Panasonic has announced a new flagship travel zoom camera at CES in Las Vegas, that's packed with bundles of new features and tech including NFC to help make transferring pictures to other devices incredibly easy. Pocket-lint has already had a preview.
The new Lumix DMC-TZ40 (the ZS30 in the US) replaces the TZ30 and, while keeping the same 20x optical zoom 24mm Ultra Wide Angle LEICA DC lens, ups the ante with a new 18.1-megapixel sensor, a new Venus processor, and more on top of that, such as a multi-touch LCD 920K resolution touchscreen display with pinch to zoom.
On the shooting side, the camera promises Light Speed AF, which Panasonic says achieves focus in just 0.1 seconds. There is also 10fps (Frames Per Second) continuous shooting at the touch of a button, so you can capture and review a selection of shots, choosing the one you like best. A quick play in our hands-on proved the camera lives up to the claims.
When you are snapping anything that moves, you can be a bit more creative. The TZ40 adds a new High Dynamic Range, as well as Creative Control / Retouch features, including soft focus, toy effect and retro. New to the 2013 line-up is Creative Panoramic options which lets you really go to town, while you'll get an automatic Tilt Fix feature that offers to straighten up any dodgy looking landscapes if you want - all in-camera.
The TZ40 also provides Intelligent Auto features, including Face Recognition that remembers your friends and family and adjusts the camera’s settings accordingly.
Borrowing from the company's camcorder line, the TZ40 offers 50p Full HD video recording and features a 5-axis image stabilisation. A High Speed Video mode lets you capture super slow-motion videos.
Once you've got your picture, Panasonic wants you to share it - something that looks to be all to easy with the new NFC option in the TZ40.
Tap it against an Android phone with NFC running the Panasonic app and you'll be able to share pictures via a direct Wi-Fi connection. It's quick, it's easy and it's hassle free.
The feature will be available to all NFC phones and tablets whether they're made by Panasonic or not, and presumably all Panasonic televisions and laptops with NFC too - something that Panasonic tells Pocket-lint is coming.
Yes, a time when you'll be able simply to tap your camera on your laptop or television to get the images is almost here.
What's really clever is that users will, at the press of a button, be able to share just the image on the LCD with a friend's phone if they have the Panasonic android app installed.
But it's not just about Wi-Fi sharing with others or your phone. The camera now features Glonas and GPS chips, allowing you to plot your route by checking your position every 15 minutes (breadcrumb style) as you take pictures, before offering you a glance at where you've been after the trip.
Available in four different colours - black, white, silver and red - the new Lumix TZ40 will be in the shops shortly.
Those not fussed with the NFC options or the Wi-Fi sharing can opt for a slightly less-impressive TZ35 (called the ZS25 in the USA). It will come in a similar shell but offer only a 16.1-megapixel sensor.