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2010.07.21

Let’ say that it has been a slow summer in terms of digital camera news… until now. Today we got a announcements from both Panasonic and Fuji. Starting with Panasonic, we have 2 ultra-zooms the FZ100 and FZ40. They both share the same new ultra-wide 24X optical zoom lens equivalent to 25-600mm. They both come with the usual bells-and-whistles of ultra-zooms: full-manual controls, manual focus, image stabilization.

The FZ100 is the high-speed CMOS version of a Panasonic ultra-zoom.  It sports a 14 megapixels sensor and a mechanical shutter than can sustain 11 FPS. The FZ100 also has a 60 FPS capture mode using an electronic shutter at 3.5 megapixels. The FZ100 can record full 1080i video using its fast sensor.  It has a 3″ LCD with 460k which can rotate away from the camera body.

The FZ40 comes as a more natural upgrade to the ultra-zoom lineup with a conventional 14 megapixels sensor. Since it lacks the high-speed sensor, this one records 720p HD movies. Both cameras use the space-efficient AVHCD codec. This model also has a 3″ LCD but with 230K pixels.

The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 is a nice follow-up to the LX3 advanced compact digital camera. The biggest difference is an increased zoom range, now going from 24-90mm at F2-F3.3, compared to 24-60mm F2-2.8. It also features a port for an EVF add-on.  The interface has been changed slightly to make it easier to change camera settings.

The FX ultra-slim line-up has also been updated with a touch-screen-based FX700. I still strongly feel this is a bad idea but every manufacturer seems to want to have one in their line-up. The FX700 boasts a nice bright lens going from 24-120mm at F2.2-5.9. This one is built around a CMOS sensor, probably the same as the FZ100, which it uses to shoot continuously at 10 FPS and record 1080i HD video.

The last update from Panasonic is actually a down-grade from the TS2, to become the less-touch TS10. This one can be submerged to 3m below the surface and dropped from 1.5m. We’re guessing Panasonic want to see how little ruggedness people actually want. The TS10 sports a 14 megapixels sensor and an internal 4X optical zoom lens equivalent to 35-140mm.


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