Panasonic has announced a new addition to its Lumix range of compact digital cameras that uses the rear LCD monitor to provide touchscreen control over the camera’s functions.

At its heart, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 is powered by a 10-megapixel CCD sensor and a Venus Engine IV image processor. The camera also features a 4x optical zoom (25-125mm 35mm equivalent) which is backed up by Panasonic’s proprietary Mega O.I.S anti-shake technology.

In addition, the FX500 also features the usual range of Lumix features including Intelligent Exposure, Intelligent ISO, Face Detection and Red-Eye Correction. New for the FX500 is Continuous AF, which is used to keep a moving subject in focus. The FX500 can also shoot 720p HD video.

Hybrid control

However, what really sets the FX500 apart is the hybrid control system that combines traditional joystick operation with touchscreen controls on the rear LCD.

According to Panasonic users are able to make “fine adjustments” by touch, including the use of “on-screen sliders” to “adjust aperture and shutter speeds” when the camera is being used in manual mode.

The Panasonic Lumix FX500 will be available in the UK from the end of April, priced at £330.