Panasonic is appealing to photographers who want a camera that makes life simple as well as those who appreciate having full creative control, with two launches this summer.
First up is the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LS5. It’s not slacking in the sensor department – boasting a whopping 14.1 megapixels – plus it has a 26mm wide angle lens and can stop down to F2.8, which means you should get decent pictures in low-light situations – which has long been an issue with digital cameras.
If your hand is far from steady, Panasonic has the answer in the form of the OIS (optical image stabilizer), which corrects any blur caused by handshake.
Along with this facility, the camera also offers the benefits of iA (Intelligent Auto), which basically does the thinking for you. Intelligent Scene Selector is able to automatically select the correct choice of five Scene Modes – Scenery, Night Portrait, Macro, Portrait, Night Scenery – so that you have the right settings for the situation. Face recognitions allows human faces to be captured in focus with the correct exposure, while Face Detection corrects unwanted red-eye digitally.
The new LS5 also records HD movie in 1280 x 720p at a smooth 30 fps and the bundled software, lets you share via Facebook or YouTube.
The only downside may be the fact that the camera runs on AA batteries – my own compact runs on AA batteries and you can guarantee that it runs out unexpectedly and that I don’t have any spares when I need them! Panasonic’s specs quote 160 to 320 images from a full battery charge, depending on settings.
Panasonic’s other launch is a super-zoom camera, which aims to impress not only beginners but more experienced photographers.
The DMC-FZ48, has a 24 x optical zoom and can be operated manually for full creative control. It also has full-HD video recording capability and offers a Miniature Effect mode.
Panasonic promises improved image quality from the 25mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens, which also features Panasonic’s Black Box Nano Surface Coating technology, which has been designed to minimise light reflection. The lens has been designed to suppress distortion at the wide end and colour bleed at the tele end.
Most useful is the 24x optical zoom (which gives you an equivalent range of 25-600mm from a 35mm camera) so the snapper can be used for everything from lanscapes to sports shots to group portraits.
Price and availability have yet to be announced for both cameras.