Panasonic will release three new digital still cameras and three new memory cards in the next couple of months.


July 21, 2005: Panasonic will release three new digital still cameras and three new memory cards in the next couple of months.
Top of the range is the Lumix DMC-FZ30, which has a 7.18 x 5.32mm 8-megapixel CCD sensor and 12x optical zoom Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens. The new model is an update to the acclaimed DMC-FZ20 and features the same MEGA O.I.S. optical image stabilisation system. A new Extra Optical Zoom function extends the zoom ratio by using the centre of the high resolution CCD to achieve 15.3x for 5-Megapixel and 19.1x for 3-Megapixel images with minimal deterioration in picture quality. A manual zoom ring has been added to the manual focus ring and dial adjustments are provided for the aperture and shutter speed controls. Both the LCD and EVF have had their resolution increased by about 180% and the LCD is “free-angle’ adjustable. The external design has also been reworked to move the doors of the battery and SD Memory Card so you can change either of them even when the camera is on a tripod. The FZ30 supports RAW, TIFF and JPEG file formats and records movie clips at VGA quality at 30 or 10 frames/second.
Panasonic’s new Lumix DMC-LX1 combines “1/6.5-inch” 16:9 aspect ratio 8.4-megapixel CCD sensor with a wide-angle Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens that covers a focal length range equivalent to 28 mm to 112 mm on a 35mm camera.


The new model is the first in a special Lumix 16:9 wide LX series of cameras that allow users to select the aspect ratio of the pictures they take, from 16:9 wide, 3:2 and conventional 4:3 using a switch located on the lens barrel. The LX1 includes manual focus and exposure controls plus joystick shortcuts to a setting menu containing frequently used settings such as white balance, ISO, image size and compression format. It also boasts five AF modes: 9-point, 3-point high speed, 1-point high speed, 1-point normal speed and spot. Venus Engine II image processing makes the camera highly responsive.
The new Lumix DMC-FX9 is a replacement for the current DMC-FX8 model and features a 6-megapixel sensor and 2.5-inch LCD (but no optical viewfinder). It comes with a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens with a focal length equivalent to 35-105mm in 35mm format and includes an Extra Optical Zoom function that extends zoom ratio up to 4.1x with 3-Megapixel recording. MEGA O.I.S. stabilisation is also provided along with the Venus Engine Plus LSI for high performance image processing in both speed and image quality.
Panasonic has also added three high capacity SD cards to its Pro High Speed, High Speed and miniSD ranges. Top of the range is the 2GB Pro High Speed SD Memory Card, which supports a data transfer rate of up to 20MB/second. In the High Speed range, Panasonic has added a 1GB SD Memory Card with up to 5MB/s data transfer rate, while the 512MB miniSD Card offers up to 2MB/s data transfer rate. The new cards are due for worldwide release in August.