byEvan Blass||July 19th 2006 at 12:37pmJuly 19th 2006 12:37 pm
We're not done with Panasonic's new additions to the Lumix lineup just yet; in addition to the four compact shooters we just saw, the company also unveiled a prosumer model called the DMC-FZ50, which packs a 10.3 megapixel CCD and 12x optical zoom into a DSLR-like body. Besides improving upon the resolution of its 8 megapixel predecessor, the FZ30, the FZ50 also throws down a new feature called Intelligent ISO Control, which adjusts the ISO setting (max. 1600) and shutter speed based on subject movement -- promising to minimize image blur without forcing the user to adjust the manual controls. Further enhancing ease-of-use are a new Function button that delivers quick access to frequently-used settings and a longer-life battery that claims to deliver around 360 shots before recharging becomes an issue. Other differences between the FZ30 and FZ50 include the addition of SDHC card support, a TTL Flash hot-shoe, 16:9 shooting mode, and the so-called Venus Engine III image processor, but the elimination of TIFF file support and several thousand pixels from the 2.0-inch LCD. Luckily the higher resolution and new features don't mean that you'll pay too much more for this updated model than you did for the old one, as it's expected to cost just $650 when it hits stores in September.