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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 review

October 1, 2011

Overall Rating:

3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150


Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£420.00

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

Build and Handling

    

Image:  Such a wide focal range makes shooting a number of situations possible, especially for good levels of detail with distant subjects

The DMC-FZ150 feels good in the hand. I like the understated contours of the handgrip and thumb rest, both of which have a good-quality leather-effect surface. The body is made mainly from a tough plastic and is lightweight, weighing 528g including card and battery.

There is a comprehensive number of controls to hand dotted around the 124.3×81.7×95.2mm body. One of these is for the continuous shooting drive mode, from where a capture rate of up to 60fps can be made. The shooting mode dial is a little overcrowded with too many modes for my liking, including PASM control and ten presets.

Other controls include a direct movie record. Stereo sound is recorded by a microphone built into the pop-up flash on the top of the camera. A hotshoe mount enables the use of compatible accessories such as a flashgun and external microphone.

At the press of a button, the user can choose between the 3in, 460,000-dot LCD screen and the built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) for controlling, composing and viewing images. The screen is fully articulated from the side of the camera, offering a wide angle of view, with a reasonably bright and crisp output. The EVF has a resolution of 201,600 dots and is useful for bright daylight situations, but it has the rough pixelated edges often found in low-resolution viewfinders.

As the DMC-FZ150 is a superzoom camera, there is great emphasis on the handling of the lens. Its zoom function can be controlled in two ways: by the shutter or on the side of the lens through a zoom lever, which can also be assigned for focusing. We have seen a zoom lever introduced in a couple of new Lumix G micro four thirds lenses, primarily to help provide steadier handheld zoom control for video users. Having used both controls, I found that any difference in steadiness is minimal and unlikely to affect stills photographers. Nonetheless, the extra option is a useful one. An AF/macro AF or manual-focus switch is also present.

As it can become increasingly difficult to control a camera in the hand at the telephoto end of the focal length, Panasonic’s Power OIS built-in stabilisation works against the up and down movement produced when shooting handheld, giving extra flexibility for handheld, blur-free shooting in low light.

Overall, the DMC-FZ150 is a versatile camera with speedy access to a good level of manual and automatic control.

  • White Balance: Auto WB, 5 presets, 2 sets, temp and manual
  • Memory Card: SDHC, SDXC, SD
  • Output Size: 4000x3000 pixels
  • LCD: 3in LCD with 460,000 dots
  • AF Points: Quick AF, continuous, area, tracking, face, multi
  • Sensor: 1/2.3in, 12.1-million-pixel, CMOS sensor
  • Exposure Modes: PASM, creative video, creative control, portrait, scenery, sports, night portrait, close-up, scene mode (18 settings), custom
  • Weight: 528g (including card and battery)
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion 895mAh (410 shots)
  • Shutter Speeds: 15-1/2000sec (15 or 30sec in starry sky mode)
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG. Compression: Fine/ Standard JPEG.
  • Focusing Modes: Normal AF, macro AF, manual focus
  • ISO: 100-6400
  • Lens Mount: 24x zoom lens, 25-600mm (effective) f/2.8-5.2, 1cm close focus macro mode
  • Dimensions: 124.3x81.7x95.2mm
  • Metering System: Intelligent, centreweighted, spot
  • RRP: £469.99
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