After driving the same old cars for 10 years I rented a near new vehicle for a drive from JFK to Monticello. Although the car was not an outstanding model the difference between that rental and my old cars was stark. Within a year I had bought a new car. The difference between the new car and the following year’s model was so negligible that there really was no justification in buying yet another new car.
Thus Panasonic’s 2011 models vary little from last year’s models. In fact new cameras have not experienced any significant improvements over the past few years. It’s not just Panasonic. Tweaked improvements are mostly cosmetic and do little to improve photo quality. Unless DPR or some other organization can resoundingly say that the FZ150 has made some serious leap, there really is no justification for a new camera.
BBsLX5: Isn't Panasonic just admitting that the price spread is just getting smaller and smaller between the small sensor/long zoom "prosumer fixed lens" w/ (now, formerly) RAW capability "bridge cameras, and --> more expensive mostly larger sensor-ed "dumbed-down" for the sake of size and price ILC cameras where the real money for manufacturers is in the lenses and not sensor technology, and the --> again, more expensive, what are now called "entry-level dslr's" solely for considerations of size and (again, sadly) the missing "dumbed-down" features? Really sad to see this groundbreaking at the time line of cameras biting the dust, being replaced by no doubt crappier more expensive interchangeable lenses w/ the accompanying inevitable dust on the sensor problems.
Once upon a time along time ago I bought one of those 35mm SLRs that were so popular in when I was young. It meant lugging around a heavy camera and those irritating lenses all in a large camera bag. So I was overjoyed to find the easy to use digital camera with a super zoom. I fear you may be correct in believing that this category could have a limited life. The DSLRs are obviously the preferred camera for the manufacturers. After all first they sell you the camera and then they earn more selling you the lenses. A repeat of 35mm SLRs.
RMillward: Wow. It's never been clearer to me that casual readers of DPReview really need to take the comments on this site with a HUGE grain of salt... All the loathing of this little camera - from people for whom it was not designed!
#1, everyone's judging it SOLELY from a list of specs, which anyone who uses a camera knows is a rubbish way to make a good judgment.
And #2, how about bearing in mind that just because a camera doesn't suit YOUR niche needs doesn't mean it's not of value to people with other goals? Do you have no sense of how incredibly pretentious you sound when you declare a camera - completely sight- and output-unseen - "a monstrosity" or "the stupids will love it"?! What you MEAN is, "Based on the specs, and without having seen shots from it, this new Olympus isn't something a serious photographer like myself will consider."
At this point in time few people have seen the actual performance of this camera. My comment that this camera is a “monstrosity” is based upon other Super zooms and the features they offer. I am quite certain that this Olympus camera group has its fans. I doubt the group is very large.
I am looking for a reason to upgrade. This camera appears to be a minimum effort to compete against other super zooms. Why did they bother? This camera doesn’t have the features of my three year old Panasonic FZ28. dpreview should not waste a moment on this monstrosity.
keysmith: so the turn back on 12.1 ccd.. Sounds reasonable after the disaster of the 14.1 mos and 16.1 ccd sensors. FZ100 was an emparrasment for panasonic. I hope the new ccd will capture good pictures.On the other hand i wonder why buy a SLR-like superzoom when now we have the compact superzooms (Sx230, tz20 etc) with same sensors and image quality. They have a little less tele (but still enough) and a little darker lens (f2.8 vs f3.5) but they are compacts.. This SLR-like bulky superzoom category of compacts will eventually disappear.
As for the (lack of) RAW i will agree that they don''t include it not to reveal how bad the pictures are before internal processing. lol
Yes, keysmith, you have made an excellent point
The primary competitor for the FZ series is Canon PowerShot SX series. Their current version is the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS. That camera also does not have the Uncompressed RAW format. Reviewers give that camera high ratings. I cannot imagine Panasonic not continuing to offer the FZ series.
coastcontact: The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is Panasonic’s primary competitor in the SLR-like category. That camera does not offer RAW uncompressed format but many people believe that is the leading camera of the group. My guess is that Panasonic dropped the RAW to upgrade the processor while keeping the final sales price unchanged. If Pana obtains higher quality images their decision will be applauded.
I am not spamming. I posted my comment once but it was entered multiple times.
eddie_cam: @coastcontact: Why are you spamming the comments section?
No, I am not spamming. I posted my comment once but it was entered multiple times.
The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is Panasonic’s primary competitor in the SLR-like category. That camera does not offer RAW uncompressed format but many people believe that is the leading camera of the group. My guess is that Panasonic dropped the RAW to upgrade the processor while keeping the final sales price unchanged. If Pana obtains higher quality images their decision will be applauded.
The FZ series are just point and shoot cameras with the added benefit of the super zoom. If you want significantly more you will have to buy a DSLR. I upgraded from a Canon PowerShot A70 to an FZ28. That camera has aperture and shutter priority options. So I am happy with the upgrade. There does not appear to be major upgrades in the FZ47 unless you are shooting video. I have not read a reason to upgrade now. Perhaps DP Review will provide a reason after they have completed their review.