Secaucus, N.J. - Panasonic unveiled Monday three 12.1-megapixel digital cameras that will be added to the company's Lumix line.
The new models include the pocket-sized Lumix DMC-ZR1 with a Leica 0.3mm thin aspherical lens with 8x zoom range; the Lumix DMC-FP8, which is part of the FP series offering a wide-angle 28mm lens with 4.6x Leica DC "folding optics" technology; and the lightweight DMC-FZ35 with AVCHD high-def video recording capability and a Leica 27mm, 18x optical zoom lens.
The DMC-ZR1, which ships in September at a $280 suggested retail, features 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 ZR1 answers the call of consumers looking for a truly pocketable 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.
All three cameras feature PhotoFunStudio 4.0 software that allows viewing, editing and archiving captured photos and videos.
The camera will be offered in a choice of colors including black, red, blue and silver.
The Lumix DMC-FP8, which ships in September at a $300 suggested retail, 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-second startup 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 centered 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).
The camera will connect to HDTVs via an optional HD component output.
The FP8 features 20 scene modes including a High Dynamic mode.
The Lumix DMC-FP8 will be available in a choice of colors including, black, red and silver.
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FZ35, which will ship in September at a $400 suggested retail, 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."
To assist with creative still photo and video capture, the camera's automatic modes include:
Â· Creative Movie Mode, which sets the shutter speed and aperture manually to deliver special effects to movies;
Â· My Color Mode, which also free adjustment of color, brightness and saturation parameters and the ability to preview the effect in the camera's monitor; and
Â· High Dynamic Mode, which enables capturing a scene with moderate exposure even though the scene may contain both bright and dark areas.
The camera includes the upgraded Power OIS system and Venus Engine HD enhanced energy-efficient image processing LSI that extends battery life to approximately 470 pictures.
Also included is iA mode with face recognition for up to three faces and ability to specify the age of the registered sub