Ok guys... I know this is against the whole concept of my own blog since Panasonic FZ200 isn't a rangefinder camera. It's at least a Lumix with Leica technology in terms of leans. I hope this won't get me kicked out of the rangefinder fraternity :) I was thinking about the camera & which lens to bring for this trip (35 + 50 + 85 + so on), as I would expect to shoot a lot of landscape, some close-up shot in a stadium, some wild horses, low lighting indoor, etc. so I have figured out that getting a decent- spec, super zoom compact camera isn't a bad idea. After reading several reviews + seeing real life examples of this FZ200, its image reputation and user's experience seems quite satisfactory. To sum it up, it has f2.8 across all zoom range (25- 600mm sth. like that), light weight, good battery life and most of all, I dun have to worry about it too much when traveling. Note that these photos have been edited lightly, click on any image to see a large size.
Let's start with the tourist shot of the Sukhbaatar Square ( there is a seated statue of Chinggis Khan in the middle).
It's too bad I didn't catch the opening of Naadam festival...I only went to the national stadium on 2nd to experience what's it like. There were trillions of people, no wonder why I was told that 90% of Mongolians watch this festival on TV at home while having beer and vodka on their couch..
This is the famous guy, have no idea who he is. I saw him sitting near the President during the closing ceremony thro.
Some more shots around/ inside the stadium..
This was taken on a viewpoint of a huge communist-era monument located on a hill near the city. This Japanese guy was posting perfectly for my shot!
Strange enough, I had a chance to attend a Mongolian wedding ceremony + reception, it was a great experience!
And...lots of landscape and animal shots as I have expected. Note that white balance may look weird, the weather/ light condition during those days changed so drastically between hours..
Well, the two pictures below were not taken in Mongolia as you might be confused. I had to switch plane at Incheon airport in Seoul and there was some sort of event on that day :D
The bottom line about my trip with Panasonic FZ200, I would say that the images are quite good but not great nor breathtaking (compared to my Leica). I mean it's good enough for this kind of trip unless you are planning to shoot for Discovery Channel Award. If I took my Leica for this trip, I would have missed most of the shots that require zoom & auto focus and on top of that, I might not appear in any photo at all ;(
Mongolia is definitely a fun place to travel, explore, take great photo. People are really nice, although the toilet outside of the city is quite challenging. It's really hard for us to find a trustworthy and not over charging guide, if you ever consider traveling to Mongolia, I would like to recommend Sarah from Mongolia Eco Tour Operator (www.meto.mn, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org). Although I didn't take a full tour with her, she took me around the city with her family, invited me to her cousin's wedding, introduced me to her whole family, fed me dinner at her apartment while watching wrestling with her husband, walked to supermarket with her daughter, etc. Trust me it's really hard to find a fluent English speaker who has a great attitude and fun to hang out with. Feel free to consult her and her team for you holiday plan & budget. If you ever need any other info, please feel free to contact me anytime! Thanks for reading until the end!!