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Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Panasonic Rolls Out New LUMIX Digital Still Cameras


New features include an optical image stabilizer for dry cell-powered compact cameras, new image processing LSI and striking colors

Panasonic, the leading brand by which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, today introduced three new models in its LUMIX digital still camera series, the 5.0-megapixel DMC-FZ5, the dry cell operable 5.0-megapixel DMC-LZ2 and 4.0-megapixel DMC-LS1 as well as two new colors for the 5.0-megapixel DMC-FX7. Loaded with Panasonic's ideas and technologies such as MEGA O.I.S. (optical image stabilizer) and new Venus Engine image processing LSI, all of these are designed to ensure blur-free, crisp pictures anywhere, at anytime, on the go with ease and fun. The new models will be released globally starting in Japan from February.

The latest model in the FZ high-power zoom series, the DMC-FZ5, features a 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 36 mm to 432 mm on a 35 mm film camera), a top-class Leica DC Vario-Elmarit compact lens and Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. in the 290 g compact body. The remarkable 12x optical zoom function allows users to capture large frames of photo subjects even a long distance away. Furthermore, MEGA O.I.S. assures stability of the magnified image and resolves the problem of blurring when the zoom photography is operated by hand without using a tripod.

Auto-focus time is shortened in every AF mode of 9 points, 3 points, 1 point and Spot. In the newly added 1-point high speed AF mode, the auto-focus time lag has been reduced by 31 percent to 0.33 second, compared to the previous model DMC-FZ3. Coming in black and silver, the DMC-FZ5 will be in the Japanese market on February 25.

The DMC-LZ2 and the DMC-LS1 incorporate the MEGA O.I.S., the essential feature especially for smaller and lighter cameras. The 5.0-megapixel DMC-LZ2 comes with a 6x optical zoom (equivalent to 37 mm to 222 mm on a 35 mm film camera) lens in the 178 g compact body, and the 4.0-megapixel DMC-LS1 comes with a 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 35 mm to 105 mm on a 35 mm film camera) lens.

Both of them feature the newly developed Venus Engine Plus image processor, which achieves 50 percent lower power consumption, comparing to the Venus Engine I, while providing crisp and clear images and the industry-leading shutter release lag of 0.008 second (LZ2) and 0.006 second (LS1).

The built-in 14-megabyte memory enables users to take pictures even when an SD Memory Card is not installed. With the two included AA Oxyride batteries, a maximum of 235 photos can be taken with the LZ2 and 215 photos with the LS1. The LZ2, available in silver and black, will be marketed from February 25 and the LS1, coming in a choice of silver, bronze or blue, will be available on March 25.

Popular since its introduction in August 2004, the compact and stylish 5.0-megapixel model DMC-FX7, is now offered in two new colors, gloss rouge and pearl white, in addition to the current color variation of silky silver, pink bronze, comfort blue and gloss black. As different materials are used to give each color, each one has a different texture. Shipment of the two new colors is scheduled for February 25.

Panasonic continues to enhance quality, mobility, style and joy of photography with a compact camera.



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