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Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FX5 digital camera. Courtesy of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. Panasonic: Two new digicams at CES
(Wednesday, January 7, 2004 - 16:13 EST)

At a press conference today before the CES show - which Dave and Mike are currently attending - kicks off, Panasonic is making several digital camera related announcements.

The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC50 and DMC-LC70 are closely related - the latter featuring the higher resolution with a 4 megapixel imager, whilst the DMC-LC50 has a 3.2 megapixel imager. Both use 3x optical zoom lenses and a variety of features such as Panasonic's Venus Engine LSI, 8-1/2000 seconds shutter speed, MEGA BURST recording, QuickTime motion image recording. A further difference between the two models is that whilst the DMC-LC50 offers video-only (no sound) recording and video-out connectivity, the 'LC70 supplements this with a built-in microphone and audio/video out connection. The higher model also adds a real-time histogram in record mode.

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LC50 digital camera. Courtesy of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.

A second announcement is new for the US market, but was announced a while ago in Japan. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5 is a 4 megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom lens in a fairly attractive body that looks to be fairly slim (no size or weight is actually mentioned in the press release).

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FX5 digital camera. Courtesy of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.

Original Source Press Release:


LAS VEGAS, Nev. (January 7, 2004) - Panasonic, the first consumer electronics company to feature world-renowned Leica DC lenses in its digital still cameras and camcorders, today announced its new Lumix digital camera line for 2004.

Representing the perfect balance of art and science, Lumix cameras seamlessly integrate superlative Leica optics with Panasonic's unsurpassed digital electronics technology, allowing users to experience a new level of artistic expression while exploring a host of creative applications made possible by digital technology.

"The Lumix line has taken digital cameras to a new level of performance," said Andrew Nelkin, Vice President of Panasonic's Optical Group. "Thanks to high-performance Leica DC lenses, and Panasonic's unique image processing system, the Lumix cameras capture nuances unlike any other digital camera, and are capable of taking consecutive shots nearly as quickly as a motor-driven film camera."

The three new models feature Panasonic's Venus Engine LSI high-speed image processing system, which delivers both superb image rendering and unmatched processing speed.

Responsive and precise, each new camera features quick start-up and shutter speeds - up to 1/2000 sec - that shatter the myth about digital cameras.

Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S.(optical image stabilizer) corrects for hand-shake so that every shot is beautifully crisp and clear. This technology is especially appreciated when taking telephoto shots or when using slow shutter speeds to capture the atmosphere in dimly lit scenes. A corrective lens driven by a linear motor provides quick, precise optical correction for hand movement detected by a gyrosensor. Panasonic uses optical rather than an electronic processing to prevent image degradation.

Featuring built-in USB ports1 and SD Memory Card slots, the three new Lumix digital cameras also offer consumers networking versatility with PCs and a wide variety of compatible SD-enabled devices.

Each Lumix camera includes SD Viewer software, a USB driver and ArcSoft photo editing software.

Model DMC-FX5 features a 1/2.5" CCD with a total of 4.23 mega pixels. The camera's Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens system comprises 7 elements in six groups, including three aspherical lenses, and is comparable to a 35 to 105mm lens on a 35mm camera. This small, lightweight lens achieves the fine rendering and vivid color reproduction for which Leica DC lenses are renowned.

Enhanced features include guide lines to help identify horizontal and vertical reference, and a real-time histogram which indicates the exposure status.

This model also features 9 thumbnail image display; 3x digital zoom* and 3x optical zoom; QuickTime motion image recording with audio; MEGA BURST recording for lightning-fast consecutive shots; Optical Image Stabilizer to help prevent jitter - especially convenient for handheld telephoto shots, and many more features.

DMC-LC50 and DMC-LC70
Compact and lightweight, models DMC-LC50 and DMC-LC70 are great for both the beginner and experienced photographer.

The DMC-LC70 boasts a CCD with an effective pixel count of 4.0 mega pixels, and the DMC-LC50 has an effective pixel count of 3.2 mega pixels. Each offers 3x optical zoom; Panasonic's high-performance Venus Engine LSI; 8-1/2000 seconds shutter speed; MEGA BURST recording; QuickTime motion image recording and many more advanced features.

The DMC-LC50 comes with a video cable for direct connection to a TV for large-screen viewing, while the DMC-LC70 includes an A/V cable. The DMC-LC70 also features a built-in microphone, enabling users to add audio to their still images and motion recordings, and real-time histogram.

The new DMC-FX5, DMC-LC70 and DMC-LC50 join current model DMC-FZ10. The DMC-FZ10 has been selected as a 2004 Innovations Design and Engineering Showcase Honoree by the Consumer Electronics Association.

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.

DMC-FX5Spring 2004
DMC-LC70Spring 2004
DMC-LC50Spring 2004

* As digital zoom increases, resolution significantly decreases.
** Manufacturer's suggested retail price. All prices are in U.S. dollars.

1 Computer must have USB Port and included driver software.

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.

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

All specifications are subject to change without notice.


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