Panasonic DMC-FZ150K 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom – Product Description:
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!
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Panasonic DMC-FZ150K 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom – Review:
WOW, WHAT A CAMERA!
This camera is everything the FZ100 is and they fixed all the shortcomings to produce the FZ150. The buttons in the back of the 100 were too easy to push. I was constantly pushing the playback button when holding the camera with one hand. No more. The button is recessed and the problem is gone. Most if not all the accessories that work on the 100 also work on the 150. Aftermarket batteries actually show capacity now!
When focusing, when the camera focuses it beeps now so you don’t have to be looking at the screen. That is great for using Red Dot Sights on this camera. Night shots are awesome with the Handheld Night Shots Mode. It takes several pictures and combines them for great shots with no blur. The camera has way less noise then the FZ100. Even at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 the noise is better than the FZ100 was in ISO 400. Camera focus in the picture mode and in the video mode is much faster. You can take 12 frames per second burst inside now at all ISO’s. The 100 will not do that.
The camera works great in iA (intelligent auto) were the FZ100 was real noisy in that mode. The camera will zoom to 62.4X in the 3mp picture mode with I-Zoom turned on. I like setting the camera at 8mp picture size, which gives me 39.1X zoom. It records in 1080P video!
The flash works great! It goes out over 30 feet and lights up the rooms very well. I will post some pictures of that. Pictures are very sharp, not noisy, and crisp.
This camera is everything that the FZ100 is and much more. This camera is a REAL WINNER! Great job Panasonic!
I just went outside and put the camera in the 12 frames per second mode, shot 12 shots, waited 1 second, shot another 8 shots, waited another second, shot another 8 shots.
Someone mentioned the Canon SX40IS, so I checked it out. The cameras are similar in a lot of ways. Each one has it’s strengths and weaknesses. The killer for me is the burst mode. The Canon will shoot at 10 frames per second for 8 shots. The Panasonic will shoot at 12 frames per second for 12 shots. Not that much different there. The part they don’t tell you is the Panasonic after taking the 12 shots, wait 1 second, you can take another 8 shots, wait one second, another 8 shots. In the 5.5 fps burst it will go 30-35 shots before slowing down. The Canon will not do that. At 5.5 fps in Auto Focus the camera will go 30 to 35 shots and focus between each shot. In the Canon the rate of burst in Auto Focus is .8 fps. Yes, .8 frames per second. Less than 1 frame per second and focus in between shots. That in my opinion is a deal killer. That is exactly why I chose the Panasonic FZ100 over the Canon SX30IS. It is just too slow for any kind of action shots.
I was at an Animal Safari this last Sunday and had a problem with the camera focusing on the bars of the cage instead of the animal. Sometimes it focused on the animal and sometimes it would not. Finally I used the button on the left side of the lens. It is a ZOOM/FOCUS button, and to change it to a zoom, go to Menu Set, Setup Menu, Page 2, the third one down (Side Lever) and change it to ZOOM or to FOCUS. I changed it to FOCUS and put the focus lever in manual focus. From that point on I had no trouble focusing the bars out of the picture. This camera is awesome!
Another thing that happened to me is I was inside a display area. It was dark inside. All the displays were encased in glass so flash was out of the question. I was in Aperture Priority and for some reason the pictures kept coming out too bright. I changed the Aperture, no help. Then I put the main dial in iA (intelligent auto) and took a picture. It came out perfect! The FZ100 was always a problem in iA, usually because of the noise. Not this camera! It gets it perfect every time. If you are a novice and don’t want to mess with camera controls, this is the camera for you. Anyone can shoot it and get great pictures as long as they can frame a shot and push the shutter release button! If you want to take full control, fine, the camera will do that too. This camera is great for the novice and the experienced photographers! Panasonic got it right this time!
I have noticed that my camera tends to be towards the warm side in color temperature in Auto White Balance. That is totally adjustable and it is explained on pages 114 and 115 of the manual.
I am listing this and guarantee it will get someone. If you try to take a picture with the flash and it will not go off, the flash is open and it is dark enough for it to go off and it does not……. Your camera is in the Burst Mode!!!! That gets lots of people all the time.
Part of the picture on playback is flashing in black and white…. Your HIGHLIGHT is turned on and the picture is saturated in the black and white saturated area.
To turn it off go to the SETUP menu, page 3 at the bottom.
Did you know that you can take a snapshot or a burst of pictures while taking video? This camera will do that. The picture size is 3.5mp. You can record up to 40 pictures per video. Look in the manual on page 38.
You shot a really cool video and want a snapshot from it. Simply play the video back in the camera in the play mode, and pause the video where you want the shot, press Menu Set, it asks SAVE THIS IMAGE? Highlight YES and press Menu Set! Done. You have saved a picture from the video that you took. I can’t seem to find that in the manual but am still looking. It works just the same. I think the picture size is 2.5mp, but can’t find it in the manual.
The camera has a live Histogram so you can see the picture readout before you shoot it. Go to Menu Set, SETUP, Page 3, second one down. To move from one page to the next, simply pull the zoom lever to the right. To go down move the zoom lever to the left.
The camera will take 5 flash shots in quick succession. To do that, go to SCN on the main dial, go to the second row, the forth one down. Pick your picture size and press Menu Set. It will now take 5 quick flash pictures by holding the shutter release button down. Make sure you open the flash.
The camera will take 220 frames per second in the video mode. To do that go to SCN again and go to the second page and it is the middle icon. HS
If I was using any of the priority modes at night (I would use iA in this camera) go to Menu Set and the REC mode, on the first page under PHOTO STYLE, I would use Natural as it is more sensitive to light. It may be a moot point as iA (Intelligent Auto) is better for low light.
This camera works really well all the way to ISO 1600 in low light areas. ISO 3200 works too, but is more noisy.
I have the Vivitar DF-383 flash that I use on this camera. It is a very powerful flash and is much cheaper than the Panasonic Flash. It is not quite as powerful as the top of the line Panasonic Flash but half the price. Make sure you get the Vivitar DF-383 flash for Panasonic.
DF-383 Power Zoom AF Flash for Panasonic
I would get a remote shutter or a interval timer for this camera. The camera has to be powered to use for time lapse photography and an interval timer, but if you push the EVF (Electronic View Finder) button to shut down the LCD, the drain on the battery is minimal. I took a 3 hour time lapse video this way and the battery showed 1 mark down from full charge at the end.
Aftermarket batteries now show capacity in this camera. They are much cheaper than Panasonic batteries even though the Panasonic batteries seem to be dropping in price.
An external mike can be used on the camera, but be advised it takes a 2.5mm plug instead of the 3.5mm plug that normally comes on external mikes. Amazon sells an adapter for cheap that will adapt the plug. Rhode Mikes work on this camera.
Teleconverters work well on the FZ150. There are 5 main ones that work well. Don’t waste your money and buy the cheap 2X and larger teleconverters. Two of them are Olympus Lenses. They are the TCON-17 (1.7X with no letters behind the number. It looks like a pear.), and the B300. The Olympus lenses are no longer made and can be found on Ebay. Nikon makes the TC-E15ED (1.5X).
Panasonic makes a 1.7X lens as well. <...>, The last lens is a Raynox DCR-2025 Pro (2.2X).
This camera has excellent stabilization and I am able to shoot at 39.1X (8mp picture size with I-Zoom turned on) without blurry photos during the day with no problems.
This is my opinion and others may disagree. Don’t connect the camera to the computer and risk damaging it. Pull your SDHC card out of the camera (it takes a whole 1/10 second to pull your card out of the camera, just open the door and push on it) and put it into the computer if your computer has a SDHC card reader. The software supplied with the camera will know you put the card into a reader and it will prompt you to download the files, both video and photo. If your computer doesn’t have a SDHC card reader, buy a good inexpensive USB card reader. They are only around $15 or so. It is much faster and safer and less hassle to pull your card out of the camera to download the files. Just do it.