Panasonic unveiled today three new models in its LUMIX digital still camera line.
The new 8.1-megapixel cameras feature the first Intelligent Auto Mode that frees the user from adjusting settings every time shooting conditions change as well as suppresses image blurs without compromising picture quality. The DMC-FX33 and DMC-FX55 incorporate this technology and a 28-mm wide-angle lens in a slim and compact body. The DMC-FZ18 includes a 18x optical zoom. The three cameras will be available in Japan from August 25.
The Intelligent Auto Mode built into the three LUMIX cameras incorporates Panasonic's Intelligent Image Stabilization anti-blurring system and three new advanced functions.
The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically sets an appropriate scene mode according to the scene the user is going to shoot such as Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Scenery and Night Portrait. For example, the user does not need to manually select the Macro Mode when shooting close-up pictures of beautiful flowers in the garden. The Face Detection System allows the camera to recognize a human face up to 15 faces and automatically optimize focus and exposure on them. Once the faces are recognized, the camera follows them wherever they move. Also, Panasonic's newly-developed auto-focus function enables the camera to start focusing on a subject without pressing the shutter button halfway. This feature permits the user to quickly capture life's precious and fleeting moments.
As these functions work automatically, the user can simply point the camera at any subject.
Other automatic functions introduced in the three models include the Intelligent LCD. The camera detects the light condition and automatically boosts the LCD backlighting by 40 percent under bright sunlight. Under low-lit situation, the high-sensitivity CCD adjusts the LCD backlighting to secure a clear image. The DMC-FX55 has a large 3.0-inch 230,000-pixel LCD. The DMC-FX33 and DMC-FZ18 come with a 2.5-inch 207,000-piexel LCD.
The LUMIX FX55 and FX33 pack these functions and 28-mm wide-angle, 3.6x (equivalent to 28-100 mm on a 35-mm film camera) Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens in a slim body. The FX33 has a 22.0-mm body profile, while the FX55 has a body profile of 22.8 mm. The two models feature the High-Speed Burst shooting mode that achieves continuous shooting of seven shots per second, allowing up to 100 shots when the shutter button is kept pressed.
The FX18, the latest model in the power zoom line, has a newly-developed 28-mm wide-angle Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with f/2.8-4.2 brightness and 18x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-504 mm on a 35-mm film camera). Further, the Extra Optical Zoom (EX) function extends the zoom ratio to 28.7x (equivalent to 803 mm on a 35-mm film camera for 3-megapixel recording) by using the center part of the CCD to provide additional magnification.
In addition, the FZ18 is equipped with an Advanced Scene Mode giving the user finer control over some frequently-used scene modes such as Portrait, Sports, Scenery and Night Portrait.