PanasonicVX981

Panasonic said it plans to maintain is compact camera business by strengthening its assortment of value-added models in 2016, with two 4K Ultra HD “travel zoom” point-&-shoot models. It also unveiled a range of camcorders for the new year, including a pair of 4K Ultra HD models.

At CES 2016 Panasonic is showing two Lumix-branded “travel zoom” point-&-shoot cameras called the ZS100 (shipping at the end of March at a $699.99 suggested retail) and ZS60 (mid-March, $499.99), designed to offer travelers a pocket-sized long zoom camera with high picture quality capabilities.

Both models offer 4K Ultra HD recording and will be available in the spring.

The company also revealed that it is expanding its camcorder offerings in 2016 with five models, including two with 4K Ultra HD video capture

More on Panasonic’s 2016 4K Ultra HD cameras and camcorders after the jump:

The ZS100 will feature a 1-inch, 20 megapixel MOS sensor, Venus image processing engine, a 10x (25-250mm) optical zoom, 1,166K-dot live viewfinder, 3-inch 1,040K Touchscreen LCD and a wide aperture F.2.8-5.9 Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens for the first time in a ZS series model. Panasonic said the large lens diameter maintains almost the same size as the lens barrel diameter.

Both cameras will capture 4K UHD video at up to 30fps and offer Panasonic’s 4K Photo feature with post focus, that allows grabbing a still image from a 4K video burst and adjust focus sharpness after the image is recorded. Panasonic uses DFD technology to calculate focus from up to 49 focus areas. 4K burst images are recorded while shifting the focus area from near to far.

Full HD can be captured at 1080p for up to 60fps. The camera uses MP4 compression for 4K and FHD and/or AVCH for FHD video.
Other features in the ZS100 include and ISO range to 12800 with a boost to 25600, a Light Composition function and 4K Live Cropping that allows cropping an image in the touchscreen LCD to produce a tighter Full HD video.

A 5-Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization-Plus with Level Shot function allows capturing blur-free images even using one-handed operation. Level Shot detects the horizontal line of the recording image and keeps it even if the camera is titled, Panasonic said.

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The Lumix ZS60 offers an 18MP 1/2/3-inch high-sensitivity MOS sensor, new Venus Engine, 30x optical zoom lens (24-720mm) F/3.3-6.4, 80-3200 ISO with extendibility to 6400, Light Speed AF with DFD technology for AF Macro, MF Peaking and AF post focus; 4K/30fps video capture in MP4 or Full HD/60fps in MP4 of AVCD; 4K Burst Shooting an 30fps (full resolution 10fps or with AF tracking 5fps); 1160K-dot; Live View Finder; built-in flash; Light Composition and 4K Live Cropping.

In camcorders, Panasonic’s 2016 product roadmap calls for five models: a 4K UHD Twin-Cam with HDR capture; a 4K UHD model without Twin-Cam; a Full HD Twin-Cam with HDR movie capture and high-precision AF; and two Full HD models.

The WXF991 (shipping in March at a $999.99 suggested retail) adds to that package of features Twin-Cam mode that enables professional-looking movie effects, and an electronic viewfinder.

The VX981 (shipping in March at a $899.99 suggested retail), pictured at top, is a 4K Ultra HD model with a 1/2/3-inch 8MP back-side illuminated MOS sensor; HDR video capture; 25x i 4K zoom 20x optical zoom; windshield zoom mic, Wi-Fi connectivity with multi-cam function; 4K cropping at 24p; and HDR capture.

The W580 (shipping in mid-February at $399.99) is a Full HD 1080/60p camcorder with Twin-Cam cinema-effect function; Wi-Fi connectivity with multi-cam capability; HDR video capture; a 1/1/5.8-inch 2.2MP BSI MOS sensor; 90x i Zoom; 50x optical zoom; and high-precision AF.

The V380 (shipping in mid-February at $329.99) carries most of the same features as the W580 plus a 3-inch LCD touchscreen. It drops the Twin-Cam feature.

The V180 (shipping in mid-February at $229.99) is an entry model with most of the same features as V380 without Wi-Fi connectivity, wireless multi-camera ability or a 3-inch touchscreen LCD.

Continuing Panasonic camcorder models include: the HC-V770K ($599.99); the HC-X1000 ($2999.99); and the HX-A1MK/D ($199.99).

 

By Greg Tarr

 

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