This morning, Panasonic Singapore unveils their latest members of the LUMIX camera family, which include the DMC-TZ30 with built-in GPS feature; DMC-SZ7 and DMC-SZ1 which have slim form factor and packed with powerful performance; and the DMC-FT4 of the Tough and Active series that is geared for outdoor usage. The electronics manufacturer also announced the new High Definition (HD) camcorders, including the HX-WA20 which is designed for shooting even under harsh conditions.
With its compact body, wide-angle versatile lens, and photo and video recording feature, the Panasonic LUMIX TZ30 claims to be an ideal travel companion It offers a 20x optical zoom on its LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens (compared to 16x zoom of the TZ20) , and has built-in GPS functions. Panasonic also included a worldwide map data on the bundled DVD which you can load onto a SD card and into the camera. This allows you to not only geotag your pictures, but you can also see where you are exactly on the map. Note that, there is no turn-by-turn navigation feature to find you way around the vicinity.
The DMC-FX80, DMC-FH8, DMC-FH6 and DMC-S2 are not only stylish and slim, but also offer great ease of use at shooting superb quality photos and videos. The FX80, FH8 and FH6 are fitted with 24mm ultra wide angle lens with 5x optical zoom, while the FH8, FH6 and S2 can record dynamic HD videos in 1,280x720p at 25p in MP4 (FH8) or Motion JPEG (FH6).
The LUMIX SZ series are designed with slim form factor and powerful features. The DMC-SZ7 features 14.1-megapixel MOS sensor and full HD video recording, while the DMC-SZ1 is equipped with a 16.1-megapixel CCD sensor and HD video recording. Both models incorporate LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with 25mm ultra wide-angle and 10x optical zoom. The DMC-SZ7 can record at 1,920×1,080 50i (PAL) in AVCHD (MPEG-3/H.264) format.
For users who are into outdoor sports and activities, the all-weather LUMIX DMC-FT4 is the one you need to bring along wherever you go. It has inner rubber padding and reinforced glass and claims to be dustproof, waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof. Besides GPS functions, the DMC-FT4 also comes with compass, altimeter and barometer. But the most unique feature of th FT4 is that it can do time lapse shooting; you can set in one-minute to 30-minute intervals for up to 12 hours.
Besides the cameras, Panasonic has also announced seven video camcorders. The HC-X900 and HX-X900M feature advanced 3MOS sensor, F1.5 LEICA Dicomar lens with bright image rendering, high corner-to-corner resolution and Nano Surface Coating Technology to reduce ghosting and distortion. The HC-V700 features a 28mm wide angle lens with 46x zoom for ultra-telephoto shooting. It also incorporates HYBRID O.I.S + that can minimize blurring regardless of zoom. With the 3D Conversion lens, the HC-V700 can shoot in 3D .
The HC-V500 and HC-V500M are equipped with 16GB built-in memory and SD card slot, and packs a 50x Intelligent Zoom that lets you zoom in easily on subjects. Both also feature a unique Advanced highlight Playback function that let you playback recorded images quickly and easily. The compact HC-V100 boasts up to 165 minutes continuous recording time, is lightweight and supports full HD video recording.
If you're looking for a camcorder for active outdoor use, check out the Panasonic HX-WA20 that lets you shoot under almost any conditions. The 16-megapixel WA20 can be used to 3m underwater for up to an hour, and can record images at 240fps (640×360) or 480 fps (320×180) for 15 seconds. You can also shoot panoramic pictures easily by swinging the camera up, down, left or right to take vertical or horizontal images.
The Panasonic LUMIX cameras and video camcorders will retail in authorized dealers from April. Pricing will be announced closer to retail.