Panasonic has announced four digital cameras, including the high-end FZ38 superzoom 12.1Mp hybrid.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX1, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX60 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8, along with the FZ38, are all scheduled to launch in September 2009.
The Panasonic FZ38 is the successor to the Best Buy FZ18 and FZ28 digital cameras from Panasonic. Like its ancestors, the FZ38 features a powerful 18x optical zoom, and like the recent FZ28, the FZ38 is able to record video in high definition.
Other upgrades that feature on the new FZ38 include the ability to create AVCHD Lite video files. These files are more compressed than Motion Jpeg files, and saving longer video per GB of storage.
The new FZ38 features the new Power O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilisation). Panasonic claims that this is a superior image stabiliser than the Mega O.I.S that featured on earlier Panasonic models.
Panasonic says that it has improved the Face Recognition technology in the FZ38, with the camera able to register up to six commonly photographed faces, with up to three being recognised in any one photograph.
An interesting feature of this technology is that if a baby’s face is recognised in the frame, then the camera will switch to baby mode. Category playback will then allow you to review all the pictures taken of a particular individual.
Panasonic DMC-ZX1, Panasonic DMC-FX60, Panasonic DMC-FP8
Alongside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38, Panasonic are also launching three other 12.1Mp digital cameras: the ZX1, the FX60 and the FP8.
Each of these models features the same Power image stabiliser and advanced face recognition that the FZ38 does. They can also all record video in high definition (1280 x 720p).
The ZX1 provides an 8x optical zoom with a 25mm wide angle lens. The FX60 also offers a 25mm wide angle lens, but only a 5x optical zoom. The FP8’s lens is a little tighter at 28mm and the zoom factor is 4.6x.
Expert digital camera reviews
Richard Parris, Which? digital camera expert, said: ‘Panasonic recently topped our reliability survey of digital camera brands, and has produced a number of Best Buys in our thorough testing. It’ll be interesting to see if these high standards are maintained as increasingly sophisticated models such as the FZ38 are released.’
For help choosing the best digital camera, check out our expert digital camera reviews, including full, lab-based test results of the Panasonic DMC-FZ18 and the Panasonic DMC-FZ28.
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