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Panasonic releases DMC-FZ2  Digital Camera with Super 12X Optical Zoom

Panasonic releases the DMC-FZ2, successor to the DMC-FZ1. The new features of the DMC-FZ2, include aperture- and shutter-priority and automatic exposure capabilities. The DMC-FZ2 is also equipped with a 12x super opti-cal zoom (equivalent to a 35-420mm zoom lens on a 35mm film camera) and F2.8 brightness throughout the entire zoom range...
Panasonic releases DMC-FZ2  Digital Camera with Super 12X Optical Zoom - digital camera and photography news

PRESS RELEASE

Panasonic has released a new line of LUMIX digital still cameras, the DMC-FZ2. Its predecessor, the DMC-FZ1, has acquired a great reputation in the market. The DMC-FZ2 makes its debut, featuring more powerful functions, while holding on to the avant-garde features of the DMC-FZ1.

The new features of the DMC-FZ2, in addition to the conventional easy to use program-controlled automatic exposure, include aperture-priority and shutter-priority automatic exposure capabilities. You can control the way in which you capture images based on your preferences, while the objects remain at the optimal exposure. Inheriting its predecessor's unique features, the DMC-FZ2 is equipped with a 12x super opti-cal zoom (equivalent to a 35-420mm zoom lens on a 35mm film camera) and F2.8 brightness throughout the entire zoom range. Both of these features were previously available only in high-end cameras.

This camera gives users everything they need to capture truly professional-looking close-ups with dynamic angle variations for warm, lifelike renditions of their subject. The DMC-FZ2's Mega Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) also prevents jitter, which is often a problem when zooming to a distant subject. The O.I.S. is particularly effective for shots under low illumination and macro photos where no blurring is allowed. In the compact DMC-FZ2, Panasonic has achieved a level of performance that rivals many top-of-the-line single-lens reflex cameras by combining its digital technologies with the renowned Leica optical technologies. The DMC-FZ2 offers a highly responsive operation, with a reduced start-up time, a shorter time lag, just 0.1 second, between the time when the shutter button is pressed and when the image is captured, and a reduced shutter to shutter interval time. “Mega Burst Consecutive Shooting” also enables rapid, consecutive shots. The DMC-FZ2's Scene Mode Dial makes it easy to select the best mode according to shooting conditions. For example, Nighttime portrait mode provides the optimal exposure setting for photographing people against a nighttime background. These user-friendly features expand the fun of shooting pic-tures. The DMC-FZ2 is targeted at entry-level users of single-lens reflex cameras and families who want to shoot pictures outdoors. By offering features and functions gen-erally found on cameras one class above, the DMC-FZ2 gives people an easy way to get in on the fun of capturing beautiful digital pictures.

1. Aperture/shutter speed-priority automatic exposure function

The aperture-priority and shutter-priority automatic exposure functions allow you to obtain dynamic and impressive shots without having to worry about the exposure (amount of light).

Aperture priority: “Aperture” controls the depth of field. A larger aperture (smaller stop number) will reduce the depth, or allow you to focus on your main subject. With regard to portraits, a person will appear against an out-of-focus background. A smaller aperture (larger stop number) will increase the depth, or allow many subjects in view to be in focus. You will be able to capture the magnificent scenery that catches your eye.

Shutter speed priority: “Shutter speed” controls the motion of moving objects. A faster shutter speed will freeze the motion of your subject. Fast-moving cars and galloping horses will stand still. A slower shutter speed will allow you to accentu-ate the motion of slow-moving objects, such as toddlers and babbling brooks.

2. Compact unit with 12x Mega Optical Zoom and F2.8 brightness across the entire range

The DMC-FZ2 features the enhanced performance of the second-generation DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens, which inherits Leica AG's optical excellence. The 12x zoom lens system, which comprises 13 elements in eight groups, including four aspherical surfaces in three lenses (including one lens with dual aspherical sur-faces), achieves a brightness of F2.8 across the entire zoom range. This advanced lens system helps achieve a compact size not possible with conventional camera systems. Equivalent to 35 to 420mm on a 35mm camera, the 12x optical zoom brings distant subjects up close. With the DMC-FZ2, it's easy to capture beautiful distant shots, such as the expression of a child playing soccer.

3. Mega Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) suppresses jitter when zooming

Panasonic insisted on providing the Mega Optical Image Stabilizer for the 12x opti-cal zoom because zooming in on distant shots tends to increase the effects of hand shake. Incorporating technologies that Panasonic developed for its video movie cameras, the DMC-FZ2's Mega O.I.S. helps suppress jitter. It even works to minimize the slight shake caused when the user presses the shutter button, helping ensure clear, sharp images. The Mega O.I.S. also helps when the user wants to give a photograph extra expression, such as when shooting night scenes without a flash, using a slow shutter speed to emphasize the flowing motion of a moving subject, or using the Panning mode to apply this motion emphasizing effect.

4. MEGA BURST consecutive shooting

The DMC-FZ2's MEGA BURST consecutive shooting function captures up to seven full-size images at a lightning-fast four frames per second. This allows the user to snap off a series of consecutive shots when a photo opportunity arises, then select the best ones and delete the rest. Unlike conventional cameras, no film is wasted. Quick consecutive shooting is particularly helpful when shooting a moving object.

5. Beautiful shots every time, with the easy-to-use Mode dial

With the Mode dial it's easy to select any of the nine mode settings, consisting of Macro, Sports, Panning, Nighttime Portrait, and Portrait scene modes, and P/A/S, Motion image, Playback, and Simple mode. These modes automatically choose the settings that provide optimal results for particular shooting conditions. Panning mode captures the subject in crisp focus while the background flows past, making it easy to get clear shots of race cars or athletes in action. Simple mode has a minimal number of menu items, making it easy for beginners to select the best setting. For example, in Simple mode you can select the most appropriate setting for e-mail, A4-size prints, or other applications without knowing the pixel count.

6. Other features that enhance picture-taking fun

*Records QuickTime moving pictures with audio
*Colour Effect function lets you adjust colour tones to suit personal prefer-ences (Warm, Cool, B/W)
*Bright 1.5" 114,000-pixel colour LCD
*Pre Focus function locks the focal distance during shooting.

7. Uniquely styled lens hood supplied as standard

Comes with a lens hood that matches the body colour and helps obtain clear and ghost-free images.

The LUMIX DMC-FZ2 will be available in September.

Technical Data LUMIX FZ2

focal distance f-4.6-55.2mm (KB 35mm:  35-420mm)

colour silver

power supply Li-Ion rechargeable battery

(7.2 V, 680 mAh), AC adapter (110-240 V AC) (included)

resolution 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480, 320 x 240 (motion JEPG) pixel

built-in loudspeaker yes

light sensitivity auto/50/100/200/400 (ISO)

light intensity F2.8 (W) - F2.8 (T)

weight ca. 314g (414g with SD card/rechargeable battery)

exposure time 8 - 1/2.000 Sec.

battery type Li-Ion rechargeable battery  (7.2 V, 680 mAh)

CCD-capacity (effective pixels/total):2.04 / 2.1

lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT, 13 lenses in 8 groups (2 aspherical lenses)

zoom (optical/digital) 12x opt. / 3x digital zoom

focus auto/macro

LCD-monitor (size/pixel) 1.5" / 114.000 pixel

luminous intensity - adjustable (+/- 3 stage)

exposure programmes (AE) yes

dubbing max. 10 seconds

shutter (shutter speed) F2.8-8

alignment Auto/daylight/clouds/halogen/alignment

storage medium SD memory card, multi- media card

image format JPEG-, DPOF-compatible

built-in flash automatic flash (multi-adjustable)

dimensions (W x H x D) 124.7 x 70.2 x 83.3 mm

self-timer 10 sec./2 sec.
August 29, 2003
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