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Christmas Gift Guide
Cameras

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 and TZ18 are a couple of cool compacts

We like Panasonic's Lumix TZ line of compact superzooms, so it's worth reading up on these two newly announced models. The TZ20 has built in GPS, and records video in full HD.

Panasonic's Lumix gubbins is usually pretty darn top-notch, winning a string of CNET UK Editors' Choice awards, so two new cameras -- the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 and TZ18 -- means we're reaching for the orange bulb and changing the old excitement alert.

The Lumix TZ20 can capture 10 frames per second in glorious 14-megapixel resolution using its mechanical shutter. That burst mode should make this a compact camera well suited to sports fans, who want to capture that magical line-crossing, goal-scoring moment.

It can record video in 1,920x1,080-pixel Full HD in AVCHD format too, and the camera will have its own button specifically for video capture, which should eliminate those few annoying moments spent fiddling with a mode wheel before you can start recording.

A 3-inch touchscreen means you'll be able to prod your subjects to handily focus on them. The TZ20 can make 3D photos, by snapping a bunch of different shots, then layering the best two. You can then look at those photos in full 3D gimmick-o-vision on a 3D telly.

The TZ20 will offer built-in GPS, so you can track where your photos were taken, or if you find someone else's abandoned TZ20, track their whereabouts based on the location of their photos, then hand their camera back like a good citizen. Or murder them. 

The TZ line generally features some sweet superzoom action, and these latest two beauties are no different. You'll get a 16x optical zooming, 24mm wide-angle lens packed into each of these new cameras, which will be perfect for checking out what your neighbours are up to.

As you probably figured out from the numbers, the Lumix TZ18 is the slightly less souped-up model, and won't be so jammed full of new features -- it only shoots in 720p, for example. It'll probably be a good bit cheaper when both models hit the shops.

We don't have an exact release date or pricing info yet, but we'd wager these cameras will touch down sometime in the next few months. Stay tuned for a proper hands-on -- now where did we put that purple bulb?