LAS VEGAS u2013 Panasonic used CES to bring wide aperture Leica lens technology to its lower-end Lumix cameras in a bid to fend off smartphones, as competition intensifies.

LAS VEGAS ? Panasonic used CES to bring wide aperture Leica lens technology to its lower-end Lumix cameras in a bid to fend off smartphones, as competition intensifies.

For the first time, Panasonic?s ?FS? line-up features an f/2.5 Leica DC Vario-Summarit lens, previously only available on the firm?s higher-end models.

Due to land in UK stores in March, the 16.1-million-pixel Lumix DMC-FS45 (pictured below) and 14.1MP Lumix DMC-FS40 sport a 24-120mm [35mm viewing angle] equivalent zoom, plus Panasonic?s Mega OIS [image stabilisation] technology.

Asked whether Panasonic plans to phase out its lower end cameras as smartphone makers introduce better camera technology, Panasonic UK?s Lumix manager Mark Robinson told Amateur Photographer ?Increasingly we are looking for points of differentiation [from smartphones].?

The six elements-in-five groups lens on both models includes three aspherical lenses.

Panasonic added in a press statement: ?This advanced lens unit passes Leica?s stringent standards and delivers an exceptional optical performance with its minimal distortion and chromatic aberrations while suppressing ghosting and flaring.?

The FS45 and FS40 also boast 1280x720p HD video that can be directly uploaded to YouTube using Panasonic?s Lumix Image Uploader.

Panasonic has also added a new 16.1MP model to its S-series in the shape of the Lumix DMC-S5 which carries a 28-112mm equivalent zoom, plus Mega OIS and HD movie option.

The S5 is due on sale next month.

Prices had not been announced at the time of writing.

Panasonic