By Patrick Avenell in Melbourne

MELBOURNE, VIC: Panasonic last night announced the release of its 2010 Lumix range, which will include 13 new models. Panasonic describes this as its “strongest” ever cache of digital cameras.

This release comes fresh from Panasonic being declared the number one camera brand by name in the Australian market. Its sales were up a massive 65 per cent year on year in 2009. This performance runs contra to the overall camera market, which was down 10 per cent in units.

Panasonic Lumix product marketing manager Tanya Mudge listed a number of reasons for this surge in popularity. According to Mudge, advances in Panasonic’s lens technologies, improvements in ‘Intelligent Auto’ functionality, and the inclusion of AVCHD recording have been key driving factors in Panasonic’s progress.

As a result of this, Mudge expects Panasonic to sell its one millionth Lumix camera in the Australian market early in 2010. This comes eight years after the first model sold just eight units in its first month on the shelves in 2002.