The new Panasonic DCs with Leica glass are now on sale, saw them at Alan Photo.
Now, the reason why I have no sample shots from the cameras is because the cameras accept SD cards ONLY. No MMC. I used my 32mb MMC and got a memory card error message. Oh well.
I didn't have a chance to play with them much, but notable things:
The DMC-LC5 has a nice fly by wire focussing ring in front. The problem is that there is no easy way to tell that your shots are in focus, except by the electronic range finder, which kinda defeats the purpose IMHO.
The DMC-LC5 has a really HUGE LCD screen. It's like looking at a video camera's LCD screen. There's even a screen shade for it. The jap lady from Panasonic had the LCD shade on her demo camera.
The DMC-F7 has exposure compensation in 1/4 stops. Not too sure about the DMC-LC5.
The DMC-LC5 can set flash compensation for the built in flash; the hotshoe has the single centre pin only, so it's unlikely there'll be any TTL or semi-TTL capabilites.
The DMC-F7 is really light, unlike an IXUS V, and feels very compact. Powering on the camera is a pain though. First, slide a slider to open up the camera, then use a lot more force to slide it to the ON position.
Both cameras, on first impression, seem to have this me-too feeling about in the market. Response times and shutter lag feel about average, and not counting the image quality, everything seems to have been done before. Using the SD format is both a plus and minus; the shot-to-shot times and continious mode are incredibly fast, however, the price of SD right now could be against them (though I did hear the Singapore Panasonic rep that prices might drop soon).
Anyway, here are some photos of the new cameras:
Check out that HUGE LCD screen!