Tough Tabs, OLED, Lumix: Panasonic @ CES 2014


Panasonic will be tempting consumers to open their wallets with new cameras, camcorders, TVs, Blue-Ray players, headphones and tablet computers this year.Panasonic will be tempting consumers with new cameras, camcorders, TVs, Blue-Ray players, headphones and tablet computers this year.


A new stylish, digital compact, the LUMIX DMC LZ40 bolsters Panasonic’s existing range of digital snappers. Boasting an astounding 42x optical zoom (time to break out a rock-steady tripod) and a whopping 20-megapixel CCD, the LZ40 will be a chart topper. 
As well as shooting hi-res videos and digital stills through its 22 mm ultra wide angle lens, the LZ40 has plenty to offer the novice who wants to opt for automatic mode with Optical Image Stabilisation, Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selection, and Inteligent Exposure. 
Hit the iA mode on the LZ40 and the novice will be shooting like a pro.More experienced users can select from a range of modes that offer creative photography that’s a notch or two above novice level. Consumers with Hi-Def TVs will also enjoy the cameras ability to record 720P videos.
Not to be confused with the LZ40 is the pocket-sized model called the ZS40. This sports a 30x optical zoom, 18.1 megapixel CCD and shoots 108p video.
The svelte Lumix DMC-SZ8 compact, has style as well as techno-smarts. Expect a 12x optical zoom, 16 megapixel CCD and of course, Wi-Fi connectivity allowing users to move files to their mart phone sans cables, or use the camera as a monitor to send a live feed to their phones. 
Yes, get the app and you can fiddle with zoom, shutter and zoom-by remote! 
Yes of course you’d like a Leica DG NOCTIRON 42.5mm/F1.2 ASPH. We’d like one as well. 
Any who understands quality would love this latest LEICA interchangeable lens Micro Four Thirds standards model that includes a 42.5 mm lens to its Rolex watch build quality.
While the microwave oven or fridge with forward- mounted cameras to take the ultimate My-Kitchen-Rules Selfie are still some way off, and despite the huge range of smartphones and digital cameras that can shoot video, Panasonic is still into camcorders releasing five new models at CES 2014.
These are the HC-W850, V750, V550, V250 and the V130.Topping the range is the HC-W850 with its Twin Camera feature. That’s right. It has a sub-camera built on the side of its LCD screen. The two cameras enable two scenes to be recorded at the same time for example a close-up and landscape in the one direction.
With the exception of the V130, all the new camcorders have a feature parents of new-borns will like. Sung a smartphone they each allow you to keep a watchful eye or even speak to a child in another room.
Panasonic and tough, rugged tablets for mobile users go together like apple pie and cream.
And just when you thought they couldn’t evolve much more Pana launches a world first – a 20-inch Toughpad tablet with 4K credentials.The Toughpad 4K UT-MA6 runs on Windows 8.1 Pro and is said to give 2.5 hours of work time out in the field before needing another recharge.
Less exalted but still desirable, is the more real-world Toughpad Fz-M1, a 7-inch model that also runs on Windows 8.1 Pro and moreover is said to merge seamlessly into a huge range of IT infrastructures.
LED and Plasma TVs
Panasonic is still backing LED as well as plasma TVs. Only it describes its current batch of models as ‘beyond smart’ promising sets that take personalisation and interaction to a whole new level.Models will include leading edge 4K sets as well as some more earthbound 1080p Tvs.
The 4K models will form the AX800 series while the AS680, AS650, AS640 and AS630 series comprise only 1080p TVS.
4K Developments
Panasonic is delving deeply into 4K technology. 
The brand has a raft of products planned but none are as spectacular as its mooted 4K wearable camera which can be used hands-free for sports and other activities. Panasonic was showing a sample at its booth saying it was also building a digital single lens mirror less model compatible with 4k.4k OLED panels are also part of the brand’s future and these have been built using the brand’s RGB all-printoing method of production.
Panasonic will also get into 4K signage, security, projectors and broadcasting cameras.
Blu-Ray Players
A 1080P high-resolution TV deserves to be fed a compatible single from a Blue-ray player. Panasonic has two for you to chose from, the flagshipDMP-BD81 with its 4k upscaling and smart wireless connectivity streaming features or the DMP-BDT360 model, which also has wireless connectivity.
Hi-Fi and Surround Sound
Audiophiles hankering for a return to the ‘sizzlingly’ great Technics series of audio separates will have to make do with a new compact stereo system, the natty SC-HC39, new headphones or anyone of Panas wall-mountable Home Cinema systems which are basically a take on a theme of soundbars.
The SC-HC39 a small, compact sound system with Bluetooth technology allowing replay of music stored on smartphones.
Those wanting to add simulated surround to their TVs can opt for one of three wall-mountable soundbar style systems, the SC-HTB880, HTB580 or HTB8.All are said to offer an exceptional 5.1 channel surround sound experience.The flagship model, the HTB880 looks ahead to 4K TVs with its 4K Pass-trough feature.
Two new headphones will bolster Panasonic’s current he range. The RP-BTGS10 wireless is designed for people on the move while the RP-HC800 is an over ear model, which will target travellers thanks to its noise cancelling technologies.
Cordless Phones
Four new models, the KX-PRW120, PRW130, PRS120 and PRX120 comprising Panasonic’s Premium Design series of cordless phones were unveiled at CES 2014. The PRW120 and PRW130 have a Smartphone connect feature that uses a home’s Wi-Fi to make and receive landline calls using a smartphone or tablet.Panasonic was also showing the KX-PRL262B dock-style DECT telephone, which is compatible with iPhone 5.5s, iPod touch and iPad mini models at Las Vegas.
Note: some models may not be released in Australia
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