The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is the camera in its FZ-series, which consists of super-zoom models offering extreme telephoto reach in a fixed-lens body. The core of the Panasonic FZ150 is a 1/2.3-inch MOS sensor with an effective resolution of 12.1 megapixels, from a total of 12.5 megapixels. MOS sensors are usually faster than their more common CCD brethren and the FZ150's sensor bears this out with a swift full-resolution burst shooting rate of 12 frames per second if autofocus is disabled and a still-commendable 5.5 frames per second with autofocus active.
It also allows for progressive scan Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixel, aka 1,080p) video at a rate of 60 frames per second, saved using the AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. Of course, the processor--a quad-core Venus Engine-branded unit--plays its own part in this speed, as well as in allowing an ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 3,200 equivalents (expandable to ISO 6,400 equivalent in High Sensitivity Auto mode).
The FZ150's sensor sits behind a powerful 24x optical zoom lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from a useful 25mm wide angle to a powerful 600mm telephoto for stills and 28mm to 672mm for videos. Of course, with this much reach, mechanical image stabilization is a must, as you'd otherwise need shutter speeds in the region of 1/600-700th second or faster for blur-free images, which would restrict use to only ideal lighting conditions.
The FZ150 doesn't disappoint, not only including true optical image stabilization, but also providing what Panasonic refers to as an "Active" mode for video shooting, which takes advantage of the lower resolution with respect to still imaging and thereby provides a greater degree of correction. The Panasonic FZ150 relies on contrast detection autofocusing, but this too offers improved speed thanks to the quad-core Venus Engine CPU.