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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS6 Overview

The compact, entry-level Panasonic LS6 digital camera offers an effective resolution of 14.1 megapixels from a 1/2.33" RGB CCD image sensor, which Panasonic has coupled to an unbranded 5x optical zoom lens with a generous 26mm-equivalent wide angle. Importantly, the Panasonic LS6's lens features a true optical image stabilization system with which to fight blur caused by camera shake. The Panasonic LS6's lens has a two-step aperture that offers F2.8 and F7.9 at wide angle, or a rather dim F6.5 and F18.4 at telephoto. The minimum focusing distance for the Panasonic DMC-LS6 is fifteen centimeters at wide angle, or 60 centimeters at telephoto.

There's sadly no optical viewfinder, with the Panasonic LS6 instead opting solely for a 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution on which images and videos are both framed and reviewed. The Panasonic DMC-LS6 has a nine-point multi-area autofocus system which also includes a single-point focusing mode. As with many digital cameras these days, there's also a face detection function, with Panasonic's implementation using the information to adjust both focus and exposure to properly capture your subjects' faces.

ISO sensitivity ordinarily ranges from 100 to 1,600 equivalents, with the ability to extend this as far as ISO 6,400 equivalent in High Sensitivity mode. Shutter speeds from 1/2,000 to 8 seconds are possible. The Panasonic DMC-LS6 uses Multiple metering, and offers six white balance settings including Auto, Manual, and four fixed presets. A generous selection of fifteen scene modes let users tailor the look of their images, useful given that the Panasonic LS6 doesn't offer aperture-, shutter-priority, or fully manual modes. There's also an Intelligent Scene Selection function, which can automatically select from a subset of five commonly used scene modes--Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, or Macro. A six mode flash strobe includes red-eye reduction and slow sync capabilities, and has a rated range of up to 4.6 meters at wide angle, or 2.0 meters at telephoto. The Panasonic DMC-LS6 also includes the company's Intelligent Auto mode as seen on past models.

As well as JPEG still images, the Panasonic LS6 can capture 30 frames-per-second movies with monaural sound at resolutions of 1280 x 720 pixels or below, although the compression used is the older QuickTime Motion JPEG type so file sizes are likely to be hefty. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS6 stores its images and movies on Secure Digital cards, including the newer SDHC and SDXC types. There's also a not-so-generous 10MB of built-in memory. Connectivity options include a USB 2.0 High-Speed connection, but no video output connectivity is provided. Power comes from two standard AA batteries, and is rated as good for 320 shots on a charge to CIPA testing standards using 1,950 mAh NiMH rechargeables, or 160 shots with alkaline disposables. The software bundle includes PHOTOfunSTUDIO v6.0 and Adobe Reader.

Pricing and availability has not been announced for the U.S. market.