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Panasonic updates Lumix cameras: Leica lenses, 1080p video, speed upgrades

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Panasonic updated its Lumix line of digital cameras today at CES, adding features to its shooter that differentiate them from cameraphones.

Panasonic SZ7
Panasonic SZ7

Every point-and-shoot camera manufacturer must at this point be awfully tired of the question "are cameraphones killing your market share?" Panasonic's response was apparently to pack its cameras full of features cameraphones don't have — its new Lumix models have big zoom, great lenses, and plenty of speed to spare. The SZ7 is the headliner, with a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 10x optical zoom lens (from 25-250mm), and an upgraded processor that promises to be faster than ever. Lenses are Panasonic's bread and butter, thanks to its partnership with Leica, and the new Lumix models — the SZ7, SZ1, FH8, FH6, FS41, and FH4 — all benefit with upgraded glass. The cameras also have brighter apertures, record HD video, and offer lots of new filters and in-camera editing features. As always with Panasonic, though, there's no telling which of its models will be available in the US — pricing and availablity were not announced for any of the new shooters.