David G Hemmings is a world- renowned bird photographer. His work is known through out the bird photography world as some of the most dynamic and impressive bird in flight images anywhere today. His work has been published on the cover of National Geographic and has also appeared on the cover of numerous nature photography publications. David is one of seven world famous bird photographers that have their work in a published hardcover book entitled “On Feathered Wings”. He is also one of four photographers whose works are currently on display as part of an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History Ornithology Department in New York City.
David also teaches his talents to many others through workshops conducted at different locations throughout the year.
David also contributes to the premier online nature photography website, Naturescapes.net where he is a moderator on the birds’ forum. He is also a member of the Royal Photographic Society.
David operates a bird and nature photography workshop and tour company called Nature’s Photo Adventures. http://www.naturesphotoadventures.com
Recently I was asked by Panasonic to test their new DMC FZ 150 Camera. I am a well known bird photographer so what better subjects to test it on then birds? I travel all over the world taking images of birds and wildlife and one of my favorite places to shoot a lot of birds in a short time close to home is the state of Florida. This is where I did the most testing of the Panasonic FZ 150.
Generally speaking, when you are photographing birds, you can never seem to have too much focal zoom. The Panasonic FZ 150 delivers well in this regard with its 24x zoom and a great feature called Intelligent Resolution. Basically this option allows extra focal length up to 36x when you really need it!
I can tell you that FZ150 is one of the most user friendly compact cameras that I have ever tested. When I tested the camera I had no manual to help me figure out all of the button and dial configurations but found that not to be an issue when testing the camera. I am familiar already with all the functions of most digital cameras which did help.
The large 3 inch LCD screen is easily viewed in the outdoors and accessing the important information like f stop and shutter speed setting was very smooth and required very little scrolling. The ISO setting function was also quick and easy to find. The FZ 150 comes with a useful and easy to attach lens hood to help reduce the chances of lens flare while in the field. It also has a clip on lens cap, very useful for people like me who are always misplacing placing lens caps.
One feature that really stood out for me and is very easy to use is the lens barrel has a switch that is marked AF/AF MACRO/MF. When the MF (manual focus) is selected the range of focus can be set manually anywhere in-between 1ft to infinity. When using this function the center of the screen becomes enlarged to help determine sharpness more accurately.
I found the images that the FZ 150 produce to be of very good quality, actually I was surprised at just how good the image quality was. The sensor produced clear, crisp images with no noticeable noise up to 400 ISO which is where I do most of my outdoor shooting in relation to the ISO setting. I did not see any chromatic aberrations or fringing.
Panasonic has a real winner on its hands here and this camera is just great for a lot of different types of bird and nature photography. Here are the strongest features of the camera from my testing:
In closing I would highly recommend the Panasonic DMC-FZ150 to anyone looking for a great performing, feature packed, portable and affordable bird photography camera.