Panasonic's ultrazoom line gets an update today with the announcement of the Lumix DMC-FZ100 and Lumix DMC-FZ40 24x optical zoom cameras. While they're not at the very front of the pack in terms of raw telephoto power, they offer interesting features like full 1080 HD video recording and reduced-resolution burst shooting at up to 60 fps.
Sharing the same 25-600mm Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens, the FZ100 and and FZ40 are differentiated by the sensors they use. The FZ100 features a 14.1 megapixel MOS sensor ready for 1080 AVCHD video recording, while the FZ40 features a 14.1 megapixel CCD sensor. Both systems are stabilized by Panasonic's Power O.I.S. optical image stabilization system and offer manual exposure modes in addition to iA intelligent Auto mode.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100
Thanks to that MOS sensor, the FZ100 is capable of full-resolution burst shooting up to 11 fps for a maximum of 15 images. Reducing the resolution to 2.5 megapixels will yield a top continuous shooting speed of 60 fps. Additionally, a new Intelligent Burst shooting mode to automatically determine the appropriate shutter speed based on movement of the camera's subject.
The Lumix FZ100 will also record 1920x1080 AVCHD videos at 60i. Web-friendlier motion JPEG video files can also be recorded at 720p. A port for an optional stereo microphone is also available to FZ100 users.
The FZ100 will also feature a swiveling, rotating 3.0-inch 460k-dot LCD for more flexible image composition. Soft features like face detection, face recognition and the curiously-named Happy Mode (a setting that produces images with brighter and more saturated colors) are also available.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40
The Lumix FZ40 is built to relatively similar specifications as the FZ100 but won't feature a swiveling LCD. It will offer a fixed 3.0-inch 230k-dot LCD and 720p HD video recording. Video mode can be accessed through a dedicated video record button.
Burst shooting is available in full-resolution at up to 1.8 fps. Both the FZ100 and FZ40 will feature Panasonic's My Color processing options including pin hole, film grain and high dynamic effects.
Pricing and availability
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40 will be introduced at a price of $399.95 and the Lumix DMC-FZ100 will be offered for $499.95 in late August. Color options are limited to black for both models.