Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX3: Smart shooter

Panasonic has gathered together its whole suite of new camera technologies and crammed them into its latest all-purpose compact, the Lumix DMC-ZX3

Panasonic has gathered together its whole suite of new camera technologies and crammed them into its latest all-purpose compact, the Lumix DMC-ZX3. A sequel to the tremendously well regarded ZX1 -- a solid-gold 9 out of 10 in CNET UK's review -- it has impossibly large clown-shoes to fill.

The 14.1-megapixel ZX3 is toting a 25mm wide-angle Leica lens and 8x optical zoom, with a 35mm equivalent of 25-200mm. As with the higher specced TZ8 and TZ10, a new 'intelligent resolution' system picks out and separately enhances outlines, detailed textures and gradations.

Panny's latest raft of shake-reduction and image-enhancement tech promises much better video quality from the ZX3. It captures Motion JPEGs and the compressed AVCHD Lite in 720p high definition. Simple editing is possible in-camera -- you can divide a clip into two, then delete an unwanted half or save it seperately -- and you can save individual 1,920x1,080-pixel stills as JPEGs.

All this is viewed on a 230,000-pixel, 69mm (2.7-inch) screen that automatically adjusts its brightness to match the ambient light level. Shots are saved to standard SD/SDHC cards, or the new SDXC format.

Price information has yet to be announced, but the ZX3 will be available in mid-March. We'll have a full review for you quick-smart.

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