Panasonic is going at it from all angles today, with three new 12.1 megapixel LUMIX cameras with surprisingly distinct aims:
  • LUMIX FZ35 (pictured) - The requisite "superzoom" of every lineup, the FZ35 doesn't disappoint on features, but the $400 pricepoint certainly pushes the limits of "consumer" camera. Features include 18x zoom and HD video recording, including a Creative Movie Mode with shutter speed and aperture settings for video. It also expands on typical facial recognition functionality with a "Baby mode" for... finding babies.
  • LUMIX FP8 - While it can handle HD video, the FP8 is more about looks. Still, the 12.1 megapixel sensor and 4.6x zoom aren't bad for the form factor -- though the $300 pricetag isn't nothing.
  • LUMIX ZR1 - Featuring the "world's first 0.3mm thin aspherical lens," the ZR1 manages a full 8x optical zoom while keeping its girlish figure when extended. There's also room for a 12.1 megapixel sensor. The cam goes for $280.
All the cameras pack optical image stabilization and facial recognition, and the ZR1 and FZ35 have a "High Dynamic Mode" which presumably emulates HDR photography to some extent. All three will be out in September. Full PR is after the break.
Gallery | 50 Photos

Panasonic's new LUMIX consumer lineup: the high-powered FZ35, fashionable FP8 and thin-lensed ZR1



NEW PANASONIC LUMIX, 18X OPTICAL SUPERZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA FEATURES HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO RECORDING

LUMIX DMC-FZ35 Features New POWER O.I.S. and HD Motion Zoom Video Capture

Secaucus, NJ (July 27, 2009) – Today, Panasonic announced the new LUMIX DMC-FZ35, a digital camera featuring AVCHD Lite, High Definition (HD) video recording capability, combined with a powerful 27mm wide-angle, 18x optical zoom LEICA DC lens. A successor to the popular FZ28, the FZ35 packs enhanced creative features combined with the power to shoot HD videos, including motion zoom capabilities to take full advantage of the 18x zoom. The operational layout of the FZ35 includes a dedicated video record button, making it a true hybrid – a single model that performs seamlessly at capturing both still and motion images – while still providing smooth and easy operation in either mode.

"The LUMIX FZ35 is truly unique as it includes advanced features like HD video recording, but still resembles and functions like an intuitive point-and-shoot with the ability to capture beautiful photos and video," said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "This model's versatility makes it a great choice for a new or advanced user who wants a hybrid device that shoots high-quality still and motion images."

For users looking for increased creativity while shooting both video and still images, the LUMIX FZ35 delivers. New manual controls and creative options, include:

Creative Movie Mode – Allows the user to set the shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive movies. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to movies, which is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances.
My Color Mode – This special option gives free reign to the user's creativity. The color, brightness and saturation parameters can be freely adjusted while seeing how the adjustments affect the picture, live on the monitor.
High Dynamic Mode – Helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure even though the scene may contain both bright and dark areas.

The 12.1 mega pixel-FZ35 features the upgraded POWER Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.), which allows for double the repression power compared to the conventional image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S., and ultra high-speed Auto Focus (AF) for capturing action scenes as they happen. Additionally, with the super-powerful 18x optical zoom lens, it is easy to capture subjects that are far away or take dramatic close-ups.

With the enhanced energy-efficient image processing LSI – the Venus Engine HD* – the FZ35 has an extended battery life of approximately 470 pictures, making it the ideal choice for active photo enthusiasts. As with all Panasonic LUMIX cameras, the FZ35 features Intelligent Auto (iA) Mode, a suite of intuitive technologies including Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Exposure and Face Recognition. With the improved Face Recognition, the FZ35 recognizes up to three faces simultaneously while taking photos** and allows users to specify the age of the registered subject. When babies under 3 years-old are registered, the camera will automatically switch to Baby mode if the baby appears to be in the frame.

The LUMIX DMC-FZ35 will have a suggested retail price of $399.99 and will be available in September 2009 in black.

*Based on a CIPA standard.
**Turn Face Recognition item ON and register the person with full-face portrait on the shooting menu in advance.


PANASONIC INTRODUCES NEW LUMIX DIGITAL CAMERA SERIES WITH AN EYE ON STYLISH DESIGN AND FUNCTIONALITY

New LUMIX FP8 has a 28mm wide-angle lens, 4.6x optical zoom, and records High Definition video

Secaucus, NJ (July 27, 2009) – Today, Panasonic announced the new LUMIX DMC-FP8 digital camera as part of its new FP-Series, which pursues excellence in both design and function. The LUMIX FP8, with 12.1 megapixels, features a high-quality 28mm wide-angle, 4.6x Leica DC lens with folding optics* - encased in a futuristic-looking stylish body.

In addition to its unique design, the FP8 also features advanced functions including high-speed Auto Focus (AF) and Panasonic's Intelligent Auto (iA) suite of technologies. With a fast AF, combined with a high-speed start-up of only 0.95 seconds, the FP8's fast response catches even the most fleeting shots. Panasonic's iA, a popular feature on LUMIX cameras, now includes POWER Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) which features double the repression power compared to the previous image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S. The hand-shake generated when pressing the shutter button, or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed, is significantly minimized by the improved POWER O.I.S. to help reduce blurry photos.

"We realize that consumers are looking for fashionable and slim digital cameras that still take high-quality photos and feature advanced photo settings," said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "With the LUMIX DMC-FP8, we are giving users that sleek and compact design, while not compromising the advanced, yet easy-to-use features and technology for which the Panasonic LUMIX line of cameras is known."

The FP8's design has intricate detailing which features blue LED cursor buttons that glow when pressed, and its centered back panel gives it an overall ultra-modern and unique look. Additionally, the 2.7-inch large Intelligent LCD offers a dynamic and clear view of the scenes and subjects being photographed. In the Face Recognition** mode, up to three people can be simultaneously recognized to show their names on the monitor once registered. Additionally, the powerful battery life of the highly energy-efficient image processing LSI, Venus Engine V***, allows users to take approximately 380 pictures.

Other features of the DMC-FP8 include:
HD Movies with VIERA Link Networking – Records dynamic HD motion pictures in 1280 x 720p at a smooth 30 fps, in addition to WVGA (848 x 480) and normal VGA (640 x 480)****. With HD component output capability, the user can enjoy watching photos and video in stunning HD quality by simply connecting the camera to a television via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2).
Scene Modes – Twenty-seven scene modes are available with the FP8, including the High Dynamic mode which helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure, even though the scene may contain both bright and dark areas together.
PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 – Included with the FP8, this software allows users to view, edit and archive captured photos and videos with greater ease. The new PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 features dramatic speed-up of operation and also allows users to store and sort for photos by a specific, recognized face in the image.

The LUMIX DMC-FP8 will have a suggested retail price of $299.95 and will be available in September 2009 in black, red and silver.

* 35mm film camera equivalent: 28-128mm
**Turn Face Recognition item ON and register the person with full-face portrait on the shooting menu in advance
***Based on a CIPA standard
****In Motion Picture mode, the length of recording time depends on the capacity of the SDHC/SD Memory Card. (Up to the equivalent of 2 GB per motion-image recording.) When you set the motion picture quality to VGA 30fps, WVGA 30fps and HD (1280x720) 30/15fps, we recommend using a high-speed memory card with "10MB/s" or greater specified on the package. Some lends movement sounds may be recorded. For Europe, motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes.


PANASONIC LUMIX FEATURES WORLD'S FIRST 0.3MM THIN ASPHERICAL LENS*, MAKING SUPER-SLIM DIGITAL CAMERA

New Compact LUMIX DMC-ZR1 Digital Camera Packs 25mm Ultra-Wide-Angle,
8x Optical Zoom Lens** Into Ultra-Slim Design

Secaucus, NJ (July 27, 2009) – Today, Panasonic introduced the new LUMIX DMC-ZR1 digital camera, featuring the world's first 0.3mm thin aspherical lens*, allowing for a compact body that still features a powerful, 25mm-ultra-wide-angle, 8x optical zoom** LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens. Known for its long-zoom, yet compact digital cameras, Panasonic's newest ZR1 compact digital camera gives consumers increased flexibility.

"The ZR1 answers the call of consumers looking for a truly pocketable digital camera, while still featuring a zoom more powerful than typical compact cameras," said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "We know consumers want to catch every shooting opportunity, and with the ZR1, this is possible through unique features such as the ultra-wide-angle lens and Panasonic's popular iA Mode."

With a zoom range of 25-200mm, the ZR1 allows for both expansive scenery photos as well as close-ups. This powerful zoom also works during video recording. The 12.1-megapixel resolution allows photos to be greatly enlarged while still retaining outstanding detail.

Another key feature of the ZR1 is its fast, high-speed Auto Focus (AF). This, combined with a high-speed start-up of only 1.1 second, helps the ZR1 to catch even the quick action shots. Making this camera even more versatile and easy-to-use, the ZR1 has a 2.7-inch Intelligent LCD, and a powerful battery life with the highly energy-efficient image processing LSI – Venus Engine V*** – which takes approximately 330 pictures during a single charge. As found in all Panasonic LUMIX cameras, the ZR1 features Intelligent Auto (iA) Mode, now with POWER Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.), which features double the repression power, compared to MEGA O.I.S., the previous image stabilization system, to help capture blur-free images.

Other features of the DMC-ZR1 include:
Additional Intelligent Auto (iA) Mode Features
Hand-Shake Component – Answers the problem of natural hand-shaking that goes along with pressing the shutter button.
Face Recognition – Up to six faces can be registered, and up to three can be simultaneously recognized to show their names once registered.
Travel Mode – Users can quickly organize information related to travel, including destination, date and time. Playback of these photos is just as easy, by designating the date or period of travel on the calendar menu interface.
High Dynamic Mode – Helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure even when the scene may contain both bright and dark areas.
PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 – Included software allows the user to view, edit and archive captured photos and videos. It features dramatic speed-up of operation and also allows users to store and sort photos by a specific, recognized face in the image.

The LUMIX DMC-ZR1 will have a suggested retail price of $279.95 and will be available in September 2009 in black, red, blue, and silver.

* For digital still cameras
**35mm film camera equivalent: 25-200mm
***Based on a CIPA standard

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