We're not sure what's going in France at the moment but a bevy of new 12 megapixel Panasonic Lumix cameras have broken loose with or without corporate approval. Let's start with the rugged €399 DMC-FT1 (pictured). It features a 12 megapixel (1/2.33-inches) with a 28-128mm optically stabilized 4.6x zoom Leica lens and a 2.7-inch LCD. It'll survive drops of up to 1.5 meters, water to a depth of 3 meters, while surviving storage in the dustiest of apartments. It'll even shoot 720p video in "AVCHD Lite" format... whatever that is. Next up are the €429 DMC-TZ7 and its £329 DMC-TZ6 little buddy. The TZ7 couples a 12x optically stabilized zoom (25-300mm) with the ability to shoot 720p HD video in that same AVCHD Lite format and reviewable on a biggie (but relatively common) 3-inch LCD.
Also outed is the €299 FX550 with 5x zoom, 720p video capture, and a 3-inch touchscreen buzzing along with haptic feedback. It'll even handle aperture and shutter priority modes in addition to manual exposure for those who wish to push their amateur credentials to the edge. The €299 DMC-FX40 dials things back with a skinnier chassis and smaller 2.5-inch LCD while ditching the manual stuff. Check 'em all in the gallery.