With its 24x optical zoom, 12 frames per second capture rate and full manual control, the DMC-FZ150 wants to be the ultimate all-in-one camera. Tim Coleman tries it out
- 12.1-million-pixel sensor
- 24x zoom (25-600mm equivalent)
- 3in, 460,000-dot articulated LCD
- 1080p, 50fps video recording
- 12fps frame rate
- Street price around £420
The lumix DMC-FZ150 is Panasonic’s new flagship ‘superzoom’ bridge camera that has a staggering 24x optical zoom. Replacing the DMC-FZ100, the DMC-FZ150’s wide range of use is aimed squarely at the enthusiast photographer desiring a versatile all-in-one camera without the need for a bag full of extra lenses.
As a benchmark model, the DMC-FZ150 sits above the DMC-FZ48. The extras one can expect with the new model include an articulated screen and an impressive specification, with raw image capture and ultra-fast 12 frames per second (fps) recording.
In terms of new features, on the surface it appears that the changes are rather limited. However, in an interesting move by Panasonic there is a drop in resolution. This suggests an over-ambitious imaging sensor last time round. So the question is, has Panasonic had to take a step backwards in order to move the camera’s image quality forwards?
As with most superzoom cameras, a versatile lens is a key selling point. Like its predecessor, the DMC-FZ150 has a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens with 24x optical zoom range, offering an equivalent focal length of 25-600mm. A digital ‘intelligent’ zoom extends the range to 32x (800mm), but with a reduction in image resolution. The lens on the DMC-FZ150 has a nano coating that promises crisper image quality over the entire focal range.
Images are captured at up to 12.1 million effective pixels in raw or JPEG format, or both simultaneously. The DMC-FZ150 has two million pixels fewer than its predecessor, presumably in an attempt to handle noise levels more effectively.
AVCHD video files can be recorded up to 1080p at 50fps in the UK’s native PAL format, with stereo sound.
The frame rate has been edged up to a handy 12fps, recorded at full 12-million-pixel resolution with single AF. The level of control has increased because a burst of up to 5.5fps allows for full-time continuous AF during capture. Images shot at 30fps and 60fps are at a reduced resolution.
Creative control modes include effects such as pinhole and high key, while a 3D photo mode has been added to the scene mode. This works by moving the camera sideways roughly 10cm while it records several frames and then merges them into one 3D image.