Dennis Hissink : October 2nd 2003 - 13:12 CET
|Introduction of the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10
Last week there were some rumours about a new digital Panasonic camera. Today we can provide you with the news of the introduction of a new Lumix camera, the DMC-FZ10. This new model is the world's first 4 Megapixel camera with an amazing powerful 12x optical zoom. Not only the optical range is remarkable, what about the f2.8 brightness throughout the entire zoom range? The optical range is equivalent to a 35-420mm zoom lens on a 35mm camera. The lens carries the well-known brand of Leica and should guarantee us the most sharp and vivid images with natural colours. The camera features a 1/2.5" CCD and F2.8 large-aperture Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with 13 elements in 8 groups and three aspherical lenses. |
Especially important for a high zoom camera, Panasonic's advanced MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) enhances the camera's telephoto zoom capabilities. This feature uses motion sensors, which detects even slight hand movement and integrally links the lens control to the motion of the camera to reduce jitter. Unlike digital image stabilization systems, this optical system provides precise compensation with no degradation in image quality. When taking handheld shots, especially telephoto shots or in low light, there is always a some movement and a feature like the MEGA O.I.S will be welcomed by all of us. |
The new Panasonic camera features a new histogram function providing a graphic presentation of the level of luminance of an image. By using this handy function, users gain more precise control on metering their shots. The histogram function will be displayed on the large 2-inch LCD display.
The LSI processes the images very fast resulting in a reduction of lag time between a cycle of shots. To capture a burst of images the DMC-FZ10 camera features the MEGA BURST function that enables the camera to capture 4 frames per second in high quality. Beside capturing still images the camera can also record motion images (320 x 240 pixel JPEG) in 30 or 10-frames-per-second. Other features include manual focus, aperture, shutter and exposure functions, centering guidelines, self timer, program AE, continuous AF function, Spot AF Switching and AF Lock, digital automatic pop-up flash and multiple flash modes, multiple image display, a special panning mode for capturing fast action with clear detail and a built-in USB 1.1 interface.
The camera comes with a lens hood to help diminish flare and ghosting when photographing extremely bright scenes. Other accessories included are: rechargeable battery pack and charger; 16MB SD Memory Card; AC cable; DC cable; A/V cable; USB connection cable; lens cap; carrying strap and software on CD-Rom. The new, high-performance DMC-FZ10 Lumix camera is targeted for retail introduction in November, and will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $599.00.
1. 12x Optical Zoom with ED lens and F2.8 brightness across the entire zoom range
The DMC-FZ10 features the enhanced performance of a newly developed DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens, which inherits the Leica AG's optical excellence. The 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 35 to 420mm in 35mm-film camera) lens system, which comprises 13 elements in eight groups, including three aspherical lenses, achieves a brightness of F2.8 across the entire zoom range. The zoom range can be further extended by 3x (totally to 36x) by digital processing. The lens system incorporates one Extra-low Dispersion (ED) lens which minimizes color aberration (color bleeding) and greatly contributes to the reproduction of crisp images. This super 12x optical zoom lens system, combined with the aspherical lenses and the ED lens ensures high-resolution pictures in the entire frame, from corner to corner.
2. Mega Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) suppresses jitter when zooming
Panasonic insisted on providing the Mega Optical Image Stabilizer for the 12x optical zoom because zooming in on distant subjects tends to increase the effects of shaking hands. Through the incorporation of the technologies that Panasonic developed for its video cameras, the DMC-FZ10’s Mega O.I.S. helps suppress jitter. It even works to minimize the slight shake caused when you press the shutter button, helping to ensure clear, sharp images. A new mode is added, in which the O.I.S. lens is constantly ceased at the center before the shutter button is pressed and at the moment when the shutter button is pressed, the O.I.S. lens moves and the blurring compensation is activated. Since in this mode the O.I.S. lens always have a maximum margin to all the direction, the compensation of the maximum effect of the image stabilizing can be expected. Also, this mode enables the use of the central portion of the lens as much as possible that can prevent the deterioration of the image caused by using the off-center area of the lens. The Mega O.I.S. also helps when you want to give extra expression to your photograph, such as when shooting night scenery, using a slow shutter speed to emphasize the flowing motion of a moving subject, or using the Panning function to apply this motion emphasizing effect.
3. Enhanced manual operations for abundant powers of expression
In addition to a variety of the convenient automatic controls, the DMC-FZ10 allows full manual controls for exposure, focusing, and white balance. The manual exposure capability gives you complete freedom for capturing images according to your preferences, including intentional overexposure or underexposure. The focusing ring provided on the lens barrel like traditional camera lenses allows you to focus on the particular part of your subject according to your preference. When adjusting the focusing ring, the center part of the finder will be magnified to enable you getting focus more easily. The one-shot AF mode enables auto focusing during manual focusing and this is great for using the pre-focusing technique.
4. Manually adjustable white balance for optimum color
The DMC-FZ10 allows the white balance function. In the event that the preset white balance you choose does not reproduce color that satisfies you, you can manually adjust the white balance in 300-Kelvin steps up to plus/minus 1500 Kelvin for optimum skin color. This is great when you shoot portraits under the mixture of the several types of lights, or take pictures of a red sunset with exaggerated colors or to enhance the color of a crystal clear blue sky, etc.
5. Venus Engine LSI
Advanced Panasonic digital technologies also enabled the development of image processing circuitry that enhances the image quality and boosts the processing speed, while improving the diagonal resolution by about 50% and producing smoother edges. Fast processing allows subsequent shots to be taken immediately, no need to wait until the image data is written onto a recording media card.
6. MEGA BURST consecutive shooting
The DMC-FZ10's MEGA BURST consecutive shooting function captures up to eight full-size images at a lightning-fast four frames per second. This allows you to snap off a series of consecutive shots when a photo opportunity arises, then select the best ones and delete the rest. Unlike conventional cameras, no film is wasted. Quick consecutive shooting is particularly helpful when shooting a moving object.
7. Unique in-finder (and on-LCD display) indications of guide lines and real-time histogram
The DMC-FZ10 is provided with the unique functions to ease and enhance your shooting idea. The in-finder guide lines give references to horizontal/vertical lines. The in-finder real-time histogram indication will help you confirm the exposure, such as generation of white washout or black washout.
8. Moving pictures and flip animations
The DMC-FZ10 has functions of taking moving pictures and short animations.
You can take moving pictures in 30 frames/second (equivalent to the TV frame rate) in QVGA format (320 x 240 pixels) as long as the memory card capacity allows. With the flip animation function, you can take up to 100 frames as an MOV file (QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels) either at five frames/second for 20 seconds or at 10 frames/second for 10 seconds. When taking moving pictures or animations, all the advanced features for still images can be applied for best results.
9. Other features that enhance picture-taking fun
Color Effect function lets you adjust color tones to suit personal preferences (Warm, Cool, B/W)
Bright 2" 130,000-pixel color LCD
Mode dial for easy selection of function modes: Macro, Sports, Panning, Night Portrait, Portrait , Program AE, A/S/M, Motion image, and Playback
HDTV mode (aspect ratio of 16:9, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels) is available in addition to the conventional aspect ratio of 4:3.
Choice of seven menu languages: Choice of English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, or Japanese
10. Uniquely styled lens hood supplied as standard
Comes with a lens hood that matches the body color and helps obtain clear and ghost-free images.
11. Optional accessories
ND filter for -3 EV light intensity reduction
MC protector for protection of lens from dust, sand, water, etc., with cap
Wide conversion lens 0.8x (Can be used in the focal length equivalent to 28-56 mm on a 35mm film camera.)
Tele conversion lens 1.5x (Can be used in the focal length equivalent to 315-630 mm on a 35mm film camera.)