Panasonic announces new Lumix travel cameras
Panasonic has announced a selection of new Lumix cameras at CES, which are designed to give you better photographic power than your smartphone while still being compact. New models include a travel-oriented camera which features a big zoom and a high-resolution viewfinder, a compact you can wink at to take a selfie, and a couple of rugged cameras.
The new Lumix cameras, while not as exciting or interesting as those launched at Photokina, are designed to boost Panasonic's mid-range compact camera offerings. The headline attraction is the Lumix TZ70 (or ZS50 in the US), which pairs a 12.1-megapixel 1/2.3-type MOS sensor with a 24-720-mm equivalent F3.3-F6.4 lens and optical image stabilization.
A Venus Engine processor enables an ISO range of 80 to 6400, and a maximum continuous shooting speed of 10 fps. Full HD 1080p video recording is also possible at 60/50 fps, as is RAW shooting, while built-in Wi-Fi and NFC make sharing content easy.
The camera features a 3-inch LCD monitor with 1,040k dots, and there's also an electronic viewfinder with 1,166k dots for more traditional shot composition. A control ring on the lens barrel can also be used to control zoom, focus, aperture and a number of other settings in an intuitive way.
Sitting below the TZ70 is the Lumix TZ57 (ZS45 in the US) which forgoes a number of the high-end features, but is also cheaper. It offers a 16-megapixel MOS sensor, with a 24-480-mm equivalent featuring optical image stabilization and built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing. Full HD 1080p video recording is limited to 30/25 fps.
There's no electronic viewfinder on the TZ57, but it does have a 1,040k dot 3-inch LCD on the rear which can tilted up to 180 degrees for easier shooting in awkward positions, or to take a selfie, which can be done by winking at the camera.
Getting even smaller and more affordable is the new Lumix SZ10, which uses a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor, but this time of the CCD variety. It also features a smaller 24-288-mm equivalent lens, and is limited to HD 720p video recording at 30/25 fps. The monitor measures 2.7-inch with 460k dots, but users will still be able to get their selfies on with the SZ10 – as it also tilts 180 degrees – and share them using built-in Wi-Fi.
If adventure holidays are more your thing, Panasonic's new rugged Lumix cameras might also be more your style. The most capable is the new TS6, which is waterproof to 13 m (43 ft) and shockproof to 2 m (6.6 ft), as well as featuring a 16-megapixel MOS sensor and a 28-128-mm equivalent lens. It has a 3-inch 460k dot LCD screen along with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for easy sharing, and GPS for geotagging images.
Meanwhile, the cheaper FT30 (TS30 in the US) is waterproof to 8 m (26 ft), shockproof to 1.5 m (5 ft) and freezeproof to -10°C (14°F). Inside there is a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor and a 25-100-mm equivalent lens, and around back there's a 2.7-inch LCD monitor with 230k dots. Video recording maxes out at HD 720p 30/25 fps and there's no built-in Wi-Fi.
There's no news on exactly when the new Panasonic Lumix cameras will hit stores, but they're currently available for pre-order. The TZ70 will sell for US$400, while the TZ57 will go for $300 and the SZ10 $200. The rugged cameras are priced at $300 for the TS6, and $180 for the FT30.