updated 11:10 am EDT, Fri August 26, 2011
Panasonic Lumix FZ150 tops out in video
One more Panasonic camera rounded out a series of introductions on Friday with its own distinct edge. The Lumix FZ150 ultrazoom focuses most on its sensor and new processing power. A fresh 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor not only helps improve its performance in low light and motion but lets it record 1080p video at 60 frames per second in the new AVCHD 2.0 spec.
The lens, as on most cameras in the class, is as much of a centerpiece. While it reaches a now-average 24X zoom, the 25mm equivalent minimum zoom helps it shoot wide-angle photos as well as reach out to 600mm. A zoom rocker, similar to that on the new X series 14-42mm lens, helps it smoothly zoom out without needing ring controls, and the image stabilization now has an extra-aggressive "active" mode for when it's impossible to keep the camera completely still.
Other improvements bring 5.5 frames per second shooting with autofocus on (12FPS while off), slow-motion video shooting at up to 220FPS by stepping down to 320x240, and about 50 percent faster autofocus than the FZ100 the camera replaces.
The FZ150 will cost $500 and should ship in late September.