Panasonic launches four new cameras

Two new models and two updates including FZ38 super-zoom

I’ve been sitting on this information for over a week now, but at last the truth can be told! Panasonic took a bunch of European camera journalists to Lisbon earlier this month to launch its new summer/autumn line-up, consisting of two brand new compacts, and two upgrades of existing model lines. One of the updated models was the Lumix FZ38 super-zoom, a replacement for the popular FZ28. I’ve actually had a production sample FZ38 for a week and have reviewed it today to coincide with the officially launch.

The other update is the Lumix DMC-FX60, the latest in a successful series of luxury compacts that includes the FX37, as well as the FX-40 and FX55.

The FX60 is a 12.1-megapixel ultra-compact featuring a 12.1-megapixel sensor, a Leica 5x zoom lens with a wide angle equivalent to 25mm and a maximum aperture of f/2.8, all wrapped in stylish all-metal body available in silver, black, pink, violet, gold and blue.

Stand-out features for the new model include an improved version of Panasonic’s already excellent image stabilization system, Power OIS. It also has a much faster autofocus system and faster and more efficient processor circuitry resulting in a battery life of 360 shots. The face detection system has also been improved, and now eatures face recognition. Ito quote from the PR release: “When a familiar face is recorded several times, the camera will prompt you to register the face. Once complete, if the familiar face appears into your frame again, the camera will display the name you specified for the person and prioritize focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and in sharp focus. Up to six people’s faces can be registered, and up to three can be simultaneously recognized to show their names once registered.” Many Casio cameras have a similar “Friends and family” feature.

Like many of Panasonic’s new and current range the FX60 also features HD movie recording, shooting at 1280 x 720 and 30fps, although it lacks the HDMI output of some other models. The FX60 goes on sale in September, but official price of the has yet to be announced.

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