Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20

A new flagship model for Panasonic’s popular TZ (Travel Zoom) series of compact digicams.It’s been just over a year since we reviewed Panasonic’s last TZ-series camera, the TZ10. This camera has been so popular it’s little wonder the company waited until January 2011 before unveiling not one but two updates: the TZ20 and a simpler (and cheaper) model, the TZ18. Many of the features that made the TZ10 a success have been upgraded to better suit the target market: travellers looking for a full-featured, pocketable camera.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7

Panasonic’s DMC-FX7 is small enough to take anywhere in a pocket or purse. Its mode dial, which is partly enclosed in the camera’s body, has six settings: normal picture mode, simple mode, macro mode, scene mode (with nine pre-sets), motion image mode (QVGA movies at 10 or 30fps) and playback. The simple mode sets all controls to auto and provides three picture settings: enlarge (for A4 prints), 10 x 15cm, and email.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2

Panasonic’s latest waterproof, drop-proof, dust-proof and frost-proof camera with AVCHD Lite High Definition video recording.Hard on the heels of the popular DMC-FT1 comes Panasonic’s latest ‘rugged’ digicam, the equally slim, but even tougher, DMC-FT2. Resolution has been increased to 14.1 megapixels and the body of the new model is waterproof to 10 metres instead of three. It can also withstand a drop of two metres (up from 1.5 metres) and is usable at temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01

Some good still and video features in a pocketable body but the FX01 lacks key manual controls and an optical viewfinder.The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 is almost identical to the Leica C-Lux 1. Aside from coming in a silver body, which is similar in size and weight to previous FX models, the most obvious difference between the cameras is the finger rest on the front panel of the FX-01. Panasonic supplies a lower-capacity SD card than Leica (although in both cases more memory will be required so this difference is hardly relevant). Leica has the better software bundle.

Panasonic DMC-TZ15

A long-zoom digicam with a slim, pocketable body and above-average imaging performance.Panasonic’s new 9.1-megapixel DMC-TZ15 digicam is the latest in its ‘Travellers’ Zoom’ series of cameras. Replacing the 7.2-megapixel TZ3, it introduces a swag of new features that will appeal to point-and-shoot photographers who want a slim camera with a long zoom lens. The TZ15’s body is marginally smaller and lighter than its predecessor but just as pocketable and equally well-built.

Panasonic HDC-SD9

An ultra-compact HD camcorder for everyday snapshooters.Panasonic’s tiny HDC-SD9 camcorder represents the third generation of high-definition camcorders that record exclusively to an SD memory card. Designed for point-and-shoot video photographers, it is claimed as the world’s smallest and lightest Full-HD video camera. Featuring a 3CCD sensor system based on 1/6-inch (2.46 x 1.80 mm) CCDs, the SD9 also boasts a Leica Dicomar lens with 10x optical zoom.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1

A well-built Four Thirds system DSLR with a rangefinder camera control layout and dual-angle pop-up flash.Panasonic has described its new Lumix DMC-L1 as combining ‘analog operational concept and design’ and the new model looks and feels like a fusion of a rangefinder camera and the Olympus E-330 (on which much of the L1’s technology is based). With an RRP of $3,849, Panasonic is clearly capitalising on the prestige of the supplied Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm F2.8-3.5 lens and targeting Leica film camera users who have yet to move into digital capture.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10

A lightweight, 12x zoom camera for travellers who want advanced shooting controls plus 720p HD video recording.Offering 12.1-megapixel resolution plus a 12x optical zoom lens that covers the equivalent of 25-300mm focal length range, Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-TZ10 extends the appealing features of previous ‘Travellers’ Zoom’ models with a built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver and P, A, S and M shooting modes. Its image stabiliser has been upgraded to a new POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser) with twice the steadiness of previous systems.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2

Plenty of user-adjustable controls in a high-resolution camera that fits into a jacket pocket.Released just over a year after the DMC-LX1, Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-LX2 model retains many of the admirable features of its innovative predecessor but boasts a higher resolution sensor (10.2 megapixels, vs 8.4). The main advantage of the new model lies in its ‘widescreen’ LCD monitor, which no longer letterboxes shots taken with the camera’s 16:9 setting. There’s also a new widescreen movie mode that records video clips at 1280 x 720 pixels, creating movies for playing back on widescreen TV sets. However, there’s still no optical viewfinder.