Panasonic FZ200 vs Samsung NX500
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and the Samsung NX500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2012 and February 2015. The FZ200 is a fixed lens compact, while the NX500 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (FZ200) and an APS-C (NX500) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Samsung provides 28 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and the Samsung NX500? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ200 and the Samsung NX500 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Samsung NX500 is notably smaller (29 percent) than the Panasonic FZ200. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ200 nor the NX500 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ200 has a lens built in, whereas the NX500 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The power pack in the NX500 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|2.||Samsung NX500||120 mm||64 mm||43 mm||287 g||370||n||Feb 2015||799|
|3.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|4.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|5.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|8.||Nikon D5600||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|9.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|10.||Panasonic FZ330||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|11.||Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|13.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|14.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|15.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|17.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The FZ200 was launched at a lower price than the NX500, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic FZ200 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Samsung NX500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NX500 is 1218 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the FZ200 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the NX500 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 28MP, the NX500 offers a higher resolution than the FZ200 (12MP), but the NX500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.63μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ200) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the NX500 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 6 months) than the FZ200, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Samsung NX500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NX500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 32.4 x 21.6 inches or 82.3 x 54.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 21.6 x 14.4 inches or 54.9 x 36.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ200 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The NX500 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Samsung NX500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the NX500 offers substantially better image quality than the FZ200 (overall score 50 points higher). The advantage is based on 5.7 bits higher color depth, 3.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 3.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|6.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the NX500 provides a better video resolution than the FZ200. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ200 has an electronic viewfinder (1312k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NX500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic FZ200 and Samsung NX500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic FZ200||1312||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Samsung NX500||none||n||3.0 / 1036||tilting||Y||1/6000s||9.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|4.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic FZ330||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic LF1||200||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|17.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The NX500 has a touchscreen, while the FZ200 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The Samsung NX500 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the FZ200 and the NX500 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and Samsung NX500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic FZ200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Samsung NX500||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Nikon D5600||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic FZ330||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic LF1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic LX5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the FZ200 has a microphone port, which is missing on the NX500. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the FZ200 and the NX500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ200 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ300, while the NX500 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Samsung websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic FZ200 and the Samsung NX500? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the NX500 requires a separate lens.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (540 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2012).
Advantages of the Samsung NX500:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (28 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 56%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (50 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (5.7 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3.1 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (3.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k vs 460k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x64mm vs 125x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the FZ200 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NX500 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 9 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic FZ200 and the Samsung NX500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the FZ200 or the NX500. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|2.||Samsung NX500||4.5/5||..||..||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||799|
|3.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|4.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|5.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|8.||Nikon D5600||4/5||..||4/5||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|9.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|10.||Panasonic FZ330||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|11.||Panasonic LF1||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|13.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|14.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|15.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|17.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Samsung NX500
- Canon 40D vs Samsung NX500
- Canon 5DS R vs Samsung NX500
- Canon SX70 vs Samsung NX500
- Canon T5i vs Samsung NX500
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Panasonic FZ200
- Leica X-U Typ 113 vs Panasonic FZ200
- Nikon D850 vs Panasonic FZ200
- Nikon Df vs Panasonic FZ200
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Panasonic GF7
- Panasonic FZ200 vs Sony RX100 VII
- Samsung NX500 vs Sony RX100 II
Specifications: Panasonic FZ200 vs Samsung NX500
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic FZ200||Samsung NX500|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||25-600mm f/2.8||Samsung NX mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2012||February 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Samsung NX500|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||368.95 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||28 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||6480 x 4320 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||3.63 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||7.59 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus VII FHD||DRIMe Vs|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||37||87|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.1||24.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||13.9|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||114||1379|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Samsung NX500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1312k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||1036k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Samsung NX500|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||9 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Samsung NX500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic FZ200||Samsung NX500|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||540 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
125 x 87 x 110 mm
(4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
120 x 64 x 43 mm
(4.7 x 2.5 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||588 g (20.7 oz)||287 g (10.1 oz)|
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