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Appeared on: Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Panasonic Inroduces Lumix DMC FX9

Panasonic is introducing the incoming Panasonic Lumix DMC FX9 digital camera, which is the next-generation model of the compact MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)-equipped FX series.

Although the Panasonic brand isn't naturally associated to quality digital cameras, this time the company has teamed up with Leica making the four megapixel DMC-FX5 hard to ignore.

The Panasonic FX series boasts high picture quality, a large 2.5-inch LCD, compactness and stylish design. Its startup time accelerated, the Panasonic DMC-FX9 is now with substantially upgraded with total effective pixels increased to 6 Megapixel, and includes the zoom function Extra Optical Zoom that extends zoom ratio up to 4.1x in 3-Megapixel recording and a clearer LCD based on the Panasonic FX8 that was released earlier.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 has a 1/2.5-inch 6 Megapixel CCD to capture high-resolution image. The 3x (equivalent to 35mm to 105mm on a 35mm film camera) zoom ratio can be extended up to 4.1x in 3 Megapixel image recording mode with minimal deterioration, by intentionally using the central part of the 6 Megapixel high resolution CCD. The lens part is comprised of Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens.

MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer), that Panasonic thinks it indispensable for all digital cameras, especially for compact models that lacks stability, is subsumed under Lumix all line-up released in this year. Every slight hand-shake movement is detected accurately with the sampling frequency at 4,000 times per second and will be compensated to render clear, sharp images. MEGA O.I.S. is equipped with 2 selectable modes.

The Panasonic DMC-FX9 incorporates the Venus Engine Plus LSI for image processing in both speed and image quality as well as other Panasonic Lumix models. For the burst shooting mode, it boasts the shooting at 3 frames per second at full resolution. You can start it the moment you want thanks to the independent button (The button also performs as ?delete? in playback mode), allowing you to record consecutive images and select the best one afterward. And the Unlimited Consecutive Shooting function (The speed of the unlimited consecutive shooting varies depending on the Secure Digital memory card) allows limit-free consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the SD memory card. The release time lag of 0.006 sec does not let you miss a shooting chance and helps you capture the spur-of-the-moments. The Venus Engine Plus reduces the power consumption to the 70% of that of Venus Engine II. On the other hand, high density mounting allows bigger and more powerful battery to fit in. Both result in the extension of battery life enabling the shooting of 270 images per single charge.

The AF method can be selected according to the shooting situation: 5-point, 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed and Spot. In 1- point high-speed AF, the AF time has been reduced to achieve focusing with speed and precision as good as the FX8. Although screen-freeze in high-speed AF is now minimized, to take pictures of fast-moving subjects you can select 1-point normal-speed AF, which does not have any screen-freeze while focusing. Finally, to extend the AF ability under low-light conditions or even at night, an AF assist lamp is included. A newly incorporated CCD that adopts a 9-pixel mixed readout method makes it possible to record full-size movies in VGA size at 30 fps.

The Panasonic DMC FX9 contains 2 new modes added to the FX8?s Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Self Portrait, Baby, Soft Skin and Food, providing a total of 14 scene modes to assist your shooting according to the wide-ranging situations.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5 specifications:

Height: 50.9mm
Depth: 27.4mm
Width: 107.7mm
Weight: 540g
Maximum image res: 2,304 x 1,728
Sensor size: 1/2.5-inch 4.23Mps (4Mps effective)
Recording format: JPEG, QuickTime
Memory: SD MultiMedia
Connectivity: USB, AV (NTSC/PAL)
Focus modes: Auto, Macro, Spot
Focal length: F5.8-F17.4
Focus range: 0.5m-infinity, 10cm Macro mode
Light meter: Intelligent Multiple, Spot
Exposure modes: Program AE
Exposure compensation: -/+2EV in 0.3EV steps
Max aperture range: F2.8-F4.9
Shutter speed range: 1/8sec-1/2000sec
Self-timer: 2 or 10 seconds
Sensitivity range: ISOAuto/50-200
White balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloud, Halogen, Undersea, White set
Flash modes: Auto, Red-eye, Forced, Slowsync, Off
Movie mode: QuickTime Motion JPEG, 320x240 (30fps);
length dictated by capacity of your Memory Card Playback functions: Thumbnail, Zoom (16x max), Image rotation,Slideshow, Resize, Trim, Protect, DPOF setting

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