Among a raft of new announcements, the DMC-FZ38 packks a 12.1 million pixel resolution CCD sensor, and a 18x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit optical zoom, equivalent to 27-486mm in 35mm format. It can also record 720p high-definition movies.
The camera uses an upgraded Power Optical Image Stabiliser to help prevent handshake blurs when using high-powered zoom. It also uses an Intelligent Auto mode that includes face recognition technology. A user can register up to six people's faces and specify the name and age of the subject, which will be added to the metadata of any photos featuring the registered person.
The Intelligent Auto mode also offers ISO and exposure control features, as well as a scene selector for the five most common shooting situations - portrait, night portrait, scenery, night scenery and macro.
The DMC-FZ38 sports the Venus Engine HD, which has been re-engineered to support video recording as well as improving image processing performances to reduce luminance and chromatic noise. The camera can take images at a burst rate of 2.3fps at full resolution, or 10fps in the high-speed burst shooting mode.
Panasonic has also announced the upcoming release of the DMC-FP8, boasting a flat aluminium body and a retracting 28mm, 4.6x Leica DC lens with folding optics. The lens is comprised of 10 elements and a prism unit in eight groups, including one ED lens and five aspherical lenses with six aspherical surfaces.
The camera also sports a 12.1 million pixel resolution CCD sensor and the Intelligent Auto and Power Image Stabilisation System.
Price and UK availability for both cameras have yet to be communicated.