The Panasonic DMC-FZ150 is a superzoom camera. Basically that’s what has become of what has long been called “bridge camera”. I’ve wanted to try one of these for a long time, and now that two of my friends have the FZ-150, Panasonic’s new flagship in that category, I have the possibility to try it without actually buying it.
Let me explain: I am pretty sure that I want such a camera. It’s fine for travel, it’s fine for the moments when I want longer reach, and I am pretty convinced that a small camera with a focal range equivalent to 24-600 mm is more useful to me than a 400 mm lens on my D300. It is not only much cheaper (the Nikon 200-400/f4 zoom costs a fortune), it is much, much lighter as well.
The FZ-150 is lighter in fact than my LX5, at least as I use it, with EVF and filter adapter attached. It’s only marginally lighter but nevertheless.
Of course this is not the shallow DOF that a 600 mm lens on a 35 mm camera would give you. After all, the lens is really 108 mm / f5.2 on its long end, that means at perceived 600 mm it has the DOF of a typical low end zoom on a DSLR, but that’s fine for me. I am much more after images like today’s than after the wildlife / throw-your-background-away type. For such images extended DOF is actually what I want.
The idea here is to exploit compression, to flatten the three-dimensional space into an abstract composition.
Or maybe it’s the other way round: that is how this camera sees and this is why I enjoy using it. It doesn’t matter. Fact is, it is fun and if I find that the image quality suffices for my usage, I may end up buying it. I’ll have the camera for a week, let’s see where we get.
The Song of the Day is “Long Tall Mama” by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. Hear it on YouTube.