My First Digital Camera – Basic Features

After unboxing my camera and looking at the different accessories which had come with it, I will now look at the camera itself, the different features at first glance.

Top Right View

Top Right View

In the picture above, you will see the On/Off switch, the shutter button, attached to it the zoom lever (in front of the shutter button), the one touch record (red) button, burst (multiple squares) mode button, a function (Fn1) button and also a dial which allows the user to select different modes of shooting.

The burst mode allows the user to shoot several shots at once. Just push the burst mode button and choose the amount of pictures to capture per second, then press the shutter button.

The Fn1 button can be assigned any custom function so that the user can easily access his preferred functionality. There are in all 3 Fn buttons (Fn1, Fn2 and Fn3) in the camera.

The different shooting modes using the dial on top of the camera are as follows:

  1. Intelligent Auto (Plus) – iA or iA+ modeIn Intelligent Auto mode the camera determines the best settings based on the scene that is being shot. There is also another function which is the Intelligent Auto Plus (iA+) mode which allows the user to choose from a few basic settings like white balance, saturation and the focus point.
  2. Program Shift (P) modeThe Program Shift mode allows the user to adjust the Aperture and Shutter Speed. The user can use some of his own creativity and adjust the aperture and shutter speed to take his pictures.
  3. Aperture Priority (A) modeThe Aperture Priority mode enables the user to set the Aperture and the camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed based on the exposure.
  4. Shutter Priority (S) modeIn the Shutter Priority mode, the user can adjust the Shutter Speed and the camera automatically adjusts the Aperture based on the exposure.

The Program Shift, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority are all known as Semi-Automatic Modes.

  1. Manual Exposure (M) modeThe Manual Exposure mode allows the user to set the Aperture and Shutter speed individually and therefore manually set the Exposure mode.
  2. Creative Video (M with Video Icon) modeThe Creative Video mode allows the user to record motion picture with manual settings.
  3. Custom (C1 and C2) modesThis allows the user to register any settings into the C1 or C2 mode so that it can be used later by just switching the dial to the assigned mode.
  4. Scene (SCN) modeThe Scene mode enables to user to match the picture being shot to any scene. A few examples of scenes are Portrait, Soft Skin, Panorama, Panning, HDR, Night Scenery, Glass Through, 3D and an few other. We will be looking at the different scene modes in detail later in another post dedicated to the scene mode.
  5. Creative Control (Palette Icon) modeThe creative control mode adds effects to the pictures and also allows the user to view the effects in real time before taking the picture. A few creative effects available are Expressive, Retro, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, One point color and a few other interesting effects. I will later give more details about the different effects in a later post dedicated to Creative Control Shooting mode.

Back Right View

Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - Back Right ViewAt the back of the camera you will find the:

  1. Playback Button
    The playback button is used to, well, play back the pictures and videos captured. When in Playback mode, press the button again to go back to shooting mode.
  2. AF/AE Lock button
    This button is used to fix the focus and/or the exposure. It is also used as the Fn2 button.
  3. Rear Dial (Just at the right of the AF/AE Lock button)
    The rear dial is used to adjust certain settings, it can be used to navigate from left to right. Pressing the button will activate additional features depending on the shooting mode.
  4. Function 3 (Fn3) Button
    The third Fn button of the camera
  5. Display (Disp.) Button
    The Display button is used to set the Display on the EVF or the LCD to show or hide the labels and indicators.
  6. Cursor (Circle) buttons
    The cursor button helps to navigate through the different menus when in settings mode. In shooting mode, each direction has got a specific function namely the ISO (Up) settings, the White Balance (Right), AF Mode (Left), Self-Timer (Down).
  7. Menu/Set button (Just in the middle of the Cursor button)
    The Menu/Set button gives access to the different settings of the camera when in shooting mode and it is also used to select when navigating
  8. Quick Menu/Delete (Thrash Can icon) Button
    When in shooting mode, the quick menu will give quick access to the various settings, when browsing through pictures, this button is used to delete the selected picture. We can also delete multiple pictures at once. When browsing the menu, this button is used to go back or even cancel a certain action.

You might have noticed just on top of the Fn3 and Disp. button, a small thumb rest which allows the user a better grip on the thumb while holding the camera.

Camera Flash

Flash Closed Flash Open

The camera flash is a popup flash. In the picture on the left, you will see the open switch which pops out the flash when triggered (right picture). This is another feature that I really love in this camera. In order to close the flash, just push it down and the flash will be disabled.

Left Side of the lens barrel


On the left of the lens barrel, there are:

  • a lever to zoom in or zoom out. This can also be used to set Focus in Manual Focus mode.
  • a switch which allows the user to choose from Auto Focus, Auto Focus (for Close Up) and Manual Focus
  • a Focus button which is used to automatically set the focus when in Manual Mode, or also activate and move the focus area.

LCD Panel

As you can see, the LCD Panel can be tilted in various ways. You can also take a picture of yourself with the camera and the LCD Panel both facing towards you. The user can also switch between the EVF and the LCD using the EVF/LCD button found next to the Electronic Viewfinder.

Other features

The rest of the features in pictures:

Well these are the general features of the camera.

I will soon be trying the different modes by taking a few pictures and learning how to use the camera. I have got a really nice playlist from Graham Houghton who has helped me a lot in understanding the Panasonic Lumix FZ200. You can have a look at the different videos. There are also other videos of other cameras and some techniques how to take nice shots.

5 thoughts on “My First Digital Camera – Basic Features

    • Yeah, I have yet to post the pictures I have taken for tests. Most readers are waiting for that and I already have them. Unfortunately did not get the time to post them. :(
      Hopefully I will be posting them very soon.


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