It's been nearly half a year since Panasonic's Lumix series of cameras got any new members, but today the company is introducing three more shooters to the family. First up is the DMC-G5, the latest addition to the company's Micro Four Thirds lineup. It's the successor to the G3 and packs a 16-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 1080p videos at 60fps and stills in up to 6fps bursts at a max 12,800 ISO at full resolution. The G5's LVF has a proximity sensor to automatically switch between it and the camera's 920,000-dot capacitive screen depending on which one you're using to frame your shots. When the G5 goes on sale next month, you'll have your choice of black, silver and white models.
In addition to the G5, Panasonic's also introducing a new superzoom camera, the DMC-FZ200 and a high-end DMC-LX7 point-and-shoot. The FZ200 replaces the FZ150 and pairs a 12-megapixel sensor with a 25-600mm constant f/2.8 aperture Leica Elmarit lens with nano surface coating to reduce flare and ghosting. It has a 24x optical zoom and shoots 1080p video at up to 60fps along with stills in up to 12fps bursts, though its max ISO is only 6,400. Meanwhile, the LX7 has arrived sporting a 10-megapixel sensor and a 24-90mm, f/1.4-2.3 Leica Summilux lens with the same nano surface coating as the FZ200. Like its Lumix brethren, it shoots 1080p video at 60fps, and shares the same maximum 12,800 ISO as the G5. It'll be available in black and pearl white when it ships in August. We got to spend some time with all three, so join us after the break to learn a bit about what its like snapping pics with this trio of Panasonics.
We're big fans of mirrorless cameras (this editor carries around an NEX-C3) and the new G5 looks to be another quality entrant into the market. It's a lightweight camera, but its body is quite a bit bigger than its main competition from Sony, the NEX-5N. Like the Sony, the G5 has a touchscreen round the back, and it is an absolute pleasure to use. It might just be the finest LCD we've seen on any mirrorless camera, with stellar viewing angles and crisp, color-correct reproductions of whatever you're shooting. Sure, it still suffers in direct sunlight, but it's got a handy feature that allows you to touch-to-focus while you're using the LVF, giving you the best of both worlds. Its spun-metal shutter button is handsome, but we would have liked a bit more definition between its two stages, as a few times the camera took pictures when we were only trying to focus our shots.
The build quality is quite good, and lends the G5 a solid feel, but it is a bit bulky -- even with Panasonic's svelte 14-42mm X-series zoom lens mounted on the front. Such an impression may largely be due to the fact that we carry around a comparatively thin NEX-C3, but the G5 doesn't feel that much smaller than entry-level DSLRs like Sony's A37. Regardless, we found shooting with the G5 to be quite easy, as it's got programmable buttons and a lever right behind the shutter button, plus a thumb dial to provide easy access to controls and settings. Those hardware controls were much appreciated coming from someone who regularly suffers Sony's arduous wheel-based UX.
As for the results after a day of shooting? Our pictures turned out pretty darn well, if we do say so ourselves. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get a sample video during our time with the G5, as the camera couldn't hold focus -- Panasonic's rep confirmed that the camera hadn't gotten the firmware update needed to correct the problem. Regardless, you don't have to take our word for it, just take a look at our gallery of sample shots.
While the G5 was the main attraction, we also got to squeeze off a few snaps with the FZ200 as well. It's about the same size as the G5, with slightly different button placements, and shares its Lumix sibling's build quality. Naturally, the Micro Four Thirds camera also has a bigger sensor with a higher ISO than the FZ200, but it makes up for such lesser specs with its built-in 25-600mm fixed f/2.8 aperture lens. Because of that glass, Panasonic touts the camera as a good back-up for pro photographers, but given that this humble editor is far from a professional, we can't confirm whether such folks will want to carry one around with their D800 or new 1D-X. What we can do is vouch that its lens really is quite capable -- few photo subjects in view were out of range of its considerable optical reach. The unit we used was a pre-production model, but we had little trouble getting quality photos with the thing, and shooting video was also easy peasy.
Panasonic let us snap a few pictures with Panasonic's DMC-LX7 point-and-shoot as well. It's a handsome little camera, well-built, and it actually feels more solid than both the G5 and FZ200. While it has a smaller sensor than either of the larger Lumixes, it still produced quality results, and we can certainly see its appeal for folks looking for a capable, pocketable camera. Don't believe us? Take a peek at the gallery below.
The Panasonic LUMIX G5: Setting a new standard in Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Cameras
New 16M digital Live MOS sensor & Venus Engine 7 FHD provide superb pictures quality for photo and video taking especially in low light situations
18th July, 2012– Panasonic has today launched the LUMIX G5, a truly revolutionary digital single lens mirrorless camera. Offering outstanding image quality delivered by state-of-the-art technology, full creative control, and a wide range of shooting options provided by the LUMIX G system, the LUMIX G5 will help you take your photography to the next level.
Setting a new standard in system camera image quality
The LUMIX G5 demonstrates the true potential of Mirrorless System Camera image quality. The newly designed 16.05-megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Sensor means images will be cleaner than ever, while the incredible processing power of Venus Engine VII FHD maximises the potential of your images and videos. With the perfect balance between the sensor and image processor, the LUMIX G5 provides an ISO range of 160 – 12,800, allowing stunning image quality even in low-light situations.
Boasting a high speed AF system "Light Speed AF", you'll never miss the perfect moment with the LUMIX G5. A wide range of AF modes are available, including multiple-area AF, Face Detection, and AF Tracking meaning the LUMIX G5 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves. Additionally, the LUMIX G5's rapid burst shooting capability - at six Frames per Second (FPS) at full resolution or up to 20 FPS in reduced resolution - can capture multiple shots of fast-moving subjects with stunning clarity.
The quality advances of the LUMIX G5 are not restricted to still photos. The sensor and Venus Engine enhancements mean that the camera can record in Full HD 1080/50p, with stereo sound, producing professional movie quality with minimal noise. With outputs in both AVCHD progressive and MP4, the LUMIX G5 provides wide compression and compatibility options. The long recording times, instant access controls, advanced AF system and LUMIX G lenses specifically designed for movie shooting, means the LUMIX G5 is the perfect option for capturing beautiful movies with ease.
Putting you in control of your creative photography
The LUMIX G5 provides high precision digital processing functions in a compact, classically designed and easy-to-grip chassis. Its intuitive automatic shooting modes, full range of advanced features, and innovative user interface give you the power to maximise your creativity.
With a choice of using either the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) with eye sensor, or the high resolution, 3.0-inch free-angle LCD to compose your shots and movies, you can capture the moment as the situation demands. Meanwhile, the revolutionary touch control shooting - including full-area touch focusing where the focus can be set immediately to the subject, or to the background, by just one touch of the large LCD screen even when using the EVF – gives you the control to compose and create stunning images.
Be part of the LUMIX G Microsystem
As part of the LUMIX G system, the LUMIX G5 will provide you with access to the world's largest range of Micro Four Thirds lenses and accessories, making sure you have the right set-up to capture every moment. These include Panasonic's new LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm lens, offering F2.8 brightness throughout its entire zoom range.
· A new standard in digital single lens mirrorless camera image quality: With a new 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor; the Venus Engine VII FHD image processor; and an ISO range of up to 12,800, the LUMIX G5 provides stunning image quality, even in low-light situations.
· Never miss the perfect moment: With highly precise, light speed Auto Focus and six FPS burst shooting at full resolution, you'll never miss the perfect shot
· Capture your memories with Full HD Movie capability: The LUMIX G5 offers Full HD recording in full stereo in both AVCHD (1080p at 50 FPS) and MP4 (1080p at 25 FPS) formats - widening your editing and storage management options
· Creative control: The LUMIX G5 lets you capture great photos from the very first shot with iA+ (Intelligent Auto Plus) mode. Auto Focus can be set with one touch, Face Recognition will remember the settings for your friends and Intelligent Scene Selector will automatically switch to the appropriate mode according to the subject touched. New features on the camera, such as the Function Lever allow you to intuitively control power zoom lenses; zoom into an image when in playback mode; and navigate the user interface
· You choose how to shoot: With the in-built Electronic Viewfinder you can frame the perfect portrait with your eye close to the camera, while the 3.0-inch free-angle touch LCD screen means you can take shots from above your head and below your feet with perfect clarity
· Classic design: Compact, easy-to-grip and with a classic design, the LUMIX G5 is designed to be your companion on all of your photographic adventures
Panasonic LUMIX FZ200 – pushing the boundaries of high-speed super-zoom photography
18th July, 2012– Panasonic's LUMIX FZ200, the latest addition to its super-zoom compact digital camera range, is designed to be the ultimate high-speed option to capture spur of the moment events in stunning image quality. With 12 megapixels, outstanding low light performance, a 24x optical zoom LEICA DC lens, and Full HD video recording, magical moments and dramatic scenery can be captured with ease and precision.
Go further with the advanced LEICA DC lens
The LUMIX FZ200's exceptional 24x zoom LEICA DC lens lets you go further, with a F2.8 aperture available throughout the entire zoom range. With this wide zoom ratio, alongside Panasonic's optical image stabilisation technology POWER O.I.S., the FZ200 will give you clear, crisp, blur-free zoom shots whether you're bird-watching or capturing live sport. Additionally, the 25mm ultra wide-angle lens has around twice the shooting area as a standard 35mm lens, providing enhanced shots of sweeping landscapes and city vistas.
Pushing the boundaries of low light capture, the LUMIX FZ200's improved 12-megapixel high-sensitivity MOS sensor and Venus Engine, maximise both the sensitivity and speed of image processing. With image capture available at up to ISO6400, the FZ200 puts beautiful nighttime photography in the palm of your hand.
High-speed photography, wherever you are
In addition to the wide zoom range and image quality advances, the high-speed functionality of the LUMIX FZ200 means you'll never miss the perfect moment. With light-speed Auto Focus you can capture dynamic moments with precision, while Burst Shooting at 12 FPS in full resolution means subjects such as fast-moving sports stars or wildlife, can be captured with ease.
Creative control in your hands
The LUMIX FZ200 has a wide range of options that can maximise the level of creativity and control possible in a fixed lens camera. These include an enhanced Panorama Shot feature, perfect for capturing landscapes and vast architectural details. In addition, the camera offers 3D photography and advanced editing options through Panasonic's Creative Control Mode during recording and Creative Re-touch Mode in playback.
Taking fixed-lens photography to the next level
With such a large zoom ratio including an F2.8 aperture throughout the whole zoom range, superb low-light performance and high-speed functionality, the FZ200 is the perfect option to take photography to the next level in a fixed lens camera. From football games at night to wildlife far in the distance, the FZ200 will help you capture dynamic, beautiful scenes with the utmost clarity.
· Advanced LEICA DC lens: The full range F2.8 24x optical zoom LEICA lens pushes the boundaries of fixed lens photography. With an intelligent zoom of 48x and nano-surface coating, to reduce flare and ghosts, the FZ200 is perfect for crisp, dynamic photography
· Superb low light performance:The improved 12-megapixel high-sensitivity MOS sensor, Venus Engine and ISO sensitivity of up to ISO6400 mimimises noise in low-light situations
· Advanced image stabilisation: Power O.I.S, available throughout all capture options including zoom and video, maximises the hand-shake correction power of the camera
· Rapid capture: Fast moving subjects and objects are now easily captured thanks to industry-leading technology incorporating 12 FPS burst shooting
· Full HD movie recording: The LUMIX FZ200 provides stunning 1920x1080 50p Full HD video recording with Dolby Digital audio. With recording options available in AVCHD Progressive and MP4, you get the widest compression and compatibility options
· Full creative control: A wide range of manual and creative modes put the photographic control in your hands – including Creative Control features and 3D photography
· Quality build and long stamina: The LUMIX FZ200 has a strong chassis and a bright, free angle 3-inch LCD. The camera also provides an operational standby for the capture of over 500 images with its 1,200 mAh stamina battery
Panasonic's LUMIX LX7 – Expanding your power of expression
18th July, 2012 – Panasonic's LUMIX LX7, its newest and most advanced premium compact digital camera to date, puts creative expression in your hands with state-of-the-art imaging technology and advanced manual controls. With an outstanding LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX lens offering an F1.4 maximum aperture, high sensitivity for superb low-light photography and versatile shooting functions to boost your creativity, the LUMIX LX7 is built to the highest specifications.
Raising the bar of image quality
The LUMIX LX7's newly designed LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX F1.4-2.3 lens - in combination with the 10.1-megapixel high-sensitivity MOS Senor and Venus Engine VII FHD - provides stunning image quality even in low-light situations. With an aperture of up to F1.4 you can achieve beautiful shallow depth of field shots, extending the creative expression of your photography. The bright, high quality lens is also perfect for macro shots of intricate objects such as flowers and insects, as well as for dimly-lit scenes that require greater exposure such as inside dark woodlands and historic buildings.
Meanwhile the 24mm ultra wide-angle lens with Nano Surface Coating gives you a wider range of composition options, with minimised distortion at edges of wide landscape shots, so you can get stunning, true-to-life images with outstanding crispness and clarity.
High sensitivity, high quality
Featuring a 10.1-megapixel high-sensitivity MOS Senor and an ISO range of between 80 - 12,800, the LUMIX LX7 provides further advances in premium compact camera image quality, enabling high resolution and minimising noise even in low-light situations. These advances also provide vastly improved video recording performance, with 1920x1080 50p Full HD Video Recording in both AVCHD Progressive and MP4 outputs.
Full creative control
The LUMIX LX7 has been designed to provide you with the highest levels of control over defocus, brightness and colour to maximise the potential of your creative photography. With the Aperture Ring and Rear Dial, you can enjoy full control over the camera's aperture range by managing the levels of light very precisely to create beautiful defocus effects. Additionally the LUMIX LX7's Internal Neutral Density filter allows you to intuitively amend the shutter speed, enabling beautiful images of ski scenes or flowing water for example.
Maximising creative expression in a fixed lens camera
The LUMIX LX series is renowned for continually raising the bar for what is possible in premium compact camera photography. With the LUMIX LX7, we believe we have created the ultimate creative compact camera for the enthusiast. The advanced and bright LEICA lens, alongside the other imaging advances, provides superb image quality whatever the situation. Meanwhile the extended level of control provided to the user when composing shots means it's the perfect option for those looking to maximise creative expression in a compact camera.
· Bright, high quality LEICA lens: The Leica DC VARIO-SUMMILUX 24mm Wide-Angle lens, with an aperture of up to F1.4, provides the most expressive and high quality shooting potential
· Advanced low light performance: With a newly designed 10.1-megapixel MOS sensor, Venus Engine VII FHD and an ISO range of 80-12,800, the LUMIX LX7's improved light sensitivity minimises noise even in the most challenging environments
· Full HD video recording: Powered by the Venus Engine VII FHD image processor, the LUMIX LX7 features 1920x1080 50p Full HD Video Recording (including both AVCHD Progressive and MP4 outputs), with Creative Movie Control for intuitive editing
· Maximising creative control: The LUMIX LX7's Aperture Ring and Rear Dial provide you with full control over the camera's aperture range to create beautiful defocus effects. The Internal Neutral Density filter allows you to intuitively amend the shutter speed, and there are a variety of other creative modes.