Panasonic TZ4 Intro
Panasonic updates its popular TZ-series with the DMC-TZ4 and DMC-TZ5, featuring higher resolution and the latest Panasonic technological advancements.
Panasonic TZ4 Features
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 (known in Asia as the TZ11) includes a 1/2.5" 8.1 effective megapixel RGBG CCD image sensor, while the Panasonic TZ5 (aka the TZ15 in Asian markets) bumps this in favor of a 1/2.33" 10.7 effective megapixel imager. Both cameras couple this with a Leica DC Vario-Elmar branded F3.3 - F4.9 10x optical zoom lens. The Panasonic TZ4 has a 2.5" LCD with 230,000 pixel resolution - fairly standard these days - while the TZ5 bumps this to an unusually high-res 3.0" LCD with 460,000 pixel resolution. Both cameras store images on SD / SDHC / MMC cards or in 20MB of built-in memory. In both cases, power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery, which is rated for some 330 shots on a charge in the TZ4, and just a little less at 300 shots per charge for the TZ5 due to its larger, more power-hungry display. (CIPA standard testing using NiMH rechargeables with 50% flash usage at room temperature).
Additional Panasonic TZ4 features and details (adapted from the press release):
With the addition of Intelligent Exposure and Digital Red-eye Correction, Panasonic’s Advanced Intelligent Auto mode consists of seven intuitive technologies, all which are specifically designed to help make photo-taking an enjoyable and seamless process unnoticed by the consumer – helping them to take clear photos. When in Advanced Intelligent Auto mode, the following technologies all operate automatically; the consumer does not need to change any settings:
- Intelligent Exposure – With this new feature, photos will no longer be under- or over-exposed. Instead, the TZ5 and TZ4, 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*– This feature helps to 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 – With Intelligent ISO, the TZ4 and TZ5 can determine if the photo subject is moving and change the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly, thus giving a blur-free photo.
- Intelligent Scene Selector – 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 – Panasonic’s 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.
Also new to the TZ5 and the TZ4 is 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. Both models also incorporate Intelligent LCD, which detects the lighting condition and controls the brightness level of the LCD in 11 fine steps, to offer optimal clarity in any situation, whether dark or light; indoors or outdoors. With a newly developed 460,000-dot high resolution in the TZ5’s 3.0-inch LCD and 230,000-dot in the TZ4’s 2.5-inch LCD, photos can be easily viewed on the display, regardless of the shooting environment.
The TZ5, with 9.1 megapixels is capable of recording 720p High Definition motion pictures, and because of its support of SD Memory Cards, is easily compatible with Panasonic VIERA Plasma HDTVs that have an integrated SD Memory Card slot, so viewing photos is simple. The TZ4, with 8.1 megapixels, joins the TZ5 in its ability to take 1920 x 1080 pixel High Definition-ready photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV. Also, with the newly added HD component output capability, users can also connect the TZ models to an HDTV and watch a slideshow complete with mood-appropriate music, choosing from natural, slow, urban and swing.
* Digital Red-eye Correction available only on the LUMIX DMC-TZ5.
Panasonic TZ4 Pricing and Availability
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 will cost US$300, and goes on sale in the USA from March 2008.