Point-and-shoots are supposed to be simple: You point and you shoot. The Lumix FP7 encourages that behavior by stripping away pretty much all hardware distractions; you get a fat 3.5" touch screen and not a whole lot else.
The 16.1MP Lumix FP7 is one of those "less is more" deals. Its sleek as hell—the frontside has a mirror finish and the backside's got a 3.5" LCD touch screen which can be used for touch AF, touch shutter, and touch zoom. It also has three new modes for retouching shots with your fingers after you shoot 'em. Buttons be dammed! It also shoots 720p video and has Panny's intelligent auto suite, including optical image stabilization, intelligent ISO, and face detection.
Panasonic's also serving up a 14.1MP FP5 with a smaller 3" LCD screen. Just as minimalist, just not quite as impressively so.
The FH27 soups things up a bit. It's been redesigned so that it's small but still easy to hold; it can be controlled fully via its 3" touch screen (including touch AF, touch zoom, and touch shutter); it shoots 720p video; and it's got Panny's full suite of intelligent auto functions as well as two new iA features: AF tracking for locking onto subjects and Intelligent Exposure. The FH27's also got "Sonic Speed Autofocus"—can't argue with sonic speed!—for shutter lag times as low as .005 seconds.
The Lumix FH5 is a more conventional looking ultracompact cam—it's got a 16.1MP sensor, 4x optical zoom, shoots 720p video, and has a 28mm wide-angle lens. It's accompanied by the 14.1MP FH2, and both have slimmed down a fifth since their previous iteration and still have the intelligent auto suite. [Panasonic]