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July 27, 2009

New Panasonic FP8 is a stylish cousin of the tough-cookie FT1/TS1

Hot on the heels of the rather successful debut of the FT1/TS1, Panasonic has launched their second folded-optics model, the Lumix FP8. This one however is a stylish P&S camera, without the weather/element-proof features of the FT1/TS1.

Sadly, we see more overkill with the 12mp 1/2.3" sensor, but the great hope is in the 28-128mm (eq) folded-optics lens, which also carries the Leica name, and if it's anywhere near the FT1/TS1, then it should be good news.

And we are not joking when we say stylish, the camera has blue LED buttons on the back of the camera, offering an Engadget-effect when you are out and about using the camera (see picture at Focus Numerique at the "Further Reading" segment).

Just like the FX60/FX65, it features Power OIS instead of MegaOIs, which promises performance improvements and it would be interesting to see how it performs in comparative tests. Not so much for this model that doesn't have a direct predecessor but for the others (eg FZ38 vs FZ28, FX60 vs FX40).

More of less, a lot of the features are similar to the FX60/FX65, so there is no need to repeat them here.

The battery offers a very reasonable 380 CIPA, however it has the "ID-Security" technology which sets a bad anti-consumer and anti-competitive precedent. Boo@Panasonic!

The camera will be available in three colors (red, black, silver) and will cost $300. Amazon is already taking pre-orders.

Sample Pictures
Panasonic has provided two full-size samples taken with the camera and available for download.

Further Reading
+ Imaging Insider
+ Focus Numerique (280 euro, shiny buttons)
+ Photography Review
+ Panasonic
+ Initial production output a mere 8,000 units per month (Panasonic Japan)

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