February 12, 2009: Panasonic announced its Lumix camera line-up for the first half of 2009 at a regional briefing in Singapore on 9 and 10 February.
The new models were announced previously at briefings in North America and Europe but, having attended the regional briefing (courtesy of Panasonic) Photo Review is now in a position to clarify which models will be sold locally and announce their release dates and RRPs.
Leading the line is the new DMC-FT1, the first in a series of ‘rugged’ waterproof, shockproof models with folded optics and a new AVCHD Lite video format. Ideal for outdoor photographers, the 12-megapixel FT1 features a 28mm Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens with 4.6x optical zoom and a 12.1-megapixel CCD sensor. Panasonic’s iA (Intelligent Auto) exposure mode makes it easy to take correctly exposed still shots. This model also introduces a new AVCHD Lite video format that supports high definition movie capture in a compressed format that maintains high image quality while almost doubling the recording time (compared with conventional Motion JPEG capture).
Manufactured to the same standards as Panasonic’s Toughbook notebook computers, the FT1 is waterproof to three metres and can withstand drops of 1.5 metres. It also meets the IP58 dustproof standard. Rubber packing, reinforced glass and carbon resins inside the camera body and a thickened LCD panel provide protection against pressure while enabling the camera to be used for normal snapshooting. The Lumix DMC-FT1 will be offered in April in Blue, Green, Orange and silver for an RRP of $699.
Two models will be added to the popular Travel Zoom series in April: the Lumix DMC-TZ7 (RRP $769) and DMC-TZ6 (RRP $659). Both are slimmer than their predecessors and provide 10.1-megapixel resolution coupled with 12x optical zoom lenses (25-300mm equivalent in 35mm format). The TZ7 is a true hybrid camera that supports both still capture and AVCHD Lite high-definition video recording, a new feature for TZ series cameras.
The new Lumix DMC-TZ7 model.
The TZ7 has a 12-megapixel CCD which supports full 10.1 megapixel resolution in all aspect ratios – including 16:9. It is equipped with an HDMI port that allows the camera to be connected to a VIERA Link-equipped Panasonic TV set for direct playback of still and video images (an optional cable is required). The TZ7 is equipped with Panasonic’s Venus HD image processor, while the TZ6 has the Venus Engine IV.
The lUmix DMC-TZ6.
New additions to the FS point-and-shoot series include the 12-megapixel DMC-FS15 (RRP $439), the 10-megapixel DMC-FS7 (RRP $389) and the 8-megapixel DMC-FS4 (RRP $249). The FS15 will be offered only in black and features a 5x optical zoom lens (29-145mm in 35mm format) plus 5 fps continuous shooting in High-Speed Burst mode. The FS7 comes in silver, black and pink and features a 4x optical zoom lens (33-132mm in 35mm format) and 2.3 fps burst capture. Both models come with Leica-branded lenses and are due for release in March.
The 12-megapixel Lumix DMC-FS15.
The 10-megapixel Lumix DMC-FS7.
The 8-megapixel Lumix DMC-FS4.
The DMC-FS4, which comes in silver and black, goes on sale in April and features a 33mm Lumix DC Vario 4x optical zoom lens, Intelligent Mode with Intelligent ISO, Face Detection and Intelligent Scene Selector.
Full product details can be found at www.panasonic.com.au.