The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 is the newest addition to the Panasonic Lumix line, succeeding the FZ5. The FZ7 adds a 6 megapixel sensor to the popular ultra-zoom camera line. The Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 12x optical zoom lens ranges from 36-432mm (35mm equivalent) and the MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer keeps things clear on those long shots. The zoom range is slightly longer than the previous FZ5 which has a range of 35-420mm.
In addition to the optical image stabilization, the FZ7 also provides a high sensitivity mode that allows the photographer to shoot at sensitivities up to ISO 1600. The higher sensitivity, along with the image stabilization, allows faster shutter speeds and more flexibility to reduce blur.
According to Panasonic, the FZ7 has a shutter lag of 0.008 seconds and a cycle time as low as 0.5 seconds. The FZ7 can shoot 3 frames per second at full 6 megapixel resolution. A consecutive shooting mode allows the camera to shoot continuously until the memory card fills up.
Several auto focus modes provide flexibility and options to further decrease shutter lag. If the 9-point autofocus isn't fast enough, you can choose a 3-point high-speed autofocus or a one-point high-speed mode. Rounding things out, there is a 1-point normal speed and spot autofocus.
Movies can be captured at a normal VGA resolution (640x480) and wide VGA (848x480).
A 710 mAh lithium-ion battery provides the juice for a 2.5 inch LCD.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 will be available in March for $399.95.