At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, companies unveiled cameras with built-in Wi-Fi, as well as a variety of apps and accessories, to help connect your camera wirelessly—much the way smart phones work. Panasonic has now included another popular feature found on smart phones—NFC (near-field communication)—on two Wi-Fi cameras, the first models we've seen with that technology.
The 18-megapixel Lumix DMC-ZS30 is a wireless superzoom camera with a 20x optical zoom lens (including 24mm wide angle). It can fire off 10 frames per second, for up to six full-resolution images. And the 16-megapixel Lumix DMC-TS5 is a wireless rugged-and-waterproof camera with a 4.6x optical zoom lens (including 28mm wide angle) that can shoot 10 frames per second, for up to seven full-res images. The company also claims it can be submerged 43 feet underwater and survive a 6.6 foot drop.
Panasonic says that with their wireless and NFC features, these models will make it easier to share images and video with other devices such as smart phones and tablets. And if you download Panasonic's app to your smart phone or tablet, you can control the Lumix cameras, viewing and shooting remotely.
Both cameras also have access to Panasonic's cloud storage service (Lumix Club Clood Sync service), 3-inch displays, and built-in GPS for geotagging your photos. Pricing has not yet been set on these Lumix models, but both should be available at the end of March, says Panasonic.
We'll be sure to see how easy it is to use NFC on these cameras when we get them and other point-and-shoots into our labs for testing. Meanwhile you can find our current digital-camera Ratings at ConsumerReports.org.