At the pace at which camera companies are pushing new models onto the market, there really isn’t any chance aynmore to ever own a camera that’s not outdated only months after you bought it. But also, there isn’t really any chance to accidentally buy a bad camera, since even the cheapest p&s now features technology that was considered state-of-the-art only a short while ago.
As is the case with Panasonic’s latest compact camera offerings which they presented to the public during CES yesterday. Many of them feature a 16 megapixel sensor, WiFi and/or an incredibly long zoom lens of up to 35x. For the details, please continue after the break.
As a matter of fact, the sheer amount of cameras that Panasonic presented yesterday is so vast, and the differences between the models so minute, that we’re having a hard time getting it all sorted out. But thankfully, our friends over at 43rumors have provided a list of all the new models, which we blatantly copied below.
New Panasonic P&S Models Overview
- DMC-TS25 (FT series in Japan), 16.1MP sensor, 4x zoom
- DMC-TS5 (FT series in Japan), 16.1MP sensor, 4.6x zoom
- DMC-XS1, 16.1MP sensor, 5x zoom
- DMC-ZS25 (TZ series in Japan), 16.1MP sensor, 20x zoom
- DMC-ZS30 (TZ series in Japan), 18.2MP sensor, 20x zoom
- DMC-LZ30, 16.1MP sensor, 35x zoom
- DMC-SZ3, 16.1MP sensor, 10x zoom
- DMC-SZ9, 16.1MP sensor, 10x zoom
- DMC-F5, 14.1MP sensor, 5x zoom
- DMC-FH10, 16.1MP sensor, 5x zoom
So, let’s take a closer look at them.
Panasonic TS5 and TS25 (FT5 and FT25)
Panasonic’s cameras bearing the TS/FT label are a series of rugged cameras that can withstand water, shock, dust, all kinds of weather, clumsy people and attacks from little kids. The new TS5 and TS25 don’t come short in any of these regards.
The TS5 can be submerged up to 12 m (39 ft) deep, survives drops from up to 2 m height (6.5 ft), withstands temperatures as low as -10° C (14° F) and can be used to stop firedoors from closing due to its ability to resist pressure up to 100 kg (220 lbs). In addition, it can also be used to take pictures and video, sporting a 28-128mm (equivalent) 4.6x zoom lens, 16.1 mp CMOS sensor, 3″ screen and 1080p HD video capabilities. A WiFi module completes the list of goodies.
The TS25 only dives as deep as 7 m (23 ft), sports a 4x 25-100mm (eq.), a 2.7″ screen, a 16.1 mp CCD sensor, and records 720p HD video. Both cameras will be available by the end of March in a number of different colors, while pricing remains unknown at the time of publishing this article.
The XS1 establishes a whole new line of compacts which are especially thin and stylish. Coming in trendy white and just 14mm thick, the XS1 features a 16.1 mp CCD sensor, a 24-120mm (eq.) 5x zoom lens, a (pretty outdated, I have to say) 2.7″ 230k dot display and records 720p HD video. The XS1 will be available at the end of March at retail prices not yet disclosed.
Panasonic ZS25 and ZS30 (TZ35/36 and TZ40/41)
The naming confusion continues with the ZS-series, which is the TZ-series outside the U.S. The different numberings seem to correspond to the different markets, but that’s about all that we’re able to deduct.
The ZS25 and ZS30 continue Panasonic’s highly successful travel zoom (hence the designation ‘TZ’?) series with a 24-280mm (eq.) 20x zoom lens and an 18.1 mp CMOS sensor each. Both support 1080p HD video and sport a (up-to-date) 3″ 920k LCD screen, with the ZS30’s being touch sensitive. The other chief difference between the two cameras — as with the ZS models that came before them — is a GPS module in the ZS30. Furthermore, both cameras are WiFi compatible.
The ZS25 and ZS30 will be available by the end of March. Again, retail prices have not been disclosed at the time of publishing.
The LZ30 continues Panasonic’s series of superzoom bridge cameras with an overall SLR-like appearance. This one is definitely the zoom king among Panasonic’s latest offerings, sporting a whopping 35x 25-875mm (eq.) zoom lens. Its pronounced grip makes it comfortable to hold and easy to stabilize, especially when shooting video. Speaking of video, the LZ30’s 16.1 mp CCD sensor limits its movie recording capabilities to 720p HD. Pictures and videos alike can be inspected on the 3″ 460k dot LC display.
The LZ30, too, will be available by the end of March. The retail price is unknown as of yet.
Panasonic SZ3 and SZ9
The SZ3 and SZ9 cameras are both what would’ve been called superzooms a while ago, sporting 10x 25-250mm (eq.) zoom lenses. However, these days a 10x zoom factor hardly qualifies as a superzoom anymore, with compacts sporting lenses that offer double that magnification. What sets the SZ series apart is their sleek form factor, which make them very attractive as take-anywhere cameras.
Both feature a 15.9 mp sensor: the SZ3’s is a CCD, supporting 720p HD video, while the SZ9’s CMOS sensor is capable of recording 1080p Full-HD video. Display-wise, the SZ9 sports a 3″ 460k dot panel, whereas the SZ3 comes with the same outdated 2.7″ 230k dot display as the XS1 — quite disappointing, but probably helping to keep the price low.
Both cameras will be available by the end of March. The SZ9, however, will only be available in Europe.
Finally the F5 and FH10 (header image) cameras are both ultra compacts sporting 5x zoom lenses and a 14 and 16 mp sensor respectively.
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