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Panasonic goes 'Intelligent' with new FS cameras

Panasonic on Friday announced two new additions to its Lumix FS-Series of digital cameras, the DMC-FS7 and the DMC-FS15. The FS models combine easy operation with a slim and sleek look.


This here is the 10-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7. I know that not just because it says so on top of its skinny, 0.8-inch body, but because it's the only one of the two newly announced FS-series cameras that comes in this love-it-or-hate-it green that seems to be popular this year. (It'll also come in silver, black, blue, and pink.) It's joined by the DMC-FS15, a 12-megapixel version in silver, black, and blue.

So, other than fun colors, slim bodies, and reasonable prices (the FS7 is $159, the FS15 $199), what have these ultracompacts have goin' on to make reading the rest of this post worthwhile? Well, they both seem to be loaded with every automatic feature Panasonic has in its stable.

The FS15 has an enhanced Intelligent Auto Mode (iA) that controls ISO, exposure, scene and face detection, and auto-focus tracking. Plus, it's fronted by a 5x 29mm wide-angle lens backed by Panny's Mega O.I.S. (optical image stabilization).

Instead of a wide-angle lens on the DMC-FS7, Panasonic went wide aperture using a 4x f2.8 lens, and the company backs off a little on the iA features, going with just the Mega O.I.S., Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, and face detection.

Look for them both in April.