Panasonic, who are determined to be a serious player in the digital camera market with their Lumix range, has announced three new 12.1 megapixel digital cameras. The new models are expected in Australia soon.
The new range includes a pocket-sized Lumix DMC-ZR1 with a Leica 0.3mm thin aspherical lens with 8x zoom. A new FP series camera with a wide-angle 28mm and a new lightweight DMC-FZ35 with AVCHD high-def video recording capability and a Leica 27mm, 18x optical zoom lens. They are available in black, red, blue and silver.
The DMC-ZR1, which ships in September, has a Leica DC Vario Elmar lens with a 25mm-ultra-wide-angle capability and a long-zoom range equivalent to 200mm. The zoom function operates during video recording.
The Panasonic press release issued in the USA said “The ZR1 answers the call of consumers looking for a truly pocket able digital camera, while still featuring a zoom more powerful than typical compact cameras,” said David Briganti, Panasonic Imaging senior product manager. “We know consumers want to catch every shooting opportunity, and with the ZR1, this is possible through unique features such as the ultra-wide-angle lens and Panasonic’s popular iA Mode.”
The ZR1 has a high-speed auto-focus system that, when combined with a 1.1 second start-up, makes the ZR1 ready to capture surprise shots.
The camera includes a 2.7-inch LCD screen, long battery life and an energy-efficient image processing LSI – Venus Engine V – which takes approximately 330 pictures during a single charge.
Panasonic’s trademark Intelligent Auto (iA) mode now includes a Power Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), which features double the repression power, compared with the previous MEGA OIS system.
Other iA mode features include a hand-shake component that reduces blur from natural hand-shaking when pressing the shutter button; face recognition with up to six face-detection capability; travel mode to help organize images for access and playback; and high dynamic mode that captures a scene with moderate exposure even if shot with both bright and dark areas.
The Lumix DMC-FP8, features a 28mm wide-angle, 4.6x Leica DC lens with folding optics, enabling the camera to have sleek, modern body design.
Features include high-speed auto focus, Panasonic’s aforementioned iA technology, a 0.95-secondstartup time and Power OIS.
“With the Lumix DMC-FP8, we are giving users that sleek and compact design, while not compromising the advanced, yet easy-to-use features and technology for which the Panasonic Lumix line of cameras is known,” Briganti said.
The design features blue LED cursor buttons that glow when pressed, and a centred back panel with 2.7-inch LCD.
The face-recognition mode will detect up to three people simultaneously and show their names on the monitor once registered. The camera also adds extended battery life using Venus Engine V LSI imaging process that allows users to take approximately 380 pictures per charge.
The FP8 includes Viera Link Networking to other Panasonic components and will record HD videos at up to 720/30 fps resolution in addition to WVGA (848 by 480) and VGA (640 by 480).
Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FZ35, which will ship in September features AVCHD Lite, HD video recording capability and a Leica DC 27mm wide-angle, 18x optical zoom lens that offers motion zooming capability in videos.
The camera, which replaces the popular FZ28, adds enhanced creative features. A dedicated video record button is added.
“The Lumix FZ35 is truly unique as it includes advanced features like HD video recording, but still resembles and functions like an intuitive point-and-shoot with the ability to capture beautiful photos and video,” said Briganti. “This model’s versatility makes it a great choice for a new or advanced user who wants a hybrid device that shoots high-quality still and motion images.”