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.

26 Aug 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT


1/2.33in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 24.0x zoom (25-600mm equivalent), 528g

The FZ100's weakest area was its photo quality, with its 14-megapixel sensor displaying significantly higher noise than its 12-megapixel predecessor. The FZ150 drops the resolution back down to 12 megapixels, and is all the better for it. There was still a suggestion of noise reduction suppressing subtle details such as grass and skin textures in bright light, but much less so than on the FZ100 and not to any significant degree.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 sample 6

When low-light environments demanded fast ISO speeds, noise reduction was applied liberally but it did an excellent job of hiding noise without degrading the image too obviously. We found high-ISO image quality to be slightly better than from the FZ48, and among the best we've seen from an ultra-zoom camera. Only the Nikon S9100 is significantly better, but large zoom aside, it's quite a different camera to the FZ150.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 sample 1

Other aspects of photo quality were consistently excellent, with sharp focus, flattering colours and superbly judged automatic exposures. The Intelligent Auto mode made life very simple (although as with the FZ48, we could do without its digital zoom function), while the program, priority and manual modes offered extensive control over exposures and picture quality in general.

The FZ150 won't be cheap, but compared to dedicated video cameras of similar quality and capabilities, it's far from overpriced. Throw in the fastest performance we've ever seen from a compact camera, superb quality photos and great controls, and the FZ150 has comfortably earned itself five stars and an Ultimate award.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.33in
Viewfinder electronic (201,600 pixels)
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 460,000 pixels
Articulated screen Yes
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 24.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 25-600mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,000x3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1920x1080
Movie frame rate at max quality 50fps
File formats JPEG, RAW; AVCHD, MPEG-4


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 70MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 410 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, mini HDMI, microphone
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 528g
Size 82x123x111mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £369

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 15 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture range f/2.8-8 (wide), f/5.2-8 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-3 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets with fine tuning, manual, custom
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, i.Dynamic
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 1cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket

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