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Panasonic announces DMC-FX7 digicam
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(Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 22:30 EDT)

Panasonic USA has today announced the new Lumix DMC-FX7 digital camera, an ultracompact model noteable for its inclusion of the company's MEGA Optical Image Stabilisation (MEGA OIS) technology.

The five megapixel DMC-FX7, which has been announced alongside the almost identical four megapixel DMC-FX2 in Europe (see our friends at the Digital Photography Review for info on that model) is almost exactly the same size as Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-T1, which makes the inclusion of a MEGA OIS 35 - 105mm equivalent 3x optical zoom lens pretty impressive.

Other specifications include a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels (2304 x 1728 pixels on the DMC-FX2), 9-point autofocus, ISO sensitivity up to ISO 400, shutter speeds from 8 - 1/2000 second, three frames per second burst mode for up to four images, and a whopping 2.5" LCD display (2.0" on the DMC-FX2). The camera has dimensions of 94 x 50 x 24mm, and weighs 153 grams with battery (148 grams for the DMC-FX2). Power comes from a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, and images are stored on SD memory cards.

The DMC-FX7 will be available in black or silver, and cost $499.95 in the USA when it ships this August. We're currently awaiting press images from Panasonic...

Original Source Press Release:

Panasonic introduces new Lumix™ 5 megapixel, ultra compact camera with optical image stabilizer

Secaucus, NJ (July 21, 2004) - Panasonic's new model DMC-FX7 5-megapixel Lumix digital camera packs a wealth of advanced technology and easy-to-use features in a sleek, compact package. It's the first compact digital camera to feature both an Optical Image Stabilizer, and 2.5" LCD. Incorporating a high-performance Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens, the DMC-FX7 combines the ease and convenience of digital utility with the expressiveness of film photography.

Scheduled to begin shipping to retailers in August, the DMC-FX7 will be available in black or silver. The unit will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $499.95.

"Everything about the DMC-FX7 is designed to allow anyone to get high-quality results, whether composing a scene or catching the action on the fly," said Monica Helmer, Marketing Manager for Panasonic's Optical Group. "Consumers who use a camera this small and lightweight are particularly troubled by image quality problems due to inevitable hand movement. With the DMC-FX7, Panasonic has corrected this problem by including an optical image stabilizer. It intuitively compensates for any hand movement, so that every shot is beautifully crisp and clear."

The DMC-FX7 features a Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens system comprising 7 elements in six groups, including three aspherical lenses. This small, lightweight lens achieves the fine rendering and vivid color reproduction for which Leica DC lenses are renowned. The Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens features F2.8 ¾ 5.0 brightness and a focal distance of 5.8mm to 17.4mm (comparable to a 35 to 105mm lens on a 35mm film camera.)

The camera's 3x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom1 may be used together to achieve up to 12x zoom power ¾ corresponding to a 420mm zoom lens on a 35mm camera.

Panasonic's MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer automatically detects and corrects for hand movement. This technology is especially appreciated when taking telephoto shots or when using slow shutter speeds to capture the atmosphere in dimly lit scenes. This optical technology provides precise compensation for movement with no image quality degradation.

Panasonic's improved Venus 2 Engine LSI handles image processing, LCD functions, and writing to the memory card simultaneously, giving the camera quick response, increased shutter speed and reduced lag time. The improved LSI also allows faster consecutive shooting than its predecessor. If desired, the camera will keep shooting until the memory card is full. This second-generation Venus Engine also improves horizontal, vertical and diagonal resolution.

Other features include 9 thumbnail image display, large 2.5" (diagonal) LCD, 30 or 10 fps QuickTimeā motion image recording with audio, SD Memory Card/MultiMedia Card slot, MEGA BURST recording for lightning-fast consecutive shots, auto bracketing, program AE, USB port, SD card viewer, SD Memory Card, included ArcSoftā photo editing software package, and much more.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, Division of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, markets a broad line of digital and other consumer electronics products. Based in Secaucus, N.J., Matsushita Electric Corporation of America is 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. Additional information on Matsushita Electric Corporation of America and Panasonic 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.

1 As digital magnification increases, resolution significantly decreases.

ArcSoft, the ArcSoft logo, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft PhotoPrinter Pro, ArcSoft Panorama Maker, and ArcSoft PhotoBase are trademarks of ArcSoft, Inc.

Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH. The Leica DC lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and a quality assurance system that have been certified by Leica Camera AG based on the company's quality standards.

QuickTime® is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc. in the United States and other countries.

Windows® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

All prices are in U.S. dollars.

All specifications are subject to change without notice.

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