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Dennis Hissink : March 18th 2008 - 20:30 CET updated

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500

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PanasonicPanasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 : Panasonic is pleased to announce a new flagship model for its Lumix slim and stylish FX series. The new 10.1 Megapixel Panasonic Lumix FX500 camera features a 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica DC lens with 5x optical zoom. Touch-screen operation on a large, 3.0-inch LCD brings new enjoyment to the digital photography and enables easy manual operation, which is another first for the FX series. A variety of advanced functions, including Intelligent Auto mode, HD motion picture recording and HD component output, and slideshows complete with music, also enrich the camera’s potential and user experience. As soon as we receive a sample we will publish a Panasonic FX500 review.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500

Panasonic Lumix FX500 - High quality lens
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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500

Panasonic DMC-FX500 - Control system and Exposure
For more intuitive operation, the Panasonic 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 others 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 Organization menu is provided to simplify image organizing. 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.

Panasonic DMC-FX500

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 camera - Auto focus and Operation
Auto focus (AF) tracking is also new with the Panasonic Lumix 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 given form by the new touch-screen interface.

Panasonic FX500

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 - Optical zoom and Wide angle
The 10.1 Megapixel Panasonic Lumix 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. In addition, newly adopted iris diaphragm allows the users to adjust aperture at fine steps manually.

Panasonic Lumix FX500

Lumix DMC-FX500 - Touch screen and Menu
The Panasonic FX500 incorporates a 3.0-inch large touch-screen interface to achieve amazing ease in both shooting and playing back the 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 it 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.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 digital camera - Playback and Interface
In playback mode, a new Easy Organization menu is provided to simplify image organizing. 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 favorites 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.

Panasonic DMC-FX500 photo camera - Intelligent ISO and Face Detection
The Intelligent Auto mode, which comprises various shooting-assist functions, has been advanced for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 by newly adding the 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.

Panasonic Lumix camera - Brightness and Darkness
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. What makes difference with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 from other Lumix cameras is its enhanced option. 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.

Panasonic Lumix FX500 - High Definition and Quality
All Lumix cameras can take 1920x1080 pixel HD (high-definition) quality photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV for full-screen viewing. The new Panasonic Lumix 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). With newly added HD component output capability, you can enjoy watching still and motion pictures in stunning HD quality taken by your Panasonic Lumix FX500 by simply connecting the camera to a TV via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 digital photo camera - HD photos and Music
The Panasonic DMC-FX500 newly provides slideshows complete with music. 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FX500 digicam - 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 colors is minutely stored for precise determination of edges, thus color 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-500 - Image processing and Resolution
Featured in the Panasonic 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 can snap approx.2.5 shots per second at full resolution. And in High-Speed Burst shooting mode, it fires off an incredible approx. 6 shots per second. You also get unlimited consecutive shooting, which lets you keep shooting until the memory card is full.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 cam - LCD and Memory card
The energy-efficient Venus Engine IV imaging engine contributes to the long battery life of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500, making it possible to shoot around 280 shots 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 50MB of internal memory is built-in to back up the SDHC/SD Memory Card recording and copying.

Panasonix Lumix software
As design improvements, 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 color 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.

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