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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £369
inc VAT

Record-breaking performance, dependable image quality, superb controls and a fantastic video mode make this versatile camera worth the high price.


1/2.33in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 24.0x zoom (25-600mm equivalent), 528g

Videos are captured in AVCHD format at up to 1080p and 50fps. Most cameras shoot either 25 progressive-scan or 50 interlaced frames per second, but these are both compromises: 50fps interlaced produces smoother motion but moving subjects aren’t as detailed. With 50fps progressive scan you get the best of both worlds, although it also generates twice the amount of data.

Even on our Core i7 PC, Windows Media Player couldn’t play these clips back smoothly. Our favourite video-editing software, Sony Vegas Platinum, had no problem handling them, although the number of clips it could play simultaneously was inevitably halved. The camera’s default video capture mode is 50fps interlaced (1080-50i), which makes more sense in most situations.

The FZ150’s videos also benefit from improved optical stabilisation to counteract camera shake, particularly while walking and shooting. That’s a technique we’d never normally consider without specialist equipment, but at the wide end of the zoom we were able to walk and record videos that didn’t induce motion sickness when played back – a terrific achievement. It’s also possible to capture 3.7-megapixel photos without interrupting video recording.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 front

These improvements build on some impressive features inherited from the FZ100. Videos benefit from smooth automatic exposures or full manual control, responsive autofocus, 30-minute clip lengths, an external microphone socket, high quality stereo sound from the built-in microphone and silent zoom and autofocus motors. There was little evidence of video noise – subtle details were lost to noise reduction in low-light clips but noise only became intrusive in subdued artificial light. In bright conditions, videos looked flawless.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.33in
Viewfinder electronic (201,600 pixels)
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 460,000 pixels
Articulated screen Yes
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 24.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 25-600mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1920×1080
Movie frame rate at max quality 50fps
File formats JPEG, RAW; AVCHD, MPEG-4


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 70MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 410 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, mini HDMI, microphone
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 528g
Size 82x123x111mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £369

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 15 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture range f/2.8-8 (wide), f/5.2-8 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-3 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets with fine tuning, manual, custom
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, i.Dynamic
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 1cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket

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