Superzoom with super-fast focus - is the Panasonic Lumix FZ150 the ultimate 24x superzoom? What Digital Camera puts the Lumix FZ150 on test...
Panasonic Lumix FZ150 review – Features
The FZ150’s 12.1MP sensor is a lower resolution than its predecessor in order to produce images without compromising quality. The sensor also features an increased output – now with two transfer lines for double the readout speed. This opens the door for the FZ150’s Full HD 1080p (not interlaced) movie mode. At 50fps (25fps output from sensor) and with a 20Mbps data rate these are similar specs to that of a camcorder. That extra sensor speed also means up to 12 frames per second continuous shooting.
Sensitivity from ISO 100-3200 adds an extra stop of sensitivity over the FZ100 but more significantly the FZ150 can also shoot Raw files.
Earning its bridge camera title the FZ150 has a 0.2in, 201k-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) to complement its 3in, 460k-dot vari-angle LCD screen. There’s even a standard hotshoe to attach additional accessories.
The 24x zoom range remains unchanged from some older Lumix models. While a new Nano Surface Coating promises to cut back on ghosting and flare, the 25-600mm range may no longer be as standout as some of the competition. However, the excellent Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) does assist in holding shots steady.
Panasonic Lumix FZ150 review – Design
While the FZ150 may look mightily similar to its FZ100 predecessor, there is one notable tweak: an added zoom lever on the side of the lens provides an additional zoom control method. Its placement is ideal for shooting video as it lends well to holding the camera steady while zooming.
The camera’s overall size is fairly chunky, akin to much of the competition, while the camera feels solid in the hand and the rubberised grip makes for an extra sturdy hold.
Menus are well laid out: the top provides a main mode dial and one touch movie button; while a control thumbwheel, variety of menu and quick menu controls reside on the rear. The quick menu brings up the main options on screen that can be rapidly cycled through using the d-pad. Toggling between LCD and viewfinder activation requires the pressing of a switch rather than an automated eye sensor, but otherwise everything feels as though it’s in its right place.
One standout design feature is the vari-angle 3in screen. It’s mounted on a bracket that allows for rotation in almost any angle. It’s easy enough to grip hold of and remains rigid throughout its positions.