Panasonic has today unveiled a new lens range for its G-series products, featuring a micro four thirds mount. It has also unwrapped a new bridge camera, the DMC-FZ150.
The Lumix-X lens brand will serve as the company?s premium range and sit between the standard and the Leica-branded models already available.
Panasonic UK has told us that the X-range is not intended to replace the Leica lens line-up, but will feature some of the latest technology.
To highlight this, the first two models feature a Power Zoom system, which controls the zoom and focus electronically.
The 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is a collapsible zoom, reducing to the size of the 20mm pancake when not in use and extending out like a bridge camera lens when the unit is turned on.
Zoom control is via a rocker lever on the side of the lens rather than a ring around the barrel and there is no on-lens focus control.
This lens, Panasonic claims, will offer better performance than the current standard 14-42mm and will be packaged with the GF3 in kit form.
The second lens is a 45-175mm f/4-5.6 telephoto zoom (pictured). Despite being smaller than Panasonic?s existing long zooms, this retains a zoom ring and focus ring (both with electronic connections) and also incorporates a zoom lever on the side.
The lever is designed with video users in mind as it allows a smoother operation than turning the barrel while filming.
Although it is not expected for all the Lumix X-series lenses to be of this type, the Power Zoom system is an interesting new direction for micro four thirds cameras.
Prices were not available at the time of writing,
Meanwhile, Panasonic has announced a new flagship bridge camera in the shape of the Lumix DMC-FZ150 (pictured below).
It features a 24x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens, delivering the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 25-600mm zoom, says Panasonic.
The FZ150 houses a new 12.1MP sensor and 12 frames per second mechanical shutter.
Panasonic claims that the camera?s signal-to-noise ratio is superior to its predecessor, the FZ100, marking an improvement equivalent to ?4.7 decibels? (at ISO 1600).
The newly-added Creative Control mode includes expressive, retro and sepia options.
The FZ150 also sports a hotshoe for attaching accessories such as an optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1), compatible flash units such as the DMW-FL220; or remote shutter (DMW-RSL1).
It can also shoot images for viewing in 3D on a compatible TV.
The FZ150 is due out in October priced £449.99.
In a separate move, Panasonic has added Wi-Fi connectivity to another new compact camera, the 12.1MP DMC-FX90.
Priced £269.99, and also due out in October, the FX-90 features a dedicated Wi-Fi button.
This should allow connection through a phone, PC or hotspot to the Panasonic Cloud, and uploading to various social networking sites.
The move coincides with the announcement of a new photo sharing service from Panasonic called Lumix Club.
Lumix Club will include a link that aims to allow users to upload photos to several websites at the same time, with a single operation.
Websites set to be linked to the service from 5 September are Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and YouTube.
Planned future benefits for Lumix Club users include a photo storage and album service, according to Panasonic.
For more details, from 5 September, visit http://lumixclub.panasonic.net