Just entering the market, Panasonic's DMC-FX75 joins a Lumix compact digital lineup featuring no fewer than fourteen other models that could easily be mistaken for one another on looks alone.
In the case of the FX75, it's the 14.1 megapixel, 5x optical zoom compact with the 3.0-inch LCD monitor, full touch screen operation and the Sonic Speed autofocus (AF) system. That 5x zoom is a Leica design built by Panasonic and covering the 24 to 120mm focal range (35mm equivalent) with a fast f/2.2 maximum aperture at the wide end. Here's what that range looks like:
The camera also features the Venus Engine HD II processor and Panasonic's signature intelligent Auto (called Evolving iA) shooting mode. Along with iA come power Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.), face recognition and detection, AF tracking and the intelligent threesome of ISO control, scene selection and exposure. Video capture is offered in Motion JPEG or AVCHD Lite formats and the camera can utilize SD/SDHC/SDXC memory media in addition to about 40MB of internal memory. Panasonic includes a battery pack, charger and battery case, USB and AV cables, a hand strap, plastic stylus, CD-ROM software and a printed basic operating instructions manual with each camera.
That fast 24mm maximum aperture is interesting, but the buzz around the FX75 is likely to center on the full touch screen operational aspects of this camera. Panasonic reports the touch screen operation is "fluid and smooth" in playback or record modes. If it can manage to crank out quality images as well, Panasonic may be on to something. Let's find out.
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