Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150
Category: Super-zoom Compact Camera
Conclusion - Pros
- Really useful 25-600mm (equivalent) lens range
- Very good JPEG image quality, with provision for shooting in Raw mode
- Lens impressively sharp with generally good sharpness at all focal lengths
- Effective image stabilization
- Good high ISO capability for its class (and much better than FZ100)
- Excellent video specification and good, detailed results
- Effective built-in mic (although stereo separation could be better) and provision for external mic
Conclusion - Cons
- Slight tendency to highlight clipping in some situations
- EVF a little 'pokey' and prone to RGB tearing
- Noise-reduction takes the edge off fine detail above ISO 400 (but can be tweaked)
- High-quality video files are massive
Megazooms are alive and well, despite all the attention given to smaller, compact interchangeable lens cameras. And Panasonic has done a good job with its latest long zoom, the 12 megapixel FZ150. In challenging conditions the FZ150 gives better image quality than its predecessor thanks, in great part, to Panasonic's decision to go with a much more capable 12 megapixel CMOS sensor instead of the FZ100's unimpressive 14MP unit. A wide angle, image-stabilized 24x (25-600mm) zoom, raw mode, full manual and automatic controls, an articulated LCD, full HD video and 3D capture are only some of this highly capable camera's feature highlights but look away from the impressive spec sheet and you'll find that image quality is very good too, across the span of the camera's 24x optical zoom lens.
Although the FZ150 faces stiff competition from the new generation of megazoom compacts announced this year, it is still one of the best cameras of its type on the market. It combines an expansive feature set, great performance, and enough still and video options (and quality) to keep enthusiast photographers and casual videographers happy. At a street price of around $450 the FZ150 isn't exactly cheap, but compares well with competitors like Sony's new CyberShot HX200V and Nikon's Coolpix P510 (both of which we're hoping to put through their paces soon).
Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
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Ergonomics & handling
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Movie / video mode
The ultimate 'general purpose' camera, the FZ150's versatile 24X zoom lens is just as capable when it comes to wideangle landscapes as it is for extreme telephoto shots
Not so good for
Like all 'megazooms', when it comes to applications where critical image quality really matters, there are better cameras out there.
THE FZ150 is a solid and capable superzoom camera that boasts impressive image quality considering it's 24X optical zoom range. Sharpness is high, aberrations are well-controlled, and its capable optical image stabilization system makes working at its extreme effective focal lengths relatively pain-free.
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