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Friday, January 16, 2009
Panasonic Introduces New FS-Series and DMC-LS85 Lumix Cameras

Panasonic today announced the 12.1 megapixel DMC-FS7, the 10.1 megapixel DMC-FS15 and the 8.1-Megapixel DMC-LS85 digital cameras.

The FS models combine easy operation with a slim and sleek look.

The 12.1 megapixel DMC-FS15 features a 29mm wide-angle Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with a 5x optical zoom. Panasonic has enhanced the Intelligent Auto Mode (iA) on the DMC-FS15 from the previous FS models to now include AF tracking and Intelligent Exposure functions in addition to Mega O.I.S., Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector and Face Detection. AF Tracking enables the user to "lock" the focus onto a moving subject. The camera then automatically tracks the subject as it moves, keeping it in focus without the need to hold the shutter button halfway down. Additionally, Intelligent Exposure helps capture natural-looking images by suppressing blocked shadows and blown highlights. It continually monitors the light source in the shooting environment and automatically activates the backlight compensation function if it detects the light source is behind the subject.

The 10.1 megapixel DMC-FS7 features a F2.8 Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with 4x optical zoom and iA mode, comprised of four functions including Mega O.I.S., Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector and Face Detection. Like the DMC-FS15, the DMC-FS7 also include a newly-added independent iA button on top of the camera that lets the user enter directly into the mode without going into the menu.

Other features of both FS models include a Venus Engine IV processor, which enables an advanced processing system and quick response times. An intelligent LCD screen detects light conditions and automatically adjusts the brightness levels for viewing in sunlight and helps to preserve battery life. Also, the new My Scene setting lets the user assign their most frequently used Scene modes to the setting, and with a simple switch, access that scene instantly. The FS-Series is also capable of recording WVGA (848 x 480) motion pictures at 30 frames per second in 16:9 wide-screen format, as well as standard VGA (640 x 480) format.

The DMC-FS15 will be available in silver, black and blue at a suggested retail price (SRP) of $199.95. The DMC-FS7 will be available in silver, black, blue, pink and green at an SRP of $159.95. Both models will be available in late March 2009.

The company also today introduced the 8.1-megapixel DMC-LS85. Encased in a compact design and powered by AA batteries, the DMC-LS85 offers a 4x optical zoom and bright F2.8 quality LUMIX DC VARIO lens at an affordable price.

Panasonic has incorporated its Intelligent Auto Mode (iA) into the DMC-LS85, a new addition to the LS series of entry-level cameras. In this model, iA is comprised of four major functions including Mega O.I.S, Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector and Face Detection. Additionally, Panasonic?s Quick AF (auto focus) system allows the camera to automatically keep focus on a subject without the need to hold the shutter button down halfway, greatly minimizing the time needed for the camera to focus. A new enhancement for iA mode this year is a simple button located on top of the camera, which enables the user to enter the mode directly without going into the menu.

The DMC-LS85 records video in WVGA (848 x 480) format at 30 frames per second in addition to standard VGA (640 x 480). The WVGA motion picture fits a wide-screen (16:9) TV perfectly. Furthermore, a 2.5-inch LCD features 230,000-dot high resolution and Intelligent LCD function, which detects lighting conditions and controls the brightness level of the LCD to offer a display with the most appropriate clarity in any situation.

The DMC-LS85?s internal memory has doubled in capacity, when compared to its predecessor the DMC-LS80, up to approximately 50MB. Due to the low energy consumption of the camera?s Venus Engine IV processor, battery life has also been extended to shoot more than 270 photos (CIPA) with two AA batteries.

The DMC-LS85 will be available in silver, black and pink at a suggested retail price of $119.95 starting in April 2009.

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