24x the fun with the Panasonic DMC-FZ150

What a week it's been for camera releases. We've had Sony and Nikon dropping a whole host of new snappers, and now it's Panasonic's turn, with a couple of new models including the superzoom Panasonic DMC-FZ150.

The FZ150 is the follow up to last year's FZ100 - although it actually loses a couple of megapixels: down to 12.1 from 14.1.

Like last year's high-end superzoom, it still packs the Full HD video recording, although with the newly created AVCHD Progressive standard - so 1080p 50p HD. And videos can also make use of the 24x zoom on offer, as well as iA (intelligent auto), power optical image stabilizer, face detection, intelligent scene selector and intelligent D-range control.

It's more intelligent than Will Hunting by the sound of it.

Videos also make use of Dolby Digital Stereo Creator and there's an auto wind cut function block out the majority of background wind noise. Plus, when you're shooting movies, you can still snap 3.5-megapixel stills.

Speaking of stills, the FZ150 packs a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 25mm ultra wide-angle lens with a 24x optical zoom, and there's also a digital zoom option for 32x magnification. The 12.1-megapixel MOS sensor is backed up by a Venus engine and there's a better S/N ratio, up by 3.9dB (ISO 100) to 4.7dB (ISO1600) compared to its older brother.

Other new additions on Panasonic's superzoom for 2011 are more manual controls courtesy of a new side lever and Creative Control and Photo Style - the effects side of the camera - and a new 3D model which takes 20 panning shots and selects the two most suitable images for the 3D image.

The LCD on the back is a 3-inch one, with 460k dots and a 100 per cent viewing angle.

Out in October, the Panasonic DMC-FZ150 doesn't yet have a price-tag for the UK, although we're hearing $499.99 in the States.



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