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2011.01.27

Panasonic launched two new additions to its range of travel zoom cameras in the form of the Lumix ZS10 and ZS8. These near-twins feature an ultra-wide angle 16X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24-384mm, 14 megapixels resolution and manual controls in a rather compact body.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 brings the first MOS (Think CMOS-type) sensor to Panasonic’s Travel-Zoom series. This high-speed sensor provides the ZS10 with 1080i HD video capture and a 10 FPS continuous drive mode. The unusual thing about the sensor used here is that it actually outputs 1920×1080 @ 60 FPS. but the AVCHD codec used to encode the video only uses half of each frame to the resulting movie is 1080i @ 60 Hz.

The ZS10 is also the one of these two to include a built-in GPS. This is accompanied by a database of over one million landmarks which are used to tag photos and videos along with the GPS coordinates.

The ZS8, which features a standard CCD, records HD videos at 1280×720 @ 30 FPS and shoots continuously at 1.9 FPS instead. Both cameras have an ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 1600 with a reduced-resolution low-light mode which can reach ISO 6400. The each have a3″ LCD, although the ZS10’s has twice the resolution at 460K pixels, compared to 230k for the ZS8’s. The remaining specifications are nearly identical, including SDXC memory support and a proprietary Lithium-Ion battery for power.

The one thing in favor of the ZS8, other than an lower expected price (TBA), is a longer battery life of 340 shots per charge, compared to 260, which is most likely due to the lack of a built-in GPS.

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