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Panasonic announces Lumix FX78 high-power ultracompact

With an f2.5 lens, a large touch screen, and full HD movie capture, the FX78 is slick competition for Sony's TX-series ultraompacts.


One of the best parts about Panasonic's higher-end touch-screen ultracompacts is that they feature brighter than usual lenses. In the case of the FX78, you get an f2.5-5.9 24mm-equivalent wide-angle lens with a 5x zoom. That's not as nice as the f2.2 on its predecessor the FX75, but it's still good.

Its other key specs include a 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD and a 12-megapixel high-speed CCD sensor. The sensor is a new design and it's paired with Panasonic's Venus Engine FHD processor. This combo allows for high-speed burst shooting--full resolution at 3.7 frames per second--and full HD movie capture in AVCHD format. The high-speed shooting also gets you 3D photos. The FX78 will apparently fire off 20 shots and then it picks the two best for overlaying to create a 3D MPO file that can be played back on 3D-enabled TVs, computers, and photo frames.

Boosting the usefulness of the touch screen, Panasonic added its features for retouching faces, clearing skin textures and whitening teeth, and adding makeup to portraits, as well as an Art Retouch function for adjusting brightness and color saturation.

The FX78 will be available in March in black, gold, and white versions. No pricing was announced.