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Panasonic launches new Lumix ZS7, TS2, ZR3 Compacts

Panasonic launches new Lumix ZS7, TS2, ZR3 Compacts

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New models boast new features, functions, and a curious "extended zoom" feature.

By Adorama Learning Center Editors

January 26, 2010

Panasonic adds manual control and GPS to their popular pocket rocket line, makes the tough series even tougher and intros the 8x (or effectively 10x) ZR3, along with a confusing and potentially interesting "intelligent zoom" product spec.

 

Tons of views of the new Lumix cameras. Click the photo to visit the official Panasonic Lumix site.

 

The following are unedited press releases provided by Panasonic.

PANASONIC UNVEILS THE WORLD’S SMALLEST PHOTO/VIDEO HYBRID SUPERZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA*1 COMPLETE WITH A 25MM WIDE-ANGLE LEICA LENS AND POWERFUL 12X OPTICAL ZOOM

With New Built-In GPS Feature, Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 Digital Camera is Ultimate Travel Companion, Allowing Users to Geo-Tag Photos and Videos

Secaucus, NJ (January 26, 2010) – Panasonic today introduces the LUMIX DMC-ZS7, the newest member of the acclaimed superzoom ZS-Series of digital cameras that have gained worldwide popularity. Complete with its hallmark 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens and a powerful 12x optical zoom (operable in video recording mode), this 12.1-megapixel powerhouse performer, also includes a new built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) feature that embeds photos and videos with the latitude and longitude location details, a useful feature when using an online photo-sharing website. The LUMIX ZS7 is also the world’s smallest photo/video hybrid superzoom digital camera*1, which can also record High Definition (HD) video using the recording capability in AVCHD Lite, which includes a dedicated video record button and new to the ZS-Series is a manual shooting mode.

“As a successor to the Panasonic LUMIX ZS3, which was last year’s most popular compact model, we are confident the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 will continue the success, thanks to big features like HD video, 12x optical zoom and the newly added GPS capabilities and it’s super-fast Auto Focusing,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Panasonic is excited to introduce our first GPS-enabled digital camera, and it adds to the ZS7’s appeal as the ultimate travel companion – from its range of shooting options, both far and wide, and now the ability to record exactly where photos were taken. We are confident consumers will have all the features they need to capture high quality photos and video and share their travels with their friends and family.”

The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 features Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus), which enables a super-fast response time, and a shutter release time lag as short as approximately 0.006 second.  The camera's quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities and together with the Sonic Speed AF that lets users lock on the subject minimum in approximately 0.35 second (wide-end) / 0.41 second (tele-end)*3.  The LUMIX ZS7 also features a short startup time of approximately 1.1 second.

With the new GPS feature, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 is the ultimate travel companion, and can record the latitude and longitude in the EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data, while also displaying the location information real-time while shooting and during playback. These geo-tagged images can be pinpointed on maps common in photo-sharing websites and social media sites – so travels can be archived and also visually represented on a map – and easily shared with friends and family. The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also shows the name of the city, country and state, and information for more than 500,000 popular landmarks, covering 73 countries, are stored in the camera’s internal memory.  For instance, when users are taking photos of the Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building, landmarks stored within the camera, these locations will be displayed on the screen while taking it and tagged in the data. Users can also refer to the locations using the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO HD Edition Version 5.1.  The LUMIX ZS7 automatically adjusts its internal clock to the local time, so there’s no need to set the clock manually when traveling.

The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also features a new image processing technology, Intelligent Resolution, which is incorporated in its Venus Engine HD.  With the Intelligent Resolution technology, three areas – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation – are examined pixel by pixel and automatically detected to enhance any degradation created during the digital zoom process or in high-sensitivity shooting. The outline areas are enhanced effectively to give the edges more clarity, while simultaneously giving a moderate accent to the textured areas so it looks accurately detailed. To the soft gradation area, such as a face, the increased noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to make it smoother.  As a result of Intelligent Resolution, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and video recording.  The Intelligent Resolution technology powers Panasonic’s new Intelligent Zoom feature, which extends the camera’s zoom ratio by approximately 1.3x while maintaining the picture quality – and enhancing the digital zoom and making it comparable to the quality of an optical zoom. With Intelligent Zoom, the Panasonic ZS7 features a total zoom range up to16x.

For more advanced users, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 adds manual control features, allowing for adjustments in shutter speed, aperture and exposure – and encouraging more creative photography options.  For digital camera users looking for an easy-to-use setting that still ensures high quality photos, Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) mode is the solution.  Panasonic iA is a popular feature on LUMIX digital cameras, making them intuitive to use without changing any settings, as technologies engage automatically. For instance, iA incorporates Panasonic’s POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), which doubles the repression power compared to the conventional image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S.

Other technologies incorporated into the LUMIX ZS7’s iA mode include:
Face Recognition – With new enhancements when compared to previous editions, Face Recognition allows users to register up to three different images for a person, helping to improve detection accuracy. Face detection is also included for up to 15 faces.
Intelligent Scene Selector – Automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene Modes – Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and newly added Sunset – best suits the shooting situation.
Other iA Technologies: Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Zoom, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure.

Panasonic’s iA is also available in video mode, and it automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to reduce blur due to handshake and improves focus, brightness and exposure.  In addition, iA in video mode features Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the shooting environment.

The LUMIX ZS7 can record AVCHD Lite HD video, which almost doubles the recording time in HD quality compared with the Motion JPEG format. To complement the HD video capabilities, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also features Dolby Digital Stereo Creator to record high quality audio.  Also, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 has a 3.0”, high resolution 460,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide-viewing angle with excellent visibility during recording and playback. 

Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 include:
Happy Mode – New Scene mode that optimizes color, saturation and brightness to make both photo and video more vivid and true to the color the users remember when they took it.
High Dynamic – Newly added to the existing Scene modes. This mode helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure, even though the scene contains both bright and dark area together. The user can select one of three options, Standard, Art, or B/W, depending on the desired effect and personal taste to make the photo look natural to artistic.
Compatibility – Compatible with SDXC Memory Cards, including Panasonic’s newly announced 64 GB*3 and 48 GB SDXC Memory Cards – to enable high capacity content storage and fast data transfer speeds. Also compatible with Windows 7*4.
Video Divide – Users can divide video into two sections to shorten or delete the unwanted clips directly on the camera.  Users can also grab a still image from a video – all within the menus on the camera.
Battery Life – Can take up to 340 images on a single battery charge*5.

Panasonic also introduces the LUMIX DMC-ZS5, which like the LUMIX ZS7, features a 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica lens, 12x optical zoom and manual controls. Distinguishing it from the LUMIX ZS7, the LUMIX ZS5, has a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD, records HD video in Motion JPG at 30fps, and has a high performance Venus Engine VI. Battery life on the LUMIX ZS5 has approximately 330 photos and does not include GPS capabilities.

Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 and LUMIX ZS5 will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date.  The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 will be available in silver, black, red and blue models; while the Panasonic LUMIX ZS5 will be available in black and silver.  

*1 Superzoom defined as digital camera with a 10x optical zoom and greater; single lens digital camera as of January 26, 2010. 
*2 Using 1-area AF.
*31 GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes.  Usable capacity will be less. SDXC Memory Cards can only be used in SDXC host devices, which support the SDXC Memory Card.
*4 Windows and the Windows logo are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.
*5 Based on the CIPA standard.

* Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
*Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
*The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR 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.
*The "AVCHD" is a high definition (HD) digital video recording / playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. The "AVCHD Lite" is a subset of the "AVCHD format" for HD digital video cameras with HD video recording restricted to 720P. The new "AVCHD Lite" Logo and the "AVCHD Lite" License are restricted to devices within the AVCHD Video Camera category. Digital cameras have been added to the AVCHD Video Camera category.
*The "AVCHD Lite" and the "AVCHD Lite" logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
* AVCHD Lite motion images recorded onto an SD Memory Card or a DVD disc cannot be played from a device that does not support the AVCHD standard.
*Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
* GPS may not work in China or in the order regions of countries neighboring China.
* Depending on the locations, GPS may not be possible to correctly receive the signals from the GPS satellites. In such cases, positioning may not be possible, or significant positioning discrepancy may occur.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) 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 pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs. Company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.
 
For more than 20 years, Panasonic has been proud to support the Olympic Movement as an Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Audio and Visual Equipment category and, beginning in 2009, in the Digital Imaging category as well. Panasonic has also renewed its partnership with the International Olympic Committee for an additional eight years through the 2016 Summer Games. For more information, visit http://panasonic.net/olympic/.

 

PANASONIC’S RUGGED DIGITAL CAMERA GETS TOUGHER – WATERPROOF TO 33 FEET, FREEZEPROOF, SHOCKPROOF*1 – WITH THE ABILITY TO RECORD HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO

New Panasonic LUMIX TS2 Features a Rugged Design, Allowing for Extreme Outdoor Use, Yet Still Easy to Use to Capture High Quality Photos

Secaucus, NJ (January 26, 2010) – Panasonic today introduced the new LUMIX DMC-TS2, a successor to the company’s first rugged digital camera designed for active outdoor use, the LUMIX DMC-TS1. Featuring High Definition video recording capability, in the AVCHD Lite format, the new 14.1-megapixel LUMIX TS2 further strengthens its toughness when compared to its predecessor and is waterproof to 33 feet (10m), shockproof to 10 feet (2m), freezeproof to 14° F (-10° C) and dustproof*1.

“We have been very pleased to see that consumers found true value in Panasonic’s first rugged digital camera, knowing that they could take it on their outdoor adventures where it could withstand drops, water and dust. But even more, we saw that users enjoyed our LUMIX TS1 for their daily photo needs – they were able to take high-quality video and photo without worrying if they casually tossed it in their bag or used it in the rain,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “The new LUMIX TS2 gets tougher and we expect it to be a key product in 2010, as its rugged features are becoming even more desirable for active users, especially with this year’s new freezeproof capabilities.  Families will enjoy this digital camera, both for their own outdoor activities, vacations, but also so they can allow children to take photos without the anxiety they might otherwise feel of damage.”

With its enhanced toughness, The LUMIX TS2 features an airtight body protected against water immersion, dust and sand.  The new model is waterproof to a depth of 33 feet and dustproof, which can be attributed to its rubber padding and reinforced glass and carbon inside the camera. Furthermore, the LUMIX TS2's cover panel for the LCD is thickened by 1.3x compared to the predecessor LUMIX TS1 to withstand increased pressure underwater.  The LUMIX TS2 is shockproof, encased with shock-resistant material, and its folded optics design protects its lens when dropped during operation. Furthermore, the lens unit is protected by a supplementary damper to absorb the force from shock impact.  Also, all components including the lens unit, have been tested to endure temperatures as low as14°F (-10°C).  For increased durability, the Panasonic LUMIX TS2 will come with an optional silicon jacket that helps protect its exterior from scratches. 

The Panasonic LUMIX TS2 features Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus), which enables a super-fast response time, and a shutter release time lag as short as approximately 0.005 second.  With the camera's quick response, it is easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. Combining that with the Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus) that lets users lock on the subject in approximately 0.24 second(wide-end) / 0.28 second (tele-end)*2 and the short startup time of approximately 1.1 second.

The Panasonic LUMIX TS2 features new image processing technology, Intelligent Resolution, which is incorporated in its Venus Engine HD II.  With Intelligent Resolution technology, three areas – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation – are examined pixel by pixel and automatically detected to enhance any degradation created during the digital zoom process or in high-sensitivity shooting, when details in an image tend to get lost in the noise reduction process.  The outline areas are enhanced effectively to give the edges more clarity, while simultaneously giving a moderate accent to the textured areas so it looks accurately detailed. To the soft gradation area, such as a face, the increased noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to make it smoother.  As a result of Intelligent Resolution, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and video recording.  The Intelligent Resolution technology powers Panasonic’s new Intelligent Zoom feature, which extends the camera’s zoom ratio by approximately 1.3x while maintaining the picture quality – and enhancing the digital zoom and making it comparable to the quality of an optical zoom. Thus, with Intelligent Zoom, the Panasonic TS2 features a total zoom up to 6x.

The LUMIX TS2 features a 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO ELMAR lens that extends to a 4.6x optical zoom, giving consumers great shooting range. The wide-angle lens provides flexibility for all shooting scenarios, especially useful underwater where movement is often restricted and the shooting angle becomes important for composing shots. The LUMIX TS2 features a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide-viewing angle that ensures high visibility during recording and playback, thanks to its automatic brightness control depending on the lighting conditions. Also, the LUMIX TS2 features a built-in LED light, which is extremely convenient when shooting in dark situations, such as underwater.

The LUMIX TS2 can record HD video in Motion JPEG and AVCHD Lite– with the latter format almost doubling the recording time in HD quality compared with the Motion JPEG format. To complement the HD video capabilities, the Panasonic LUMIX TS2 features Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, which enables high quality audio. 

The Panasonic LUMIX TS2 features iA (Intelligent Auto) modem, a popular feature on LUMIX digital cameras, making them intuitive to use without changing any settings, as the technologies engage automatically. For instance, iA incorporates Panasonic’s POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), which doubles the repression power compared to the conventional image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S.

Other technologies incorporated into the LUMIX TS2’s iA mode include:
Face Recognition – With new enhancements when compared to previous editions, Face Recognition allows users to register up to three different images for a person, helping to improve detection accuracy.  Face detection is also included for up to 15 faces.
Intelligent Scene Selector – Automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene Modes – Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and newly added Sunset – best suits the shooting situation.
Other iA Technologies: Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Zoom, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure.

Panasonic’s iA is also available in video mode, and it automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to reduce blur due to handshake and improves focus, brightness and exposure.  In addition, iA in video mode features Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the shooting environment.

Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX TS2 include:
Happy Mode – New Scene mode that optimizes color, saturation and brightness to make both photo and video more vivid and true to the color the users remember when they took it.
High Dynamic – New mode is newly added to the existing Scene modes. This mode helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure, even though the scene contains both bright and dark area together. The user can select one of three options, Standard, Art, or B/W, depending on the desired effect and personal taste to make the photo look natural to artistic.
Compatibility – Compatible with SDXC Memory Cards, including Panasonic’s newly announced 64 GB*3 and 48 GB SDXC Memory Cards – to enable high capacity content storage and fast data transfer speeds. Also compatible with Windows 7*4.
Video Divide – Users can divide video into two sections to shorten or delete the unwanted clips directly on the camera.  Users can also grab a still image from a video – all within the menus on the camera.
Battery Life – Can take up to 360 images on a single battery charge*5.

Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LUMIX TS2 will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date.  The Panasonic LUMIX TS2 will be available in silver, blue, orange and yellow.

*1 When used according to Panasonic's operating guidelines, waterproof to a depth of 10m and dustproof in accordance with IEC60529 standard. Shockproof from a height up to 2.0m in accordance with the “MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock” test standard.  All components including the lens unit are evaluated to endure the temperature as low as -10 degrees C to make the TS2 freezeproof.
*2 Using 1-area AF.
*3 1GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes.  Usable capacity will be less. SDXC Memory Cards can only be used in SDXC host devices, which support the SDXC Memory Card.
*4 Windows and the Windows logo are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.
*5 Based on the CIPA standard.

* Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
*Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
*The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR 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.
*The "AVCHD Lite" and the "AVCHD Lite" logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
* AVCHD Lite motion images recorded onto an SD Memory Card or a DVD disc cannot be played from a device that does not support the AVCHD standard.
*Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.

 

PANASONIC INTRODUCES SUPER COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA FEATURING AVCHD LITE HD VIDEO RECORDING CAPABILITY

Panasonic LUMIX ZR3 includes 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens and powerful 8x optical zoom in a slim and portable body

SECAUCUS, NJ (January 26, 2010) – Panasonic today announced the introduction of the LUMIX DMC-ZR3, a fully-featured digital camera complete with AVCHD Lite High Defintion (HD) video recording capabilities, a25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens and a powerful 8x optical zoom – giving consumers a wide-range of shooting options, yet in a slim body that is small enough to fit in a pocket or small purse.  New to the ZR-Series this year, Panasonic also introduces Intelligent Zoom, which extends the LUMIX ZR3’s zoom to an impressive 10x.

The Panasonic LUMIX ZR3’s incredible 8x optical zoom is not found on many conventional point-and-shoot cameras, especially ones that are approximately 1-inch thick.  With a powerful zoom, users will be thrilled with the close-up shots they are able to take.  And for an added boost, zoom power can be increased to 10x with Panasonic’s new Intelligent Zoom function, which takes advantage of the newly-added Intelligent Resolution technology.  Intelligent Resolution, a component of Intelligent Auto mode, helps to maintain optimal picture quality by capturing higher quality signal processing and through the detection of three areas - outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation – examining them pixel by pixel to enhance any degradation created during the digital zoom process or in high-sensitivity shooting.  As a result of Intelligent Resolution, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and video recording. 

“The 2010 Panasonic LUMIX lineup of digital cameras pack advanced functions into smaller, more compact bodies without compromising the ability to take high quality photos and video,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronic Company. “With a remarkable 8x optical zoom power, sleek design, HD video capabilities, the LUMIX ZR3 is a compact and versatile camera that is also extremely easy and intuitive to use.”

The LUMIX ZR3 takes video recording to the next level with its AVCHD Lite HD video format. Featuring double the recording time in HD quality compared to the conventional Motion JPEG format, and offering Dolby Digital Stereo Creator to record high-quality audio, the LUMIX ZR3 is perfect for capturing those spur-of-the-moment video opportunities in high-quality. With the newly-added Video Divide function, users can cut their video into two sections on the spot – within the menus of the camera – to shorten or delete the unwanted half.

Continuing with the trademark iA mode, Panasonic has incorporated this intuitive and innovative feature into the LUMIX ZR3. Working to enhance the potential of all photos and videos, iA mode automatically selects the best Scene mode, and also helps to correct handshake and any focus or brightness issues.

Other technologies incorporated into the LUMIX ZR3’s iA mode include:•       Face Recognition – Allows users to register various faces, helping to improve detection accuracy of friends and family.  •       Happy Mode – New color mode that optimizes color, saturation and brightness, to make both photos and videos more vivid and true to the color originally experienced.•       Other iA Technologies - Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Zoom, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure.
The LUMIX ZR3 features a super-fast AF (Auto Focus) speed of 0.26 second (wide-end) / 0.31 second (tele-end)*1. This combined with a high-speed start-up of just 1.1 second, gives the LUMIX ZR3 an ultra-fast response that helps to catch even the most fleeting photo opportunities. Additionally, the 2.7-inch large Intelligent LCD screen offers a dynamic, clear view and automatically adjusts its own brightness level. Also, the LUMIX ZR3 accepts the SD/SDHC Memory Card, but is also compatible with the next-generation SDXC Memory Cards, which feature a high-potential in both capacity and data-transfer speed.

Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LUMIX ZR3 will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date.  The Panasonic LUMIX ZR3 will be available in silver, black, red and blue. For more information on Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.

*1 Using 1-area AF.

*The "AVCHD" is a high definition (HD) digital video recording / playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. The "AVCHD Lite" is a subset of the "AVCHD format" for HD digital video cameras with HD video recording restricted to 720P. The new "AVCHD Lite" Logo and the "AVCHD Lite" License are restricted to devices within the AVCHD Video Camera category. Digital cameras have been added to the AVCHD Video Camera category.
*The "AVCHD Lite" and the "AVCHD Lite" logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
*SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.
*Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
*The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR 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.
*Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
*Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.


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