Panasonic today announced the introduction of the LUMIX DMC-ZR3, a digital camera with AVCHD Lite High Defintion (HD) video recording capabilities, and the the LUMIX DMC-ZS7.
The new LUMIX DMC-ZR3 digital camera offer AVCHD Lite High Defintion (HD) video recording capabilities, a25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens and a 8x optical zoom. New to the ZR-Series this year, Panasonic also introduces Intelligent Zoom, which extends the LUMIX ZR3?s zoom to 10x.
The Panasonic LUMIX ZR3?s 8x optical zoom is not found on many conventional point-and-shoot cameras, especially ones that are approximately 1-inch thick. For an added boost, zoom power can be increased to 10x with Panasonic?s new Intelligent Zoom function, which takes advantage of the newly-added Intelligent Resolution technology. Intelligent Resolution, a component of Intelligent Auto mode, helps to maintain optimal picture quality by capturing higher quality signal processing and through the detection of three areas - outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation ? examining them pixel by pixel to enhance any degradation created during the digital zoom process or in high-sensitivity shooting.
With the newly-added Video Divide function, users can cut their video into two sections on the spot ? within the menus of the camera ? to shorten or delete the unwanted half.
Continuing with the trademark iA mode, Panasonic has incorporated this feature into the LUMIX ZR3. Working to enhance the potential of all photos and videos, iA mode automatically selects the best Scene mode, and also helps to correct handshake and any focus or brightness issues.
Other technologies incorporated into the LUMIX ZR3?s iA mode include face recognition, the 'happy mode' function that optimizes color, saturation and brightness, Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Zoom, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure.
The LUMIX ZR3 features an AF (Auto Focus) speed of 0.26 second (wide-end) / 0.31 second (tele-end). This combined with a start-up of just 1.1 second, gives the LUMIX ZR3 an ultra-fast response. Additionally, 2.7-inch large Intelligent LCD screen offers a dynamic view and automatically adjusts its own brightness level. Also, the LUMIX ZR3 accepts the SD/SDHC Memory Card, but is also compatible with the next-generation SDXC Memory Cards, which feature a high-potential in both capacity and data-transfer speed.
The Panasonic LUMIX ZR3 will be available in silver, black, red and blue. The company has not provided pricing details.
Panasonic also introduced the LUMIX DMC-ZS7, the newest member of superzoom ZS-Series of digital cameras. Complete with its 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens and a 12x optical zoom (operable in video recording mode), this 12.1-megapixel camera also includes a new built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) feature that embeds photos and videos with the latitude and longitude location details, a useful feature when using an online photo-sharing website.
The LUMIX ZS7 is also the world?s smallest photo/video hybrid superzoom digital camera, which can also record High Definition (HD) video using the recording capability in AVCHD Lite, which includes a dedicated video record button and new to the ZS-Series is a manual shooting mode.
The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 features Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus), which enables a fast response time, and a shutter release time lag as short as approximately 0.006 second. The camera's quick response together with the Sonic Speed AF that lets users lock on the subject minimum in approximately 0.35 second (wide-end) / 0.41 second (tele-end). The LUMIX ZS7 also features a short startup time of approximately 1.1 second.
With the new GPS feature, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 can record the latitude and longitude in the EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data, while also displaying the location information real-time while shooting and during playback. These geo-tagged images can be pinpointed on maps common in photo-sharing websites and social media sites. The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also shows the name of the city, country and state, and information for more than 500,000 popular landmarks, covering 73 countries, are stored in the camera?s internal memory. For instance, when users are taking photos of the Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building, landmarks stored within the camera, these locations will be displayed on the screen while taking it and tagged in the data. Users can also refer to the locations using the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO HD Edition Version 5.1. The LUMIX ZS7 automatically adjusts its internal clock to the local time, so there?s no need to set the clock manually when traveling.
The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also features a new image processing technology, Intelligent Resolution, which is incorporated in its Venus Engine HD. To the soft gradation area, such as a face, the increased noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to make it smoother. The Intelligent Resolution technology powers Panasonic?s new Intelligent Zoom feature, which extends the camera?s zoom ratio by approximately 1.3x and enhancing the digital zoom and making it comparable to the quality of an optical zoom. With Intelligent Zoom, the Panasonic ZS7 features a total zoom range up to 16x.
For more advanced users, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 adds manual control features, allowing for adjustments in shutter speed, aperture and exposure. Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) mode is the solution. Panasonic iA is also available incorporating Panasonic?s POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), which doubles the repression power compared to the conventional image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S.
Other technologies incorporated into the LUMIX ZS7?s iA mode include face recognition, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Zoom, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure.
Panasonic?s iA is also available in video mode, and it automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to reduce blur due to handshake and improves focus, brightness and exposure.
The LUMIX ZS7 can record AVCHD Lite HD video, which almost doubles the recording time in HD quality compared with the Motion JPEG format. To complement the HD video capabilities, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also features Dolby Digital Stereo Creator to record high quality audio. Also, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 has a 3.0", high resolution 460,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide-viewing angle.
The camera is also compatible with SDXC Memory Cards, including Panasonic?s newly announced 64 GB and 48 GB SDXC Memory Cards and it can take up to 340 images on a single battery charge.
Panasonic also introduced the the LUMIX DMC-ZS5, which like the LUMIX ZS7, features a 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica lens, 12x optical zoom and manual controls. Distinguishing it from the LUMIX ZS7, the LUMIX ZS5, has a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD, records HD video in Motion JPG at 30fps, and has a high performance Venus Engine VI. Battery life on the LUMIX ZS5 has approximately 330 photos and does not include GPS capabilities.
Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 and LUMIX ZS5 will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date, Panasonic said. The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 will be available in silver, black, red and blue models; while the Panasonic LUMIX ZS5 will be available in black and silver.