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Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FZ4 digital camera. Courtesy of Panasonic, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Panasonic: Two new long-zoom Lumix digicams
By 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FZ4 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-FZ4
Dimensions 4.3 x 2.7 x 3.3"
108.0 x 68.4 x 84.8mm
Weight 326.0 g
11.4 oz
Planned Price $449.00
Planned Availability Apr 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 (4.0 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Capture Speed Standard: 4.0 frames per second for 4 frames
Continuous: 4.0 frames per second
Image Quality 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder 1/3" color EVF, 114k pixels
100% field of view
LCD 1.5", 114,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom 16.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Leica DC Vario-Elmarit
12x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 6.0 - 420mm (actual)
35 - 420mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 (wide) / f/3.3 (tele) - f/8
Focusing System 1,3 or 9 point; spot. High speed mode for 1 or 3 points. with AF assist lamp
Focusing Range Normal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.0" - infinity (5.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes Intelligent multiple / center-weighted / spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Halogen / Flash / White Set, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off
Range: 0.3 - 4.5m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 3.8m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Panning, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow
Digital Zoom 4x
Time Lapse No
Movie Format QuickTime Motion JPEG without audio
320x240
Max. frame-rate: 4 frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format TIFF, JPEG (Exif 2.2)
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 1.1
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary 7.2V 680mAh
Product Bundle
Software SD Viewer for DSC, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, USB driver
Battery / Charger Proprietary Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 8MB SD Memory card
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FZ5 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-FZ5
Dimensions 4.3 x 2.7 x 3.3"
108.0 x 68.4 x 84.8mm
Weight 326.0 g
11.4 oz
Planned Price $499.00
Planned Availability Apr 2005
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
5.36 megapixels (total)
5.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Aspect Ratio 4:3, Other
Image Dimensions 2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Capture Speed Standard: 3.0 frames per second for 4 frames
Continuous: 3.0 frames per second
Image Quality 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder 1/3" color EVF, 114k pixels
100% field of view
LCD 1.8", 130,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom 16.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Leica DC Vario-Elmarit
12x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 6.0 - 420mm (actual)
35 - 420mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 (wide) / f/3.3 (tele) - f/8
Focusing System 1,3 or 9 point; spot. High speed mode for 1 or 3 points. with AF assist lamp
Focusing Range Normal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.0" - infinity (5.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes Intelligent multiple / center-weighted / spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Halogen / Flash / White Set, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off
Range: 0.3 - 4.5m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 3.8m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Panning, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow
Digital Zoom 4x
Time Lapse No
Movie Format QuickTime Motion JPEG with audio
320x240
Max. frame-rate: 4 frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format TIFF, JPEG (Exif 2.2)
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 1.1
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary 7.2V 680mAh
Product Bundle
Software SD Viewer for DSC, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, USB driver
Battery / Charger Proprietary Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 8MB SD Memory card
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
.

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.

MODEL AVAILABILITY MSRP**
DMC-FZ5 April 2005 $499.95
DMC-FZ4 April 2005 $449.95

###

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