Panasonic has launched six new Lumix compact cameras for the Singapore market. They had previously been announced before at CES, but we got our first looks and hands-on with them yesterday. The three main cameras to look out for are the Lumix XS1, TZ40 and FT5. All six cameras are expected to be available in early April.
The Lumix XS1 is an impressively slim camera that's not much thicker than an iPhone 5; Panasonic calls it "the world's slimmest body profile" (with the usual caveats). It comes with a 16MP sensor, a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens (24-120mm in 35mm equivalent), optical image stabilization and can shoot 720p video. The XS1 will be available at an affordable S$199.
The Lumix TZ40 packs everything including the kitchen sink into its compact body. It has a 20x optical zoom lens (24-480mm in 35mm equivalent), comes with Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS. The Wi-Fi feature lets you connect the camera to a smartphone or tablet using the Panasonic camera app, and with NFC-capable devices all you'll need to do is tap the camera and device together to link them up. Once that's done, you can use the smartphone/tablet as another monitor to shoot photos and videos, as well as transfer photos over.
The 18MP sensor can shoot 1080/50p video in the AVCHD Progressive format and can shoot a high-speed burst of up to 10 frames per second. The camera will retail at S$549.
The Lumix FT5 is Panasonic's latest rugged flagship, and it also packs the kitchen sink into its little tough frame. It's waterproof up to 13m, 100kgf pressure resistant, dust-proof, shock-proof to 2m, and freeze-proof to -10 degrees C. It comes with a 16MP sensor with 4.6x optical zoom (28-128mm in 35mm equivalent) and shoots 1080/50p video. Like the TZ-40, it also comes with Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS, and will launch at S$499.
Here are the three other cameras that are being launched here.
The Lumix FT25 is a new rugged digital compact and the younger brother of the more powerful FT5. Like on the FT5, the new Advanced Underwater Mode includes improved red color reproduction to compensate for the blue shifts in color underwater and make colors look more true to life. A Torch Light function allows the camera to serve as a light with its built-in LED.
The Lumix LZ30 is a larger camera than a standard compact, but for a good reason: It houses a 35x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization, the focal length is the 35mm equivalent of a 25-875mm zoom. The zoom can be further stretched using the Extra Optical Zoom function, which extends the zoom to 78.8x at 3MP resolution. The LZ30 records 1280 x 720p video in Motion JPEG.
The Lumix SZ3 is a 10x optical zoom camera with 720/24p video recording in a slim profile.