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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3, DMC-FH20 (photos)

A closer look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 touch-screen ultracompact and DMC-FH20 compact megazoom cameras.

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Joshua Goldman
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1 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3

Panasonic's FP-series of ultracompacts got two new members at CES 2010, the FP3 being the top of the line followed by the FP1.
DMC-FP3:
  • 14 megapixels
  • 3-inch touch-screen display
  • Mega O.I.S image stabilization
  • 4x optical zoom (internal lens)
  • 1,280x720-poixel HD movie capture at 30 fps
  • Available in silver, black, and blue versions

DMC-FP1:
  • 12 megapixels
  • 2.7-inch display
  • Mega O.I.S image stabilization
  • 4x optical zoom (internal lens
  • 1,280x720-pixel HD movie capture at 30 fps
  • Available in silver, black, red, pink, and blue versions

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2 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3

The lens cover acts as a power switch, but there's a hard switch on top, too. The FP series features Panasonic's Venus Engine IV processor, which provides improved performance over earlier models and against much of the ultracompact competition. According to Panasonic, shutter lag times of 0.006 second for the FP3 and 0.007 second for the FP1. Of course, you'll have to add that to the AF speed, which Panasonic didn't release, but was pretty quick in the previous FP model I tested, the FP8. Both FP models have a start-up time of approximately 0.97 second.
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3 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3

Instead of operation being all touch based, the FP3 uses a combo of buttons and touch. It's a good fit for those who don't want to surrender everything to touch controls.
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4 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3

For example, press the Mode button on the right and then access all options and settings through the touch display. The FP1 does not have a touch screen.
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5 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20

At CES 2010, Panasonic launched a new line of midrange cameras, the FH series. It replaces the FS series in the company's Lumix camera lineup. The top of line is the 14-megapixel FH20, which features an 8x zoom lens in a compact body. The 14-megapixel Lumix FH3 and 12-megapixel FH1 fill out the series and feature 5x optical zoom lenses. All three models can record 720p HD-quality video and feature Panasonic's Venus Engine IV image processor that promises to boost AF and shutter lag speeds.
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6 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20

Along with the 8x zoom you get a 28mm wide-angle lens.
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7 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20

The controls are standard Lumix. the iA button on top lets you quickly enter Panasonic's reliable Intelligent Auto mode. There's no dedicated movie button, though you can use this to quickly switch back and forth between its Movie mode (or another mode if you want)and iA mode.
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8 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20

The only output is the combo USB/AV jack on the right side. It's a shame there wasn't room in the budget to include an HDMI output.
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9 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20

For an 8x zoom, wide-angle lens, the FH20 isn't all that thick and seems like it'll be a solid addition to the Lumix stable.

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