CES 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the Lumix range of digital cameras from Panasonic. Marking this important data, Panasonic is introducing 8 new digital cameras. There are 2 models which make up the new entry-level S-series and 6 models which refine the existing F and FH-series. Among these models are several ones that use a 16 megapixels sensor, pushing the resolution of small-sensor cameras further. All these new cameras are capable of shooting 720p HD video and have an ISO range of 100 to 1600.
The new S-series is characterized by rounded-line and a small wide-angle 4X optical zoom lens. Despite being entry-level, Panasonic includes both optical image stabilization and an autofocus assist-lamp, things that such models often miss. To keep cost low, the long-end of the lens used on both models is quite dark, with a maximum aperture of F/6.5. Both cameras run on proprietary lithium-ion batteries and support SDXC memory cards.
The basic model, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-S1 has a 12 megapixels sensor while the Lumix DMC-S3 has a 14 megapixels sensor which gives it slightly longer battery-life. The S3 also includes 70 MB of internal memory, so that it can be used without a memory card.
The ultra-slim FP-series gets two additions as well with the Lumix DMC-FP5 and DMC-FP7. These include a standard 4X optical zoom using a folded-optics design which makes it non-protruding even when powered on. These two models differ in number of megapixels and their display size. Although both use a touch-screen interface with 230K pixels, the FP5 has a 3″ display while the FP7 has a 3.5″ one. The FP5 uses a 14 megapixels sensor while the FP7 does to 17 megapixels. Honestly, both seem considerable too much for cameras this size and the likely print sizes that they will be used for.
The last 4 models are part of the FH-series which is known for its wide-angle lens and slim design:
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH2 – The only one of the group to have only 14 megapixels, it has a 4X wide-angle zoom lens and a 2.7″ LCD.
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH5 – The lowest-end model with a 16 megapixels sensor, it also has a 4X wide-angle optical zoom and 2.7″ LCD.
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 – This one also features a 16 megapixels sensor but upgrades its lens to 8X optical zoom.
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 – This one features a larger 3″ touch-screen while keeping the 16 megapixels sensor and 8X wide-angle optical zoom lens.