For those looking for an affordable ultra-zoom camera, Panasonic has created the new Lumix DMC-LZ30. While not quite compact, it's still much smaller than most cameras that sport a long zoom like the LZ30's 35x optical zoom lens. With a dSLR-like form factory, the LZ30 looks like it will fit quite well in your hands, thanks to an enlarged hand grip and rubber grip surface.
While it may not have some of the latest and greatest features like full 1080p HD video or built-in Wi-Fi, the LZ30 still offers an appealing specs list that focuses on what's needed to capture great photos. These include a 16-megapixel image sensor, a powerful zoom lens, handy exposure options like intelligent auto, and optical image stabilization.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 features:
16.1-megapixel CCD image sensor
35x optical zoom lens covers 25-875mm equivalent zoom range
Optical Image Stabilizer
3.0-inch, 460k dot LCD screen
720pHD video recording
Exposure options include Intelligent Auto, Program AE, full Manual, and several Scene modes
New Creative Control (10) and Retouch features (11) features
Pop-up flash unit
SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
The Lumix LZ30 will start shipping at the end of March, 2013. Pricing is to be announced at a later date.
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