Panasonic has a handful of new Lumix cameras on the way for spring, and they're coming in all shapes and sizes. They all have Leica lenses and Panasonic's Mega Optical Image Stabilization, but beyond those features, they vary wildly, from inexpensive point-and-shoots to hefty, high-zoom cameras.
The company claims that the Lumix DMC-FX30 is the slimmest wide-angle lens camera on the market, and at less than 0.9 inch thick it might be right. The 7-megapixel FX30 has a 28mm-to-100mm-equivalent lens with optical image stabilization, so users can take nice, wide photos. The FX30 ships in February and will retail for around $350.
The Lumix DMC-TZ3 is one of two ultrazoom cameras Panasonic has on the way, and like the FX30, it puts a lot of lens into a very small form factor. It's a 7-megapixel compact camera with a 28m-to-280mm-equivalent zoom lens. At only 1.5 inches thick, the TZ3 is one of the most compact high-zoom cameras to hit the market. The TZ3 features a stainless steel body, a 3-inch LCD screen, and, of course, Panasonic's Mega OIS system. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 ships in March and will retail for approximately $350.
The Lumix DMC-FZ8 is Panasonic's second upcoming ultrazoom camera. Larger than the TZ3, the 7-megapixel FZ8 has a beefy 36mm-to-432mm-equivalent, 12x lens to give it plenty of zoom power. Of course, the FZ8 also has the Mega OIS system, like every other Lumix camera that Panasonic announced. More advanced photographers should note that the FZ8 comes with Silkypix Developer Studio 2.0SE, giving users out-of-the-box raw image-editing support. The Lumic DMC-FZ8 ships in February with a suggested price of $350.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ6, DMC-LZ7, and DMC-LS70 are the company's newest budget cameras. The LZ6 and LZ7 are nearly identical models that sport 7-megapixel sensors and 37mm-to-222mm-equivalent, 6x zoom lenses equipped with Panasonic Mega OIS image stabilization. These features are rare on sub-$200 cameras and are pleasant surprises to find on the LZ6 and LZ7. Both models are essentially identical except for their screens--the LZ6 has a 2-inch LCD screen, while the LZ7 has a 2.5-inch screen. The LS70, while even less expensive, is a slightly more mundane camera. The 7-megapixel LS70 also uses Panasonic's Mega OIS system, but on a less powerful 35m-to-105mm-equivalent zoom lens. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS70 will have a suggested retail price of $150, and the LZ6 and LZ7 will have suggested prices of $180 and $200, respectively. All three cameras ship in February.
The Lumix DMC-FX10 and DMC-FX12 pick up where the LZ6 and LZ7 leave off, offering even more inexpensive snapshot camera choices. The FX10 and FX12 are 6- and 7-megapixel snapshot cameras with 2.5-inch screens, 35mm-to-105mm-equivalent zoom lenses, and Panasonic's Mega OIS system. The FX10 and FX12 also ship in February, with suggested price tags of $200 and $220, respectively.