Panasonic launches well spec'd AA-toting DMC-LS85

Panasonic has decided a Friday is the ideal day to launch a whole host of new cameras, having apparently not got the memo about Friday being reserved for videos of meercats and galleries of cupcakes. We’ll forgive them this once, since there’s a couple of interesting features on the DMC-LS85.

The DMC-LS85 is an AA battery powered camera, but doesn’t scrimp on the specs in the way many entry-level cameras do. There’s 8.1 megapixels, 4x optical zoom and an intelligent auto mode. This automatically sets things like the ISO level, face detection, scene selection and compensates for any blur, all of which is activated by hitting the iA button on top of the camera.

One slightly less useful function is the addition of a speaker on the camera, which allows you to pick between natural, slow, urban or swing music as a background for the slideshows you view on the camera. In their own words, “you’ll get an emotion-filled slideshow” which could be awkward if you’re out in public.

It comes bundled with the PHOTfunSTUDIO 3.0 software, which will automatically group your photos according to who’s in them, once you identify one example of that person, very much like the latest version of iPhoto.

You can expect it in March, when it will be available in silver and black. No word on pricing yet.


Susi Weaser