Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150: Video and Image Quality

by Andy Stanton Reads (1,043)
Editor's Rating
7.20

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 8
    • Features
    • 9
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Performance
    • 10
    • 0
    • Total Score:
    • 7.20
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Video Quality
The Panasonic FZ150 has several different movie modes, of which the highest quality use the AVCHD format. The camera uses optical image stabilization with an active mode, which allows it to operate while taking movies. Other options for use in movie mode are optical zoom, adjusting shutter speed and aperture and using the Creative Control art filters. The camera also can use wind cut, which prevents the recording of wind noise, and zoom microphone, which will clearly record far sounds when the zoom is used, and surrounding sounds at wide angle.

I was pleased with the quality of the 1080p AVCHD movies produced by the FZ150. Shooting was smooth and colors were good. The camera managed to keep the subject in focus as I zoomed in and out.

Download Sample Video

According to Panasonic AVCHD videos can be up recorded up to approximately 110 minutes long (as long as there is sufficient storage space on the memory card).

Image Quality
The FZ150 produces sharp, images with colors that are well saturated, but not unrealistically so. The images are rarely affected by distortion. I occasionally noticed overexposure, which is something that is endemic to cameras with small sensors like the FZ150.

The camera can shoot macros as close as 1cm. I enjoy shooting macros of flowers, and the FZ150 did not disappoint.

Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image

I used the camera’s auto white balance setting, which worked well. White balance can also be manually set to clear sky, cloudy sky, shade, flash, incandescent and preset. The image below shows auto white balance under fluorescent lighting:

Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
Auto White Balance, 5500k fluorescent light

The camera’s flash can be set to auto, auto/red-eye reduction, forced flash (on/off) and slow synch. Panasonic claims a flash range of up to 9.5 meters (31.2 feet) at wide angle and 5.1 meters (16.7 feet) at extreme telephoto. This is a very powerful flash but it operated intelligently, using just enough power to appropriately light the subject.

As shown by the ISO table below, the FZ150 does well when shooting at low, medium and even moderately high ISO’s. Its image quality is very good, with good sharpness, strong color and very little noise, through 400 ISO.

Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 100
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 100, 100% crop
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 200
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 200, 100% crop
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 400
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 400, 100% crop
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 800
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 800, 100% crop
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 1600
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 1600, 100% crop
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 3200
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
ISO 3200, 100% crop

Noise and the smearing effect of noise reduction start to become visible at 800 ISO but do not become a major problem until 3200 ISO. It is clear to me that Panasonic has successfully resolved whatever caused the FZ100 to have image quality problems at higher ISO’s, as the FZ150 is among the best Point and Shoot cameras in this area.

Additional Sample Images

Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image
Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image Panasonic FZ150 Sample Image


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