Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4/TZ5 announced

I’ve been looking for a new camera for a while now. It’s probably a well-known dillema: will I buy one now or wait till a new version comes out? The problem with technology and gadgets is that there will always be a new version with improved features within a year after you’ve bought yours. So, at a certain moment you should just decide to buy one. Easier said than done, I know.

I considered buying the Panasonic DMC-TZ3, which I think is an excellent camera for a very competitive price. I did realise however that the camera has been on the market for almost a year. So, chances are good that a followup will be announced early 2008. Every once in a while I googled for DMC-TZ4 (which I thought would be a logical name for the TZ3 successor). Finally, when I asked google again today, I found Panasonic’s announcement of the TZ4 and TZ5!

Panasonic TZ5

The specs of these compact ultra-zoom cameras are pretty impressive:

Lumix DMC-TZ4

  • 8.1 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F3.3-4.9, 10X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 – 280 mm
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Compact body (by ultra zoom standards)
  • 2.5″ LCD display with 230,000 pixels with auto brightness adjustment
  • Uses new Venus Engine IV image processor
  • Point-and-shoot operation
  • New Intelligent Exposure mode brightens over and underexposed areas of
    photos automatically
  • Intelligent (auto) scene selection mode
  • Records widescreen movies at 848 x 480 (30 fps) with sound
  • 50MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/MMC card slot
  • Comes in silver and black
  • Uses proprietary li-ion battery; 330 shots per charge
  • USB 2.0 High Speed supported
  • Shipping in late March for $299

Lumix DMC-TZ5 is differs from the TZ4 with:

  • 9.1 effective Megapixel CCD
  • 3-inch LCD display with 460,000 pixels
  • Digital Redeye Correction removes redeye while photos are taken
  • Can record movies at 1280 x 720 / 30 fps (720p) with sound
  • 300 shots per charge
  • Comes in blue, black, and silver
  • Priced at $349

The TZ5 is high on my wishlist. Both models will be available in late March 2008.

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