FZ150 handling--first impressions

Started Oct 4, 2011 | Discussions thread
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juliest
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FZ150 handling--first impressions
Oct 4, 2011

Saw the $460 price from Amazon on Saturday and ordered one even though I am not one who typically buys a brand new release until there have been lots of reviews and user comments. But, I've been waiting a long time for just the right camera to come along (and I hope it is this one). Plus, winter is coming here, and it is not too pleasant trying to learn a new camera with mittens on.

We're all coming from different perspectives in looking for a new camera, and that influences our comments, so here is where I am coming from. I am strictly an amateur looking for an all-around camera to use when traveling because that is when I do the bulk of my photography. My primary camera has been a seven year old KM A200 that was an excellent 28-200 bridge camera with a 2/3" sensor, but it is incredibly slow. I've finally given up waiting for a new release similar to that one and went for the FZ150 even though it doesn't have the manual twist zooming I so much prefer. We also have another classic--the Fuji F30--a small pocket camera with the typical rocker switch. I hate that rocker switch. Finally, we have a G1 with the 14 to 45 kit lens that we bought a year ago at a really good price. It is a lovely camera, but its reach isn't long enough. The 14 to 140 lens to put on the G1 to replicate the all-in-one experience of the FZ150 costs about $300 more than the FZ150 does. And, if we get the 45 to 200 to supplement the 14 to 45, it alone is $265, and we need to carry an extra lens while traveling and fiddle with changing lenses. I owned the Fuji HS10 for a month last fall but returned it within the return period becasue it was too big and clunky and too slow.

So, back to the FZ150. I took it out this morning for a quick trial run and haven't even looked at the photos yet, so this is strictly about handling. Although I used to laugh when I read reviews that mentioned cameras being plasticky, it does have a bit of that feel. And, my guess is that being dropped would probably do it in. It is a nice size and weight, and it is no problem to walk around with it dangling from one's neck; I could easliy see doing this all day. The grip is comfortable, and there is enough camera to hold on to. The articulating screen is very nice, but it won't open unless you get your finger/nail in the little recessed slot. And, a couple times I inadvertently bumped the button for photo review and temporarily locked it in that position. Since I haven't even opened the manual yet, it is fairly intuitive to use. Today I left it on iA most of the time just to see how it would do except once ot twice when I adjusted the exposure compensation.

Coming from being used to a twist ring adjustment process for zooming, the thing I am having the most difficulty getting used to is zooming in and old. The zoom moves incredibly fast, and my left hand still intuitively searches for the ring and has a hard time with the zoom lever there. I also tried using the standard toggle switch. Don't know which one will eventually work best for me, but right now the zooming process is still feeling strange to me. I've also never had a camera with this tele length this long before (I don't really need the 600), so of course had to play with the full tele. It does require a very still stance and some breath holding when zoomed all the way out.

All in all, I am hoping that all of the other great features this camera has will cancel out my difficulties adjusting to this method of zooming.

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