Panasonic releases the DMC-FZ50 successor to the FZ30

Panasonic has unleashed another four cameras, all upgrades to previous models, including the top-of-the-range Lumix DMC-FZ50.

The prosumer joins the ranks of the 10 megapixel cameras, and features Mega Optical Image Stabilizer to ensure crisp images taken with the 12x optical zoom.

The Leica lens has a range of 35mm to 420mm in a 35mm equivalent, and features a maximum aperture of f2.8 along the entire zoom.

The FZ50 reaches ISO 1600 for taking images in low-light conditions, and is equipped with Intelligent ISO Control within the Venus Engine III.

Translated, this means that in the correct mode, the camera detects subject movement and ambient light to set the ISO to a higher setting in lower-light conditions, so that action can be frozen.

A Function Button, which is a shortcut to oft-used settings, and which can also be programmed to revert to the most frequently-used setting, has also been added to this model.

Despite all these upgrades, the FZ50 is still saddled with a 2-inch LCD, which is becoming rather sub-standard in an industry where 2.5-inch is commonplace. It does, however, flip out 180 degrees for shooting at awkward angles.

The new model also supports Through-the-lens external flashes, has an extended battery life, and comes with SilkyPix Developer Studio 2.0SE software for processing RAW files.

Pricing is not yet available, but the DMC-FZ50 is expected to be available in September.