Panasonic's latest ultra-slim digital compact, the Lumix FX75, features a 24mm wide angle, unusually bright f/2.2 lens. The 5x optical zoom is complemented by a 3.0-inch touch screen and 720p HD video recording. The whole system is supported by Panasonic's Venus Engine HD II processor, claiming faster performance and better battery life.
The Lumix FX75 uses a 14.1 megapixel 1/2.33-inch sensor. HD videos are recorded in AVCHD Lite format at 1280 x 720 resolution. Video can also be recorded in 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 Motion JPEGs at 30 fps.
Shooting modes available to the FX75 user will include iA Intelligent Auto mode. This rendition of iA includes a new Motion Deblur mode. It uses ISO and brightness controls to find the exposure with the highest possible shutter speed to minimize blur, though the resulting image may be reduced in size. The new technology is coupled with Panasonic's current Power OIS optical image stabilization.
The FX75 offers only a couple of control buttons on the back panel. Most settings and functions are accessed through the camera's 3.0-inch 230k-dot touch screen. AF targets can be selected by touching the screen, and the FX75 will track the subject throughout the frame. Playback mode supports touch interaction by allowing the user to browse through photos by dragging them across the screen.
The Lumix FX75's Venus Engine HD II image processor makes the inclusion of features like Intelligent Resolution possible. In high sensitivity shooting and when the camera is extended into digital zoom territory, Intelligent Resolution kicks in to restore sharpness and clarity to fine details. Panasonic also claims faster AF and shutter release lag times thanks to the processor. Battery life is rated at 360 shots (CIPA).
Canon recently introduced the PowerShot SD4000 IS, a compact camera with a 28mm wide angle f/2.0 lens. Preceding the SD4000 is the S90, an advanced point-and-shoot with a similar f/2.0 lens. With Panasonic's new addition, we'll be interested to see who else jumps on the trend for point-and-shoots with brighter lenses.
Pricing and Availability
Panasonic isn't releasing pricing information at launch time. They'll announce the price 30 days before the cameras ship to consumers and store shelves.