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January 26, 2009

New Panasonic FX550 (aka FX580) has 3" touch-screen but also manual exposure

The new Panasonic FX550 (FX580) follows-up on the FX500 which was announced in late February 2008. The new FX550, which a little bit more LX3 than its predecessor, has a 12mp 1/2.33" sensor (MERCY megapixel-wackos!), a 25-125mm lens just like its predecessor, a 3" touch-screen LCD (230K), 720p HD video, and a LiIon battery at 350 CIPA.

Good news is that this camera has aperture and shutter priority, along with manual exposure. Obviously, there's only so much you can squeeze out of a 12-megapixel 1/2.33" sensor, but we applaud the choice of manual-exposure while we do not applaud 12-megapixels for such a tiny sensor, unless of course there are dramatic improvements in image quality which is rather unlikely.

No RAW of course :) The camera is available for pre-order at Amazon for a starting price of $400.

Panasonic will be producing this model at a clip of 30,000 units per month, and they are expected to start shipping in their MotherLand on February 20.


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