Panasonic has unveiled two new FS-range compacts alongside a new S-range model. The 16.1MP FS45 and 14.1MP FS40 are positioned at the top of the Lumix FS range of practical yet stylish compacts, while the 16.1MP S5 is aimed squarely at the budget minded camera buyer.
Looking at the FS45 and FS40, both cameras are set to benefit from the same f/2.5 Leica DC Vario-Summarit lens that has previously only been available on more expensive Lumix cameras. For a mid-range compact such as this f/2.5 is really quite bright and fast – most of the FS40 and FS45’s main rivals tend to open to a maximum f/2.8. Furthermore, optical zoom capabilities extend to 5x, equating to 24mm-124mm in 35mm terms. As with the maximum aperture, the 24mm wideangle is pretty impressive too, as most compacts tend start at 28mm. Both the FS40 and FS45 also get Mega O.I.S image stabilisation built in to lessen the effects of camera shake.
Both cameras are fully automatic, sporting Panasonic’s iA (intelligent Auto) shooting mode, alongside a Normal Picture mode and a selection of Scene positions. Both cameras can also shoot 720p HD movies, the main difference being that the FS45 stores resultant files as MP4s whereas the FS40 stores them as QuickTime .MOV files. On the back, the FS40 gets a 2.7inch, 230k-dot LCD screen, whereas the FS45 gets a 3inch monitor. Both cameras are due to land in the UK next month, although prices have yet to be confirmed.
The S5 is billed as a simple, smart and stylish camera and as such is targeted at the budget buyer who doesn’t want to unduly compromise on image quality. Its rounded curves house a 4x Lumix DC Vario lens that offers the 35mm focal range equivalent of 28-112mm. Unlike
In keeping with its target audience of casual users the S5 come with Lumix Image Uploader that allows the user to upload images and video directly to social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. The S5 will be available in black, silver or red from February although the price has yet to be confirmed.