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21st July 2008
Panasonic announces Lumix 14.7 megapixel compact
5016: Panasonic announces Lumix 14.7 megapixel compact


Release issued by Panasonic:

A Premium Stylish 14.7-Megapixel High Resolution Digital Camera with 28mm Wide-Angle* F2.8 LEICA DC Lens Featuring Simple Manual Operation

*35mm film camera equivalent: 28-100mm

Panasonic is introducing a new 14.7-megapixel model to its Lumix FX Premium Series of digital cameras with stylish, high-quality bodies and high-end specifications. Boasting astonishing 14.7-megapixel resolution, the new DMC-FX150 meets the needs of a wide range of consumers looking for an attractive compact camera that makes it easy to take clear, sharp, expressive photos with outstanding detail.

Equipped with a 28mm wide-angle lens, the* FX150 lets users capture images of expansive scenery just as they appear to the naked eye. The wide-angle lens also makes it possible to fit an entire big building or other architectural structure in a single frame – something not possible with most ordinary cameras. And when shooting in tight or crowded indoor spaces, the wide-angle lens fits more people in the photo. The 14.7 megapixels – the most offered in a compact camera – ensure that photos are crisp, clear and sharply detailed even when enlarged. This high resolution also means you can crop unwanted parts of an image and enlarge the rest, creating a beautifully composed photo that retains outstanding detail.

At the heart of the FX150 is Panasonic's new high-speed, high-performance, next-generation image processing system. The Venus Engine IV not only helps render exquisitely beautiful images even in burst mode or when shooting in low lighting, it's also more energy-efficient than predecessor models, allowing 330 pictures (CIPA) per battery charge.

The FX150 also offers easy manual control, letting users adjust the shutter speed as desired. The bracketing function includes the exposure bracketing available on previous models plus a new color bracketing function that can record color, monochromatic and sepia shots of an image at the same time with a single press of the shutter button. The FX150 also introduces a new multi-exposure function that creates an interesting artistic effect by superimposing up to three consecutively shot images, while the user views the previous image on the monitor.

Also in the FX150, the white balance function has been improved from conventional one-axis compensation to two-axis compensation with a color temperature setting that allows more precise adjustment. For the AF, FX150 allows user to set focus freely among 11 focus points.

On the other hand, Panasonic’s iA (intelligent auto) mode, which makes it easy for anyone to take beautiful photos, has been further enhanced for new Lumix cameras to be released in this fall, and so as for the FX150. The newly added AF Tracking function automatically tracks the subject once the AF has been set even if the subject moves around, making it easier to capture sharp, well-focused photos of decisive moments. The FX150 continually monitors the light source and automatically activates the backlight compensation function if it detects that the light source is behind the subject. Face detection accuracy has also been increased, allowing continuous AF/AE adjustment even if a face moves or turns sideways to the camera. The Intelligent Exposure function helps capture natural-looking, true-to-life images by suppressing blocked shadows and blown highlights.

The FX150 features a new panel, which boasts a wide viewing angle, for its 2.7-inch large Intelligent LCD to ensure clear, easy viewing in all lighting situations to ensure clear, easy viewing in all lighting situations.

The FX150 records original pictures data in RAW file format for the user to develop the image with the intended effects on it. With this extensive package of features and functions, the FX150 goes beyond the bounds of conventional compact cameras, giving users the power and freedom to both capture extremely lifelike photos and to create artistically expressive images.

The FX150 is recommended for people who want a well-built, stylish, compact digital camera that's more advanced in performance and operability than ordinary models. Available in an attractive silver, black or gold** finish, the FX150 has a refined, understated sophistication that will appeal to adults.

*35mm film camera equivalent: 28-100mm
**Availability of models and colors may vary depending on the sales area

1. 28mm Wide-Angle Leica DC Lens* with F2.8 Brightness and 14.7-Megapixel High Resolution CCD in a Small, Sleek Body

With the DMC-FX150, Panasonic packages a 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens featuring F2.8 brightness and a 3.6x optical zoom* plus a 14.7-megapixel CCD into a slim, stylish and conveniently compact camera body. The lens unit, which comprises seven elements in six groups, including an EA (extra-high refractive index aspherical) lens and 4 aspherical lenses with 5 aspherical surfaces, is designed and manufactured to Leica's stringent standards. Its optical performance is exceptional. In addition to the 3.6x optical zoom, the FX150 offers an Extra Optical Zoom function. Further, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function provides additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 7.7x by using the center part of the CCD.

The FX150 also has an Easy Zoom feature that, at the touch of a button, shifts the lens instantly to full 3.6x zoom power. A second touch of the button activates the Extra Optical Zoom function and extends zoom all the way to 7.7x.**

*35mm film camera equivalent: 28-100mm
**When the picture size is set to 3 megapixels or larger, the photo is automatically resized to 3 megapixels. When the lens is shifted back to the wide-end, the picture size is set to the original size automatically. The original size is maintained for photos smaller than 3 megapixels.

2. Simple Manual Controls and Versatile Functions for Creative Shooting

With its Lumix FX Premium Series of digital cameras, Panasonic packs a high-quality wide-angle lens and high-resolution performance in a compact, stylish body. The new FX150 provides easy-to-use manual controls and a wealth of features that let users explore the creative side of photography. The FX150 is designed not only for people who want to take great photos of events in their lives, but also for those who want to express themselves artistically through the images they create. The FX150's easy-to-use Manual Exposure mode lets users choose a particular shutter speed, giving them the freedom to render artistic images of ordinary scenes – flowing streams, moving cars and people walking past – by capturing the “traces” left by moving objects. Simply set the desired shutter speed, and the camera automatically determines the aperture setting that provides the best exposure, or you can set it. When the FX150 is mounted on a tripod and the angle of view is fixed, the user can select a point to focus among 11 areas freely. They also make it possible to achieve precise focusing no matter where the main subject is positioned within the frame, giving the user greater flexibility when composing the shot.

The FX150's bracketing function includes the ordinary exposure bracketing and adds a new color bracketing function that captures color, monochromatic and sepia shots of an image at the same time with a single press of the shutter button. With color bracketing, users no longer have to use a PC and editing software should they later want to change a color image to black and white, for example. The FX150 also introduces a multi-exposure function that superimposes up to three consecutively shot images together, while the user views the previous image on the monitor. This creates an unusual, surrealistic effect that cannot be achieved with a single image alone. Also, the white balance function has been improved from conventional one-axis compensation to two-axis compensation, with addition of a color temperature setting that allows finer adjustment.

The FX150 records original pictures data in RAW file format. The SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0SE software application comes bundled with the DMC-FX150 for editing and developing images in the RAW file format. Using this software, you can freely adjust RAW data settings such as exposure bias and white balance even after shooting for greater enjoyment of digital photography.
The Lumix DMC-FX150 goes beyond ordinary compact cameras, giving users the ability not only to capture true-to-life images, but also to create expressive images that satisfy on an artistic level.

3. High-Speed, High-Quality Image-Processing LSI Further Evolves into the Venus Engine IV

A new image-processing LSI, Venus Engine IV, features more advanced signal processing technology for rendering even higher-quality images.
Notably, parallel noise reduction in both luminance signal and chromatic signal processing systems, a technology established by the preceding Venus Engine III, gains a more sophisticated process. First, the luminance noise is two-dimensionally separated into high-frequency and low-frequency noises and only the low-frequency noise, which tends to be conspicuous, is eliminated without affecting the high-frequency noise that greatly influences resolution. Second, the information of the change point between colors is minutely stored for precise determination of edges, thus color bleeding is dramatically suppressed. This not only produces a clearer image in high ISO sensitivity recording, but also faithfully reproduces details in low-lit areas of pictures taken at low ISO sensitivity.
The Venus Engine IV also elevates the detection accuracy and corrective effect in both Mega O.I.S., which prevents hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which suppresses motion blur.

Featured in the DMC-FX150, the multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine IV supports a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as approx.0.005 second and the camera's quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In burst shooting mode, the DMC-FX150 can snap approx.2 shots per second at 14.7-megapixel large full resolution.* And in High-Speed Burst shooting mode,** it fires off an incredible approx. 7 shots per second**. You also get unlimited consecutive shooting which lets you keep shooting until the memory card is full***. Newly added Flash Burst mode makes it possible to take continuous shooting with continuous emission of flash****.

The Venus Engine IV also supports a High Sensitivity mode that lets the DMC-FX150 record at a setting of up to ISO 6400, sensitive enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash.**

The Venus Engine IV also makes it possible to capture natural-looking, true-to-life images by suppressing blocked shadows and blown highlights with the Intelligent Exposure function. It now has high, standard and low settings of effect to match the shooting conditions and desired results.

This high performance engine is also superior in its energy efficiency to extend the battery life up to 330 shots(CIPA) per a single charge.

*Max.8 images in standard mode/ 4 images in fine mode.
** In 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording. 7 images in Speed Priority mode / 5 images in Picture Priority mode.
***The consecutive shooting speed varies with the memory card, image size, and image compression mode. The number of shots depends on the memory card size, battery life, image size and image compression mode.
****Max. 5 images. In 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording.

4. Great Photography Is Not Only from Professional Photographers Anymore -- Intelligent Auto Mode

While offering a creative fun of photography with its manual functions, the DMC-FX150 also has an option to enjoy taking beautiful pictures without any special technique, that is the iA(intelligent auto) mode. Adding a new AF Tracking function, the iA mode serves as a combination of functions that makes it easy for anyone to take beautiful photos. In iA mode the camera does all the work, activating Mega O.I.S. (optical image stabilizer), Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection, and Intelligent Exposure. This leaves the user free to simply compose the shot and press the shutter button, with the assurance that the image will be clear, beautiful and properly exposed.
With the new AF Tracking function, the user can “lock” the focus onto a moving subject. The camera then automatically tracks the subject as it moves, keeping it in focus without the user having to hold the shutter button halfway down. This makes it easier to capture the perfect moment clearly and in sharp focus when shooting images of a child, pet, sports or any scene with moving subjects and spur-of-the-moment action.

Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically selects whichever of five Scene modes -- Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, and Night Scenery – that best suits the shooting situation.

The Face Detection function can find up to 15 faces in the frame and adjusts the focus and exposure to capture them clearly and in sharp focus. Face detection accuracy has been increased in the FX150 to now provide continuous adjustment of the focus and exposure even if the face is turned sideways to the camera. Combined with AF Tracking, Face Detection helps users capture special moments, including the fleeting expressions on the faces of active children. Plus, with the FX150, the red-eye effect can be digitally corrected automatically when it occurs due to the use the flash.

Intelligent Exposure suppresses blocked shadows and blown highlights to capture images that look natural and true-to-life. It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the camera detects that the light source is behind the subject. This is useful when the effect of Intelligent Exposure is not enough due to the strong backlighting.

The Quick AF system allows the camera to keep focus on the subject while the camera is in recording mode even before without pressing a shutter button halfway, to get best result out of a shutter chance because the focus is always near the subject and the AF time is minimized.

In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits fundamental functions users need in a good digital still camera. These include Mega O.I.S., which prevents blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which prevents motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. The Mega O.I.S. conventionally has mode 1 and 2, and now it has AUTO mode to select the suitable one between the modes according to zoom ratio being used.

The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions by simply selecting iA mode. This makes the FX150 the ultimate, super-versatile automatic camera for capturing clear, beautiful, mistake-free photos with ease.

5. Exciting Options to Expand the Fun of Photography in the High-Definition Era

All Lumix cameras can take 1920x1080 pixel HD (high-definition) quality photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV for full-screen viewing. The new DMC-FX150 even records dynamic HD motion pictures in 1280 x 720p at a smooth 24 fps, in addition to WVGA (848 x 480) and normal VGA (640 x 480)* **.
With newly added HD component output capability, you can enjoy watching still and motion pictures in stunning HD quality taken by your DMC-FX150 by simply connecting the camera to a TV via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2).

The DMC-FX150 provides slideshows complete with music. Just select the pictures you want to show and choose the mood that best matches your selection from natural, slow, urban or swing, and you'll get an emotion-filled slideshow with a variety of slide change effects and matching music without any annoying adjustments. If you make the slideshow with HD photos in 1920 x 1080 pixels, you can also enjoy watching an impressive HD slideshow with music on a large-screen HDTV by using the optional component cable.

*In Motion Picture mode, the length of recording time depends on the capacity of the SDHC/SD Memory Card. (Up to the equivalent of 2 GB per motion-image recording.) When you set the motion picture quality to HD, WVGA and VGA, we recommend using a high-speed memory card with "10MB/s" or greater on the package. Some lens movement sounds may be recorded.
**For Europe, motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes.

6. Wide Viewing Angle 2.7-inch Large Intelligent LCD to Offer Clear View Anytime

Clear, easy-to-see LCD is upgraded both in size and resolution to be 2.7-inch with 230,000-dot high resolution. The Intelligent LCD function detects the light condition and automatically boosts the LCD backlighting by max. 40% when shooting outdoors in bright sunshine, and adjusts the frame rate when shooting in low-lit situations in addition to using the pixel mixed readout method to secure clarity in such situations. Detecting the lighting condition precisely and automatically controlling the brightness with a total of 11 fine steps, this function gives the display the most appropriate clarity in any situation without using extra energy. Together with the newly adopted panel which boasts a wide viewing angle, it secures comfortable viewing while both monitoring shots and playing back the results in any circumstances.

7. Other Enhanced Features

The new DMC-FX150 features a variety of functionalities to expand the convenience and fun for users to enjoy taking beautiful pictures.
The FX150 offers a total of 24 scene modes to respond easily to any shooting situation. The new Pin Hole and Film Grain modes add unique, film-camera-like effects and ambiences to images. One more new scene mode is the Transform mode, that trim and stretch the image to virtually transform the subject slimmer or more stretched wider. It also has a shining effect to make the large transformation look more extreme and funny. The actual effects of the scene modes can be viewed on the LCD before taking the shot.

Image Leveling is another function that improves post-shooting convenience. When a recorded image “leans” to the right or left because the camera was held at a slight angle, the Image Leveling function rotates the image to straighten it and crops the unnecessary edges*.  

The FX150 also allows users to set an upper limit for the ISO setting, to suit certain shooting conditions.

The 2.0 HS-compatible USB port and approx. 50 MB of internal memory also enhance the convenience of using the FX150.
Drawing on its vast expertise in consumer electronics, Panasonic is committed to creating a new photographic culture by introducing innovative, high-performance cameras and other advanced digital imaging products.

*Resolution decreases.

 
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