updated 01:25 pm EST, Tue January 29, 2008
New Panasonic Lumixes
Electronics giant Panasonic today announced a collection of new cameras under its Lumix brand. Among these is the 10.1-megapixel FX35 (right), what the company describes as its first camera with an "ultra-wide" 25mm lens. The lens also features 4x optical zoom, and a maximum aperture of f/2.8, permitting better exposure without necessarily boosting ISO settings. Image quality is likewise improved through a fourth-generation Venus processor, red-eye correction through pre-flashes, and automatic exposure adjustments. The camera should be out in March for $350.
Within the LZ models, Panasonic has introduced the LZ10 and LZ8. These use normal wide-angle lenses, but have 5x optical zoom, optional manual control, and AA battery power that may be more attractive to international travelers. The Z10 is rated at 10.1 megapixels, while the Z8 has 8.1. The cameras should ship in February for $250 and $180.
Completely new is the FS line, launching with the FS20 and FS5. These are meant to echo the FX cameras, but again lack ultra-wide focal lengths or apertures. Both FS models have 10.1-megapixel sensors; the only true differences are a three-inch LCD on the FS20 versus the FS5's 2.5-inch screen, and pink among the general black and silver colors instead of red. The pair should be out in February for $300 and $250, respectively.
The TZ line is expanding with the TZ5 and TZ4, which share the feature of 28mm maximum pullback, and zoom that scales to 10x. Like the FS cameras, the new TZs use three- and 2.5-inch LCDs, but their megapixel ratings are just 9.1 and 8.1. The cameras will be out in late March for $350 and $300.