Customer Review

193 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner!, November 10, 2011
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This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FZ150K 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom (Black) (Camera)
For many years, I used SLR cameras and purchased a DSLR a few years back. I finally realized that some super-zoom cameras were on the market that would take pictures good enough for everything I did and would not require me to carry around multiple lenses. I bought a Panasonic FZ35 and was quite pleased with it. It turned out to be one of the better super-zooms ever made. My complaint was that I would like a longer zoom. I decided to try out another Panasonic camera but was put off by the tepid reviews of the FZ100.

Since the FZ150 had not yet been released and there were only a few reviews of the camera, I purchased the highly praised Sony HX100V even though it lacked some features I would like to have. I was pleased with the pictures it took - up to a point. Thanks to a generous return policy of Amazon, I returned the HX100 and bought a Panasonic FZ150 which was the right move for me. I reviewed the Sony camera and you can read it elsewhere but this is a review of the Panasonic FZ150.

While the zoom of this camera is not as great as some competitors, the intelligent zoom makes up for this. I was able to take high quality pictures of distant objects under a variety of lighting conditions using high zoom and generally hand holding the camera. Impressive! The FZ35 did a good job of keeping noise low up to about ISO 400. The FZ150 does the same but up to ISO 800. Even ISO 1600 shows low noise. I was able to read license plates from 3-400 feet away even in low light. I suspect that Panasonic has found the 12 MP resolution using a small sensor is a sweet spot and allows good noise reduction even at high ISO.

I was able to take excellent closeups, the wide angle works well with minimal distortion and you can choose to record in RAW for better control in post production. And all of this works rapidly and reliably. The image stabilizer worked well in all but extreme closeups.

To test both the video and burst modes, I stood near a train track and took pictures of oncoming and leaving trains. The burst mode is outstanding and the video is as good as can be expected from a super-zoom. The sound is excellent although in a quiet situation, you can hear the zoom being changed during recording. I like being able to choose AVCHD or MP4 for video recording. This gives you some control over video size, video quality and easy of use by various operating systems.

The Sony has a panoramic mode while the FZ150 has a panoramic assist mode. With the assist, you can fairly easily set up successive pictures for merging using software. I found this assist allows you to control the resolution of a panorama better then when the camera creates the panorama. This is not a big deal since I mainly use this type of assist to merge 2 pictures rather than merge 5 or 6 shots and the software merge is fast.

I was impressed by how well the FZ150 handled white balance. Outside, the automatic worked flawlessly. But this was also true indoors. I watched the camera readjust the white balance as I moved it between scenes illuminated by different light sources. This produced shots with correct color balance. With the FZ35, I had to manually switch white balance to maintain correct color rendition.

A couple of other super-zooms do not have lenses with threads for filters. I was pleased to be able to use a UV filter (mainly to prevent lens scratching while walking through the woods) and use a polarizing lens as needed. I noticed that there are additional lens modifications available that fit the threads.

Unfortunately, printing a full manual appears not to be in the cards any more. The manuals, both basic and advanced, are available in PDF format which allows you to print off sections as needed. But I still would like a printed manual provided by the manufacturer.

The articulated viewing screen has good resolution although not as high as some competitors. I very much like being able to turn the screen over and close it. This protects the surface of the screen. You can use the EVF viewfinder which I like to use but did find myself using the LCD screen whenever I could.

The FZ50 apparently requires a coded battery in order to see the amount of charge remaining in the camera viewer. I bought a non-Panasonic extra battery for the FZ150 and find that the amount of charge is shown in the viewer. This is a $ saver since non-Panasonic batteries cost less than those from Panasonic.

I have used most every mode on the camera and find them all to do exactly what they are supposed to do. In summary, I would recommend this camera to anyone who wants to buy a super-zoom. You can use automatic features if you are a neophyte or use the variety of settings if you are a knowledgeable enthusiast. In both cases, you will be pleased.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2011 2:44:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2011 2:45:00 PM PST
Draylob says:
Hey what brand of battery did you buy? Can I find it on Amazon? Glad it still shows battery level.

Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 12:33:40 PM PST
Blair says:
See if LENMAR makes one for this camera. I have one for my FZ35 and it's outstanding in every respect. I own another Lenmar battery for a Canon, and it too is bulletproof, with very long endurance.

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 4:20:20 PM PDT
David L. says:
Detailed review, thank you. My question is in regards to the panoramic image merge/stitch. Does the accompanied software by Panasonic perform this function? If not, what do you use and how is it working?
Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 10:28:36 PM PDT
Bill Cole says:
I was wonder the same question

Posted on Jun 19, 2012 12:48:12 AM PDT
Magus says:
I have this camera on my wishlist for purchase in July. I have two questions - 1) does the screen have a 'grid' feature (I used to use the grid on my old Nikons and on my current Canon point and shoot, and, 2) have you shot much in RAW format? It's listed as being compatible with Adobe's Camera Raw plug-in but haven't seen many reviews talking about the RAW format and Photoshop (and I even run my jpgs through Photoshop and would be using this camera's RAW function for more creative control.) Thanks, Magus.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 12:06:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2012 7:00:30 PM PDT
David L. says:
I've been using this camera for about two to three months, and think very highly of it. I use it for travel, walk-around and outdoor sports of my son (baseball, soccer etc.). As far as a small sensor camera goes, I think this is the best I've ever used. Sharp contrasty images, fast focus and shutter speed, easy to use menu. The downsides are fairly small grip and no bokeh, both of which are intrinsic to small sensors so that's not a knock on the FZ150.

I can only answer your question #1, and the answer is YES. A prominent press button labelled "Display" controls 3 modes: Clear screen, Grid screen, and full-on info screen. The last one does the same as my Nikon D90's "info" button. It works extremely well.

I haven't shot RAW, so I don't have answers there for you.

Enjoy! The price on Amazon right now is very attractive BTW.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 6:55:09 PM PDT
Magus says:
Thanks for the information - grid is important to me! And I've seen others posting that are using the RAW feature AND the camera is listed on Adobe's Camera Raw profiles list, so I'm assuming that it will work like a champ. I'm going to go ahead and order it. Thanks, again, for the feedback!
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