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Cameras

New Lumix range is shock, water and travel proof

Panasonic has unveiled its new line-up for 2009, which incorporates updates to its popular TZ line and a brand new tough model designed to withstand water, drops and extreme temperatures.

Panasonic has unveiled its new line-up for 2009, which incorporates updates to its popular TZ line and a brand new tough model designed to withstand water, drops and extreme temperatures.

Among the new models announced in Singapore this week are the DMC-FT1, Panasonic's first rugged camera; and the DMC-TZ7, a replacement for the favourite camera amongst Jonathan Swift readers, the DMC-TZ15.

Panasonic's rugged FT1 comes in four colours: silver, orange, green and blue. (Credit: Panasonic)

One of the key features amongst these new offerings is the inclusion of AVCHD Lite on selected models. This is a proprietary format jointly developed between Panasonic and Sony which allows cameras to record HD video in 720p, but for almost double the amount of time compared to the conventional MPEG format.

The FT1 is Panasonic's first foray into the tough camera market, taking its cues from the company's Toughbook range. When the 12-megapixel camera is released in April, it will boast a rugged body which is capable of withstanding drops from up to 1.5 metres, is waterproof to 3 metres and is dust-proof. It also features AF tracking and face recognition.

The TZ7 meanwhile is now even slimmer than its predecessor, making it the world's smallest digital camera with a wide-angle 25mm lens and 12x optical zoom. This model also features AVCHD Lite, and a dedicated movie-recording button that is designed to make recording video as intuitive and easy as taking a still image. Like its sibling, the DMC-TZ6, it also features the same lens and zoom range, but loses AVCHD and gains a smaller screen (2.7-inch compared to 3-inch on the TZ7).

Other models in the range are aimed squarely at the style conscious — FS15, FS7 and FS4.

Below is the complete list of new Lumix models available in Australia from March 2009. Expect our hands-on previews soon.

FT series

(Credit: Panasonic)

DMC-FT1

  • 3 metres waterproof
  • 1.5 metres drop proof
  • 2.7-inch LCD
  • 28mm wide-angle Leica lens
  • Available: April 2009, RRP AU$699
 

TZ series

(Credit: Panasonic)

DMC-TZ7

  • 12x optical zoom
  • 25mm wide-angle Leica lens
  • AVCHD Lite recording
  • 3-inch LCD
  • Available: April 2009, RRP AU$769
(Credit: Panasonic)

DMC-TZ6

  • 12x optical zoom
  • 25mm wide-angle Leica lens
  • HD recording
  • 2.7-inch LCD
  • Available: April 2009, RRP AU$659
 

FS series

(Credit: Panasonic)

DMC-FS15

  • 4x optical zoom
  • 29mm wide-angle Leica lens
  • HD recording
  • 12 megapixels
  • Available: March 2009, RRP AU$439
(Credit: Panasonic)

DMC-FS7

  • 4x optical zoom
  • Intelligent Auto mode
  • Face detection
  • Colours: silver, black, pink
  • Available: March 2009, RRP AU$389
(Credit: Panasonic)

DMC-FS4

  • 4x optical zoom
  • Intelligent Auto mode
  • Face detection
  • Colours: silver, black
  • Available: April 2009, RRP AU$249

 

Alexandra Savvides travelled to Singapore as a guest of Panasonic.