(Pocket-lint) - The Panasonic TZ-line is evolving. The latest Lumix TZ60 introduces a built-in electronic viewfinder to the range for the first time, while pushing a 30x optical zoom with physical lens control ring.
Despite a 50 per cent increase in top-end focal length on its TZ40 predecessor, the TZ60 ditches the touchscreen of the earlier model in favour of these new features. And size-wise it's not considerably larger than earlier TZ models either - measuring 110.6 x 64.3 x 34.4mm there are only a couple of extra millimetres here and there compared to the TZ40.
Within the new lens is a new optical image stabilisation unit, dubbed Hybrid OIS+, that uses less power than earlier iterations. This will help to capture steady images however far you push the 24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 equivalent zoom. In order to keep the camera's size down the OIS unit has been designed to move up and into the camera's body when the camera is switched off and the lens retracts. Clever.
If the TZ60's rear 3-inch LCD screen isn't to your taste when composing or sunlight is causing reflection issues then the 0.2-inch, 200k-dot electronic viewfinder can be activated by the touch of a button. This built-in unit takes the TZ in a totally new direction - something that was reserved for the Lumix LF1 until this point and time.
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Under the hood the TZ60 features an 18.1-megapixel sensor, which is the same as the TZ40, alongside the familiar - and super-fast, as its name suggests - Light Speed autofocus which is now faster than ever. Manual focus is also available, complete with on-screen magnification and "focus peaking" to assist with getting the focus spot on via the front lens ring.
Add raw shooting, GPS, Wi-Fi, 1080p video capture at 60fps and it looks like one fully featured compact. But specs sheets are one thing, the real deal is another altogether - we've been testing a pre-production TZ40 unit ahead of this announcement, so take a read of our first impressions.
The Lumix TZ60 will be available in March, priced at an estimated £399.