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Panasonic Adds Wide Angle, HD Video to Digicam Line

Secaucus, N.J. — Panasonic will ship four new Lumix digital cameras to dealers in August, including its first 14-megapixel camera and a new ultra-zoom model.

Panasonic incorporated wide-angle lenses, from 24mm to 28mm, on all its new models alongside 720p video recording and 50MB of internal memory.

The fourth iteration of the company’s Venus Engine processor is also featured on the new cameras, as are several new features, including image leveling — which will straighten and crop lopsided images in-camera.

All of the new Lumix units will incorporate Panasonic’s intelligent auto mode, which automatically activates intelligent exposure to adjust brightness, digital red-eye correction, image stabilization, intelligent ISO, intelligent scene selector, face detection and quick AF. New for the intelligent auto mode is a tracking AF, which allows the camera to maintain a locked focus on a moving subject and also improves the accuracy of the camera’s face-detection mode, Panasonic said.

The company will update last year’s LX2 with the new 10-megapixel LX3. The camera features a newly created image sensor with larger pixels and redesigned circuitry to reduce image noise and improve low-light performance, the company said. The camera can capture full-resolution images at ISO 3200. The new sensor can also capture images in three aspect ratios (4:3, 3:2 or 16:9) simultaneously.

Additional features include a 24mm, 2.5x optical zoom lens with manual focus, a 2.5fps burst mode at full resolution, 3-inch LCD, joystick operation and manual controls. The LX3 incorporates a new film mode that reproduces the look of six different color and three monochrome films. A multi-film mode will capture three RAW image files with different textures to compare effects.

The LX3 can record video at 1280 by 720p at 24 fps with an HD component output (cable optional), and offers a hot shoe for adding accessory flashes. It will be available in silver and black for $499.

The 14.7-megapixel DMC-FX150 features a 28mm 3.6x optical zoom lens, 2.7-inch LCD, 24 scene modes, RAW image capture, manual controls and a multi-exposure function that superimposes up to three consecutively shot images together. The camera also features a new color bracketing mode that captures a color, monochromatic and sepia image simultaneously.

The FX150 has a burst mode of 2 fps to eight full resolution images or 7 fps for an unlimited number of 3-megapixel stills. It can record 1,280 by 720p video at 24 fps and will be sold in silver and black for $399.

The FZ28, for $399, is an ultra-zoom model with a 27mm, 18x optical zoom lens. The 10-megapixel FZ28 features a 2.7-inch LCD, an electronic viewfinder and 37 scene modes including new pin hole and film grain modes, and will preview the effect of a given mode on the LCD screen before the image is captured.

It can burst to total of five full resolution images at 2.5 fps or can snap 2-megapixel stills at 13 fps.

The camera can also record HD video at 1,280 by 720p/30 fps, and will come in silver and black.

Finally, the 10-megapixel FX37 sports a 25mm, 5x optical zoom lens, 720p/30 fps video capture, HD component out and 25 scene modes. It will be sold in silver, black, blue, pink, white and brown in September for $349.