Watch out HD camcorders – compact cameras are coming after you. Just three weeks after Samsung announced the first 720p resolution snapper, Panasonic's unveiled two more: the FX35 (pictured) and TZ5.
Both make the same 720p claim as the Samsung, but with only 30 frames per second video none of them are quite up there with true 720p camcorders or HD TV, both of which both do 50fps. At least they have the same 1280x720 pixel resolution, so we're halfway there.
The FX35 is the closest to Samsung's NV24, with both sporting ten megapixels and ultra wide-angle lenses for cramming more into the frame, even when up close. Both also have full-blown optical image stabilisation (OIS), but the Panny wins in the zoom department by a 4x to 3.6x margin, making it better at the telephoto end of things.
The 9.1mp TZ5 goes even further with the same 10x zoom and wide-angle lens seen on previous TZ models, making it a true camcorder competitor.
Accompanying these two onto the shelves are a further six Panasonic cams. The 8mp TZ4 does the same job as the TZ5 but without the HD pretensions. There are more big lenses all round with the 5x zoom, wide-angle LZ8 and LZ10 which, funnily enough, get eight and 10mp sensors. The 10mp FS5 and its larger screened companion, the FS20, get wide-angle lenses with 4x zoom.
Rounding things off is the keenly priced, 8mp FS3 with 3x zoom, that still manages to cram in the same Mega-OIS as the rest. Bravo.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35, TZ5, TZ4, LZ8, LZ10, FS5, FS20, FS3
On sale: February-March