Panasonic refreshes camera range

Panasonic's new DMC-ZX1 comes in a spectrum of shades
Panasonic's new DMC-ZX1 comes in a spectrum of shades

Panasonic today announced four new digital cameras, the 18x superzoom FZ38, the ultra-compact FP8, the 5x compact FX60 and the compact 8x superzoom ZX1.

Most interesting is probably the new DMC-ZX1, a travel superzoom measuring just 26mm deep and weighing 160g but packing an 8x zoom with an ultra-wide 25mm wideangle setting.

The ZX1 manages this by using two world's firsts: a 0.3mm super-thin aspherical lens and a 0.3mm spherical lens - fruit of Panasonic's collaboration with glass-meisters Leica.

Bright eyes

In other zoom news, the DMC-FZ38 has a mighty 18x lens that starts from a generous 27mm equivalent and has a useful f2.8 maximum aperture for sharp low light shots.

Panasonic is also jumping on the style-cam bandwagon, with an DMC-FP8 snapper reminiscent of Sony's T-series. With its flat aluminium design, folding optics and 20mm depth, the 4.6x zoom camera also packs a 12MP sensor.

Finally, the DMC-FX60 mixes and matches some of the above, with a 25mm F2.8 5x optical zoom. All cameras feature AVCHD Lite 720p movie capture, improved stabilisation and faster autofocusing and start-up times than previous models, as well as the usual face recognition and intelligent scene selection tech.

No word yet on any pricing but all four cameras are available in a range of colours, and should be landing in stores come September.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.