Monday, July 21, 2008

New Panasonic FX150 pushes 15mp but has RAW and wide-angle

Panasonic has joined Samsung in offering a new 15-megapixel digital camera this month. Okay, so the call it 14.7 megapixel, but rounding up gets them :) Unlike Samsung however, Panasonic is trying to give it more photographer-priority features, namely, RAW!

The Panasonic USA press release can be found at the Imaging Insider, where we learn of a $400 price and August 2008 shipment date.

Meet the Panasonic FX150
The 15-megapixel (okay, 14.7mp) sensor is of the 1/1.72" size, so we have more pixels but a similar sensor size as before. Insert preliminary cringe here :)

The biggest plus in this camera is the availability of RAW, something very rare in 2008 among non-DSLRs. Infact, prior to today, out of 120+ new compact digital cameras from the major manufacturers, only five (yes, 5) feature RAW out of the box. Panasonica will included the SilkyPix Developer Studio with the camera to help the first time RAW buyers.

The lens is the next good thing, going from 28mm to 100mm, in 35mm equivalent terms, with MegaOIS image stabilization. Good thing for those who like wide-angle photography that is.

The big question mark of course is the new Venus Engine IV. Just like their namesake planet, the previous Venus engines were hot and noisy ;-) The press release promises miracles and wonders and usual, including 5ms shutter lag, multi-tasking, and ISO to the moon and back.

For the beep-beepers out there, the burst mode for standard picture quality is 2.5fps (8 JPEGs), or 2.4fps (4 JPEGs) in FyNe mode (okay, Fine mode). In RAW mode, the buffer is 3 images deep, which is two more than what some other cameras offer.

The FX150 will be available in two colors, black as in FX150K, and silver, as in FX150S.

Update The search at Amazon for pre-orders now picks up the black FX150K and the silver FX150S, each available for $400. No shipment time is given, but the page states that it is temporarily out of stock, which is usually a sign that it will ship "shortly". Shortly of course could mean a few days or a couple of weeks, or longer.

Coverage of the Panasonic FX150 on the net

  • Straight from the horse's mouth, at, including full technical specs
  • Detailed specs and UK press release at dpreview.

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