Secaucus, N.J. -
introduced Thursday a pair of Lumix digital cameras -- the DMC-LS5 and DMC-FZ47 - the latter of which is highlighted by a 24x super-zoom lens and 1080i HD video capture.
The FZ47, which will ship in August at a $400 suggested retail, has a 24x optical zoom, starting at a 25mm ultra-wide angle, using Leica DC Vario-Elmarit optics with Nano Surface Coating technology to help minimize light reflection that causes ghosting and flare.
Video is captured in AVCHD format at up to 1080i resolution with stereo sound enhanced by Dolby Digital Stereo Creator. A Wind Cut function automatically reduces noise from background wind.
While shooting video, users can simultaneously take 3.5-megapixel still photos.
"The Lumix FZ series is an extremely popular line for Panasonic, and we expect this model to be another winner for users who not only want an impressive 24x optical zoom, but those that seek exceptional image quality, and thanks to the Leica lens and FullHD video capabilities -- the FZ47 delivers," said Darin Pepple, Panasonic imaging senior product manager. "New to the FZ series are the improved AF speeds, 3D-photo shooting and full 1080 HD video capabilities."
The Lumix FZ47 features a 12.1-megapixel high-speed CCD sensor and Venus Engine FHD image processor, which contributes to the camera's high-speed continuous shooting capability of 3.8 fps at full resolution and up to 10 fps at 3-megapixel resolution.
The Venus Engine FHD includes Intelligent Resolution technology that enables the zoom to be digitally extended 1.3 times to a 32x zoom length with high-resolution results.
A Sonic Speed Auto Focus (AF) system with auto-tracking capability offers a quick startup time, said to be 35 percent faster than Panasonic's previous FZ40.
A Creative Video mode lets users manually set the shutter speed and aperture. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to videos, which is especially suitable for shooting a fast-moving subject, or gives the ability to control the aperture when several subjects are positioned at different distances and it is desired to have each of them stand out.
The creative mode is also available for still photos.
Other creative control effects include Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole.
Users can also adjust exposure compensation in the Creative Control mode.
The new Photo Style mode allows finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction in settings, including Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery and Portrait.
For greatest simplicity, the camera includes Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) mode that automatically chooses the best setting based on the shooting environment. Features in the iA system include Power Optical Image Stabilizer, Motion Deblur, Face Recognition, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Scene Selector.
The iA function can be applied to video to automatically engage Power OIS, Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent D-Range Control.
Other features in the FZ47 include a 3D Photo Mode that takes 3D still photos for playback on MPO-compatible 3D equipment, such as a Panasonic Viera 3D HDTV; a 3-inch 460,000-dot LCD; and a social-media connection for Facebook and YouTube sharing.
Meanwhile, the DMC-LS5, which is slated to ship in November at a price to be announced later, features a high-quality 26mm wide-angle, 5x optical zoom lens with a fast F2.8 aperture, Optical Image Stabilization and up to 720p HD video capture.
The camera, which was designed around convenience to the user, takes AA batteries and includes the aforementioned iA automatic shooting system, similar to that in the FZ47.
"The Lumiz LS5 is the ideal digital camera for an entry-level user who wants an extremely easy to use digital camera that does not sacrifice image quality," said David Fisher, Panasonic imaging product manager.
Other features include Face Detection, which finds human faces on which to concentrate the appropriate focus and exposure settings; Intelligent Scene Selector, which detects the environment and sets the best shooting parameters based on Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Macro; and easy uploading to YouTube and Facebook.