Falling into that grey "bridge" area of cameras, Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FZ47 (or FZ48 in Europe) has a massive 24x optical zoom, and a 25mm wide-angle lens which records 1080i video. So far, so goodish.
When shooting video on the FZ47, users will have full manual control over the options, thanks to the new Creative Control suite. It has a 12.1MP sensor, and 3-inch LCD screen on the back. Full details can be garnered in the press release below, on both the FZ47 and the lower-spec'd LS5, which has a 14.1MP sensor and 26mm lens with 5x optical zoom. The FZ47 is on sale in August for $400, whereas the LS5's price will be revealed when it goes on sale in November. [Panasonic]
SECAUCUS, NJ (July 21, 2011) - Panasonic today introduces the LUMIX DMC-FZ47 digital camera, the newest addition to the company's super-zoom FZ-Series. The LUMIX FZ47 packs a powerful 24x optical zoom in a 25mm ultra-wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens, full-High Definition 1080i video-recording capabilities and new creative controls while shooting both still and video images. The high-quality Leica lens features Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating technology to help minimize light reflection that causes ghosting and flare.
"The LUMIX FZ-Series is an extremely popular line for Panasonic and we expect this model to be another winner for users who not only want an impressive 24x optical zoom, but those that seek exceptional image quality, and thanks to the Leica lens and full HD video capabilities – the FZ47 delivers," said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "New to the FZ-Series are the improved AF speeds, 3D photo shooting and full 1080 HD video capabilities."
Powered by a 12.1-megapixel Hi-Speed CCD sensor, the LUMIX FZ47 can produce the high-speed, large-capacity signal processing required for 1920 x 1080 full-HD video recording in the AVCHD format, and high-speed continuous shooting. The Venus Engine FHD processor helps create superb image quality in both photo and video recording, while also powering the Intelligent Resolution technology to perform the optimum signal processing. With Intelligent Resolution, the LUMIX FZ47's zoom can be extended 1.3x times to a 32x zoom length. The LUMIX FZ47 can take high-resolution consecutive shots at 3.7 fps in 12.1-megapixel full-resolution and maximum 10 fps at 3-megapixel recording. With Panasonic's Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus), the LUMIX FZ47 has a quick start-up time, approximately 35% faster than the Panasonic LUMIZ FZ40, and also has an incredibly fast response time, helping to catch any fast-action photo opportunity. Additionally, the LUMIX FZ47 has fast and accurate AF Tracking.
The LUMIX FZ47's 24x optical zoom optimized for video recording with a mechanism designed to minimize the noise of AF and zooming. The full-HD video capability is complemented with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, to offer extremely realistic audio. And with a Wind Cut function, the LUMIX FZ47 reduces noise from background wind automatically. While shooting video, users can simultaneously take a 3.5-megapixel still photo.
Differentiating itself from most digital cameras that record video, the LUMIX FZ47 is unique in that it features a Creative Video mode, which lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to videos, which is especially suitable for shooting a fast-moving subject. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and it is desired to have each of them stand out.
The creative mode is also available for still photos. For users seeking more creative freedom, the LUMIX FZ47 adds the new Creative Control and Photo Style that comes with a variety of options for artistic effect modes, including: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole. Users can also adjust exposure compensation in the Creative Control mode. In addition, Photo Style is newly added to the LUMIX FZ47 to allow finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction in these settings: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery and Portrait.
On the other hand, for those users who would prefer not to change any settings, the LUMIX FZ47 also features Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) mode. When in iA mode, the LUMIX FZ47 automatically chooses the best setting based on the shooting environment and features include: POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), Motion Deblur*, Face Recognition, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Scene Selector. Additionally, iA is available during video mode, and the following features engage automatically: POWER O.I.S., Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent D-Range Control.
Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX FZ47 include:
3D Photo Mode: Take 3D still photos** that can be played back on MPO-compatible 3D equipment, such as a Panasonic VIERA 3D HDTV
3.0" Intelligent LCD: Features a 460,000-dot high resolution
Social Media Connection: The LUMIX FZ47 makes it extremely easy to share photos via Facebook and videos via YouTube. As soon as the camera is connected to the computer it will prompt the user with an easy-to-follow menu asking if they want to share the images – no software needed
The Panasonic LUMIX FZ47 will be available in black for a suggested retail price of $399.99, starting in August 2011. For more information on Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.
*The picture size may be reduced
**The picture size is fixed to 2M (16:9)
SECAUCUS, NJ (July 21, 2011) – Panasonic today announces a new 14.1-megapixel LUMIX DMC-LS5 digital camera that features a high-quality 26mm wide-angle, 5x optical zoom lens. With an incredible F2.8 lens and Optical Image Stabilization, the LUMIX LS5 excels in taking clear photos, even in dimly-lit situations. The LUMIX LS5 also features 720p High Definition video capabilities and runs on AA batteries, perfect for the user who is looking for added convenience.
"The LUMIX LS5 is the ideal digital camera for an entry-level user who wants an extremely easy to use digital camera that does not sacrifice image quality," said David Fisher, Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "With top-quality features like HD video and an F2.8 26mm wide-angle lens, the LS5 is giving consumers exceptional performance and value, while being easy-to-use and convenient. By adding a LUMIX model that runs on AA batteries, we are mindful that consumers have different needs and preferences."
To further its ease-of-use, the LUMIX LS5 features Panasonic's popular iA (Intelligent Auto mode), which automatically engages the following features, without the user making any setting adjustments:
O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) – Helps reduce blur caused by a shaky hand
Face Detection – Finds human faces to give appropriate focus and exposure
Intelligent Scene Selector – Detects the environment and sets the best shooting parameters based on Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Macro
The new LUMIX LS5 records HD video in 1280 x 720p at a smooth 30 fps – which is ideal for viewing on a High Definition Television. Users with a VIERA® HDTV, can simply remove the SD Memory Card from the LUMIX and insert it into the built-in SD Memory Card Slot on the VIERA HDTV to enjoy HD videos and photo slideshows. The LUMIX LS5 can also record video in standard VGA (640 x 480) and QVGA (320 x 240). With the included YouTube and Facebook Image uploader, users can easily share their photos and videos via popular social networking sites.
The Panasonic LUMIX LS5 will be available in black in November 2011. Pricing will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipping. For more information about Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, please visit: www.panasonic.com/lumix.