My Panasonic TZ202 pages are intended as an information source for existing and prospective Sony RX100 M4 owners. However, there is no intention to offer a complete or even up-to-date information source, because I do not have the time for such a project. The focus of my pages is on presenting my personal experiences with this camera and thereby providing one or the other useful tip for others.
Note: I use the Panasonic TZ202 mostly in P mode, sometimes in A mode. I will therefore, not cover any of the following modes or specialties: Intelligent Auto mode, Superior Auto mode, Scene mode, Creative style, Picture effect, and many of the other gimmicks. Probably, this list is incomplete...
Since I gave up my SLR equipment at the end of 2009, I have a problem, namely too little focal length in the telephoto range. For the Ricoh GXR, the P10 module with its focal length range of 28-300 mm (equivalent) seemed to be the solution. But because of the small sensor, the image quality was too poor for me compared to the other modules, so that I hardly used the P10 module, except in the early days. Later cameras offered a maximum focal length of 70 mm (equivalent; X Vario, Sony RX100 M4) or 135 mm (Leica M (Typ 240)). So I kept looking for cameras with a 1" sensor in the hope that one day they would offer more focal length in the telephoto range. This indeed happened with Panasonic's FZ1000 and its successors, and Sony's RX10 series, but I could never convince myself to buy one these huge and heavy bridge cameras. Nonetheless, I almost bought the FZ1000 before I finally decided on the Sony RX100 M4.
With the TZ100, Panasonic finally launched a camera with a larger focal length range (25-250 mm equivalent) in early 2016. But unfortunately the viewfinder is considered bad, and the lens is also rated as poor, especially in the telephoto range. So I kept my hands off this camera...
At the beginning of 2018, the successor to the TZ100 was released, the TZ200/202, with an improved viewfinder, an extended focal length range (with slightly lower light intensity) and perhaps a slightly better lens. After some to and fro, reading test reports, watching videos about the camera, and finally looking at the camera at the dealer, I decided to buy the TZ202, particularly because I wanted to gain some experience with it before we would go on vacation. On the first day, I promptly had some difficulties to get used to and use the camera. That is all I can report at the moment...
Rear view, on
Photo: The Panasonic TZ202
The Panasonic TZ202 is not meant to replace my Sony RX100 M4, which is certainly the better camera in the focal length range of 24-70 mm (that is a guess...), but should complement it in the telephoto range. This should also apply to "close-ups in the telephoto range", for example, butterflies that I cannot get closer to, because otherwise they will fly away. Of course, the Panasonic TZ202 does not deliver "full-size" butterfly photos in the telephoto range, but certainly will deliver more details than the Sony RX100 M4 or the Leica X Vario are able provide. My primary concern here is to be able to determine the butterflies later on the basis of the photos.
While I can attach close-up lenses (+5 to +15 diopters) to the Sony RX100 M4 using the Lensmate adapter, this does not seem to be possible with the Panasonic TZ202. It provides the largest object size of our cameras in the wide angle range, but at a distance of 3 cm many animals are scared away and the object is also easily shaded. In other words, the Sony RX100 M4 is still the first choice for larger magnifications!
But only for a short period of time, and that is why I cannot make a "statement" about it yet, except that I had a lot of "adaptation difficulties" with the camera at the beginning. I also switched off the touch screen because I look through the viewfinder with my left eye and regularly move the focus point with my nose.
It is far too early for me to think about recommending the camera to others...