax cameras and the ZS100 do.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 is also expected to ship this April. Its retail price should be $800 USD or $1100 CAD. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders. Using these links unsure you get your hands on one of these digital cameras quickly while helping support Neocamera.