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Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LZ2 digital camera. Courtesy of Panasonic, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Panasonic: Two new LZ Lumix digicams
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 10:24 EST)

As part of its five digital camera announcements for the day, Panasonic has unveiled two closely related models featuring an image-stabilised 6x optical zoom lens coupled with 4.0 and 5.0 effective megapixel CCD imagers respectively.

The lower-resolution Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ1 is almost identical to its higher-resolution DMC-LZ2 sibling, with the exception of the latter's microphone (for movies and audio clips), sensor difference, and a slight difference in ISO ratings possible. Both cameras forgo any form of optical viewfinder in favor of a 2.0" LCD display with 85,000 pixels. Images are stored on SD and MMC memory cards, or in 14MB of internal memory. The cameras both offer USB 1.1 connectivity, as well as NTSC / PAL switchable video output. Power is supplied by two AA batteries, with disposable Oxyride batteries included in the camera bundle.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ1 will ship at a price of $249; the DMC-LZ2 will cost $299. Both cameras will go on sale next month.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ1
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LZ1 digital camera. Courtesy of Panasonic, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Mid-Sized
Manufacturer Panasonic
Model Number DMC-LZ1
Dimensions 4.0 x 2.5 x 1.3"
100.5 x 63.5 x 32.9mm
Weight 7.8 oz
224.0 g
Planned Price $249.00
Planned Availability Mar 2005
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
4.23 megapixels (total)
4.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions 2304 x 1728
1920 x 1080
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
640 x 480
Capture Speed Standard: 2.0 frames per second for 4 frames
Continuous: 4.0 frames per second
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD 2.0", 85,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom 16.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Lumix DC Vario
6x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 6.1 - 222mm (actual)
37 - 222 (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 or f/5.6 (wide); f/4.5 or f/9.0 (tele)
Focusing System 1, 3 or 5 point; spot
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity
Macro: 2.0" - infinity
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400
Shutter Speed 8 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Modes Program
Metering Modes Intelligent multiple
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Halogen / White Set, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off
Range: 0.3 - 4.2m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.5 - 2.6m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, Night Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Fireworks, Party, Snow
Digital Zoom 4x
Self Timer Yes, seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format QuickTime Motion JPEG without audio
320x240
Max. frame-rate: 30frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC, Built-in
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format JPEG
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 1.1
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Oxyride / Alkaline disposable, NiMH rechargeable
Battery Form Factor 2 x AA
Product Bundle
Software SD Viewer for DSC, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, USB driver
Battery / Charger 2 x AA Oxyride disposable
Flash Memory 14MB Built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LZ1 digital camera. Courtesy of Panasonic, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Mid-Sized
Manufacturer Panasonic
Model Number DMC-LZ2
Dimensions 4.0 x 2.5 x 1.3"
100.5 x 63.5 x 32.9mm
Weight 7.8 oz
224.0 g
Planned Price $299.00
Planned Availability Mar 2005
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
5.36 megapixels (total)
5.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions 2560 x 1920
2048 x 1536
1920 x 1080
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
640 x 480
Capture Speed Standard: 2.0 frames per second for 3 frames
Continuous: 3.0 frames per second
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD 2.0", 85,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom 16.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Lumix DC Vario
6x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 6.1 - 222mm (actual)
37 - 222 (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 or f/5.6 (wide); f/4.5 or f/9.0 (tele)
Focusing System 1, 3 or 5 point; spot
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity
Macro: 2.0" - infinity
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400
Shutter Speed 8 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Modes Program
Metering Modes Intelligent multiple
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Halogen / White Set, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off
Range: 0.3 - 4.2m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.5 - 2.6m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, Night Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Fireworks, Party, Snow
Digital Zoom 4x
Self Timer Yes, seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format QuickTime Motion JPEG with audio
320x240
Max. frame-rate: 30frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC, Built-in
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format JPEG
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 1.1
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Oxyride / Alkaline disposable, NiMH rechargeable
Battery Form Factor 2 x AA
Product Bundle
Software SD Viewer for DSC, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, USB driver
Battery / Charger 2 x AA Oxyride disposable
Flash Memory 14MB Built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
.

Original Source Press Release:

NEW PANASONIC LUMIX? CAMERAS FEATURE BUILT-IN MEMORY TO CAPTURE PHOTOS ON THE FLY

New Models Boast 6X Optical Zoom and MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer

SECAUCUS, NJ (February 8, 2005) ? Never miss a photo opportunity again, even if you don’t have an SD memory card on hand. Panasonic’s new DMC-LZ1 and DMC-LZ2 Lumix? cameras feature 14 megabytes of built-in memory to capture those spontaneous moments.

The 4-megapixel DMC-LZ1 and 5-megapixel DMC-LZ2 feature a DC VARIO lens with 6x optical zoom (equivalent to 37mm to 222mm on a 35mm film camera lens), with capability of up to 24x magnification when combined with the 4x digital zoom, and MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer). Panasonic’s MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer automatically detects and optically compensates for hand movement.

“When using a small, lightweight camera such as these, zooming in can accentuate every little movement of the hand,” said Monica Helmer, Marketing Manager for Panasonic. “That’s why Panasonic incorporates its MEGA O.I.S into every Lumix camera. It enables you to take clear, distortion-free pictures, even ultra-telephoto or macro shots of distant or moving subjects, or shots taken in low lighting conditions.”

The new models have a large 2.0 inch TRM (Transmissive with Micro Reflective) crystal-clear LCD display which is extremely easy to view, even outdoors on bright, sunny days. Even with the optical 6x zoom lens unit, the cameras’ body size is as compact as an ordinary AA-battery operated 3x optical zoom camera.

Panasonic’s Venus Engine Plus image processing LSI provides high quality and quick response with low energy consumption. In addition to a consecutive shooting function that allows users to take 4 (DMC-LZ1) or 3 (DMC-LZ2) frames per second at full resolution, the newly developed Venus Engine Plus enables unlimited* consecutive shooting. Successive shots can be taken until the memory card or build-in memory reaches capacity.

Auto angle detection, a new feature, records whether an image was taken horizontally or vertically and displays it accordingly, whether viewed on the camera’s LCD or on a connected TV.

Other features include Burst Shooting Mode, four spot focusing modes, Simple Mode for automatic settings, built-in flash and more.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ1 and DMC-LZ2 run on two AA size batteries, and come equipped with Panasonic’s new, super-powerful Oxyride™ Extreme Power™ batteries.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom or through the company’s toll-free fax-back system at 888-734-7490.

* Consecutive shooting speed varies depending on the memory card or built-in memory. The number of recordable picture depends on the memory card and built-in memory size, battery life, picture size and compression.
** Manufacturer’s suggested retail price. All prices are in U.S. dollars.

MODEL AVAILABILITY MSRP**
DMC-LZ1 March 2005 $249.95
DMC-LZ2 March 2005 $299.95

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