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Panasonic launches Lumix DMC-TZ50 compact digital camera with Wi-Fi

16 April, 2008 (22:35) | Compact Camera, Panasonic | By: Camera News

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ50
Lumix DMC-TZ50

Panasonic today announced the new compact digital camera Lumix DMC-TZ50. It is basically the same camera as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5, but got upgraded with the ability to use Wi-Fi.
Some key features for the Lumix DMC-TZ50:
-10x optical zoom (28-280mm equivalent)
-9.1 megapixels
-Wi-Fi enabled
-Image stabilization
-3.0″ LCD screen

Press release:

New Wi-Fi LUMIX TZ50 Digital Camera Features HD Video, 28mm Wide-Angle Lens, 10x Optical Zoom Ideal for Active Users to Share Photos On-the-Go

SECAUCUS, NJ (April 16, 2008) – Panasonic today introduced a new addition to its award-winning TZ-family of digital cameras, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ50 – complete with Wi-Fi capabilities, standard 802.11b/g wireless LAN connectivity and access to T-Mobile® HotSpot service, users can upload digital photos taken with the TZ50 directly to Picasa Web Albums™, a free online photo-sharing service from Google. The 9.1 megapixel TZ50 is packed with a 28mm wide-angle lens, 10x optical zoom and the ability to record HD video, making it the ideal digital camera for active users.

“This advanced digital camera makes it possible for users to share their photos with friends and family with unprecedented ease and without a computer,” said Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Active users will appreciate the TZ50’s Wi-Fi capabilitilies so they can share photos while on-the-go, but they will also benefit from HD video recording, a 10x optical zoom and a 28mm wide-angle lens, so capturing images, whether far or wide; moving or still – is all possible with this compact camera.”

Panasonic uses the T-Mobile Hotspot service and Picasa Web Albums’ APIs to create a new optimal online environment and community for sharing digital photos. After taking photos with the new Panasonic LUMIX TZ50, users will be able to wirelessly send one or multiple photos at a time, directly to Google’s Picasa Web Albums. Users can connect to standard wireless home networks, but furthermore, the TZ50 can also connect to the T-Mobile HotSpot Service, which provides fast and reliable Wi-Fi Internet acess at more than 8,800 public locations throughout the United States, including Borders® Books & Music stores, Hyatt Hotels and many major airports. The LUMIX TZ50 comes with an offer for 12-months of complimentary T-Mobile HotSpot W-FI service**.

Users can register one email account with their TZ50, so after uploading their photos to Picasa Web Albums, they can have the URL to that album sent to the registered account. Since many cell phones and smartphones receive emails, users can register their own email address and then forward that Picasa Web Albums URL to friends and family, all while away from home and without using a computer. In addition, users can browse their albums to confirm that photos have been successfully uploaded, and choose to delete uploaded photos directly on the digital camera.

The TZ50 is the latest member of the LUMIX TZ-Series, renowned for packaging a 28mm wide-angle 10x optical zoom Leica DC lens (equivalent to 28-280mm on a 35mm film camera) into a compact body. The 28mm wide-angle lens captures subjects and scenes wider at the same standpoint than a normal 35mm camera. Notably, the new TZ50 integrates the capability of recording 720p HD (high-definition) motion pictures together with its direct output function allowing users to enjoy watching both still and motion pictures in impressive HD quality on a HDTV via an optional component cable or by inserting the SD Memory Card into the SD slot, which is available on all Panasonic VIERA HDTVs.

The Panasonic LUMIX TZ50 also incorporates Panasonic’s advanced Intelligent Auto (iA) mode consisting of seven intuitive technologies, all which are specifically designed to help make photo-taking enjoyable and easy. When in Advanced Intelligent Auto mode, the following technologies all operate automatically; the consumer does not need to change any settings:

* Intelligent Exposure – Photos will no longer be under- or over-exposed. Instead, the TZ50 instantly analyze the framed image and adjusts the brightness in areas that are too dark because of dim lighting, backlighting or the use of the flash. The camera will automatically adjust the brightness accordingly.
* Digital Red-eye Correction– Helps eliminate the red-eye problem that sometimes results when taking flash shots at the night. Incorporated into the built-in flash, the camera emits a small preliminary flash before the main flash, detects red-eye and will digitally correct it.
* MEGA O.I.S. – Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the lens system shifts to compensate, helping to prevent hand-shake from creating a blurry image.
* Intelligent ISO – Determines if the photo subject is moving and change the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly.
* Intelligent Scene Selector – Senses the ambient conditions, recognizes the shooting environment and will automatically select the appropriate scene mode from: Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait or Night Scenery mode. This intuitive technology, helps the consumer use the most common scene modes that are built into the camera, but often go unused, without making any manual adjustments.
* Face Detection – Detects faces anywhere in the frame and automatically chooses the optimal focus and exposure settings so portraits come out clear and crisp. Detecting up to 15 faces, Panasonic’s Face Detection can even track a face if the subject is moving.
* Continuous AF – The Continuous AF (auto focus) system maintains focus on the subject even without pressing a shutter button halfway, thus minimizing the AF time.

Once a user is in iA mode, these multi-capable functions happen automatically no adjustments or settings changes need to be made. Furthermore, the DMC-TZ50 boasts Intelligent LCD function, which detects the lighting condition and controls the brightness level of the LCD in 11 fine steps, to offer a display with excellent clarity in any situation with the newly developed 460,000-dot high resolution in 3.0-inch LCD screen.

The TZ50 incorporates the Venus Engine IV, Panasonic’s new high-performance image processing LSI. The Venus Engine IV produces higher-quality pictures than its predecessor, the Venus Engine III, by using a more advanced signal processing system. The new Venus Engine IV also improves noise reduction, elevates the detection accuracy and corrective effects in both MEGA O.I.S. and Intelligent ISO and reduces the shutter release time lag.

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ50 will be available in silver in May 2008 for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $449.95.

* *35mm film camera equivalent: 28-280mm
** One year of complimentary, camera-specific T-Mobile HotSpot service begins from the first time you automatically connect your LUMIX digital camera to the T-Mobile network at a T-Mobile HotSpot location within the U.S, subject to certain limitations, terms and conditions. The complimentary T-Mobile HotSpot service does not include access to the Internet at other Wi-Fi roaming locations. This offer expires on August 31, 2009.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In its commitment to provide consumers with extensive imaging resources, Panasonic LUMIX established the Digital Photo Academy, a series of nationwide workshops designed to instruct consumers how to optimize the features on their digital cameras and produce high-quality photos. Panasonic is honored to support OUR PLACE – The World’s Heritage, a project that will create the world’s largest photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with acclaimed photographers exclusively using LUMIX digital cameras to capture all images. Information about Panasonic LUMIX digital still cameras and its affiliated programs is available at

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Google, Picasa, and Picasa Web Albums are trademarks of Google Inc.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 with touch screen and ultra wide angle digital compact camera

19 March, 2008 (11:17) | Compact Camera, Panasonic | By: Camera News

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500

Panasonic is releasing a new 10.1 megapixel Lumix compact digital camera called DMC-FX500. The biggest features of the DMC-FX500 are the large 3 inch LCD with touch screen and 5x optical zoom lens that covers 25-125mm (35mm film camera equivalent).

Some camera specifications:
-10.1 million effective pixels
-5x Optical Zoom Leica Lens (35mm film camera equivalent: 25-125mm)
-3.0-inch LCD with touch screen
-Auto focus (AF) tracking
-Intelligent Auto mode

Press release:
25mm Ultra-Wide-Angle 5x Optical Zoom Lens (35mm film camera equivalent: 25-125mm) 10.1-megapixel Lumix DMC-FX500

Featuring a 3.0-inch Large LCD with Touch-Screen Interface.

Panasonic is pleased to announce a new flagship model for its Lumix slim and stylish FX series. The new 10.1-megapixel DMC-FX500 features a 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica DC lens with 5x optical zoom. Standing out from the crowd, the new FX500 features a touch-screen operation on a large, 3.0-inch LCD, bringing new enjoyment to the digital photography and enabling easy manual operation. A variety of advanced functions, including advanced Intelligent Auto mode, HD motion picture recording and HD component output, and slideshows complete with music, also enrich the camera’s appeal.

The newly developed Leica DC lens with 5x optical zoom boasts an 25mm ultra-wide angle of view that captures almost double the recording area at the same shooting distance compared with a conventional 35mm lens. This advanced lens system includes 4 aspherical lenses with 6 aspherical surfaces, and a newly developed, unevenly thick concave meniscus Extra High Refractive Index Aspherical (EA) lens. Fitting an unprecedented level of wide-angle performance into a slim camera assuring minimal distortion even at its 25mm wide end, resulting in high picture quality.

For more intuitive operation, the DMC-FX500 has a hybrid control system that combines joystick control with touch-screen operation. Basic settings can be directly controlled by the joystick, and other extensive ones are finely adjusted by touch or by moving a slider on the screen with the finger or an included stylus-pen. Users can set the auto focus and exposure at the desired part of the frame by simply touching the subject at that part while recording. In manual exposure mode, aperture and shutter speed can be adjusted by moving the slider. In playback mode, a new Easy Organisation menu is provided to simplify image sorting. The user can quickly select an image to view by scrolling the thumbnails located below the main window, and then edit the image using the same touch menu interface.

Auto focus (AF) tracking is also new with the DMC-FX500. It continues tracking the subject even if it moves after the AF is set, which is especially helpful for catching active children or pets.

The iA (Intelligent Auto) mode is a helpful shooting assist function that lets the user leave all the settings to the camera. Taking maximum advantage of this iA mode, users can go a step further to set auto focus and exposure on the desired subject by simply touching it on the screen. This kind of quick, easy rational operation is enabled by the new touch-screen interface.

The advanced DMC-FX500 combines a futuristic control system with a host of specifications and even manual control to please a wide range of users. Dressed in aluminum panels having a hairline curve on the front, the new model is available in silver and black*1.
25mm Ultra-Wide-Angle 5x Optical Zoom (25-125mm) f2.8 High-Quality Leica DC Lens and 10.1-Megapixel CCD

The 10.1-megapixel DMC-FX500 packages a ultra-wide 25mm Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT high-quality lens with 5x optical zoom(equivalent to 25-125mm on a 35mm film camera), offering f2.8 brightness. Comprising 7 elements in 6 groups, including 4 aspherical lenses with 6 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit passes Leica’s stringent standards and delivers an exceptional optical performance. Notably, a newly developed unevenly thick concave meniscus EA (Extra high refractive index Aspherical) lens makes it possible to achieve the 25mm ultra-wide angle high optical performance while keeping the lens unit thin and the body slim. The 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens records almost double the viewing space at the same shooting distance compared to ordinary 35mm cameras. Further, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function provides additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 8.9x by using the center part of the CCD*2.

In addition, newly adopted iris diaphragm allows the users to adjust aperture at fine steps manually.
Intuitive Manual Operation with 3.0-inch Large Touch Screen Interface

A first for Panasonic Lumix cameras – the DMC-FX500 incorporates a 3.0-inch large touch-screen interface achieving the ultimate ease of use in terms of both taking and playing back images. Panasonic proposes a hybrid operation system combining the new touch-screen interface and the conventional operation system with joystick for more quick and intuitive control, by taking advantage of both operation systems. Users can make basic settings directly with the joystick while they can make extensive adjustments intuitively by touching or moving the slider on the screen.

To activate the menu, all you have to do is to touch the mode you want after pressing the mode button. Notably in the recording mode, auto focus and exposure can be set at the desired part of the frame by simply touching the subject at that part to activate the AF/AE. The camera continues tracking the subject even if it moves with the AF/AE Tracking function to minimize the shutter time lag at the spur-of-the-moment. In manual operation mode, aperture and shutter speed can be set to the desired value by moving the slider.

In playback mode, a new Easy Organisation menu is provided to simplify image organising. The user can quickly select an image to view by scrolling the thumbnails located below the main window, and then edit the image by resizing, trimming and inputting the text title of the picture. You can also flag the desired image as your favourites or delete them in one menu interface.

This touch-screen interface features a high-resolution Intelligent LCD which automatically controls the brightness at a total of 11 fine steps by detecting the surrounding lighting condition. This function gives the display the most appropriate clarity in any situation.
Great Photography Is Not Only from Professional Photographers Anymore – Advanced Intelligent Auto Mode

Intelligent Auto mode, which comprises various shooting-assist functions, has been advanced for the DMC-FX500 by adding the new Intelligent Exposure feature and Digital Red-eye Correction in addition to the conventional Mega O.I.S., Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection and Quick AF functions. Mega O.I.S. suppresses hand-shake and Intelligent ISO Control prevents motion blur. The Intelligent Scene Selector sets the appropriate scene mode by automatically selecting it from the most frequently used scene modes, such as Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Portrait and Night Scenery. The Face Detection system detects human faces to set the focus and appropriate exposure for them automatically. The unwanted red-eye effect caused by the use of the flash can be digitally corrected. The newly added Intelligent Exposure function automatically controls the ISO sensitivity partially to increase the exposure of only the darkened area due to backlighting or insufficient flash lighting to capture the scene as you see it by suppressing the extreme brightness and darkness in the picture. The Quick AF system allows the camera to start focusing on the subject even without pressing the shutter button halfway, to get the best results from every shooting opportunity by minimizing the AF time. Once you enter iA mode, these multi-capable functions happen automatically so you can shoot without the bother of adjusting settings every time conditions change. You can enjoy easy, trouble-free shooting in any situation and get the satisfaction that comes with capturing clear, beautiful images.

The DMC-FX500 is a class above its peers. You can set auto focus and exposure on the desired subject by simply touching it on the screen with your intention and the rest of the settings are automatically supported by the iA mode.
Exciting Options to Expand the Fun of Photography in the High-Definition Era

All Lumix cameras can take 1920×1080 pixel HD (high-definition) quality photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV for full-screen viewing. The new DMC-FX500 even records dynamic HD motion pictures in 1280 x 720p at a smooth 30 fps, in addition to WVGA (848 x 480) and normal VGA (640 x 480)*3 *4.

With the newly added HD component output capability, you can enjoy watching still and motion pictures in stunning HD quality taken by your DMC-FX500 by simply connecting the camera to a TV via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2).

The DMC-FX500 also provides slideshows complete with music for your ultimate convenience. Just select the pictures you want to show and choose the mood that best matches your selection from natural, slow, urban or swing, and you’ll get an emotion-filled slideshow with a variety of slide change effects and matching music without any annoying adjustments. If you make the slideshow with HD photos in 1920 x 1080 pixels, you can also enjoy watching an impressive HD slideshow with music on a large-screen HDTV by using the optional component cable.
High-Speed, High-Quality Image-Processing LSI Further Evolves into the Venus Engine IV

A new image-processing LSI, Venus Engine IV, features more advanced signal processing technology for rendering even higher-quality images.

Notably, parallel noise reduction in both luminance signal and chromatic signal processing systems, a technology established by the preceding Venus Engine III, gains a more sophisticated process. First, the luminance noise is two-dimensionally separated into high-frequency and low-frequency noises and only the low-frequency noise, which tends to be conspicuous, is eliminated without affecting the high-frequency noise that greatly influences resolution. Second, the information of the change point between colours is minutely stored for precise determination of edges, thus colour bleeding is dramatically suppressed. This not only produces a clearer image in high ISO sensitivity recording, but also faithfully reproduces details in low-lit areas of pictures taken at low ISO sensitivity.

The Venus Engine IV also elevates the detection accuracy and corrective effect in both Mega O.I.S., which prevents hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which suppresses motion blur.

Featured in the DMC-FX500, the multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine IV supports a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as approx.0.005 second and the camera’s quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In burst shooting mode, the DMC-FX500 can snap approx.2.5 shots per second at full resolution.*5 And in High-Speed Burst shooting mode,*6 it fires off an incredible approx. 6 shots per second. You also get unlimited consecutive shooting,*7 which lets you keep shooting until the memory card is full.

The Venus Engine IV also supports a High Sensitivity mode that lets the DMC-FX500 record at a setting of up to ISO 6400, sensitive enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash*8.
Other Features

The new DMC-FX500 features a variety of functionalities to expand the convenience and fun for users to enjoy taking beautiful pictures.

The energy-efficient Venus Engine IV imaging engine contributes to the long battery life of the DMC-FX500, making it possible to shoot around 280 shots*9 *10 on a single battery charge despite the large, bright touch-screen LCD. A total of 20 scene modes help you to take more beautiful pictures in a wide range of situations. Also interesting is the Title Edit function, which allows text to be input as additional information for the picture, for example, names of children or pets, and travel places. Inputting and editing the text is astonishingly smooth and quick, thanks to the touch-screen interface. This information, as well as dates, which can be helpful when making a photo album, can be stamped on photos with the Text Stamp function whether you print them yourself at home or have a photo shop do them. Around 50 MB of internal memory is built-in to back up the SDHC/SD Memory Card recording and copying.

Inherently user friendly, all new Lumix cameras incorporate a REC/PLAYBACK mode switch. This helps the photographer to instantly switch between recording and playback modes, while always knowing which mode the camera is in. The GUI (Graphic User Interface) has been designed exclusively for the touch-screen interface looking more futuristic in terms of design and colour while maintaining the visibility of characters and usability of settings.

The major features mentioned above can be quickly understood with the newly installed slideshow program called Demo mode.

The included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO-viewer-2.0 offers more convenience to the user by taking advantage of the features available on the LUMIX cameras. You can access pictures not only by date, but also by scene mode, or baby name that you have inputted on the camera. The PHOTOfunSTUDIO-viewer-2.0 allows you to easily organize your growing number of still and motion pictures on one simple interface.

*1 Availability of models and colours may vary depending on the sales area.
*2 When the picture size is set to 3 megapixels or larger, the photo is automatically resized to 3 megapixels. When the lens is shifted back to the wide-end, the picture size is set to the original size automatically. The original size is maintained for photos smaller than 3 megapixels.
*3 In Motion Picture mode, the length of recording time depends on the capacity of the SDHC/SD Memory Card. (Up to the equivalent of 2 GB per motion-image recording.) When you set the motion picture quality to VGA 30fps, WVGA 30fps and HD(1280×720) 30/15fps, we recommend using a high-speed memory card with “10MB/s” or greater on the package. Some lens movement sounds may be recorded.
*4 For Europe, motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes.
*5 Max. 5 images in standard mode/ 3 images in fine mode.
*6 In 2-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording.
*7 The consecutive shooting speed varies with the memory card, image size, and image compression mode. The number of shots depends on the memory card size, battery life, image size and image compression mode.
*8 In 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording*9 Based on the CIPA standard. Shooting conditions: 23°C with 50% humidity; LCD on; using SD Memory Card; starting to shoot 30 seconds after turning on the power; shooting once every 30 seconds with the flash in full operation for every other shot; changing the zoom setting from telephoto to wide, or wide to telephoto, for each shot; and temporarily turning the power off after each 10 shots (long enough to lower the battery temperature).
*10 The number of recordable pictures decreases in Auto Power LCD mode or Power LCD mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10 digital compact camera review by

18 March, 2008 (15:58) | Compact Camera, Panasonic | By: Camera News

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10 camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10

Digital Camera resource page has reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10 digital compact camera. This camera from Panasonic features 10.1 effective mega pixels, 5x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 30-150mm), optical image stabilization and 2.5″ LCD display with 230,400 pixels. ends up giving the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10 a nice verdict because of the cameras very good image quality, wide angle lens and sharp LCD display.
The only downfalls being a bit noisy images, no optical viewfinder and not so good focusing the in low light.

Read the full review here.

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