Alongside the ruggedized TS1, Panasonic has announced a refresh to their P&S lineup, including one touchscreen camera, a few that shoot HD video and one that's just...there.
The FX580 is pretty much the star of the show here, as it's fitted with a 3-inch touchscreen and 720p HD video capability. Otherwise it's a fairly standard 12.1 megapixel camera, with 5x optical zoom via a Leica ultrawide lens, 6400 max ISO and the standard stable of antishake and facial recognition features. It's priced with the TS1 at $400.
The ZS3 and ZS1 are of a zoomier sort, boasting 12x optical zoom capabilities and similar core specs to the F580, but without the touchscreen. Though they only have a 10.1 megapixel sensors, 720p HD video recording is included as well. They'll sell at $400 and $300, respectively.
Stepping down the lineup we have the mid-range, $350 FX48, which is, feature for feature, more or less the TS1 without the tough outer shell. Then there's the $250 FS25, which retains many of the features of the FX48 but loses HD video recording and slims down slightly, measuring in at 3.82 x 2.28 x 0.86 in.
The most obvious thing about this batch of cameras is how little feature differentiation there is between the two, and how HD video seems to be the new de-facto standard for the latest point-and shoots. It's worth noting, though, that these HD recording will be encoded in some kind of AVCHD Lite format instead of a more standard, supported type of codec. The new cameras will ship in April. [Panasonic]