February 20, 2007: Next month will see the local release of eight new Panasonic Lumix digicams with models covering the main sectors in the current market.
The DMC-FDZ8 (RRP $659), which replaces the 6-megapixel DMC-FZ7 is targeted at photo enthusiasts. It features a Leica Vario-Elmarit 12x optical zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and focal length range equivalent to 36-432mm on a 35mm film camera. It also sports a 5.76 x 4.29mm 7.2-megapixel CCD imager. As well as a Simple mode for beginners, P, A, S and M shooting modes are also provided, along with program shift and 20 scene pre-sets. A high-resolution 0.44-inch EVF is provided, along with a 2.5-inch polycrystalline TFT LCD.
Available in silver or black, the FZ8 offers manual control of focus, exposure and shutter speed, adjustable with an independent omni-directional joystick. The joystick also provides an easy shortcut to controls such as light metering, AF mode, white balance adjustment, ISO sensitivity and image size and compression. Users can select between shooting JPEG and Raw images and data is saved on SDHC or SD memory cards. The camera is supplied with SilkyPix Developer Studio 2.0SE Raw file conversion software.
The new DMC-TZ3 (RRP $769) and DMC-TZ2 (RRP 659) models are targeted at travellers and feature 7.2-megapixel and 6.0-megapixel imagers respectively. Both models feature 10x optical zoom lenses with a wide angle setting equivalent to 28mm in 35mm format. Both have stainless steel bodies, which have been designed to make them slimmer and more stylish than earlier models. The TZ3 has a 3.0-inch LCD with 230,000-pixel resolution, while the TZ2 sports a 2.5-inch LCD with 207,000-pixel resolution. Taking advantage of its big screen and high resolution, the DMC-TZ3 can display two images at the same time during playback.
Combining a 7.2-megapixel imager with a 6x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 37-222mm on a 35mm camera), the new DMC-LZ7 is priced at $439. Features include a 2.5-inch LCD with pixel-mixed readout and a High Angle shooting mode that is accessed via a dedicated button. Users can select from five AF methods: 5-point, 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed, and spot. Frequently used functions, such as white balance adjustment, ISO setting, picture size, quality (compression format) and consecutive shots, are quickly and easily handled with the Quick Setting function without having to enter the menu and set them individually.
Targeted at novice users are the 7.2-megapixel DMC-FX12 (RRP $499) and 6.0-megapixel DMC-FX10 (RRP $419) models, which feature a Leica DC lens with 3x zoom (35-105mm, on a 35mm camera) and f/2.8 brightness. Both models include the same Quick Setting function as the LZ7, along with a ‘Date Stamp’ function that shows the date and day when a photo was taken. They are supplied with 27 MB of internal memory and have a card slot for SD and SDHC cards.
At entry level is the DMC-LS70 model (RRP $309), which has a 7.2-megapixel CCD imager, a bright 2-inch LCD screen and a Lumix DC Vario 3x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 35-105mm on a 35mm film camera). Replacing the popular DMC-LS2, the LS70 has been updated with a new exterior design, menu and graphical user interface, with the colours brightened for easier viewing. The camera is also very compact and runs on AA batteries.
All the new models come with Panasonic’s new dual image stabilisation system, which combines MEGA O.I.S. and Intelligent ISO Control. They also include Panasonic’s Venus III image processor. In addition to recording standard VGA (640 x 480) motion images at 30 frames per second, all models can record wide-aspect VGA (848 x 480) motion images at 30 frames per second for display on the latest widescreen TV sets.
For more information on the above products and their availability, visit www.panasonic.com.au.