First, the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is an upgrade to last year’s FZ100 following the same lines as the FZ40 to FZ47 upgrade. THe FZ150 retains a high-speed CMOS sensor while lowering the resolution to a respectable 12 megapixels and boosting its continuous drive to 12 FPS and 1080p HD video recording capability to 60 FPS.
The FZ150 is now Panasonic’s flagship ultra-zoom with a stabilized 24X ultra-wide angle zoom lens, equivalent to 25-600mm, full manual-controls including custom white-balance and manual-focus, plus a hot-shoe and all the advanced features expected from a prosumer mode. This one can shoot videos in a variety of resolutions from 1920×1080 @ 60 FPS to 320×240 @ 220 FPS. There is a stereo microphone built into the FZ150 plus a mini-jack for using an external stereo sound source. The FZ150 is scheduled for a late-September availability for a suggested price of $499 CDN.
Next is a firmware upgrade to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, their high-end compact featuring a larger-than-usual CCD and bright F/2 zoom lens. The new firmware upgrade the autofocus speed and high-ISO performance among a number of handling tweaks. It is great to see current cameras improving like this. The new firmware is scheduled to be available in mid-September.