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Panasonic refreshes Lumix range

Panasonic has announced four new Lumix cameras, set for local release in September and October.

The new cameras were revealed at an event for selected CE and enthusiast media on the NSW central coast.

FZ200, FZ60

The top-of-the-range Lumix FZ200 (pictured right) features a lens with a constant f2.8 aperture across a 24x optical zoom range, which at the telephoto end is a world first in digital compacts. The new FZ60 also features a 24x zoom range and both lenses start at a wide angle 25mm.

Both models ‘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 FZ200 also features a newly designed 1.3K electronic viewfinder, with 100 per cent field of view. It offers RAW capture. The new cameras both have a 25mm ultra wide angle lens, making them perfect for shooting dynamic landscapes or group portraits.

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 24x optical zoom and manual controls are also available in video recording.

The FZ200 is available in September at $799, while the FZ60, also available in September, has an RRP of $599.

Lumix LX7

The latest model in the LX Series, the Lumix LX7 ‘creative compact’ incorporates a newly-developed f1.4 Leica DC Vario Summilux lens.

The lens features f1.4-2.3 maximum aperture in a 24-90mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range. (35mm camera equivalent).Panasonic says ‘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…’

The lens, the image sensor and the image processing engine have been completely redesigned from previous LX models.

The f1.4 lens assists in low light situations, while Panasonic’s Black Box Nano Surface Coating lens technology minimises light reflection that causes ghosting and flare.

The newly developed 10-megapixel high sensitivity MOS Sensor has an expanded dynamic range, according to Panasonic.

The body has also been redesigned, with the aperture ring allowing direct 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 three-inch LCD is redesigned for better 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 Lumix LX7 offers a wide variety of shooting features such as 16 ‘Creative Control’ filters, Photo Style and Time Lapse.

It records 1920 x 1080 50p full-HD video in AVCHD Progressive / MP4 with high quality stereo sound. Optical zoom and manual control are also available in video recording.

The Lumix LX7 is available next month at an RRP of $649.

 Wi-Fi Lumix SZ5

The slim and stylish Lumix SZ5 offers Wi-Fi connectivity to a smartphone for sharing photos.

It can be connected directly to a smartphone or device by using it as a wireless router.

With the Lumix Link application for iOS/Android smartphone devices, users can also utilise remote shooting, which allows them to place the SZ5 at a shooting position and monitor what the lens is seeing live from their smartphone device – at 30 fps. Photographers can also zoom, set focus position, shoot and play back images directly from their smartphone screen using the app. Users can also tag location information to images by utilising the GPS (Global Positioning System) log of a smartphone.

The camera also features a 25mm wide angle 10x optical zoom, creative features and Intelligent Auto.

Another interesting feature is auto-downloading of images ‘to registered digital equipment’: ‘Both photo and video, in their original size, can be archived [downloaded] 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.’

Users can also save photos to a Panasonic server (aka ‘The Lumix Club’) and transfer images to Facebook and YouTube, etc, via smartphone or PC.

The SZ5’s Wi-Fi function also allows for playback of images on compliant Viera HDTVs or Blu-ray Recorders.

Available in October, RRP is $249.


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