The leaked Lumix FH series of cameras has just been given the go-ahead by Panasonic, with the 14.1-megapixel DMC-FH20 and FH3, and 12.1-megapixel FH1. They're all slim 28mm wide-angle models, and should continue Panny's strong camera reputation.
The FH20 has an 8x optical zoom, and the FH3 and FH1 have a 5x optical zoom. Video shot on all three models is in 720p at 30fps. Samsung also announced new superhigh-capacity SDXC cards, which the three Lumix models will support (along with SD and SDHC obviously.)
While pricing and availability hasn't yet been announced, we do have word on the COLORS. I know you've been sitting on the edge of your seat here. The FH20 will be on sale in silver, black, red and violet colorways, whereas the other two are silver and black.
Full release from Panasonic as follows:
Panasonic today introduced the new FH-Series to its 2010 line of LUMIX digital cameras, which includes the LUMIX DMC-FH20 (14.1-megapixels), LUMIX FH3 (14.1-megapixels) and LUMIX FH1 (12.1-megapixels). The LUMIX FH-Series are slim, pocketable models that pack a 28mm wide-angle lens with 8x optical zoom for the FH20 and 5x optical zoom for the FH3/FH1. All models can record High Definition video and thanks to iA (Intelligent Auto) - are extremely easy to use.
"With the new Panasonic LUMIX FH-Series, consumers will be thrilled to see small, easy-to-use digital cameras that do not compromise quality or advanced features. Though there are similarities within the family, we expect slightly different users for each model. The step-up FH20 will be attractive for sophisticated digital camera users who want a longer zoom, perhaps to take photos of their kids playing sports," said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "Meanwhile, for the LUMIX FH3/1, we expect first-time buyers who may not be as concerned with a long zoom, but who still demand high performance and ease-of-use will be drawn to these models."
The LUMIX FH-Series features High Definition (HD) 720p motion jpeg video recording capabilities. By recording 1280 x 720p at a smooth 30 fps, in addition to WVGA (848 x 480) and normal VGA (640 x 480), the LUMIX FH-Series makes it easy to view videos on a PC or upload it seamlessly to YouTube(1) with the bundled PHOTOfunSTUDIO version 5.0 software. All models are compatible with Windows® 7(2) and can take HD-quality still photos that fill a 16:9 HDTV. Users with a Panasonic VIERA® HDTV can enjoy a slideshow of photos simply by inserting an SD Memory Card into the HDTV's SD Memory Card Image Viewer slot.
Panasonic's popular iA mode, a suite of technologies that engage automatically - with no setting changes needed by the user - makes it easy for anyone to take beautiful photos. Panasonic iA includes the following: MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) to help reduce blurry photos due to hand-shake; Intelligent ISO Control to help reduce blur when the subject is moving; Face Detection to ensure registered faces are captured in focus with appropriate exposure and unwanted red eyes are digitally corrected; and Intelligent Scene Selector which selects the best option from: Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and newly-added Sunset. There is even a dedicated iA button, letting users engage easily with one click. The three models also have a 2.7" 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD, meaning the LCD detects the lighting conditions and controls the brightness level in 11 fine steps, to display with the most appropriate setting.
The Panasonic LUMIX FH-Series includes the Venus Engine IV image processor, which features advanced signal processing technology to produce a fast response time. The shutter release time lag on the FH20 and FH3 is approximately 0.006 second; and approximately 0.007 second for the FH1. The Auto Focus on the three models can lock on the subject in minimum 0.35 second(3).
Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX FH-Series digital cameras include:
* Quick Setting - Allows the users' most frequently-used settings, such as O.I.S., consecutive shooting, Auto Focus Point, White Balance - to be easily accessed through the "Quick Menu" button. There's no need to open several menu screens to adjust them - the user simply selects convenient icons displayed on the menu.
* Scene Modes: Baby, Pet and Sports modes let the user choose the setting and the camera does the rest. Users can also record the name/birthday of a child or pet and embed the information in the photo and have it printed if desired.
* Photo Frame: Put attractive borders around the photo and when printed, the photos look like postcards in picture frames.
* My Scene - Lets the user customize specific Scene modes that they like best, so they can quickly and conveniently switch instantly to the mode.
* Macro Zoom - Pulls subjects even closer by using 3x digital zoom, and captures even more dramatic close-ups.
* SDXC Computability - Compatible with SDXC Memory Cards, including Panasonic's newly announced 48 GB(4) and 64 GB SDXC Memory Cards - to enable high capacity content storage and fast data transfer speeds.
* Battery Life - The FH20 can take up to 300 images and the FH3/FH1 can take up to 310 images on a single battery charge(5).
Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LUMIX FH20, LUMIX DMC-FH3 and LUMIX DMC-FH1 will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date. Encased in a brushed metal-finished panel, the FH20 will be available in silver, black, red and violet models. The LUMIX FH3 and FH1 will be available in silver and black. For more on these Panasonic LUMIX models, please visit www.panasonic.com/CES2010.