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The Panasonic DMC-FZ150 Digital Camera is a compact point-and-shoot that has the look of a DSLR. Obviously more than its genre suggests, however, the FZ150 also provides the user with numerous features and functions to expand their creativity - including manual control of the camera.
Before we even delve into the many shooting options on the DM-FZ150 we should pause to consider the basics. This camera has 12.1Mp built-in and is powered by a combination of the 1/2.3" CMOS sensor - called "MOS" by Panasonic - and the Venus Engine. These two work together to not only capture beautifully detailed images, but to efficiently transfer them to the inserted media. Additionally, many functions of the camera rely on the Venus Engine to operate, including the 1920 x 1080/60p high def video capture mode.
These HD videos are shot in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4/H.264). Features like 24x optical zoom and Intelligent Auto are available for enhancing your movies, while you record. Additional functions available for use are Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector, Active Mode, and Intelligent D-range Control, among others. With this much latitude, there's no reason to just take take-point-shoot video. Another enticing video mode options include a stereo zoom microphone built-into the camera which uses Dolby Digital Stereo Creator for high-quality audio. Other features include Auto Wind Cut and simultaneous video and still capture.
The camera's LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 25mm ultra wide-angle lens is one of its leading attributes. This lens, with the good name of Leica, features 24x optical zoom that can be expanded to a 32x Intelligent Zoom, and a 35mm camera equivalent focal range of 25-600mm. A Nano Surface Coating helps to reduce flare and ghosting, resulting in clear and crisp images.
Composition and review of stills and videos all takes place on the FZ150's 3.0" Free-Angle LCD screen. A 0.20" electronic viewfinder is also on the camera for distraction-free shooting. Aside from providing a 100% field of view the viewfinder also keeps glare and movement at bay, so you can focus on the shot. Another enticing feature of the camera is the built-in flash for shooting in low-light scenes with assurance.
25mm Ultra Wide-Angle, Power 24x Optical Zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens
The DMC-FZ150 features a high-quality LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 25mm ultra wide-angle lens with a 24x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 25-600mm). With the newly applied Nano Surface Coating technology, light reflection is dramatically minimized by the extra-low refractive index coating on the surface of the lens. It results in super clear pictures with a dramatic reduction of ghost and flare. With Panasonic's black box technology, the image delivered through the lens of DMC-FZ150 has exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity that passes Leica's stringent standards. Comprising 14 elements in 10 groups, including 3 ED lenses and 2 aspherical lenses with 3 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens delivers exceptional optical performance suppressing distortion at the wide end and color bleeding at the tele-end.
Thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology, Intelligent Zoom extends the zoom ratio by approximately 1.3x, maintaining the picture quality even when extending into the digital zoom. This means the 24x optical can virtually extend to 32x equivalent. Not only drawing the subject in clearly with its powerful optical zoom, the 25mm ultra wide angle lens captures an approximately 196% wider angle of view compared with a standard 35mm camera. It is helpful for shooting dynamic landscapes or indoor group shots
1920 x 1080 60p (NTSC) Full-HD Video Recording in the AVCHD Progressive Format
The LUMIX DMC-FZ150 is an advanced photographic tool for recording not only great photos but also beautiful full-HD videos. Now the DMC-FZ150 can record high-resolution full-HD 1920 x 1080 60p (NTSC) / 50p (PAL) videos in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. Upgrading the full HD recording capability from interlaced to progressive, subjects with fast motion or fine details are reproduced even more clearly.
The powerful 24x optical zoom is available in video recording. With DMC-FZ150, there are always two options to record spur-of-the-moment scenes - high-quality photos or videos. The user can simply choose the one that saves precious memories most beautifully.
The popular iA (Intelligent Auto) 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 video with ease. For a more effective countermeasure against blur, the Active Mode is an option. In addition to the conventional POWER O.I.S., the Active Mode effectively suppresses blur in video recording especially at wide angles while walking. 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.
Incorporating a stereo zoom microphone, the videos also come with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, to offer highly realistic sound to the video. Mechanical noise caused by a zooming operation is suppressed to improve audio quality. Also, the Auto Wind Cut function is available to block out most of the noise from background wind automatically making the human voice stand out.
It is also possible to take still image while recording video simultaneously (3.5-megapixel). You can also cut out the favorite scene as a still image from the video in the camera. The image is clear thanks to the rich Progressive recording format and the Intelligent Resolution technology. A host of options enhance the usability and fun of recording high quality full-HD video.
Files recorded in AVCHD on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on an optional Panasonic VIERA TV. Simply insert the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SD Memory Card slot) on VIERA TV or Blu-ray Disc Player/Recorder to playback your contents. Alternatively, you can use an optional mini HDMI cable to output the AVCHD Progressive video from the DMC-FZ150 directly to the TV for VIERA Link
12Mp High Sensitivity MOS Sensor Pursuing Even Higher Level in Resolution and Speed
The 12 megapixel MOS sensor and the Venus Engine excel in image processing with both sensitivity and speed. The combination of these powerful components results in the S/N ratio improvement by 3.9dB (ISO 100) to 4.7dB (ISO 1600) compared with the predecessor DMC-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 they happen in a picture. As a result, Images recorded in low-lit situations are now dramatically clear.
The Venus Engine has quad-circuit system to for processing large amount of progressive full HD data at high speed. Not only does the camera feature 1920 x 1080 60p(NTSC) 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 220 fps in QVGA. At the same time, the multi-task image-processing engine, the Venus Engine has a super-fast response time. The auto focus gains approximately 50% faster speed compared with the DMC-FZ100 achieving a Light Speed AF of approx. 0.1 second. The speed in AF Tracking is also faster thanks to the improved tracking performance which doubles its sampling frequency
Intuitive Manual Control and Creative Options Including 3D Photo Shooting
The DMC-FZ150's full manual control elevates your creative options.A side lever on the left side of lens barrel allows for smooth zooming when concentrating on the shutter operation with the right hand. Focus can also be changed with this lever, which is convenient when recording video.
The conventional My Color mode is renewed for Creative Control with a selection of artistic effect modes; Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole. Now it is possible to adjust exposure compensation in the Creative Control mode. In addition, Photo Style provides Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, and Portrait presets while enabling finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction by each. It is possible to fully customize those settings to make user's own color effect manually in Custom mode. These two modes Creative Control and Photo Style let users at any level enjoy make their photos more impressive.
In video recording, the DMC-FZ150 goes further than simply recording HD videos. Apart from the video recording capability of conventional digital compact cameras, the DMC-FZ150 also features a Creative Video mode, which lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive videos. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to videos, which is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and you want to have each of them stand out.
For more advanced creative freedom, the DMC-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 DMC-FZ150 is also compatible with an optional remote shutter (DMW-RSL1) for advanced expression in photography.
The 3D Photo mode produces a 3D image in the camera. Take 20 panning shots and the camera automatically selects two most suitable images - one for the right eye and one for the left eye - to synthesize a 3D composite. The 3D image can be viewed on VIERA HDTV. The format of 3D image is compatible with MPO which can be played back on other MPO-compatible equipment such as TV, Digital Photo Frame or Printing
The Evolving iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode Makes Every Photo and Video More Beautiful
Panasonic incorporated the Intelligent Auto mode in pursuit of the ultimate ease of operation and the reduction of missed shots. In the iA mode, the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments.
With the DMC-FZ150, the Motion Deblur mode is incorporated to prevent blur even more powerfully. Plus, the Intelligent Handheld Nightshot mode an added feature. It generates a beautiful night scenery with illumination by layering the images shot consecutively. Bright glamorous night scenery can be recorded without using a tripod.
The Face Recognition function remembers registered faces to give an appropriate AF/AE on people while removing unwanted red-eye. The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene modes - Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Sunset - that best suit the shooting situation.
Once you enter the iA mode, these functions happen automatically with other powerful shooting-assist functions - AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, and Intelligent D-range Control - so you can shoot without the bother of adjusting settings every time conditions change. You can enjoy easy, trouble-free shooting in any situation and get the satisfaction that comes with capturing clear, beautiful images
Friendliness with PCs and Other Portable Electronic Devices for Sharing Excitement
For higher compatibility with PC, the DMC-FZ150 is capable of recording video in MP4 format in addition to the AVCHD. It is possible to directly play back the video recorded in MP4 on PC or other portable electronic devices without extra conversion. Resolution can be selected among 1920 x 1080 (20Mbps), 1280 x 720 (10Mbps), 640 x 480 (4Mbps), all at 30p (NTSC).
The DMC-FZ150 also features a new way of communicating with LUMIX Image Uploader by sharing photos or videos taken by users. All you have to do is check off the photos you want to share and connect the camera to a PC. Uploading starts just by following the prompts provided. You can add comments and let your friends know that you've updated your album via e-mail. Facebook can be used for photos and YouTube for videos. It's easy to share photos and videos on the spot, which means that your friends won't hvae to wait until you come back home
Extra Optical Zoom (EZ)
29.4x (4:3 / 8Mp); 37.5x (4:3 / 5Mp); 46.9x (4:3 / under 3Mp)
Normal / AF Macro / MF (side lever and cursor key button), Quick AF ON/OFF(On in Intelligent Auto), Continuous AF On/Off (On video recording), FOCUS Button, AF/MF Switchable Button, AF/AE Lock Button, One shot AF, AF Area Select, AF Tracking
Face / AF Tracking / Multi (23 pt), 1 pt (Flexible / Scalable)
Still Image: RAW, JPEG (DCF / Exif 2.3)
3D Image: MPO
Motion picture: AVCHD, MP4, Quick Time Motion JPEG (on High Speed Video)
Mode Dial / Mode Button
Intelligent AUTO, P (Program) mode, A (Aperture Priority) mode, S (Shutter Priority) mode, M (Manual) mode, Creative Video mode, Creative Control mode, Portrait mode, Scenery mode, Sports mode, Night Portrait mode, Close-up mode, Scene mode, Custom
Creative Control Mode
Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Pin Hole, Film Grain, Miniature Effect
Still Image Scene Mode
Panorama Assist, Party, Candle Light, Baby 1, Baby 2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Flash Burst, Panning, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Photo Frame, High-Speed Video, 3D Photo
Continuous Shooting Mode
Full-Resolution Image: 12 frames/sec Max. 12 images (Standard / Fine Mode)
With AF Tracking: 5.5 frames/sec, 2 frames/sec
High-speed Burst: approximately 40 frames/sec(recorded in 5Mp for 4:3, 4.5Mp for 3:2, 3.5Mp for 16:9, 3.5Mp for 1:1); approximately 60 frames/sec; (recorded in 2.5Mp for 4:3, 3Mp for 3:2, 3.5Mp for 16:9, 2Mp for 1:1)
Motion Picture Recording - HD Video
1920 x 1080 pixels, 60p (PSH: 28Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 60p)
1920 x 1080 pixels, 60i (FSH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 60p)
1280 x 720 pixels, 60p (SH: 13Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 60p)
1920 x 1080 pixels, 30 fps (FHD: 20Mbps / MP4) (Sensor output is 30p)
1280 x 720 pixels, 30 fps (HD: 10Mbps / MP4) (Sensor output is 30p)
Motion Picture Recording Standard - Video
VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30 fps (4Mbps / MP4)
Motion Picture Recording - High Speed Video
QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 220 fps (Motion JPEG)
Continuous Recordable Time - Motion Pictures
AVCHD: 110 min (PSH), 130 min (SH)
Actual Recordable Time - Motion Pictures
AVCHD: 60 min (PSH), 70 min (SH)
Photo Style / Film Mode
Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait, Custom
Color Mode / Color Effect / My Color
Color Effect (only in iA mode): Standard, B&W, Sepia, Happy
Normal Playback, Slideshow, Category Playback, Mode Playback, Favorites Playback
PictBridge support for printing out photos with compatible printers
PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.5 BD Edition
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE
Panasonic DMC-FZ150 Digital Camera (Black) - includes description