As every year, in July, Panasonic renews a portion of its range including the traditional high-end bridge camera (FZ200) and the enthusiast photographer camera (the LX7).
Panasonic Lumix G5
The Panasonic G5 is Panasonic latest advanced mirrorless camera. This MFT camera gets a “newly developped sensor” say Panasonic but let me remind you that they tell us so each time they announce a new generation of MFT cameras and when we test them, we find the exact same results as for the G1 ! They have been around with the same sensor technology for 4 years now. If they really did redesign the sensor and improve the SNR as advertised, that will be a major progress over the 3 past generations. The Panasonic G5 reaches 6 fps in full resolution and can reach 20 fps if you go for a lower definition. The G5 gets an EVF and a tilt touch-screen of 920,000 dots. It can reach ISO 12,800 and shoot Full HD movies in 50p, eitheir in AVCHD progressive scan or MP4.
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Finally, the LX5 gets a successor and this time, the wait paid with a nice piece of glass, a fast lens, that will bring manuy LX5 owners to switch to the new LX7 : the Lumix LX7 gets a 24-90mm Leica DC Vario-Summilux that features f/1.4-2.3, an appreciated fast aperture both at wide angle and at telephoto. The lens has a built-in neutral grey density filter. Best way to seduce advanced amateur photographers. Appart from this nice piece of lens, the LX7 gets a 1/1.7″ MOS sensor of 10.1 megapixels that can be used between ISO 80 and ISO 12,800, record Full HD 50p movies and the sensor’s signal processing is let to the new DSP : Venus Engine VII FHD. Of course, the Panasonic Lumix LX7 offers the RAW format.
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is the yearly update of Panasonic’s high-end bridge camera. This year, the FZ200 received a 12MP CMOS sensor that is fed with light by a 25-600mm f/2.8 : yes, a fixed aperture on the netire focal range. All Pana bridge cameras amateurs had been waiting for this killer feature to come back in the line. It is now done.The FZ200 burst rate can reach 12 fps (5.5 fps with the AF-tracking on) and record Full HD 50p video sequences with Dilby Digital Audio encoded stereo sound. It has a 3D still mode which very few people will care about compared to the 25-600mm f/2.8 lens ! It has a 3″ tilt screen as well.
Panasonic Lumix SZ5
The Panasonic Lumix SZ5 is the Wi-Fi enabled compact digital camera as seen by Panasonic to start with this new range of “smart cameras”. (you will see loads of wi-fi cameras coming out in the next few weeks / months, especially at the 2012 Photokina that is held next September. Aside from offering a wi-fi connexion for easy sharing with a a smartphone and transforming your smartphone into a smart remote control with deported liveview, the Panasonic SZ5 is a simple 10x (25-250mm) camera with a 14MP CCD sensor and 720p video recording only. But it will be offered at an affordable pricetag of around $200.