Announced in late August, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ150 sports an expansive 24x zoom lens. Even though the 12.1-megapixel MOS sensor of the FZ150 is lower in resolution than the model it replaces, the 14.1-megapixel DMC-FZ100K, the new sensor gives the camera a much improved signal-to-noise ratio for less noise and a better image. A Nano Surface Coating has been added to the lens to minimize ghosting and flare, and the 3D Photo mode synthesizes a 3D composite from a series of images. The POWER O.I.S. system reduces shake, and the new Active mode helps to reduce vibrations while moving. Video is available in 1080p at 60 fps, and it's possible to take lower-resolution still images at 3.5 megapixels at the same time that you're capturing video. A stereo zoom microphone is included with a Wind Cut function for reducing ambient noise. List Price: $499.
Pentax Optio RZ18
LIST PRICE: $299
While not quite a "superzoom" body, the 18x optical zoom of the 16-megapixel Pentax Optio RZ18 compact camera brings it into this class and, even better, it fits in your pocket. There are multiple SR Shake Reduction image-stabilization options, including a sensor-shift Shake Reduction SR mechanism, Pixel Track SR, high ISO Digital SR and Movie SR during movie clips. Bursting clocks in at 9 fps for up to 40 images, and the camera incorporates a 3.0-inch HVGA LCD screen with 460K-dot resolution and an HD video mode with 720p at 30 fps. Face detection also is included and, get this, an upgraded Pet mode automatically detects the faces of dogs and cats for focusing and metering. The camera is available in black, pearl white and metallic orange. List Price: $299.