Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150

August 26, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras | 11 Comments | |
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The Panasonic FZ150 is a 12.1-megapixel, 24x super-zoom camera with Light Speed auto-focus and Full HD video recording. The Leica-branded 25-600mm equivalent lens of the boasts Nano Surface Coating, which is claimed to “dramatically minimise” ghosting and flare, while the new sensor delivers an improved signal-to-noise ratio compared to the existing Lumix DMC-FZ100. The Panasonic FZ150 also offers a range of manual controls, a hot-shoe, Power O.I.S. optical image stabiliser, continuous shooting speeds of 5.5fps with auto-focus and 12fps without focus tracking, and 1,920x1,080/50p Full HD movie capture with stereo sound, as well as QVGA video recording at 220fps.  The Lumix FZ150 even features a Creative Video mode, which lets users set the shutter speed and aperture manually. Additionally, it is also possible to take 3.5-megapixel stills while filming a movie. Face Recognition, an Intelligent Scene Selector and a 3D photography mode round off the features list. The DMC-FZ150 will be available from October.

Panasonic Press Release

Panasonic’s DMC-FZ150

The 24x Super-Zoom Camera with Full HD Video Recording

Heading up the super-zoom compact digital camera range, Panasonic is pleased to introduce a new addition to the multiple award winning FZ range of cameras – the DMC-FZ150. An eminently worthy addition to the series, the FZ150 boasts a 25mm ultra wide angle, powerful 24x optical LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with Panasonic’s Black Box Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize light reflection that causes ghosts and flares Picture perfect – the FZ150 can also record high-resolution full-HD 1920x1080 50p videos for those users looking for high picture quality of both photo and video.

Packing a powerful zoom lens, high performance imaging devices, a host of functions and manual control in a compact body, the DMC-FZ150 is highly versatile – perfect for advanced amateur photographers with its high quality photo and video.

Picture Perfect Lens
The DMC-FZ150 features a high-quality LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 25mm ultra wide-angle lens with a 24x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 25-600mm). With the newly applied Nano Surface Coating technology, light reflection is dramatically minimized across the entire visual light range (380nm-780nm) by applying the extra-low refractive index coating on the surface of the lens. This results in a highly clear picture with dramatic reduction of ghost and flare.

Thanks to Panasonic’s black box technology, the image delivered through the lens of the DMC-FZ150 has exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity that passes Leica’s stringent standards. Comprising 14 elements in 10 groups, including 3 ED lenses and 2 aspherical lenses with 3 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit delivers exceptional optical performance, suppressing distortion at wide end and colour bleeding at tele-end.

The already powerful 24x optical zoom can increase its power to 32x equivalent with the Intelligent Zoom function. Taking advantage of Intelligent Resolution technology, the FZ150 maintains the picture quality even when using a digital zoom. With the powerful zoom drawing distant objects near, and the 25mm ultra wide angle lens capturing approximately 196% wider angle of view compared with a standard 35mm camera – the FZ150 is ideal for shooting dynamic landscapes or indoor group portraits.

High Picture Quality
The combination of the 12.1-megapixel MOS sensor and the Venus Engine ensures high performance in terms of both sensitivity and speed. The S/N ratio is thus improved by 3.9dB (ISO 100) to 4.7dB (ISO1600) compared to the predecessor DMC-FZ100.

The newly developed Multi-process Noise Reduction applies optimum noise reduction according to the brightness the picture. Both high frequency noise that occurs in the dark part and low frequency noise in the light part are suppressed even as they happen in a picture As a result, images recorded in low-lit situations are now extremely clear.

The Venus Engine has a quad-circuit system for processing large amount of progressive full HD data at high speed. Not only 1,920x1,080 50p smooth full-HD video recording, but also super fast consecutive shots at 12 fps (without auto focusing) and 5.5 fps (with auto focusing) in full resolution. It is also able to record high speed video at 220 fps in QVGA. At the same time, the multi-task image-processing engine, the Venus Engine realizes a super-fast response time. The auto focus is approx. 50% faster speed compared with the DMC-FZ100 achieving Light Speed AF of approx. 0.1 second. The speed in AF Tracking also becomes faster thanks to the improved tracking performance which doubles its sampling frequency.

Full HD Video
Catering for all your imaging needs, the DMC-FZ150 not only captures superb photos but also beautiful full-HD videos too1. The DMC-FZ150 can record high-resolution full-HD 1920 x 1080 50p videos in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264)2 format. Upgrading the full HD recording capability from interlaced to progressive, subjects with fast motion or fine details are reproduced even more clearly.

The powerful 24x optical zoom is available in video, so rest assured that those special moments, even in the distant, can be captured whether it’s a still image or video.

The popular iA (Intelligent Auto) is also available in video recording. The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent D-range Control also support shooting beautiful video with ease.

The FZ150 is newly equipped with Active Mode in video recording for more effective countermeasure against blur. In addition to the conventional POWER O.I.S., the Active Mode effectively suppresses blur in video recording especially at wide angle while walking The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality. The Intelligent D-range Control makes images look more natural by preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights to optimize the exposure for each part of an image. It also ensures a beautiful reproduction of gradation and details.

Incorporating a stereo zoom microphone, the videos also come with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, to offer highly realistic sound to the video. Mechanical noise caused by a zooming operation is suppressed to improve clarity. The Auto Wind Cut function is also available to block out from the majority of background wind noise, making human voices stand out.

Ensuring those special moments are never missed, it is also possible to take still images while recording video simultaneously (3.5-megapixel). You can cut out your favorite scene as still image from the video in the camera. The image is clear thanks to the rich Progressive recording format and the Intelligent Resolution technology. A host of options enhance the usability and fun of recording high quality full-HD video.

Creativity at Your Fingertips
To encourage step up users to enjoy shooting even more, full manual control is available with the DMC-FZ150. The side lever is newly added on the left side of the lens barrel, making it smoother to zoom when concentrating on the shutter operation with the right hand. Focus can also be changed with this lever, which is convenient in video recording.

New features such as Creative Control, which features a selection of artistic effect modes including expressive, retro and sepia3 – and Photo Style for the expression of finer nuances4 – let users at any skill level create their photographic intentions.

Video recording has been designed with users in mind, with the DMC-FZ150 offering much more than simply recording HD videos. The FZ150 features a Creative Video mode, which lets users set the shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive videos. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to videos, which is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and you want both of them to stand out.

For more advanced creative freedom, the DMC-FZ150 is equipped with a hot shoe allowing attachment of various accessories including an optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) or an optional external flash (DMW-FL220 / FL360 / FL500). The DMC-FZ150 is also compatible with an optional remote shutter (DMW-RSL1) for advanced expression in photography.

The DMC-FZ150 now features the new 3D Photo mode5, which produces a 3D image in the camera. Take 20 panning shots and the camera automatically selects two most suitable images - one for the right eye and one for the left eye - to synthesize a 3D composite. The 3D image can be viewed on a VIERA HDTV or any other 3D TV. The format of 3D image is compatible with MPO which can be played back on other MPO-compatible equipment such as TV, Digital Photo Frame or Printing.

Inherently User Friendly
Already we can see the FZ150 is highly technically specified but the beauty is that it remains inherently easy to use. Panasonic incorporated the Intelligent Auto mode in pursuit of the ultimate ease of operation and to reduce misshots. In the iA mode, the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments.

The Motion Deblur mode6 helps to prevent blur even more powerfully in the FZ150. Plus, the newly added Intelligent Handheld Nightshot mode enables bright, glamorous night scenery to be recorded without using a tripod.

The Face Recognition function remembers registered faces to give an appropriate AF/ AE on the people while removing the unwanted red-eye. The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene modes - Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Sunset - that best suit the shooting situation.

Once you enter the iA mode, these functions work automatically together with other powerful shooting-assist functions - AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent D-range Control - so you can shoot without the bother of adjusting settings every time conditions change. You can enjoy easy, trouble-free shooting in any situation and get the satisfaction that comes with capturing clear, beautiful images.

Share and Enjoy!
Sharing images and video footage is a key part of photography and Panasonic ensures that it remains effortlessly easy thanks to LUMIX Image Uploader’. Simply checkmark the photos you want to share and connect the camera to a PC. Uploading starts just by following the guidance. You can add comment and let your friends know about the update of your album via e-mail. Facebook can be used for photos and YouTube for videos. Users can join these social networking services without installation of special software, and can then quickly and easily share pictures with their friends . Perfect!

With a strong family heritage, the new FZ150 is the ultimate super-zoom camera with excellent performance and handling, a host of features, an astonishing lens and superb usability. The DMC-FZ150 will be available from October.

1 Motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds in European PAL areas. Also, motion picture recorded continuously in [MP4] is up to 4 GB. Use a card with SD Speed Class with “Class 4” or higher when recording videos. SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.

2 The ‘AVCHD Progressive’ is a high definition (HD) digital video recording/playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.

3 Artistic effect modes are Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole.

4 It has 6 presets (Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery and Portrait). Finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction is also possible by each.

5 The picture size is reduced to 2M (16:9)

6 The picture size may be reduced

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Your Comments

11 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Elie Boujaoude

It seems to be a great improvement over its predecessor. However, I still think that a larger sensor is badly needed in this class of cameras, even at the expense of larger size & heavier weight.

6:06 am - Sunday, August 28, 2011

#2 axel

Might be good for amateurs and people who know nothing about the limitations of physics in regard to S/N ratio in so far as the current state of the art relating to sensor design, but those of us who know will not possibly accept this size sensor, regardless of how appealing the rest of the camera is. The camera itself seems utterly excellent for most people,especially because of the new AVCHD 2.0 specs and near flawless long range Leica lens plus RAW capture etc, but i'll bet anything that once i download a raw file and A/B it with the Sony A65 or NEX5n, then the weaknesses will be more than apparent, if not i'll eat my words and buy this camera without hesitation.But if Panasonic's own LX5 barely makes the grade with its slightly bigger sensor, then unless Panasonic have come up with some sort of new alien esque technology, i can't see how the sensor in this camera can possibly compete with APS/C.
If only Panasonic, Sony, and Canon would join forces and joint develop a 16 megapixel APS/C sensor by combining the best of their technologies for a chip that produces zero noise up to ISO 1600 in RAW with huge dynamic range...oh well dreams are free.

8:03 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#3 zen billings

alas, axel is completely correct, no matter how exceptional all the features are, and there are many, the small sensor really, really limits the capabilities of the camera. i have been shooting with a mega-zoom for three years in all kinds of conditions (i'm a hiker,backpacker,kayaker, snow shoe back country shooter) and these small sensor cameras just do not perform well in low light conditions period, no if's and's or buts. and you can forget about night shooting altogether unless there is artificial lighting of any sort availabe.shame really, compact size a blessing for lightweight travel.

4:42 pm - Friday, September 2, 2011

#4 Nico

so if it's about sensors, size matters !

1:10 pm - Saturday, September 3, 2011

#5 Jim

You guys/gals that keep commenting on the small sensor size miss the whole point. This kind of bridge camera is not meant to compete with a DSLR with its larger sensor. It's a very versatile camera with a great macro/zoom lens at a reasonable cost. You want a large sensor, then you'll pay more for the camera and especially the lenses. As for low light conditions, use a flash. This camera and, its predecessor, the FZ100 can take an external flash. That being said, I know an engineer at Panasonic who's told me that this FZ150 will surprise people as it has a redesigned CMOS sensor and improved image processing. Yes, it's not DSLR quality but it's close enough for most people, excluding pixel peepers whom never seem satified.

3:05 pm - Monday, September 5, 2011

#6 Luxin

Camera snobbery gets on my nerves. It does not matter what size your sensor is if you can't take a good picture. Starting photography "proper" in 1960 at Art College, I've used camera from Pin Hole through 120 to 35mm, recently 1.3 Mp Olympus (one of the first Digital - gave some terrific results!) and on through Nikon D-SLR and now Canon. I also use Panasonic Lumix (light, great quality for their size and some stunning results that my "snobby" mate with a Full Frame D-SLR must have been taken with a Canon/Nikon; no, FZ-38!
The FZ-150, even with a 1:2.3 sensor, not that much smaller than Canon's APS-C, is a fantastic camera for "walkies" or "wild things" and I'm going to get one. Axel, would you like some Ketchup on your words? ;-) My Canon is heavy, lenses are far, far too expensive, I find Canon's own brand are either too dear or too "cold" plus they attract dust like my 'Henry' vacuum cleaner! To be quite frank, I feel like I have wasted £2000.00 plus on the Canon gear. Image quality? Not that good. Soft, "mushy", lacking detail and as for the AF... slow and misses more than it hits! Compared to my little FZ-38 which only gives me around one "duff" shot out of ten compared to the Canon's 8 out of ten! My friend with a 5D Full Frame and canon 200-400 only gets around one out of ten that's usable.
Stop being a camera snob and realise that if you want to get the picture then the FZ-150 represents not only great value but also great opportunity: and still print up to A2 - no less than canon/Nikon/etc..
It's not the size of your Sensor, it's what you, and "they", do with it; and "they" being Panasonic and Leica have done far greater things with this one than any other manufacturer.
BTW, take a moment to think about the video quality, with AF at all ranges, the AF Tracking - especially between all frames at 5.5 p.s., the Hot Shoe and Mic Socket, RAW, Flip-out LCD, Rocker Zoom, 24-to-34 X Zoom (That's 800mm+!) and all the other features. Can your heavy old D-SLR boast all those features for £400?
Forget the snobbery and minuscule differences with the bare eye, I'm no fool and like to get my shots and good ones at that, I'm "converting to" and using "FZ-Bridge" more than D-SLR nowadays!

2:42 pm - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#7 MickeyD

I find that Panasonic has taken most of it resources and is building quality photography imaging equipment ahead of Canon & Nikon using the 4/3rd's sensors to offset the Nikon & Canon APS-C sensors, bringing remarkable results to the table. Panasonic & Sony have stepped up to the plate and will bring us the next series of digital camera's for the future. Canon & Nikon DSLR have been getting bulkier and more costly thru the most current years and are not bringing any new features to the table; so why not go with another camera manufacturer rather than being teased along year after year by Canon and Nikon. I was loyal to Nikon for the past 35 years and with all the new technology I still go back to my Nikon D100 (considered a dinosaur) that still shoots 6.1mp. My new love is the Panasonic FZ150k (bridge camera) withthe 25-600mm zoom fantastic camera at a fraction of the weight. Good Luck to all you future photographers'!

3:33 pm - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#8 Gerard

I agreed a lot with the points above. I think this layout is the future to come for all professional cameras. It still early days yet, however the writing is on the wall for cumbersome DSLR that take too long to setup. Putting aside our snobbery that we all have on something different, it makes a lot of sense. Photography is meant to be fun and spontaneously and these bridge cameras bring excitement back into photography.

10:03 pm - Saturday, May 5, 2012

#9 BT

As of 2 years of FZ-38 user these FZ's are industry standard setter for its own class. I dropped many snow particles on my camera for numerous times yet still today no quality drops in both picture and video quality. Plus my some youtube videos attract over 1000 viewership count per month for some kind of boring scenery videos. So Panasonic has really did it for this optics category.

9:33 am - Tuesday, May 8, 2012

#10 Cami

Would the video aspect be good in concerts like this video? (This was taken with the FZ45)

5:55 am - Thursday, June 7, 2012

#11 Bernice Tackley

Please can anybody tell me what is th longest exposure available for night scenes on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 I can't find any reference to this anywhere.Thank you.

4:48 pm - Friday, January 4, 2013