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
Videos are captured in AVCHD format at up to 1080p and 50fps. Most cameras shoot either 25 progressive-scan or 50 interlaced frames per second, but these are both compromises: 50fps interlaced produces smoother motion but moving subjects aren't as detailed. With 50fps progressive scan you get the best of both worlds, although it also generates twice the amount of data.
Even on our Core i7 PC, Windows Media Player couldn't play these clips back smoothly. Our favourite video-editing software, Sony Vegas Platinum, had no problem handling them, although the number of clips it could play simultaneously was inevitably halved. The camera's default video capture mode is 50fps interlaced (1080-50i), which makes more sense in most situations.
The FZ150's videos also benefit from improved optical stabilisation to counteract camera shake, particularly while walking and shooting. That's a technique we'd never normally consider without specialist equipment, but at the wide end of the zoom we were able to walk and record videos that didn't induce motion sickness when played back – a terrific achievement. It's also possible to capture 3.7-megapixel photos without interrupting video recording.
These improvements build on some impressive features inherited from the FZ100. Videos benefit from smooth automatic exposures or full manual control, responsive autofocus, 30-minute clip lengths, an external microphone socket, high quality stereo sound from the built-in microphone and silent zoom and autofocus motors. There was little evidence of video noise – subtle details were lost to noise reduction in low-light clips but noise only became intrusive in subdued artificial light. In bright conditions, videos looked flawless.
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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