The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX55 features eight megapixels of resolution from a 1/2.5" CCD image sensor, coupled to a Leica-branded 3.6x optical zoom lens that provides a 28mm wide angle at f/2.8, and a 100mm telephoto at f/5.6. The FX55 sports a generous 3.0 inch LCD with 230,000 pixels for framing or review, but unfortunately, like all current LUMIX modes, no optical viewfinder is provided. There's also ISO sensitivity as high as ISO 1600 equivalent, with an extended maximum of 6400 equivalent in high sensitivity mode and a three frames-per-second burst mode to four frames at full resolution.
Other FX55 features include 20 scene modes, 27MB of built-in memory plus SD / MMC / SDHC card storage, both NTSC / PAL video and USB full-speed connectivity. Power for the LUMIX DMC-FX55 comes courtesy of a proprietary Lithium Ion battery that's included in the product bundle, along with LUMIX Simple Viewer, PhotofunStudio -viewer-, ArcSoft Media Impression, and ArcSoft Panorama Maker software.
The Panasonic DMC-FX55 is one of the first three Panasonic digital cameras to introduce a couple of new technologies to the LUMIX line, the other cameras being the DMC-FX33 and DMC-FZ18 models announced simultaneously. That must-have feature in the digicam market for 2007 - face detection - makes its debut with Panasonic's incarnation able to detect up to 15 faces in a scene and then use this information to set focus and exposure appropriately. Face detection is enabled automatically in portrait or baby scene modes, and can cope with moving subjects. A second new feature is what's being called "Intelligent Auto" mode, which analyzes the scene and then automatically selects the scene mode (Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Scenery or Night Portrait), and activates optical image stabilization, intelligent ISO, face detection and continuous autofocus functions as necessary.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX55 goes on sale from September 2007 for about US$350, and will be offered in silver, black and pink finishes.