Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 Preview

Panasonic has announced two new SZ-series cameras, including the LUMIX DMC-SZ1 and DMC-SZ7. In terms of features and performance, the two cameras are quite similar, including a 25mm ultra-wide angle LIECA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with a 10x optical zoom, a 3.0" Intelligent LCD screen, two brand new shooting modes (Miniature Effect for a tilt-shift effect, and Panorama Shot for snapping vertical or horizontal panoramas), Creative Retouch mode (with six filters), Auto Retouch mode, iA mode (see a full list below), and USB battery recharging in addition to the standard AC adapter.

While the SZ1 features more body color choices and a slightly more 16.1 megapixels, the big difference is in the SZ1's CCD image sensor versus the SZ7's MOS unit. CCD saves money, but at the cost of auto focus speed and the ability to capture full HD video or 3D Photos. When compared to the SZ7, the SZ1 is also missing three iA (Intelligent Auto) modes, including High Dynamic Range, Handheld Nightshot and Motion Deblur.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-SZ1 Features:
  • 10x optical zoom
  • 25mm ultra-wide angle LIECA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens
  • 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 3.0" LCD screen
  • 720p HD video recording
  • Two New Shooting Modes: Miniature Effect and Panorama Shot
  • Creative Retouch with 6 Filters:
    • Toy Effect
    • Soft Focus
    • Dynamic Monochrome
    • Expressive
    • High Key
    • Retro
  • Auto Retouch
  • iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode with:
    • AF Tracking
    • Intelligent ISO Control
    • MEGA O.I.S.
    • Face Detection
    • Intelligent Scene Selector
    • Intelligent Exposure
  • 3D Photo Mode
  • USB and AC charging

UPDATED: Panasonic's DMC-SZ1 will be available in black, silver, red, and blue with an MSRP of $179.99. Pick one up in early March (2012).

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