Panasonic Unveils World’s Smallest Digital Still Cameras with 10x Optical Zoom and 28 mm Wide-Angle Lens; Also introducing a new model powered by dry-cell batteries
Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, today introduced three innovative models of its LUMIX digital still camera line. The models include the 10x optical zoom DMC-TZ1 and the 28 mm wide-angle lens DMC-FX01, the world’s smallest of their kind, and the dry-cell powered DMC-LS2. They bring more ease and enjoyment to digital photography while ensuring outstanding picture quality. The TZ1 will be available in Japan starting March 24 and the FX01 and LS2 on March 10.
“Our new LUMIX cameras are developed in response to the current market demands,” said Mr. Mamoru Yoshida, Director, DSC Business Unit, Panasonic AVC Networks Company. “As the penetration rate of digital still cameras is reaching 50 percent in Japan, there is a strong demand for replacement and the purchase of a second digital camera for the family. Furthermore, the needs of the consumers are becoming more diversified.”
“Panasonic has revolutionized the world of digital photography with an optical image stabilizer and now we have incorporated a super optical zoom in a compact body, capitalizing on our “black-box” technologies. We believe the feature-packed new models will help us reach 10 percent of the global market in the next business year. We estimate the total demand will reach 80 million units worldwide.”
The 5-megapixel DMC-TZ1 incorporates the powerful 10x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens (F2.8) into a 112 × 58.1 × 40.2 mm compact body. The Extra Optical Zoom (EX) function can extend the zoom ratio up to 12.5x in 3-megapixel resolution.
In addition to Panasonic’s MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), an essential feature for smaller and lighter cameras to compensate hand-shake, the TZ1 is equipped with the new High Sensitivity mode to reduce motion blur of subjects, such as pets and children. The mode automatically sets the maximum sensitivity of ISO 1600 by using the pixel-mixed readout method, effectively raising the shutter speed to take clearer and sharper pictures in dim lighting without using a flash.
The TZ1 is driven by the newly developed Venus Engine III image processing LSI. While the next-generation Venus Engine inherits quick response time and high quality image output, it features 100 percent more noise reduction compared to the Venus Engine II. The camera starts up in an industry-leading 0.95 second and its release time lag is as short as 0.006 second. In spite of increased performance, it consumes 20 percent less power than the Venus Engine II, achieving a long battery life of 250 pictures on a single charge.
Loaded with Panasonic’s optics technology, the TZ1 promises blur-free, clear and crisp pictures even in long zoom shots and low-light setting, capturing each precious moment without fail. A large 2.5-inch, 207,000-pixel high-resolution Power LCD monitor automatically adjusts the backlight brightness for providing easy viewing and reviewing of the images even under the bright sun light. Incorporating the World Time Setting, this powerful compact camera is an ideal traveling companion.
The 6-megapixel DMC-FX01, the latest model in the compact and stylish FX line, features the 28 mm wide-angle 3.6x optical zoom LEICA DC lens in a 94.1 × 51.1 × 24.2 mm slim body. The FX01 weighs only 160 g including battery.
Spanning all the way from 28 mm to 102 mm (35 mm equivalent), the bright F2.8 lens provides more width and depth to the pictures, perfect for taking group photos or sprawling landscapes. The EX function enhances the zoom power up to 5x in 3-megapixel resolution without deteriorating the picture quality.
The FX01 can take 320 pictures on a single charge thanks to the Venus Engine Plus LSI that reduces the power consumption by 30 percent compared to the Venus Engine II while enabling quick response and high-quality imaging.
As with the TZ1, the FX01 is equipped with a 2.5-inch Power LCD monitor and the High Sensitivity mode to reduce subjects’ motion blur as well as the MEGA O.I.S.
The 5-megapixel 3x optical zoom DMC-LS2 driven by the Venus Engine Plus takes 250 pictures with two included AA Oxyride batteries. The 110.5 × 53.5 × 30.9 mm compact camera, weighing less than 190 g with batteries, features the MEGA O.I.S. and the EX function which magnifies up to 3.8x in 3-megapixel resolution. The LS2 is equipped with a 2.0-inch LCD monitor and a 14 MB built-in memory.
All the three models use the SD Memory Card as a storage device, allowing the pictures on the Card can be shared with the family or friends on a large wide-screen TV such as a Panasonic VIERA plasma TV without image distortion. Using Panasonic’s new Home Photo Printers KX-PX10 and KX-PX1, all these pictures can be printed out quickly and vividly without connecting to a PC.
“The new LUMIX cameras are filled with our ideas for better digital photography. Panasonic will continue present our ideas for life to make our life memorable and enjoyable,” said Mr. Yoshida.
For further information about LUMIX digital still cameras, visit the LUMIX web site at http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/.
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of US$81.44 billion for the year ended March 31, 2005. The company’s shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.co.jp/global/index.html.