2. If you want quite a bit more camera than the FP 5, but not for much more money, then take a close look at the Panasonic DMC-FH27. Its optical zoom lens (a 1 LEICA DC) has 8 times the focal range, making it 28–224mm equivalent in 35mm format. It also features Panasonic’s Intelligence Resolution technology and, when you select Intelligent Zoom, will increase the multiplier of the lens’ focal range to 10x. The FH27 will also give you more image quality with its 16.1-megapixel sensor and the Venus Engine VI processor. Shoot 720p HD video as the MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) compensates for a shaky hand and camera movement to keep your photos sharp. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH27 is $150.
3. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ150 is now the top model of the very popular FZ line, being an upgrade of the FZ100. The FZ150 includes a 25mm ultra-wide-angle, 24x optical Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens, with an application of Panasonic’s Black Box Nano Surface Coating to control light reflections that lead to ghosts and flares. Other primary features are a 12.1-megapixel MOS sensor and the Venus Engine to improve sensitivity and speed. Potential buyers will also be attracted to the camera’s full-HD 1080p video as well as its capability to record continuous, full-resolution images at 12fps without auto-focus and at 5.5fps with auto-focus. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ150 is priced at $499.99.
4. What should excite the compact camera market and photo-sharing crowd about Panasonic’s LUMIX FX90 camera is its WiFi connectivity. Anyone who considers the immediate sharing of pictures via social media and other forms of online communication as an essential feature on a camera will want to consider the FX90 seriously. The new FX90 has many outstanding features: 5x optical-zoom Leica DC Vario-Summarit lens (the equivalent of 24–120mm on a 35mm camera), a 12.1-megapixel CCD sensor and full-HD video recording. It sells for $299.99.
5. The LUMIX DMC-G3 is one of Panasonic’s mirror-less compact cameras with an interchangeable lens systems; in fact, its Panasonic’s smallest and lightest, with its aluminum body. The sensor is a robust 16 megapixels, helping you take high quality still images and 1080/60 full HD video recording, with stereo sound. The DMC-G3 also has an eye-level electronic viewfinder that projects a high-resolution 1.44m-dot image with a 100% field of view and touch-control shooting, so you can focus on the subject by simply touching it on the large, 3-inch high-resolution LCD screen. Packaged with a 3x 14–42mm zoom lens, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 retails for $699.99.
6. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3CK is another camera with interchangeable lens capability and is specially priced until the end of 2011 for $699.99, compared to its regular price of $899.94. It boasts DSLR-like image quality and features as well as a 3-inch touch-enabled LCD, the new LUMIX LightSpeed Focusing system, built-in flash and 1080/60 full HD video recording. The GF3CK is paired with a Micro 4/3 LUMIX G VARIO 14–42mm lens.
7. At approximately the same size as a smart phone, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3X delivers much of the quality and performance and many of the features of a large, heavy DSLR. These start with a 12.1-megapixel DSLR-format sensor, but a touch-enabled LCD screen that does away with the often-confusing external controls of a DSLR. Like most of Panasonic’s mirror-less compacts, the GF3X shoots 1080/60i HD video. You can select from 12 different interchangeable lenses from the LUMIX G Series System. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3X comes with the 3X Premium X Series 14–42mm power zoom lens in a kit for $749.99.
8. The Panasonic LUMIX GF2 is the company’ premier selection from its DSL Micro-Compact system. The 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor captures sharp, beautiful still images and drives full HD video in 1080/60i or 720/60p in AVCHD format as well as HD Motion JPEG in 1280 x 720 and QVGA, VGA and WVGA for excellent computer compatibility. The touch-screen LCD gives you power over many features, such as AF tracking and the contrast AF system with its many modes. The GF2 kit includes the 14mm f/2.5 lens, but the camera is also pre-configured to accept Panasonic’s 3D lens, the LUMIX G 12.5mm f/12. The Panasonic LUMIX GF2 camera retails for $699.95.
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