Camera makers like to announce things randomly – no method at all. We might get ten in a night, or one a week for ten weeks. Sometimes they drop in twos, like these from Panasonic: a new super-zoom and a point-and-shoot, neither of which sets itself apart too much, but maybe one will have the right combination of features for you.
The FZ47 is their new super-zoom, with a 24x zoom and a 12.1-megapixel sensor. It’s focused on action photography, so starting up quick and taking lots of pictures at once are its priorities. It’ll shoot 3.7 per second at full rez but unfortunately the high framerate (10 fps) shooting reduces the picture size to 3 megapixels. Interestingly, when recording video, you can set the exposure and shutter manually — something even far more sophisticated cameras occasionally don’t offer. Costs $400, but as this device only shoots 1080i video, I can’t recommend it at any price. On principle I don’t recommend anything that records interlaced video. Moving on, then…
The LS5 is a bit more practical. It’s got a fairly decent 26mm F/2.8 lens and 5x zoom on top of a 14.1-megapixel sensor. It has optical image stabilization and shoots 720p video. It uses AA batteries — some people like that, you know. That’s actually all the features worth mentioning. No price information yet, but I wouldn’t pay above $150 for it if I were you.
The FZ47 will be available next month, but the LS5 won’t be around until November. I don’t think I can wait that long! Sweet LS5, come to me now! Doubtless they’ll appear on Panasonic’s Lumix site as soon as they’re ready.