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January 06, 2010

New Panasonic FH22 and FH20 (FS33, FS30) are new 8X compact-zoom variations (28-224mm)

And we close this Panasonic burst mode with the new FH22 and FH20 models, which also go by the names of FS33 and FS30. The model names are not even parallel, so you can't even use a mnemonic to map them. Silly marketing people! (Yes, we declared war on marketing during the 15th century!).

With the LZ-series gone, Panasonic is trying to find ways to fill in the gap between the P&S models and the superzooms. These two new models have an 8X optical zoom lens with MegaOIS that goes 28mm to 224mm. As you may recall, last summer, they announced a new model, the ZX1/ZR1, which has an 8x MegaOIS lens that starts at 25mm wide. Whether these two will be running in parallel or not, remains to be seen...

The differences between the FS33 and FS30 are not that many as usual. The FS33 (FH22) has a 3-inch touch-screen, while the FS30 (FH20) has a 2.7-inch regular screen. Does this sound familiar? Yes, that's the difference between the folded-optics FP3 vs FP2/FP1. There is a method to their madness after all ;-)

Other features include 14mp 1/2.3" abomination-sensor, 720p video, SDXC, ID-Security LiIon battery, and the usual stuff.

Panasonic Strategery
What is interesting from this nine-pack of Panasonic cameras is that they haven't even began replacing their late January 2009 models, which include the TZ-series and the element-proof FT1/TS1, or the mid-range FX-series.

Not all of the above nine models will be available in every market, but it is clear that Panasonic is fishing for market-penetration and market-share at the entry-level and at the mass-market retailers with these models.

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