Panasonic has today unveiled four digital compact cameras, all featuring Intelligent Resolution Technology to help boost image quality.

Top of the range is the DMC-TZ10 (pictured), a 12.1miillion-pixel model which carries a Leica DC Vario Elmar lens designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 25-300mm zoom.

The Venus Engine HD image processor includes Intelligent Resolution Technology. This aims to ‘sharpen up’ textured areas of an image, such as a hair for example, ‘quite significantly’, according to a Panasonic UK spokesman in a recent interview with AP.

‘Three areas; outlines, detailed textured areas and soft gradation areas are automatically detected,’ claims the firm. ‘The outline parts are enhanced effectively to give edges more clarity while giving a moderate accentuation to the texture areas to make it look more finely detailed.

‘To the soft gradation part, the superior noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to make it look smoother.’

The firm adds that, apart from the ‘uniform enhancement of sharpness’, the technology allows ‘signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way’, resulting in what the company claims are ‘naturally clear and crisp’ images in both photo and movie mode.

Panasonic says that Intelligent Resolution also allows picture quality to be maintained when using the 1.3x digital zoom. ‘The details of an image taken in high sensitivity recording tend to be lost in the noise reduction process,’ it explains. ‘However, the Intelligent Resolution works to keep the detail, improving the picture.’

The TZ10 also features built-in GPS, manual exposure, plus aperture and shutter priority modes.

Also in board is Power O.I.S, claimed to deliver ‘twice’ the camera shake suppression capability of the camera’s predecessor, the TZ7, by targeting ‘low-frequency’ vibrations.

The TZ10 sports a 3in, 460,000 dot, LCD monitor.

Panasonic has also announced the 12.1MP DMC-TZ8, the 14.1MP DMC-ZX3 and the 14.1MP DMC-FT2, an ‘active outdoor use’ camera. The latter replaces the firm’s FT1 model and is built to be waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 2m and ‘freeze proof’ to minus ten degrees Celsius.

The new cameras are due in shops in March at prices yet to be announced.

Panasonic DMC-TZ10 image