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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15, DMC-FS7 join Lumix FS line
by David Rasnake -  1/15/2009

We were disappointed that Panasonic didn't have any news to share with the world at last week's Consumer Electronics Show, but the company has rectified that situation this morning with the launch of two new Lumix FS models.

Step-down siblings to Panasonic's FX series of premium ultracompacts, the Lumix FS models have traditionally featured sleek metal bodies combined with user-friendly features like Intelligent Auto mode. With today's announcement of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15, Panasonic has upped the ante on lens performance – not one of the original FS cameras' strongest areas – as well.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15

The 12.1 megapixel FS15 is outfitted with an optically stabilized 5x Leica DC Vario-Elmar zoom lens, advertising 29mm wide-angle coverage. A 2.7 inch TFT LCD with 230,000 dot resolution features automatic variable brightness and a high-power mode for wide-angle or outdoor viewing.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15

Panasonic carries over many signature "intelligent" technologies from previous FS models, including Intelligent ISO control, Intelligent Scene Selector, and of course, face detection. Intelligent Exposure control and AF tracking are new to the FS15, however, having been transplanted from Panasonic's more advanced Lumix cameras.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7

The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7 features many of the same key features as its more powerful stablemate, including a Venus Engine IV image processor and the same 2.7 inch LCD.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7

Differences between the two models include resolution (with the FS7 sporting a 10.1 megapixel imager) and optics (a 4x, 33-132mm Leica lens is substituted for the FS15's wide-angle glass). Like the FS15, the FS7 includes key technologies like Intelligent ISO, optical image stabilization, and face detection, and even provides a top-mounted quick access button for the camera's Intelligent Auto shooting mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7

Additionally, both models are capable of capturing 16:9 wide-screen video at a better-than-standard resolution/framerate of 848x480/30 fps.

Breaking out from the conservative silver, black, and gray color schemes for which Panasonic is known, the FS15 and FS7 both come in a variety of colors – including blue, black, and silver for both models, and pink and green as well for the FS7.

Both the FS15 and FS7 will be available before the end of March, with MSRPs of $199.95 and $159.95, respectively.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15 Specifications

Sensor 12.1 megapixel, 1/2.33" CCD
Lens/Zoom 5x (29-145mm) Leica DC Vario-Elmar, f/3.3-5.9
LCD/Viewfinder 2.7", 230K-dot polycrystalline TFT LCD
Sensitivity ISO 80-1600 (High Sensitivity mode to ISO 6400)
Shutter Speed 8-1/2000 seconds
Shooting Modes Intelligent Auto, Normal Picture, My Scene, Scene, Motion Picture
Scene Presets Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self-Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High sensitivity, Hi-Speed Burst, Flash Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo, Pinhole, Film Grain, Photo Frame
White Balance Settings Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, User Set
Metering Modes Intelligent Multi
Focus Modes Face, AF Tracking, Multi, One Point
Drive Modes Normal, Burst, Self Timer
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced Off
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory Formats SD, SDHC
Internal Memory
50 MB
File Formats JPEG, Motion JPEG
Max. Image Size 4000x3000
Max. Video Size
848x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video No
Battery Rechargeable 940 mAh lithium-ion, 330 shots
Connections USB 2.0, AV output, DC input
Additional Features Mega O.I.S., iA Intelligent Auto mode, Intelligent ISO, Venus Engine IV processing, AF Tracking, face detection, Intelligent Exposure

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7 Specifications

Sensor 10.1 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD
Lens/Zoom 4x (33-132mm) Leica DC Vario-Elmarit, f/2.8-5.9
LCD/Viewfinder 2.7", 230K-dot polycrystalline TFT LCD
Sensitivity ISO 80-1600 (High Sensitivity mode to ISO 6400)
Shutter Speed 8-1/2000 seconds
Shooting Modes Intelligent Auto, Normal Picture, My Scene, Scene, Motion Picture
Scene Presets Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self-Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High sensitivity, Hi-Speed Burst, Flash Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo, Film Grain, Photo Frame
White Balance Settings Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, User Set
Metering Modes Intelligent Multi
Focus Modes Face, Multi, One Point
Drive Modes Normal, Burst, Self Timer
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced Off
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory Formats SD, SDHC
Internal Memory
50 MB
File Formats JPEG, Motion JPEG
Max. Image Size 3648x2736
Max. Video Size
848x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video No
Battery Rechargeable 940 mAh lithium-ion, 360 shots
Connections USB 2.0, AV output, DC input
Additional Features Mega O.I.S., iA Intelligent Auto mode, Intelligent ISO, Venus Engine IV processing, face detection