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Panasonic FZ3 / FZ15 combine Leica Lenses with Optical Image Stabilizer

Panasonic introduces two new models, the 3 megapixel DMC-FZ3 and the 4 Magpixel DMC-FZ15, both featuring 12x optical zoom Leica lenses with an optical image stabilizer. With their extraordinary telephoto features and precision image stabilizers, these cameras are engineered to capture every detail of distant or quick-moving subjects...
The Panasonic product catalog Optical Image Stabilizer FACT SHEET

Panasonic first introduced the MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer with its DMC-FZ1 digital still camera in 2003. Since then, MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer has been an indispensable and key feature in the company's LUMIX Zoom Line FZ Series and the Compact Line FX Series of digital cameras. With this unique feature, photographers at all skill levels can handle the cameras and still take clear, sharp images, as if the photos were shot with tripod-mounted cameras. Over the year's, Panasonic's Optical Image Stabilizer technology has continued to evolve, and now features a special mode that enhances picture-taking accuracy thanks to a newly developed image processing LSI, the Venus 2 Engine.

               This stabilization technology, developed by Panasonic for both its digital video camera and camcorder lines, uses a gyrosensor to detect specific amounts of shaking which often plagues hand-held and low-light photography. Then, the Optical Image Stabilizer guides the lens to direct the incoming image straight to the CCD where it is electronically captured. This amazing feat of technology is performed in less than 0.01 seconds.

Ever since incorporating this outstanding feature in the FZ1, Panasonic has continued to enhance its LUMIX line with Optical Image Stabilizer. The DMC-FZ20, DMC-FZ15 and DMC- FZ3 models of the Zoom Line FZ Series and the DMC-FX7 model of the Compact Line FX Series all boast this cutting-edge technology, bringing a new level of satisfaction to photographers of all skill levels.

Traditionally, taking a quality 420mm telephoto zoom shot (equivalent to a 35mm film camera) without a tripod was considered difficult. The FZ Series, however, allows users to take a high quality close-up shot even with 420mm zoom.  Low-light conditions have also been a major factor that causes shaky images when not using a tripod, but with MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer, clear images are possible, even with the compact FX Series cameras.  Panasonic believes that the compact cameras especially need the optical stabilizer feature since their lightweight bodies, unstable grip, and LCD monitor (instead of a viewfinder), all contribute to potential vibration and image distortion.  

               The DMC-FZ1 came with what is now called “Mode 1” Optical Image Stabilizer, in which the lens continuously compensates for vibration. The new “Mode 2” stabilizer feature was initially made available with the DMC-FZ10, and now with the DMC-FZ20, DMC-FZ15 and DMC- FZ3, as well as the DMC-FX7 and DMC-FX5.  In Mode 2, the camera lens suppresses vibration only at the moment the shutter button is depressed.  This allows the lens to continue to move in all directions to maximize framing, and a higher-resolution image can be taken by capturing the image as close to the center of the lens as possible.  The company's Venus 2 Engine LSI also encourages this top performance by enhancing the accuracy of vibration detection, which allows photographers to use an even slower shutter speed than was available on previous models with the original Venus Engine. Thus, even without using a tripod, shutter speed can be reduced three or four steps (compared to conventional cameras without Optical Image Stabilizer), assuring clear, precise images.

               Panasonic's Optical Image Stabilizer technology dramatically enhances the potential for shooting great photographs in difficult conditions, even while zooming, in macro mode, at night or low-light situations, indoors, in moving vehicles, and in spontaneous shooting situations.

At Panasonic, the MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer and LUMIX line of digital still cameras continue to evolve. The result — all users, from beginners to professionals, can capture every precious moment in strikingly beautiful images.

Additional information: The Panasonic product catalog
July 21, 2004
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