Dennis Hissink : October 2nd 2003 - 15:18 CET
|Panasonic adds two new models to its LUMIX cameras
Well, just after we informed you about the new DMC-FZ10 camera we got some more Panasonic news to share. Beside this high resolution camera featuring a 12x super optical zoom and the optical image stabilizer Panasonic introduced two LUMIX cameras. The compact, easy-to-use and stylish DMC-FX5, with a 3x optical zoom and a four-megapixel CCD, and DMC-FX1, with a 3x optical zoom and three-megapixel CCD, will be introduced in November with no suggested retail prices. According to our information these two models, the DMC-FX1 and DMC-FX5 will also feature Panasonic's MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer (MEGA O.I.S). The Japanese company plans to ship these models to overseas markets in the end of this year.|
"Digital still camera market is one of the fastest growing categories in Japan", said Shunzo Ushimaru, Director of Corporate Marketing Division for Panasonic Brand in Japan. "We estimate that total number of digital still camera shipment in Japan will be 8.1 million units, 15% growth from 2002, in the fiscal year 2003 ending March 2004. The rapid growth of digital still camera market is realized by the significant improvement of its picture quality which gets closer to that of film cameras. Panasonic also helps expanding the market with networking applications with a wide range of digital audio-video products such as TVs, DVD recorders and printers through SD Memory cards." |
LUMIX is a line of digital still cameras that integrate the world-renowned optical technology of Leica Camera AG of Germany with Panasonic's advanced digital video technology. The two new models feature the enhanced performance newly developed Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens and Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. which suppresses jitter that is more conspicuous when shooting in telephoto position and shooting night scenery with slow shutter speed without using tripod. The DMC-FX5 and DMC-FX1 are the world's first 3x optical zoom compact digital cameras that are equipped with O.I.S. These models also incorporate VENUS Engine, the digital signal processor developed by Panasonic which enhances the image quality, boosts the processing speed and shortens the interval time between shots down to less than one second. It also enables consecutive shooting to capture up to
seven full-size images for DMC-FX5 and eight full-size images for DMC-FX1 at the speed of four frames per second.
1. 3- or 4-Mega-pixel CCD for high-quality images
The DMC-FX1’s 3-Mega-Pixel CCD and DMC-FX5’s 4-Mega-Pixel CCD capture fine details and subtle nuances and render images that are clear and crisp. It converts even the most delicate light gradations to reproduce vivid, natural colors.
2. F2.8 LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with 3x optical zoom
The DMC-FX1/FX5 feature the enhanced performance of a newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens. This compact, bright lens system features seven elements in six groups, including three aspherical lenses. Thanks to a multi-coating that improves image clarity by reducing the surface reflection of each lens to decrease glare and ghosting effects, this advanced lens system transmits light clearly to the CCD section, allowing the DMC-FX1/FX5 to achieve superb rendering, fine gradation, and expressive depth. The lens is equipped with 3x optical zoom equivalent to 35 mm to 105 mm on a 35-mm film camera.
3. Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) suppresses hand-shake even for low-illuminated shots
Panasonic is the first company to provide the Optical Image Stabilizer for the even compact and stylish line because low-illuminated shots or macro photos tends to increase the effects of shaking hands. Through the incorporation of the digital technologies that Panasonic developed for its video cameras, the DMC-FX1/FX5’s 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.
4. 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.
5. MEGA BURST consecutive shooting
The DMC-FX1/FX5's MEGA BURST consecutive shooting function captures up to 8* full-size images at a lightning-fast 4 frames per second. This allows the user 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.
*FX5: up to 7 images at 4 frames/sec in Standard Mode.
6. Unique jitter-free self-portrait mode
This shooting mode is optimized for self-portrait shootings. The O.I.S. is automatically activated to suppress jitters caused by a single-hand operation. The focus distance is set to the arm’s length (30 cm to 70 cm). The intensity of the flash is automatically adjusted according to the focus distance. The picture setting is same as the portrait.
7. Manually adjustable white balance for optimum color
The DMC-FX1/FX5 allow 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.
8. Unique in-finder (and on-LCD display) indications of guide lines and real-time histogram
The DMC-FX1/FX5 are provided with the unique functions to ease and enhance your shooting idea. The in-finder (and on-LCD display) 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.
9. Moving pictures and flip animations
The DMC-FX1/FX5 have 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.
10. Beautiful shots every time, with the easy-to-use Mode dial
The Mode dial uses icons to show the nine mode settings, consisting of Macro, Landscape, Night Portrait, Portrait, Normal, Motion Image, Playback, Simple mode, and Self-portrait mode, for quick and easy selection. The Simple mode has a minimal number of menu items, making it easy for beginners to select the best setting. For example, in Simple mode you can select the most appropriate settings for e-mail, Enlarge prints, or other applications without having to know the pixel count.
11. Lightweight, stylish all-aluminum-alloy body with choice of colors
The DMC-FX1/FX5's all-aluminum-alloy body is both light in weight and exceptionally tough. The body cover colors available (depending on the country) for the DMC-FX1 are champagne silver, Azure blue, Spanish red, Caribbean orange, and Montana green and those for the DMC-FX5 are Euro silver, Nordic blue, and Beaujolais red.
12. Other features that expand picture-shooting fun
Color effect function lets you adjust color tones to suit personal preferences (Warm, Cool, B/W)
Bright 1.5" 114,000-pixel color LCD
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.