Panasonic adds two new models to their slim FP line - the Lumix FP1 and the touch-screen Lumix FP3. With internally contained optics, the 12 megapixel FP1 and 14 megapixel FP3 both promise the same fast performance we saw in the Lumix FP8. The new models add 720p HD video recording to the mix at 30 fps.
Both cameras feature a 4x optical zoom covering an equivalent 35-140mm range with a maximum aperture range of f/3.5-5.9. Panasonic's Mega OIS optical image stabilization can be utilized in both photo and video recording. Another shared feature is iA intelligent auto shooting mode, designed to automatically select one of six scene modes for the best exposure. It is accessed through a dedicated button.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3
Following in the footsteps of Panasonic's touch-capable Lumix FX580, the FP3 combines a touch panel (measuring 3.0 inches) with physical controls to create a hybrid user interface. The 14 megapixel FP3 will allow users to set an AF target by composing a shot on-screen and touching the LCD where they'd like to set the focus.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP1
The Lumix FP1 offers up a standard, non-touch LCD measuring 2.7 inches at 230k dot resolution. Like the FP3, it's a slender 0.73 inches thick. The 1/2.33 inch CCD sensor is the same physical size as the sensor on board the FP3, though the FP1 offers 12.1 megapixels to the FP3's 14. The FP1 will be offered in standard silver and black, however, those looking for some more excitement in their lives can pick up a blue, red, or pink model instead.
Panasonic first introduced the FP line in 2009 with the FP8. It was a new design for the Lumix brand, promising faster AF speed and style. For the most part, we found in our review that it delivered. Shutter lag is, for practical concerns, non-existant. In good lighting, AF acquisition was very snappy. A touch screen seems a logical addition to a style-oriented camera, and we'll be on the lookout for the new FPs on the show floor at CES.
Pricing and availability
Panasonic has not yet released pricing information for the new FP models. They state that pricing and availability will be announced at least 30 days before the cameras start shipping.
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