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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Review
The Lumix DMC-FZ150 is the flagship camera in Panasonic’s FZ superzoom range. It takes the place of the FZ100 and has been released just after the cheaper but similarly equipped FZ48 debuted. The DMC-FZ150 costs £120 more than the FZ48 and comes with with a flexible LCD screen, which proves to be very advantageous when it comes to taking high or low angle shots when the camera is not at the eye level. Besides the 460,000 dot, three-inch LCD display, there is a electronic viewfinder (EVF), boasting of 201,000 dot, just on top of the LCD.
This makes it very flexible to use, yet using the EVF will make your nose rub against the LCD when you are peering through it to take a shot. To switch between the LCD and the EVF there is a button provided, but it would have been better had there been a eye sensor built in but that would have made the camera bulky and costlier.
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Features of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150
Press the small and slightly stiff power button and within two seconds the camera is all ready to click pictures or record videos. It is similar to other bridge cameras, so named as they are placed in between compact snappers and DSLRs when it comes to performance and price. The totally-finished-in-black Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is considerably more sophisticated than an average compact camera, and is designed like a SLR which furthers its appeal.
The overall build quality of the plastic-bodied DMC-FZ150 is solid and its dimensions are 12.43×8.17×9.52cm, while the weight is 528 grams, which lends robustness to the device. The lithium-ion battery is good enough for 410 shots before it needs charging. The camera can be carried in the pocket of a large winter coat but most of the times you will need to hang it around your neck or on the shoulder because it is far from sleek.
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The extra bulk, including a big-sized handgrip, is due to its focal range, which is broader than what is found on other cameras, and based on the extending and retracting optical zoom with has a magnification of 24x, which in 35mm comparison terms, is same as 25mm to 600mm. The camera extends and retracts its zoom lens in just 3 seconds. Though this zoom capability is less than the 36x offered on the 12.1MP Nikon Coolpix P500, but the FZ150 offers pretty much all that is needed for general picture taking and if needed, the range can be extended to the equivalent of 32x using the ‘intelligent zoom’, which takes over from where the maximum optical zoom ends.
The framing options on offer which includes real close ups to clicking far away pictures will not frustrate you because unlike a DSLR camera, the front lens on the FZ150 can’t be swapped. For users interested in action photography, apart from the excellent zoom on offer there is the ability to click 12 frames per second with full resolution intact, while slow motion replay can be played at 220fps, though the image quality isn’t that great.
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is a versatile camera for the amateur photographers who don’t want to be tied down by the ‘complexity’ of a DSLR. It comes with a hotshoe on the top to mount accessories like flash and lens shield, and there are stereo microphones which are helpful in exploiting the full capabilities of the high definition 1920×1080 pixel 25fps video.
Some users will surely be disappointed by the size of the sensor. Instead of the 16MP, which is the norm in this class of cameras, the DMC-FZ150 has a 12.1 effective MPs from a 12.8MP, 1/2.3” charged-coupled device (CCD). This was done to reduce the noise, which sets in at higher ISO settings, which can be taken as high as ISO 3200.
The ISO speeds can be selected through a dedicated button at the rear of the camera. The FZ150 responds very quickly to inputs and once you have selected the settings, you can just go about the business of clicking pictures. There are 14 choices for the shooting mode.
Sum Up & Price of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150
The biggest drawback of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is the price, which is over the top for a camera with fixed lens, and for this price you can get an entry level DSLR. The FZ150 offers a big zoom and comes without the idiosyncrasies of DSLR, and it captures good quality video and still shots and has the flexibility which is lacking in compact snappers. The price of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is £470.