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CES 2013: Panasonic launches a bevy of new cameras

It wasn’t all about 4k displays for Panasonic at CES, the CE giant also unveiled a bevy of new cameras, with something for pretty much everyone.

Lumix DMC-LZ30

The Lumix DMC-LZ30 is a new compact super-zoom camera with a 35x optical zoom, which equates to 25 – 875mm! However, unlike the simply excellent Panasonic DMC-FZ200 which sports a constant f/2.8 aperture, the new DMC-LZ30 only manages f/3.0 – f/5.9.

As well as that long lens, the LZ30 sports a 16-magapixel sensor, 720p video recording and Panasonic’s impressive Intelligent Auto setting, which should ensure that even novices can get good results. If you’re more experienced, you can opt to shoot in manual mode and dial in shutter and aperture settings yourself.

There’s also optical image stabilisation, which will be important when you’re zooming to 875mm, along with panorama and HDR shooting modes. The 3in, 460,000 pixel LCD display will make it easy to frame your subject and to evaluate your photos afterwards, and you can even retouch shots that you’re not completely happy with.

Lumix DMC-XS1

Sitting at the other end of the spectrum is the Lumix DMC-XS1. This super-slim compact is only 14mm thick, making it the ideal companion for a night out, when you want something better than a phone camera in your pocket or handbag. It even weighs less than most mobile phones at only 103g, including battery and memory card.

Despite its tiny dimensions, the XS1 packs a 16.1-megapixel sensor, a 5x optical zoom with a very useful 24mm wide end, and optical image stabilisation. Panasonic has managed to squeeze in a 2.7in LCD screen, while the 720p video recording capability will ensure that you can always catch those priceless moments.

The DMC-XS1 is also available in a range of colours, ensuring that it matches your own, personal taste.

Lumix DMC-SZ9

The Lumix DMC-SZ9 may not be as slim as the XS1, but it makes up for its slightly wider girth with a plethora of features. Despite the relatively slim body, Panasonic has managed to fit a 10x optical zoom Leica lens inside, with an equivalent focal range of 25 – 250mm.

There’s a 16.1-megapixel MOS sensor, which can produce images up to ISO-3200 thanks to the built-in noise reduction system. The SZ9 can also manage a burst rate of 10fps at full resolution.

A built-in GPS will let you geo-tag your pictures, and the integrated Wi-Fi will have you sharing those photos with everyone in the blink of an eye.

Lumix DMC-FT5

If you’re looking for a camera that can put up with life’s knocks and bumps, the new Lumix DMC-FT5 could be the answer. This rugged compact camera is shockproof from a height of two metres, and can withstand freezing temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. Most impressive, though, is that this little camera is waterproof to 13 metres!

It’s not just tough though, the FT5 has some pretty nifty features too. There’s GPS functionality, so you can geo-tag that photo from the top of Everest to prove that you’ve been there. It has built-in Wi-Fi too, which includes 1GB of cloud storage so you’ll never lose a photo, even if you lose the camera.

If you want to shoot some video while you’re out adventuring, the FT5 has you covered with Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 recording at your fingertips. And you still get optical image stabilisation, a 16.1-megapixel sensor and 4.6x Leica optical zoom lens.

Lumix DMC-TZ40

The DMC-TZ40 is surprisingly slim for a camera equipped with a 20x optical zoom. The body measures 108.3 x 58.9 x 27.7mm and weighs only 198g including the battery and memory card.

That 20x Leica DC zoom lens has an equivalent focal length of 24 - 480mm at f/3.3 – f/6.4. Not the fastest glass in the world, but still pretty impressive considering the svelte camera body.

Of course the lens benefits from optical image stabilisation too, while the 18.1-megapixel MOS sensor ensures high quality images, even in low light. There’s built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology for sharing your photos, as well as a GPS sensor for geo-tagging.

Video is well catered for too, with Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 video recording at 50fps.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.