Panasonic Unveils 5 Lumix Digicams


Secaucus, N.J. -


took the wraps off of five Lumix digital cameras, including models with SLR-like burst shooting capability.

The new Lumix additions include the TS10, FX700, FZ40, FZ100 and LX5.

Panasonic said the Lumix LX5 (shipping in August at a $500 suggested retail) is targeting the "high level amateur" photographer. It offers a 3.8x F2.0 (24mm-90mm equivalent) Leica Summicron lens, and a 10-megapixel 1/1.63-inch CCD sensor.

It will record HD video in 720p AVCHD Lite format and will store high-resolution still images in RAW format.

The camera also has a 3-inch 460,000 pixel LCD monitor and will accept an optional add-on color electronic viewfinder (DMW-LVF1, $199 suggested retail) that mounts on the camera's shoe to provide live-view framing.

The camera will be available in a choice of black or pearl white.

The LX5 includes an improved image sensor with expanded dynamic range that increases sensitivity and saturation. A deepened photo diode is said to receive more light for better low-light shooting performance, which is further improved through the Venus Engine FHD processor that features enhanced noise-reduction capability for higher speed shooting performance.

The ISO speed is rated at up 3,200 at full resolution and up to 12,800 max at reduced resolution after 3,200.

Panasonic includes a Sonic Speed autofocus system with a 0.3-second auto focusing time enabling up to 3 picture per second burst-shooting speed at full resolution.

Image blurring is reduced using a Power Optical Image Stabilization system.

The FX700 (shipping in mid-August at $400) offers a 14-megapixel MOS sensor that will record stills and FullHD 1080/60i video.

The FX700 is capable of high-speed burst shooting at up to 10 fps burst shooting. The FX700 includes a redesigned Leica Summicron 5x/f2.2 optical zoom lens and a 3-inch touchpanel LCD with 230,000 dots of resolution.

It has manual exposure control, a RAW image capture option, and will ship in a choice of black or silver.

New in the Lumix FZ series is the DMC-FZ100 (shipping in mid-August at $500) and DMC-FZ40 (shipping in late August at $400); both offer a powerful 24x optical zoom and creative manual operations to present greater creative control.

The FZ40 includes a 14.1-megapixel CCD while the faster FZ100 adds a 14.1-megapixel MOS sensor. Both have 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lenses and a new image-processing system that achieves high picture quality for both still images and videos.

The FZ100 is billed as a sports camera with high-speed shooting at up to 11fps using a mechanical shutter or 60fps at reduced 2.5-megapixel resolution using an electronic shutter. It records HD video in 1080i format while the FZ40 records in up to 720p format in AVCHD Lite mode.

A separate dedicated button is added to the cameras for video shooting.

Other features include Intelligent Resolution technology, which leads to optimum signal processing, a Sonic Speed Auto Focus (AF) system and high-speed start-up.

The Lumix FZ40 has upgraded intuitive manual and creative controls including the new jog dial which helps to elevate the camera's operability. The jog dial is a focus button which allows users to change settings quickly, including shutter speed and aperture, depending on the shooting conditions. A new My Color mode that appears in Lumix G Micro System cameras is available in both still and movie modes, and gives users suite of options, including new Pin Hole, Film Grain, High Dynamic and High Dynamic B&W.

Other core features include Intelligent Auto (iA) mode and dual Power OIS, and Mega OIS systems to remove blurring from camera movement.

A 3-inch 230,000-dot intelligent LCD monitor is added. Also included is a Wind Cut function that blocks out noise from background wind when shooting video.

The TS series Lumix DMC-TS10 (shipping in mid-September at $250) is designed for rugged performance out or indoors. It features a flat, slim profile, a folded optics design, 4x optical zoom lens, and the new 14.1-megapixel sensor with a Venus Engine IV processor with advanced signal-processing technology.

The TS10 is waterproof to 10 feet, shockproof to 5 feet, dustproof and cold-proof to 14 degrees F.  It ships with a silicone jacket for further protection.

Core features include iA mode, Mega O.I.S., Intelligent ISO control, Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and six scene modes -- Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Sunset.

Also included is a Quick AF system and 720p HD movie capture in Motion JPG format.

The camera's 2.7-inch 230,000-dot intelligent LCD automatically detects light on the screen and boosts the LCD backlighting by 40 percent when shooting outdoors in bright sunshine.


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