The FZ100 also offers a tilt-and-swivel 3-inch LCD for odd-angle shots, a built-in eye-level EVF, and a proprietary hot shoe on top of the camera's flip-up flash that can handle an external flash or microphone. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 is slated for an August launch.
Similar to the FZ100, the Lumix DMC-FZ40 has many of the same features, but a few notable differences: it lacks the high-speed shooting modes, the side-mounted focus controls, the top-mounted hot shoe, the flip-and-swivel LCD, full-HD video shooting (the FZ40 maxes out at 720p at 30fps), and low-light-optimized CMOS sensor of the FZ100 (the FZ40 instead has a 14-megapixel CCD sensor).
The FZ40 will be available in August for $400.
Feature-Filled Touchscreen Camera: Panasonic Lumix FX700
The pocketable, 3-inch-touchscreen-operated Lumix FX700 offers the same low-light-optimized, 14-megapixel CMOS sensor as the FZ100. It adds a bright f2.2 Leica lens to the equation (5x optical zoom, 24mm wide to 120mm telephoto) and is possibly the most-advanced touchscreen camera we've seen to date.
In addition to touch-based focusing and motion-tracking features, the FX700 offers full manual controls, aperture priority, shutter priority, and Intelligent Auto mode. The camera shoots 1920 x 1080 AVCHD Lite video at 30fps and offers a pair of unique shooting modes for shooting fast-moving subjects.
Motion Deblur mode detects the speed of a moving object and the lighting conditions surrounding it, then adjusts ISO levels and shutter speed in tandem to optimize the settings for a crisp freeze-frame photo. An Intelligent Burst Shooting mode also detects the speed of a moving object and sets the camera's burst rate accordingly: either 10fps for a fast-moving object, 5fps for a slower-moving object, or 2fps for an object that isn't moving all that fast.
Available in silver or black, the Lumix FX700 will go on sale this August.
Quick-Focusing Rugged Cam: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS10
Panasonic is also adding a new rugged camera to its lineup, the waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof Lumix TS10. The camera is rated as waterproof down to 10 ft. underwater, drop-proof to falls of up to 5 ft., and freezeproof down to temperatures of 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Its 2.7-inch LCD screen has an anti-reflective coating for tricky viewing situations.
The 14-megapixel TS10 offers an optically stabilized 4x optical zoom lens (35mm to 140mm), Intelligent Auto features, the high-speed autofocus system found in the LX5, and 720p video recording as motion JPEG files.
Available in September, the camera comes with a protective rubber jacket to further protect its black, silver, red, or blue frame.