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Megapixel Race On With Casio, Panasonic Units

Casio and Panasonic have introduced their first 12-megapixel digital cameras, pushing the megapixel race into ever higher gear.

Casio will ship the 12-megapixel Exilim Zoom EX-Z1200 to dealers in mid-July. The camera builds off its predecessor, the EX-Z1000, with the addition of a CCD-shifting image stabilizer, and motion-analysis technology, which works with the CCD shift mechanism to reduce blur.

The auto-tracking AF system was upgraded and features face detection and motion analysis, which allows the autofocus to single out a subject’s face and maintain proper focus as it moves.

The camera features a 3x optical zoom, 2.8-inch LCD, an anti-shake DSP, and 34 scene modes, including the eBay Best Shot mode. It can record movies at 848 by 480 resolution at 20 fps with electronic stabilization. The EX-Z1200 will retail for a suggested $399 and will be available in silver and black.

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FX100 sports a 28mm 3.6x optical zoom lens with Mega Optical Image Stabilization.

The camera also offers “Intelligent ISO” control which works in tandem with Mega O.I.S. to help reduce blur. Panasonic is debuting a new flash on the camera, capable of reaching up to 16 meters. A new burst mode lets the camera snap 2-megapixel stills at 8 fps while a new high sensitivity mode enables the FX100 to snap 3-megapixel stills at ISO 6400. It can record movies at 1280 by 720 at 15 fps.

The FX100 features 2.5-inch LCD, an “easy zoom” feature for instantly zooming to 3.6x, 27MB of internal memory, and the ability to sort images by type (portrait, landscape, etc.) in playback mode.

The camera will ship in July in silver and black for a suggested $399.