Panasonic announces 12MP camera

So that's Sony, Casio and Panasonic. Who's next?

Hot on the heels of Casio’s announcement on Tuesday of its new 12.1-megapixel camera, Panasonic has announced that it is shortly to be launching a camera with 12.2 megapixel resolution. That’s ”a whole 0.1 megapixels more!” Since Sony has already announced its 12MP Cyber-shot DSC-W200, it can only be a matter of time before Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax and Samsung follow suit. It looks like the rather tiresome megapixel arms race is back on with a vengeance.

The new Lumix DMC-FX100 features a Leica-branded 3.6x zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and a wide-angle focal length equivalent to 28mm. The camera incorporates a new and relatively large 1/1.72-inch CCD with 12.2-megapixel resolution, so hopefully it should avoid the image noise issues previously associated with very high resolution CCD sensors. Although since the camera has the same Venus III image processing engine as the rest of Panasonic’s latest range, this is something I’ll be looking at when I get to review the new model.

Other key features include Panasonic’s excellent Mega OIS anti-shake system, 2 frames per second continuous shooting and an interesting movie mode which can record wide aspect VGA (640 x 480) and WVGA (848 x 480) video at 30 frames per second, as well as wide-aspect HD (1280 x 720) video at 15 frames per second.

The DMC-FX100 will be available in either black or silver, and will hopefully be in the shops from July, although a price is yet to be announced.


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