[REVIEW—PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-FZ150]

by terry on 3 November 2011

Panasonic DMC FZ150

Price:$800

One small evolutionary step

THE LOW-DOWN: This latest version of Panasonic’s all-in-one superzoom pseudo SLR is a small development from the FZ100. It has the same 25–600mm equivalent lens and articulated LCD. The electronic viewfinder appears to be unchanged, but there is one difference – the megapixel count has been reduced from 14 to 12. This is an aspect of camera design where Panasonic has gone boldly and led the way, reducing pixel count to improve image quality and reduce image noise. This is a bridge camera, between compacts and DSLRs, in that it is smaller and lighter than an SLR but retains the versatility of the bigger camera, including RAW capture and a full set of external buttons and knobs for function control. Movie mode is full 1080p HD. There is a suite of optional accessories including microphone, flash and lens extenders.

LIKE: The Leica-branded stabilised lens is impressive in all respects. Even at the 600mm extension sharpness and contrast are good. And at the widest 25mm end distortion is negligible. Images are consistently well exposed and auto focus is fast and accurate. On the test shoot we found the articulated LCD a boon, particularly for low level shooting.

DISLIKE: We have the same reservation we always have about the electronic viewfinder.

VERDICT: It is just one year since we tested the FZ100, the predecessor to this camera. Panasonic’s product development seems to go in small, evolutionary steps with one or two improvements here and there. This is an admirably conservative approach and shows the company has faith in its fundamentals. It means that the owner of an FZ100 has little incentive to trade up, but a new customer is getting a highly refined product. Superzoom is not our preferred camera form, but this is a good one.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Darius Cheesman April 19, 2012 at 20:58

Terry I have an old Panasonic DMC-FZ7, 6 mp and 12 zoom. I find this a bit limiting but am uncertain about going to SLR. I am interested in landscape and sports photography. do you think this would be a significant improvement on my old camera?

Reply

terry April 20, 2012 at 09:58

Darius:

If you are at all serious about photography then you need to move from compact to a better camera. At least look at the micro four thirds cameras from Panasonic and Olympus. They are still small enough not to be a burden when travelling but they give much better pictures than any compact. If you don’t mind lugging a camera body and lenses then look at the entry level DSLRs from Pentax, Nikon and Canon. They all represent astonishing value for money. Buying the cheapest camera body and adding one decent lens is an inexpensive way into a better system. So-called “bridge cameras” like the Panasonic you mention are, in my opinion, totally unsuitable for anyone who has even half-way serious photo ambitions.

Terry L

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Darryl Foster May 3, 2012 at 10:40

Terry,
I have printed off the book “Ultimate Field Guide to Photography” from the email sent to me but the “Guide to Photography” was not sent and I’m wondering if you are able to send it to me?

Darryl F

Reply

terry May 3, 2012 at 10:54

Darryl: I would send it to you but apparently your email address at bigpong does not exist. Zap me a dinkum address and I will forward the guide too sweet. Terry

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