Panasonic: Two new long-zoom Lumix digicams
Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 15:24 EST)
The final two of five digital camera announcements today from Panasonic couple 4.0 and 5.0 effective megapixel CCD imagers respectively with a powerful 12x optical zoom lens manufactured with input from Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
The lower-resolution Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4 is almost identical to its higher-resolution DMC-FZ5, with the exception of the latter's larger LCD display, microphone (for movies and audio clips), sensor difference, and a slight difference in ISO ratings possible. The DMC-FZ4 features a a 1.5" LCD display with 114,000 pixels, while the DMC-FZ5 upgrades this to a a 1.8" LCD display with 130,000 pixels. Both cameras feature a 1/3" electronic viewfinder with 114,000 pixels, and store images on SD or MMC memory cards. The cameras also offer USB 1.1 connectivity, as well as NTSC / PAL switchable video output. Power is supplied by a proprietary Lithium Ion battery, with both battery and charger included in the product bundle.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4 will ship at a price of $449; the DMC-FZ5 will cost $499. Both cameras will go on sale in April.
Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Panning, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow
QuickTime Motion JPEG with audio
Max. frame-rate: 4 frames per second
Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
TIFF, JPEG (Exif 2.2)
Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor
Proprietary 7.2V 680mAh
SD Viewer for DSC, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, USB driver
Battery / Charger
Proprietary Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery and charger
8MB SD Memory card
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant
Original Source Press Release:
PANASONIC INTRODUCES NEW LUMIX DIGITAL CAMERAS WITH 12X OPTICAL ZOOM AND MEGA O.I.S.
SECAUCUS, NJ (February 8, 2005) - Panasonic introduces two new Lumix? digital still cameras with 12x optical zoom and MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer). Models DMC-FZ5 and DMC-FZ4 offer 5.0-megapixel and 4.0-megapixel resolution, respectively, and incorporate a newly developed 12x optical zoom equivalent to 36mm to 432mm (DMC-FZ5) / 35mm to 420mm (DMC-FZ4) on a 35mm film camera lens. The remarkable 12x optical zoom combined with 4x digital zoom magnifies images by as much as 48x, enabling users to capture images of subjects at longer distances. Both cameras feature a high-performance LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens.
Panasonic first introduced the MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer with its DMC-FZ1 digital still camera in 2003; and, in 2004, was the first to market a digital camera with 12x zoom and MEGA O.I.S. Since then, MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer has been an indispensable and key feature in the company’s Lumix line.
Panasonic’s MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer automatically detects and corrects for hand movement, providing precise compensation with no image quality degradation. This technology is especially appreciated when taking telephoto shots or when using slow shutter speeds to capture the atmosphere in dimly lit scenes.
“Panasonic’s Optical Image Stabilizer technology dramatically enhances the potential for capturing great shots by photographers at all skill levels,” said Monica Helmer, Marketing Manager for Panasonic’s Optical Group. “It’s especially useful with these small, lightweight cameras, and for shooting while zooming, in macro mode, at night or low-light situations, indoors, in moving vehicles, and in spontaneous shooting situations.”
Panasonic’s LSI Venus Engine II handles image processing, LCD functions, and writing to the memory card simultaneously, making these cameras incredibly responsive with an industry-leading release time lag of 0.008 seconds minimum for the DMC-FZ5 and 0.006 seconds minimum for the DMC-FZ4; and shutter interval of approx. 0.4 seconds* minimum for the DMC-FZ5 and 0.3 seconds* minimum for the DMC-FZ4. The LSI also enables lightning-fast consecutive shooting capability, capturing sequential shots at a rate of 3 frames (DMC-FZ5) or 4 frames (DMC-FZ4) per second at full resolution. An unlimited** consecutive shooting function allows the user to take photos in succession until the memory card is full. The LSI also improves horizontal, vertical and diagonal resolution.
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 fast AF; selectable manual functions (such as aperture-priority AE, shutter-priority AE and manual exposure); a Simple Mode, in which most settings are made automatically; real-time histogram; color viewfinder; built-in flash, and more.
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.
* Not including the time for AF.
** Consecutive shooting speed varies depending on the memory card. The number of recordable pictures depends on the memory card size, battery life, picture size, and compression.
Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems that have been certified by Leica Camera AG based on the company’s quality standards.