Panasonic unveils DMC-FZ38 bridge camera

On top of the three compacts it announced today, Panasonic has also pulled the covers off DMC-FZ38, successor to last year's FZ28.The 12.1 megapixel b

The 12.1 megapixel bridge cam is aimed at those looking to up their game from a compact, or perhaps want a more portable option to their chunky DSLR.

With a 27mm wide angle lens and 18x optical zoom, the camera is also capable of zooming up to 35.2x with the Extra Optical Zoom feature at 3 megapixel resolution.

The FZ38 also boasts a number of the features seen in its new trio of compacts, including the Power OIS (optical image stabilisation) which is twice as effective to the OIS in its predecessor, an iA mode that pulls together Panasonic's Intelligent ISO, Intelligent Exposure and Intelligent Scene Selector features to ensure your photos look the best with minimal effort, and there's also the face recognition feature with will "remember" up to six faces and once registered will recognise them in future photos.

This feature goes further, in that it will allow you to search through and slideshow your photos just for one person in "Category Playback", and attach ages to faces as well, so that if a child under 3 is photographed, the mode will automatically change to "Baby Mode". Clever stuff.

Of course these iA features are all well and good for quick snaps, but if you'd prefer to set your own settings the FZ38 has a manual mode for you to play around with.

Finally, the FZ38 is capable of capturing HD movies with its dedicated record button, and can then upload them direct to YouTube using the built-in uploader in the included PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 software.

You'll be able to get your hands on the FZ38 from September, but there's no prices as yet. While we wait for those, be sure to head over to our blog to see how the FZ38 held up when we carted it round Lisbon for the day, and keep it locked to for a hands on video very soon.