Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 review
Record-breaking performance, dependable image quality, superb controls and a fantastic video mode make this versatile camera worth the high price.
Review Date: 26 Aug 2011
Price when reviewed: £369
Reviewed By: Ben Pitt
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We recently reviewed the FZ48, a capable ultra-zoom camera that marked a return to form for Panasonic. This time we've got its big brother is under the spotlight. The FZ150 was officially unveiled today, and while it's too early to confirm UK pricing, we've reviewed it with the expectation that it'll cost around £400.
Update 05/09/2011 - The FZ150 still isn't on sale, though we've seen pre-orders for £369 online, which is a little cheaper than our initial estimate of £400
Initial inspection reveals more similarities than differences, with the FZ48 and FZ150 cameras both packing a 12-megapixel sensor, 24x zoom Leica-branded lens, 3in LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, a generous collection of buttons and a command dial. Both record 1080p video and both use a special lens coating to minimise lens flares.
There's plenty to justify the FZ150's higher price, though. Its 3in screen is articulated, there's a hotshoe for an external flash or microphone, and photos can be captured in RAW mode for extensive tinkering on a PC. Panasonic tells us that autofocus speed has been improved, and it certainly seemed to be extremely quick. We measured a shot-to-shot time of 0.65 seconds, shaving a quarter of a second off the FZ48's performance and making this the most responsive compact camera we've ever seen. It also managed just 0.9 seconds between shots in RAW mode, slowing to two seconds after 15 shots.
Continuous performance was at 12fps for 12 frames – up from 11fps on its predecessor, the FZ100 and much faster than the FZ48's 3.7fps. It can also shoot at 5.5fps while updating autofocus between each shot – a crucial feature for following moving subjects. It can't quite match a fast SLR, which is able to update its autofocus even more quickly and accurately, and also benefits from a largely uninterrupted view through its optical viewfinder. However, this is the best continuous mode we've seen from a compact camera.
Sounds like what I've been waiting for. Excellent spec, and a viewfinder so I don't need reading glasses.
By tonyd on 5 Sep 2011
To bulky --> over 500 g
...and a tiny sensor. Buy a SLR instead.
By weha24 on 6 Sep 2011
This seems an excellent Bridge camera, perhaps "weha24" could let us know which DSLR with this spec can be obtained at the same price?
By philipgt on 13 Sep 2011
Am much intersted in HDR photography. why is that EV increment just 1.
By maha4india on 16 Sep 2011
I would like to know the difference in the zoom capability of 35X from that of 24X. Is it significant enough to consider buying Canon's SX40 HS better zoom instead of a faster Panasonic's FZ-150. It would be great if you can post sample images from both the cameras taken at full extended zoom.
By Bahlit on 19 Oct 2011
1/2.33 12mp down from 14mp ? why would they not use a larger chip say 5/8 or 3/4
I have a FZ100 should I upgrade to aFZ150.
By EddieP on 21 Oct 2011
Panasonic Lumix FZ-150
Last week purchased this camera mostly based on reviews.
But I am very disappointed about the performance and the image quality of this camera indoor.
Continuous autofocus in video mode is unable to keep the image sharp as the zoom lens changes. Sometimes it takes more than 3 seconds to have the object sharp!
How is it possible that all expert are so extremely positive about this camera?
Have they tested the camera only outside in the sunny weather?
Havenn't they noticed the autofocus problem?
Does anybody know which one from the other superzooms doesnn't have this problem because I am not going to keep this camera and I Will change it with another one.
By Simac on 3 Jul 2012
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