Lumix DMC-FZ150K 12.1 MP Digital Camera

Lumix DMC-FZ150K 12.1 MP Digital Camera

Our Rating : Good
4 stars


The LUMIX DMC-FZ150 is fully equipped with a 25mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens and a powerful 24x Optical Zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 25-600mm) available for shooting both stills and videos. Additionally, the LUMIX FZ150 has two of Panasonic’s newest features – newly advanced Nano Surface Coating technology which helps minimize light reflection that causes ghost and flare – and the new 3D Photo Mode. As the top-end model of LUMIX’s popular FZ series, the FZ150 combines a new 12.1-megapixel MOS sensor and the renowned Venus Engine giving the camera high-performance image recording capability in both higher light sensitivity and speed. And as a step-up from the recently announced LUMIX FZ47’s 1920 x 1080 60i video feature, the FZ150 realizes 1920 x 1080 60p Full-HD AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. It is also possible to take still images while recording video simultaneously (3.5-megapixel) and the powerful 24x optical zoom is available in video recording. The FZ150 incorporates a stereo zoom microphone with a Wind Cut function, so that videos come with high-quality stereo sound through Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator.

The Light Speed AF of approx. 0.1 sec never misses fleeting photo opportunities. To encourage step-up users to enjoy shooting even more, full manual control is available with the FZ150. Users can enjoy image shooting while expressing their intention not only in photos but also in video, utilizing a host of options including the new Creative Control and Photo Style with a wide variety of preset options. The effective hand-shake correction system POWER O.I.S. now gains Active mode, which helps to record stable video even if shot while walking.

The LUMIX’s popular iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode powerfully assists in any shooting situations to get the best results. Thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology, Intelligent Zoom is available with the FZ150 extending the zoom ratio by approx. 1.3x, maintaining the picture quality while combining a digital zoom. This means the 24x optical zoom can virtually extend to a 32x equivalent. Not only drawing near the subject that is far away with its powerful optical zoom, the 25mm ultra wide angle lens captures approx.196% wider angle of view compared with a standard 35mm camera. This is helpful for shooting dynamic landscape or indoor group portrait.

The popular iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode 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 videos with ease. 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.

A new 12-Megapixel High Sensibility MOS sensor pursuing Resolution, Sensitivity and Speed has been incorporated along with the renowned Venus Engine enabling the FZ150 to excel in image processing power. The combination of these powerful components results in the S/N ratio improvement by 3.9dB (ISO 100) to 4.7dB (ISO1600) compared with the predecessor – the FZ100. Newly developed Multi-process Noise Reduction applies optimum noise reduction according to the brightness of the part of the picture. Both high frequency noise that occurs in the dark part and low frequency noise in the light part are suppressed even in a picture. As a result, Images recorded in low-lit situations are now dramatically clear.

The Venus Engine has a quad-circuit system for processing large amount of progressive Full HD data at high speed. Not only 1920 x 1080 60p 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 compatible with recording high-speed video at 220fps in QVGA. At the same time, the multi-task image- processing engine, the Venus Engine, realizes a super-fast response time. The auto focus gains approx. 50% faster speed compared with the 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.

The FZ150 provides the new Creative Control mode with a selection of artistic effect modes; Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole. In addition, Photo Style is newly added to the FZ150 for the expression of finer nuance. It has Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait presets, while enabling finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction by each.

As a further step-up from the FZ47, the 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 FZ150 is also compatible with an optional remote shutter (DMW-RSL1) for advanced expression in photography.

The newly-added 3D Photo mode takes 20 panning shots and then the camera automatically selects the two most suitable images – one for the right eye and one for the left eye – to synthesize a 3D composite. The 3D image can then be viewed on any VIERA 3D HDTV. The format of 3D images is compatible with MPO which can be played back on other MPO-compatible equipment.

The 12.1-megapixel DMC-FZ150K continues a long line of great hybrid digital cameras from Panasonic by giving you more options not only in how you take pictures, but including the ability for full HD 1920×1080 60p AVCHD movie recording. The camera’s 24x Leica DC Vario- Elmarit lens system featuring two aspherical lenses, three aspherical surfaces, three ED elements, and one Nano Surface Coated Lens gives you more options for framing both your photos and movies, and the intelligent auto shooting mode allows you to take great worry free photos and movies. A new High Sensitivity MOS imaging chip, hybrid digital camera technology, and an improved processing engine make sure that you’re able to capture photos and movies in the moment by reducing shutter lag and increasing burst shooting potential. Add in a bevy of scene options, movie color modes, and an anti-glare treated 3.0″ LCD view screen and you’ve got one incredible package in digital camera form! And it shoots 3D still images that can be viewed on your 3D compatible TV!


Can one review a camera before using it? Yes and no. This preliminary review is to explain why I have pre-ordered the FZ150.

I bought an FZ100 when it was a fairly new item. It had all the features anyone could want, except one: it did not generate good images. I sent it back; thank you Amazon, for standing behind the product and taking it back if it isn’t up to snuff. Even Panasonic had to recognize that the FZ100 was not a winner.

The FZ150 has a totally different sensor, with fewer megapixels to generate noise. The IQ appears to be much better. So I’m going to try it. The four stars are based on the feature set, and images I have seen from review cameras. This will be revised when I have a chance to see first-hand how the IQ is.

What’s to like about this camera? Panasonic is making one of the few, if not the only, P&S cameras with all the small features that enable serious picture taking.
–Front threads (52mm) for filters. This means being able to use CPL and other filters for great effects without having to resort to add-ons, apapters, etc. The more you get into photography (especially in high-contrast or glare situations), the more you’ll appreciate this.
–Articulated LCD. This is truly convenient for odd angles, so you don’t have to get down in the dirt or climb a tree to get the low or high shot, or twist yourself into a pretzel for that perspective shot around the corner. Also good to avoid screen glare.
–EVF. The articulated LCD is great, but there are times, especially with bright sun or long range with full zoom, that you’ll see and frame your subject far more easily with the EVF than the screen.
–Serious continuous mode. 12fps (no AF) or 5.5fps (AF) at full resolution. Lots of cameras tout fairly high burst rates; they don’t promote the fact that this is only possible at very low resolution, like 3mp.
–Decent buffer. The FZ100 was pretty good in this area, and since the FZ150 caputures smaller images (12mp vs. 14mp), in theory the burst depth should be a bit better. For many types of action shots, 5-6fps is adequate, so if you keep AF on and shoot JPEG at 5.5fps you can get several seconds of action before there’s a slowdown.* Lots of cameras tout high burst speeds; they don’t tout the fact that you only get 1 second of burst before the buffer is full.
–RAW. If you care about color, this is major.
–Remote. Less commonly used, perhaps, but very useful if you need to put your tripod in an awkward place, where it would be difficult to trigger the shutter by hand. Also avoids tripod shake in bulb shooting.
–Hot shoe. I never use one, but for many people, it’s a must for better flash, etc.
–Plenty of manual control, for getting the picture you want.

*Here is some review information for the FZ100: “At 5 fps Burst Mode RAW+JPEG fills the buffer after ~10 captures while JPEG manages ~17 captures. At 11 fps Burst Mode RAW+JPEG fills the buffer after ~10 captures while JPEG manages ~15 captures. A continuous auto focus option is available on 2/5/11 fps Burst Modes, but slightly reduces the frame rate.

At 2/5 fps Burst Modes, the capture speeds are practically the same with either RAW+JPEG or JPEG only. The only difference being that with JPEG the cameras continues to record at a slow speed when the buffer is full. The bad news is that once the buffer fills up when recording RAW+JPEG, it took 46.83 seconds to clear the buffer. At 11 fps Burst Mode, there is a marginal and negligible difference in capture speed between RAW+JPEG and JPEG.”

In short, this camera has all the features of a good enthusiast DSLR, and some features that are lacking even on some DSLRs. If the IQ is improved from the FZ100, it will be a very nice thing to have. I’ll let you know what happens.

PS: If you believe I’ve jumped the gun, I feel your pain. But it’s very hard to find a camera with all the features listed, and all of them make a difference. I would have bought the Canon G2, but it has no filter threads, no serious burst and no serious zoom. I would have bought the Canon SX230, but it has no filter threads, no EVF and no serious burst. And so on. This is the only P&S (given the extensive manual controls, a total misnomer) that has “all of the above.” This merits a review on its own.


Product Features

Leica DC Vario- Elmarit 24x Zoom Lens

Shoot 3D images and view on your 3D capable TV

3 inch free-angle 460K dot resolution LCD screen

Technical Details

Brand Name: Panasonic

Model: DMC-FZ150K

Optical Sensor Resolution: 12.1 MP

Optical zoom: 24 x

Minimum focal length: 25.0

Maximum focal length: 600.0

Display Size: 3.0 inches

Anything You Want

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