Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX70: Leica lens lightens up

Panasonic has wasted no time getting back to work after the bank holiday with the announcement of the Lumix DMC-FX70

Hello there, gadget fans. Good bank holiday? We went to a lovely wedding. But we've wasted no time returning to the coalface of technology news, and neither has Panasonic, announcing the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX70 today. The FX70, known as the DMC-FX75 to our friends in the US, is a touchscreen compact camera with a bright Leica lens.

The FX70 boasts a 5x optical zoom. Focal length is equivalent to 24-120mm on a 35mm camera. That 24mm means pictures will be wider so you'll fit more in. The Leica lens has an aperture of F2.2, which basically means the front end of the camera has a wider hole in it. This means more light gets in, which means it should do better in darker situations. It also provides a shallow depth of field, which translates to prettily blurred backgrounds, known as bokeh. (Still our favourite word, by the way.)

FX70

The FX70 is controlled by a 76mm (3-inch) LCD touchscreen. You tap on the screen to focus. Tap on a face and the camera switches to portrait mode -- it can even follow the person in question as they move around.

The Panasonic portfolio of features is all here, including Power OIS (optical image stabilisation), face detection and intelligent scene selection. A new motion deblur mode combines intelligent exposure and intelligent ISO control to keep the shutter speed as fast as possible, with the ISO sensitivity set to the optimum combination of exposure and low noise.

Video is 720p high definition, recorded in AVCHD Lite. Auto focus tracking follows subjects and adjusts focus even when filming.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX70 will be available in August, in black or silver. Pricing is yet to be confirmed.

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