Original Source Press Release:
Panasonic: 8 mpix, 18x zoom digicam|
(Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 04:00 EDT)
Panasonic's LUMIX digital camera lineup today sees the addition of a new electronic viewfinder-based digicam that couples high resolution with a powerful optical zoom lens.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ18 has body styling reminiscent of a single-lens reflex digital camera, and offers a 1/2.5" CCD image sensor with an effective eight megapixels. Dominating the front of the camera is a Leica-branded 18x optical zoom lens - the longest range yet offered on a LUMIX digicam, with previous models reaching a maximum of only 12x. The Panasonic FZ18's lens has a wide angle of 28mm, and reaches all the way out to 504mm at wide angle - exactly the same range as we've seen previously on Olympus' SP-550 UltraZoom. The FZ18's lens is a little brighter at the telephoto end than that on the Olympus though, with the maximum aperture varying from f/2.8 at wide angle to f/4.5 at telephoto. Of course for a lens this powerful, image stabilization is a must-have - and Panasonic has its Intelligent Image Stabilization system in the whole of its 2007 camera lineup, which includes both mechanical image stabilization (known as Mega Optical Image Stabilization) plus Intelligent ISO Control (which analyzes subject motion and then where possible boosts ISO sensitivity as necessary to select a suitable shutter speed to prevent blur).
The Panasonic DMC-FZ18 is one of the first three Panasonic digital cameras to introduce a couple of new technologies to the LUMIX line, the other two cameras being the DMC-FX33 and DMC-FX55 models announced simultaneously (and covered in a separate news item). That must-have feature in the digicam market for 2007 - face detection - makes its debut with Panasonic's incarnation able to detect up to 15 faces in a scene and then use this information to set focus and exposure appropriately. Face detection is enabled automatically in portrait or baby scene modes, and can cope with moving subjects. A second new feature is what's being called "Intelligent Auto" mode, which analyzes the scene and then automatically selects the scene mode (Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Scenery or Night Portrait), and activates optical image stabilization, intelligent ISO, face detection and continuous autofocus functions as necessary.
Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX FZ18 include a 2.5" LCD display with 207,000 pixel resolution, ISO sensitivity to 1600 (or 6400 max. in high sensitivity mode), a range of creativity-friendly options including both aperture- and shutter-priority plus a full manual mode, plus no less than fourteen scene modes to keep things approachable for the less experienced photographer. Images are stored in 27MB of built-in memory or on SD / MMC / SDHC cards in either JPEG or raw file formats (with a raw+JPEG option available), and power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery which is included in the product bundle. Connectivity options are NTSC / PAL video and USB, and bundled software includes LUMIX Simple Viewer, PhotofunStudio viewer, SILKYPIX Developer Studio 2.1SE, ArcSoft MediaImpression, and ArcSoft PanoramaMaker.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ18 goes on sale from September priced at about $400.
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ18 |
|Dimensions||4.6 x 3.0 x 3.5"|
117.6 x 75.3 x 88.2mm
|Planned Availability|| 2007|
|Sensor Type||1/2.5" CCD|
8.32 megapixels (total)
8.10 megapixels (effective)
|Aspect Ratio||4:3, 16:9|
|Image Dimensions||3264 x 2448 (8.0 megapixels)|
3264 x 2176 (7.1 megapixels)
3264 x 1840 (6.0 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2560 x 1712 (4.4 megapixels)
2560 x 1440 (3.7 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
2048 x 1360 (2.8 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
|Capture Speed||Continuous: 3.0 frames per second for 4 frames|
|Image Preview / Review|
|Viewfinder||Yes, 0.44" electronic viewfinder w/ 188,000 pixels|
100% field of view
|LCD||2.5", 207,000 pixels|
100% field of view
|Playback Zoom||16.0x max|
|Lens Type||LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT|
18x optical zoom
|Focal Length||4.6 - 82.8mm (actual)|
28 - 504mm (35mm equivalent)
|Aperture Range||f/2.8 - f/8.0 (wide); f/4.2 - f/8.0 (tele)|
|Focusing System||Face / 1-point / 1-point high speed / 3-point high speed / Multi-point / Spot autofocus with AF assist lamp|
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
|Focusing Range||Normal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)|
Macro: 0.4" - infinity (1.0 cm - infinity)
|ISO Sensitivity||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 6400* (high sensitivity mode only)|
|Shutter Speed||60 - 1/2000 second|
|Exposure Modes||Aperture, Shutter, Manual|
|Metering Modes||Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot|
|Exposure Compensation||+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments|
|White Balance||Image Sensor - Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set 1 / White Set 2, Manual|
|Internal Flash||Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off|
Range: 0.3 - 6.0m (Wide/ISO Auto), 1.0 - 4.0m (Tele/ISO Auto)
|Flash Exposure Compensation||+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments|
|Scene Modes||Food, Party, Candle Light, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Panning, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo)|
|Self Timer||Yes, 2 or 10 seconds|
|Movie Format||QuickTime MotionJPEG with audio|
|Recording Medium||SD/MMC, Built-in|
|File Format||CCD-RAW, JPEG (EXIF v2.21)|
|Video||Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion rechargeable|
|Battery Form Factor||Proprietary|
|Software||LUMIX Simple Viewer, PhotofunStudio -viewer, SILKYPIX Developer Studio 2.1SE, ArcSoft MediaImpression, ArcSoft PanoramaMaker, USB Driver|
|Battery / Charger||1 x proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger|
|Flash Memory||27.0MB built-in memory|
|Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant||Yes|
|PANASONIC UNVEILS VERSATILE LUMIX DIGITAL CAMERA WITH 18X OPTICAL ZOOM AND 28MM WIDE-ANGLE LEICA DC LENS |
LUMIX DMC-FZ18, a High-Zoom Camera, Introduces New Intelligent Auto Mode, Featuring Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Continuous Auto-focus
SECAUCUS, N.J. (July 24, 2007) – Panasonic today expanded its LUMIX family of digital still cameras with the introduction of the LUMIX DMC-FZ18, an 8.1 Megapixel compact camera with an impressive 18x optical zoom. In addition to a premium 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC lens, the DMC-FX18 joins the LUMIX DMC-FX33 and DMC-FX55 as the first Panasonic digital cameras to offer the revolutionary Intelligent Auto Mode, which include Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Continuous Auto-focus functions, allowing users to easily capture clear, professional-quality images in any situation or setting.
When this powerful camera, with an optical zoom up to 18x, is put into Intelligent Auto Mode, the multi-faceted functions engage automatically, so there is no need to adjust settings every time conditions change. The DMC-FZ18’s intuitive Intelligent Auto Mode is comprised of:
- Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically selects the appropriate scene mode from the most frequently-used modes such as Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Scenery and Night Portrait;
- Face Detection System, which helps the camera to focus, set auto exposure and detects up to 15 human faces capturing them clearly and brightly; and
- Continuous Auto-focus, which allows the camera to keep focus on the subject without having to press the shutter button halfway and allowing for the best results out of a shutter chance by minimizing the auto-focus time.
“The Intelligent Auto Mode in the DMC-FZ18 does all the work for you, making photo-taking trouble-free,” noted Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “When taking into account the camera’s 18x optical zoom, which is among the industry’s longest zooms, and then adding 8.1 Megapixels, a 28mm wide-angle lens, MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, and Intelligent Auto Mode, the DMC-FZ18 delivers professional-level photo quality, in a powerful camera packed with advanced features that is still easy to use.”
Similar to the entire 2007 line of LUMIX digital still cameras, the camera sports advanced countermeasures against blurring – the Intelligent Image Stabilization system, which combines MEGA Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) to compensate for hand-shake and Intelligent ISO Control to detect and adjust for motion blur caused by subject movement.
The LUMIX DMC-FZ18 also is equipped with a 2.5-inch large, high resolution LCD with 207,000 pixels, a 0.44-inch Electric Viewfinder with 188,000 pixels, f/2.8 brightness and is powered by the high-quality, high-performance, Venus Engine III, which boasts shooting at ISO 1600 in normal recording mode.
The DMC-FZ18 has been redesigned to make the camera more stylish and easier to use. The auto focus, auto exposure lock, and Macro buttons are now independent, to allow quick and direct operation, a metal-finished mode dial adds design strength and an enhanced rubber grip makes the camera easier to hold. The redesigned body also incorporates the joystick made popular by the DMC-FZ8 model, which enables a host of settings, such as manual focusing and exposure, to be done quickly and easily.
Other advanced features of the LUMIX DMC-FZ18 include:
- Custom Setting Mode that memorizes your frequent setting patterns for instance use applied by simply selecting this function on the mode dial.
- 1920 x 1080 pixel photos ideal for full-screen viewing on a wide-screen HDTV.
- Six auto-focusing methods including: face detection, multi, three-point high-speed, one-point high-speed, one-point normal-speed, and spot. With the one-point auto-focus or spot auto-focus method, the auto-focusing area can be chosen from as many as 11 points with the joystick or cursor button.
- Advanced Scene Modes provide users more control over some frequently-used scene modes such as, indoor and outdoor modes when selecting portrait or sports mode and nature or architecture settings when selecting portrait mode.
- Bundled SILKYPIX Developer Studio 2.0SE software application for editing and developing images in the RAW file format.
- 27 MB of built-in memory: Perfect for backing up SDHC/SD Memory Card recording. *
- Extra Optical Zoom feature extends zoom power to 28.7x at 3 Megapixels.
- Compatibility with large-capacity SDHC memory cards.
- Title Edit Function allows inputting of text and additional picture information.
- Picture Playback by category: Sorts images into categories such as portraits, landscapes, nightscapes, events and motion pictures. Also, allows slideshow playback of images in the same category.
- Optional accessories including a tele-conversion lens, close-up lens, ND filter, MC protector, lens adaptor, AC adaptor, battery pack, soft case and camera Bag.
- Available in two colors: silver and black.
- The LUMIX DMC-FZ18 will be available in September 2007 for an MSRP of $399.95.
* 1 MB = 1 million bytes. Usable capacity will be less.
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. In its commitment to provide consumers with extensive imaging resources, Panasonic LUMIX established the Digital Photo Academy, a series of nationwide workshops designed to instruct consumers how to optimize the features on their digital cameras and produce high-quality photos. Panasonic is honored to support OUR PLACE – The World’s Heritage, a project that will create the world’s largest photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with acclaimed photographers exclusively using LUMIX digital cameras to capture all images. Information about Panasonic LUMIX digital still cameras and its affiliated programs is available at www.panasonic.com/dsc.
# # #