- FZ series gets new sensor
- Lumix Link allows remote shooting
- Improved Optical Image Stabiliser (OIS)
Panasonic has released a series of cameras, which are designed for both amateur and professional snappers.
Two of the new models in the FZ Series range – the DMC-FZ200 and the DMC-FZ60 – have a 24x optical zoom and offer manual operation both in still image and Full HD video recording.
Both models are claimed to deliver high speed response and high quality imaging even in high sensitivity recording thanks to a High Sensitivity MOS sensor and the advanced Venus Engine image processor. They offer high speed burst shooting and Light Speed AF to catch the most fleeting shooting opportunities. ‘Creative Control’ and ‘Photo Style’ allow users to add unique, artistic effects.
The DMC-FZ200 also features a 1.312K EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) with 100 per cent field of view and minimum screen freeze. These cameras have a 25mm ultra wide angle lens, making them suitable for shooting landscapes or group portraits.
The Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser) offers correction accuracy to minimise blur even when using powerful zoom, and Active Model suppresses hand shake vibration during video recording. Panasonic’s Black Box Nano Surface Coating technology on the lens minimises the light reflection that causes ghost and flare.
Both cameras record 1920 x 1080 50p (DMC-FZ200) / 50i (DMC-FZ60) Full HD video in AVCHD progressive / MP4 with high quality stereo sound. The powerful 24x optical zoom and manual controls are also available in video recording for greater creative control. The DMC-FZ200 also offers RAW and RAW+JPEG capture if required.
Then there is the new Lumix DMC-LX7 ‘creative compact’ camera, incorporating a newly developed F1.4 LEICA DC Vario-Summilex lens with good brightness.
The lens features F1.4-F2.3 brightness with a 24-90mm versatile zoom range (35mm camera equivalent). This is around four times as bright as an F2.8 lens, and provides scope for the use of a higher shutter speed to capture stunningly sharp, blur-free images in low-light situations; and gives impressive expression to images with nice gradation and artistic defocus.
The DMC-LX7 offers a range of technologies with the lens, the image sensor and the image processing engine have been redesigned; and there are a host of creative features to capture that perfect shot.
The F1.4 lens ensures nicer images, even in low light situations. Panasonic’s Black Box Nano Surface Coating lens technology minimises the light reflection that causes ghosts and flare to help create stunning, true-to-life images with outstanding resolution and detail.
The Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser) has been improved, and the newly developed 10.1-megapixel high sensitivity MOS Sensor expands dynamic range by increasing sensitivity and saturation. The Light Speed AF captures the most fleeting shooting opportunities. The body of the DMC-LX7 has been redesigned with the discerning photographer in mind. The aperture ring allows direct, intuitive control of aperture, while the internal neutral density filter makes it possible to reduce light for a slower shutter speed. A new focus lever activates the variable AF area.
It also includes Panasonic’s ‘Level Gauge’ feature for precision framing. The large three-inch Intelligent LCD is redesigned for excellent visibility. The hot shoe allows attachment of advanced accessories such as an optional Live View Finder for high visibility when shooting in strong light. In addition to full manual control, the DMC-LX7 offers a wide variety of shooting features such as 16 ‘Creative Control’ filters, Photo Style and Time Lapse.
The DMC-LX7 records 1920 x 1080 50p full-HD video in AVCHD Progressive/MP4 with high quality stereo sound. The 3.8x optical zoom and manual control are also available in video recording.
Finally there is Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-SZ5, which integrates wifi connectivity to allow quick image sharing on the go and at home. Marrying the digital camera experience with wifi capability allows users to connect the unit directly to their smartphone and easily shoot and share photos.
The Lumix DMC-SZ5 can be connected directly to a smartphone device by using it as a wireless router, which eliminates the need to search for a wifi hotspot.With the Lumix Link application for iOS/Android smartphone devices, users can utilise remote shooting, which allows them to place the cameraat a shooting position and monitor what the lens is seeing live from their smartphone device at 30 fps (frames per second). Users also have the ability to zoom, set focus position, shoot and play back images directly from their smartphone screen using the app.
With the rise of social media and file sharing, consumers have become accustomed to capturing spur of the moment photo opportunities on their smartphone device. But, smartphones do not offer the same image quality and provide less creative control than a traditional digital camera. Panasonic has created this camera to fill the gap.
Users can also tag location information to images by utilising the GPS (Global Positioning System) log of a smartphone. It makes archiving images as simple as charging the camera’s battery. Both photo and video, in their original size, can be archived to registered digital equipment, like a PC or compliant Panasonic AV equipment, automatically via a home’s wireless router when the camera’s battery is being charged. This eliminates the need to eject and re-insert the camera’s SD Memory Card or connect the camera to a computer via USB cable.
Users can also save photos to the Panasonic exclusive cloud service, ‘Lumix Club and easily transfer images to Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter or YouTube.
The Lumix DMC-SZ5’s wifi function also allows for playback of images on Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compliant Viera HDTVs or Blu-ray recorders.
In addition to the camera’s ease-of-use for connected consumers, the LUMIX DMC-SZ5 boasts exceptional optical performance in a slim and compact camera body. A 25mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with powerful 10x optical zoom excels in shooting both dynamic landscapes with wide-angle views, and up-close subjects.
Special effects featured in the DMC-SZ5 that enhance the shooting experience and extend your creative flair include Miniature Effect, Panorama Shot and Auto Retouch. Intelligent Auto provides intuitive control, ensuring users capture great images with ease.
Lumix DMC-FZ200 $799
Lumix DMC-FZ60 $599
Lumix DMC-LX7 $649