Panasonic Unveils 3D P&S, GX1 Cameras - Twice

Panasonic Unveils 3D P&S, GX1 Cameras

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Secaucus, N.J. - Panasonic has unveiled its first all-in-one 3D-capable point-and-shoot camera and an upgrade for the popular G series compact system camera (mirrorless interchangeable lens) segment.

The Lumix DMC-GX1 is Panasonic's latest Micro-Four-Thirds images sensor based compact system camera, featuring a 16.01-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine, designed to deliver high-resolution stills and video with image rendering and high quality color reproduction.

It will record strong images in low-light settings, using the camera's maximum 12,800 high ISO sensitivity.   

The GX1 is positioned as an upgrade to the Lumix DMC-GF. In includes an new ultra-fast auto focusing system and includes a built-in flash and a hot shoe allowing for such accessories as external electronics viewfinder.

The GX1 uses a contrast AF system controlled by the image sensor.

This is said to be a more accurate system than Phase Dect approaches, even when using lenses of smaller F value.

The camera also uses full-area focusing to set focus on any point in the field of view.

The ultra high-speed Light Speed AF system, can achieves focus in approximately 0.09 seconds by reducing the detection time for focusing by synchronizing the lens and sensor at 120 fps. 

A new focus mode, AFF (AF Flexible), locks on the focus when the shutter button is half pressed and follows the subject as it moves. It can also be combined with the camera's Touch AF control. 

The GX1 includes a 3-inch touchscreen LCD.

For video, the LUMIX GX1 records in 1,920 by 1,080/60i resolution, with 30p sensor output in the AVCHD format. The full-time AF and Touch AF systems work in both still and video modes.

Sound is recorded with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator and videos can also be recorded in MP4 format for playback on a PC or other portable electronic devices without the need for further conversion.

Other features include a new level gauge to keep images square in frame; one push auto exposure (AE), a dust reduction system that uses a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor to repel dust and other particles, touch-control zoom operation when either of Panasonic's new X power zoom lenses are attached.

Zoom speed can be adjusted in two steps. Also included is Panasonic's iA and iA Plus automatic camera setting systems and increased energy consumption for an 11 percent longer battery life.

 The Lumix DMC-GX1 will be available in black and silver bodies starting in mid-December in three kit options: the DMC-GX1-X ($950 suggested retail) with a G X Vario PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./Power OIS lens; the DMC-GX1-K ($800) with a 14-42mm standard zoom lens and the DMC-GX1 ($700) body only.

Meanwhile, the Lumix DMC-3D1 (shipping in December at a $500 suggested retail price) is a new all-in-one point-and-shoot 3D-capable camera, adding another dimension to the 3D attachment lens Panasonic has marketed in the past.

The camera uses two newly-developed twin lens units using folded optics for a compact body design.

In addition to shooting 3D stills and videos, it will also capture 2D photos and videos. It employs two 25mm ultra-wide angle lenses with 4x optical zoom extensions.

The 3D1 is equipped with a 12-megapixel MOS sensor and newly updated Venus Engine image processing system.

For 3D, the camera records 8-megapixel stills and 1920-by-1080/60i videos using the side-by-side method. 

A dedicated switch enables shifting from 2D to 3D recording.

The Lumix 3D1's optics offer an approximately 169 percent larger viewing space compared to 35mm cameras. 

A new feature in the camera takes advantage of the camera's two separate lenses to simultaneously record both stills and videos in 2D. The 2D stills can be captured in up to 12-megapixel resolution while 2D videos are recorded tin 1920-by-1080i.

The two-lens design also allows users to record photo or video in different angles of view.  For example, users can record an entire party scene with one lens while zooming in on and capturing the photo of a specific person with another lens.

A multi-process noise reduction system reduces image noise according to the brightness of different areas of an image, improving sharper stills and videos.

Both high frequency noise that occurs in dark areas, and low frequency noise found in the light area of an image are suppressed simultaneously in a photo, making for dramatically better low-light shots, even when recorded at a high ISO settings.

The 3D1 also allows fast burst shooting of up to 8 fps (without auto focusing) and 4 fps (with auto focusing) in full resolution. 

Images are processed at high speed using quad-CPUs in a new Venus Engine image processing system capable of handling large amounts of 1920-by-1080i Full-HD data in either AVCHD or MP4 formats.

Using two sets of lens units and sensors, the energy consumption of the Venus Engine stays minimized to maintain battery life.

"Panasonic continues to lead the industry in 3D entertainment, giving consumers the opportunity to create their own content and then view it within their homes, and the new Lumix 3D1 is an innovative digital camera that excels with its 3D imaging technologies, but also offers outstanding 2D photo capture options," said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "With its twin-lens design, the Lumix 3D can even shoot HD video through one lens and 2D photos from the other - thus getting still and moving content simultaneously, a unique shooting feature which Panasonic provides so users can stretch their creativity."

Other features include an iA (Intelligent Auto) mode that combines a suite of functions to simplify image shooting, a Mega optical image stabilization system, AF tracking, intelligent scene selector, face recognition and intelligent ISO control.

An Intelligent exposure and intelligent handheld nightshot mode generates high quality night images without a tripod by layering multiple images shot consecutively.

The camera includes a 3.5-inch 2D Smart Touch screen display.   

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