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Panasonic Unveils Super Zoom Camera

Secaucus, N.J. – Panasonic introduced Thursday the Lumix DSC-FZ70 super telephoto bridge camera with a built-in 60x (20mm-1,200mm) F2.8-5.9 wide angle, super zoom lens.

To keep images steady, the camera includes Power Optical Image Stabilization.

The camera, which will ship at the beginning of September at a $399.99 suggested retail price, also incorporates Intelligent Resolution technology that can digitally boost the zoom ratio up to a 120x equivalent while maintaining the high picture quality, Panasonic said. An optional optical lens adapter can further extend the FZ70’s range.

Panasonic was able to achieve the high optical magnification using a new extra-low-dispersion, high-transparent lens technology. Panasonic is making the lens at its factory in Yamagata, Japan, which is noted for its expertise in manufacturing aspherical optics.

At 20mm the lens captures a nearly 140 percent wider angle of view compared with a 24mm lens, the company said.  The lens is comprised of 14 elements in 12 groups, including six aspherical lenses with nine aspherical surfaces and three ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses. The technology is said to suppress distortion at the wide end and color bleeding at the tele end.

Also included is a built-in, top mounted stereo mic with integrated Wind Shield Zoom technology that minimizes wind noise by approximately 70 percent compared with earlier models. Sound is further enhanced using Dolby Digital Stereo Creator technology.

Video is captured in up to FullHD 1080p in both AVCHD and MP4 compression formats, and the full magnification of the lens will work in both still and video modes.

The camera’s new 16.1-megapixel high sensitivity 1/2.3-inch MOS sensor cuts low-light noise by 10-15 percent, enabling high-sensitivity shooting. The Venus Engine video processor is said to further elevate the response, sensitivity and image quality.

Other features include a comfortable grip, a 3-inch 460,000-dot LCD viewfinder, and a mode dial with manual and automatic exposure settings. The camera weighs 1.5 pounds.