Today Panasonic unveiled six new compact models in its LUMIX digital camera family. The new additions include the DMC-FX30, the world's slimmest camera with a 28 mm wide-angle zoom lens, and the TZ3, the world's smallest camera with a 10x optical zoom lens.
The innovative new models from the maker who revolutionized digital photography by introducing MEGA O.I.S. to compact cameras will meet a variety of consumer needs.
The 7.2-megapixel FX30 features a new 28 mm wide-angle, 3.6x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-100 mm on a 35 mm film camera) Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens.
Panasonic collaborated with Leica to create this compact lens to achieve the 22.0 mm body profile, the world's slimmest for a camera with a 28 mm wide-angle zoom lens. The lens unit, including five lenses with six aspherical surfaces, has a reduced size while delivering superb optical performance. The FX30 comes in precious silver, urban blue, sensual brown and extra black.
The 7.2-megapixel TZ3, a successor to the TZ1 dubbed the "World Traveler" because of its compactness and traveler-friendly functions, features a newly-developed 28 mm wide-angle, 10x zoom Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR lens in an even more compact 105.0 x 59.2 x 36.7 mm body. The Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) function extends the 10x zoom (equivalent to 28-280 mm on a 35 mm film camera) up to 15x for 3-megapixel image recording.
The TZ3, the first LUMIX model with a stainless steel body available in silver, black and blue, has a large, 3-inch LCD in 230,000 pixel resolution for easy viewing for shooting and during playback. When the "Power LCD Mode" is selected, the LCD brightness increases by 40 percent to produce clear, easy-to-see images under bright sunlight.
To make it even more ideal for travelers, the TZ3 packs Panasonic's revolutionary Intelligent Image Stabilization system into the compact body. The system, consisting of MEGA O.I.S. (optical image stabilizer) and Intelligent ISO Control (I.I.C.), provides three-fold protection from blurred images to deliver clear crisp images.
The renowned MEGA O.I.S. compensates for handshake, the major cause of blurring, with a sampling frequency of 4,000 per second. The I.I.C., made possible by the Venus Engine III image processing LSI, detects the subject's movement. Then the I.I.C. automatically adjusts shutter speed and the ISO setting according to how fast the subject is moving and light conditions. If the subject, a pet for example, moves quickly, the camera shoots at a high ISO setting and a higher shutter speed. If the subject is not moving, however, the camera takes beautiful natural-looking images at a low ISO setting.
The Venus Engine III also allows for recording images at a sensitivity setting as high as ISO 1250 in full resolution thanks to improved noise reduction levels. The cameras feature the High Sensitivity Mode that allows for picture taking at ISO 3200. This feature enables a higher shutter speed and shooting in dark areas without using a flash.
The Venus Engine III and the Intelligent Image Stabilization system are incorporated in all six models introduced today. The other four models include the 7.2-megapixel DMC-FZ8 with a powerful 12x optical zoom lens, the 6.0-megapixel FS1 designed for the beginners who are conscious of image quality as well as style and operational ease and the 7.2-megapixel DMC-LZ7 and LS75 that run on two AA dry cell batteries.
Other main features common to all six models include an increased variety of scene modes with a new graphical user interface for easy selection, the new Quick Setting function that enables users to quickly and easily access and set the functions used most often. The new models accommodate SD Memory Cards and large-capacity SDHC Memory Cards. Users can share the images recorded on the Cards with their family and friends on large-screen Panasonic VIERA plasma TV by inserting the SD Memory Card into the card slot on the TV. The new cameras also incorporate about 27-MB built-in memory except for the TZ3 whose memory capacity is about 12.7 MB.
The FX30 will be available in Japan on February 22 and the TZ3 on March 9. The other four models, FS1, FZ8, LZ7 and LS75, will be available from February 9, 2007. The new LUMIX cameras will also be launched this spring on the world market.
Explore further: Multi-face tracking to help AI follow the action