There’s a new model in Panasonic’s FZ camera series, the Lumix DMC-FZ150, with 24x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit zoom (25-600 mm equivalent), capable of shooting stills and video. The new camera has two of Panasonic’s newest features – newly advanced Nano Surface Coating technology which helps minimize light reflection that causes ghosting and flare, and the new 3D Photo Mode.
As the top-end model of the FZ series, the FZ150 combines a new 12.1-megapixel MOS sensor and 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 FZ47’s 1920 x 1080 60i video feature, the FZ150 delivers 1920 x 1080 60p Full-HD AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. This camera also makes it possible to simultaneously take 3.5-megapixel still images while recording video.
The 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 promises results in approximately 0.1 sec., and the option list includes new Creative Control and Photo Style with a wide variety of preset options.
Hand-shake correction system Power O.I.S. now gains Active mode, which helps to record stable video even if shot while walking.
The iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode assists in any shooting situations to get the best results, including video. Thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent Zoom is available with the FZ150 which extends the zoom ratio by approximately 1.3x.
The Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent D-range Control also are available when shooting video. 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, says Panasonic.
The new sensor and Venus Engine 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 and as a result, images recorded in low-lit situations are said to be dramatically clear.
The Venus Engine has a quad-circuit system for processing large amounts 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 autofocusing) and 5.5 fps (with autofocusing) in full resolution. It is also compatible with recording high-speed video at 220 fps in QVGA. At the same time, the image-processing engine realizes a super-fast response time. The autofocus gains approximately 50 percent faster speed compared with the FZ100. 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 including: 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 featuring: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait presets, while enabling finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction.
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 or an optional external flash. The FZ150 is also compatible with an optional remote shutter.
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.
Other features: Motion Deblur Mode, which helps to prevent blur; Intelligent Handheld Nightshot Mode, which generates beautiful night scenery with illumination by layering multiple images shot consecutively; and PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.5 BD Edition Software for sorting and organizing photos.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ150 will be available in late September in black for a suggested retail price of $499.99.