Panasonic announced three new digital cameras today, each stacked with 12.1 megapixels, Leica lenses, 2.7-inch LCD screens, revamped optical image stabilization system, and increased battery power. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 takes its place as the newest ultra-zoom in its lineup while the FP8 and ZR1 each create a brand new series of digital cameras. They will show up on store shelves beginning in September.
The three digital cameras are all very different from each other, but they share a few common threads. All of them have 12.1 megapixels on a CCD image sensor and Leica-branded lenses. They come with the newest version of Panasonic’s optical image stabilization system – Power O.I.S. – as opposed to the older Mega O.I.S. system. According to Panasonic, the new system “features double the repression power compared to the previous image stabilization system.” We’ll translate that as less blur in photos.
The new digital cameras also come with a few upgrades in other technologies. They are all outfitted with Intelligent Auto modes and a new scene mode called High Dynamic that increases the dynamic range for photos where extreme lighting is present. All of the new models come with high-speed auto focus and a face recognition system that can not only detect faces, but display names by them once registered. Each digital camera comes with a long-lasting lithium-ion battery. The Panasonic FZ35 can snap off 470 shots, the FP8 gets a cool 380, and the ZR1 can still click an impressive 330 shots per battery charge.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35
The Panasonic Lumix FZ35 succeeds the FZ28 with two more megapixels and the newer optical image stabilization system. They carry the same Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 18x optical zoom lens that measures 27-486mm. The FZ35 adds an HD movie mode that can shoot 1280 x 720 pixels at a smooth 30 frames per second, and even adds a creative movie mode that allows photographers to manually select the shutter speeds and aperture. With the 18x zoom available while recording and a dedicated movie recording button, the Panasonic FZ35 aims to be a true hybrid that can take still images while recording videos.
“The Lumix FZ35 is truly unique as it includes advanced features like HD video recording, but still resembles and functions like an intuitive point-and-shoot with the ability to capture beautiful photos and video,” said David Briganti, senior product manager for Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company in the July 27 press release. “This model’s versatility makes it a great choice for a new or advanced user who wants a hybrid device that shoots high-quality still and motion images.”
The FZ35 will sell with the same $399 price tag that retailed on the FZ28, and will come only in the color black.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8
The Panasonic FP8 begins a new series of digital cameras for the manufacturer with the combination of a slim body, mid-zoom lens, and attractive features. The FP8 has an internal 4.6x optical zoom lens that makes its “futuristic body,” as Panasonic calls it, much flatter than its Lumix siblings. The new model measures 2.4 x 3.8 x 0.8 inches and nixes a hand grip for a trendier design that can slip into a back pocket more easily.
The FP8 adds to its futuristic look with the addition of blue LED cursor buttons that light up when pushed. It has few manual controls and instead offers 27 automated shooting modes. It has an HD movie mode that offers 1280 x 720-pixel video recording and can network with Panasonic Viera televisions with an optional component cable.
“We realize that consumers are looking for fashionable and slim digital cameras that still take high-quality photos and feature advanced photo settings,” Briganti said. “With the Lumix DMC-FP8, we are giving users that sleek and compact design, while not compromising the advanced, yet easy-to-use features and technology for which the Panasonic Lumix line of cameras is known.”
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 will come in black, red, and silver colors for $299.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1
For twenty dollars less than the FP8, the Panasonic ZR1 also starts a new lineup with automated features, a thin profile, and a long lens. The ZR1 sports a 25-200mm, 8x optical zoom lens that the company is calling the “world’s first 0.3mm thin aspherical lens.” It may be thin, but unlike the FP8, it folds out of the camera body.
“The ZR1 answers the call of consumers looking for a truly pocketable digital camera, while still featuring a zoom more powerful than typical compact cameras,” Briganti said. “We know consumers want to catch every shooting opportunity, and with the ZR1, this is possible through unique features such as the ultra-wide-angle lens and Panasonic’s popular iA mode.”
The new camera is slightly more than an inch thick and will come in black, red, blue, and silver colors.