Panasonic Launched New Lumix FZ-150 & Lumix GF-3X

Toronto, August 30, 2011 – This afternoon, TED publications were invited by Panasonic for the physical unveiling of the a slew of Panasonic imaging devices.  As per usual, considering the high-end nature of our readers, we are only going to concentrate on the two top of the line systems.  One being an all-in-one advanced point-and-shoot, the Lumix FZ-150; the other are innovative lenses for Lumix GF-3X, Panasonic’s compact interchangeable-lens camera system.

Before I go to the specific cameras and lenses, I’d like to share some of the major features that I find to be truly amazing.  The first and foremost is the new 3D Noise Reduction algorithm that does not apply a global noise reduction for the entire frame but by doing a scene and detail analysis so the noise reduction is applied at various strength within a single frame.  For example an area with solid colour will receive a higher noise reduction than an area with lots of detail.  If any of you remember Microsoft’s VC-1 compression logic of HD-DVD era, it works in a very similar way but instead of dealing with compression, it deals with noise reduction.

A similar logic is also applied to Lumix’ Intelligent Resolution Technology where the Venus engine allows the camera to digitally zoom an image by 30% and scale the image without losing resolution.  This is very similar to the logic of using a high-end video scaler and should not be confused with the regular digital zoom which essentially works by cropping and image.

Last on my list are the capabilities of doing super accurate spot-focus, the first at this level of accuracy (based on my personal tests of various cameras) and also a custom-configurable Quick Menu that can be customized for several users.

Panasonic Lumix FZ150 With 24Leica Zoom
Lens Starting at 25mm Ultra Wide-Angle
(see picture at bottom)
About the Camera

The new LUMIX DMC-FZ150 is fully equipped with a 25mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens and a powerful 24x Optical Zoom (25-600mm equivalent) available for shooting both stills and videos. Additionally, the LUMIX FZ150 has two of Panasonic’s newest features – newly advanced Nano Surface Coating technology which helps minimize light reflection that causes ghosting and flare, and the new 3D Photo Mode.

As the top-end model of LUMIX’s popular FZ series, the FZ150 combines a new 12.1 MP sensor equipped with Venus Engine, giving the camera high-performance image

recording capability in both higher light sensitivity and speed.  . The combination of these powerful components results in the S/N ratio improvement by 3.9dB (ISO 100) to 4.7dB (ISO1600) compared with the predecessor – the FZ100. Newly developed Multi-process Noise Reduction applies optimum noise reduction according to the brightness of the part of the picture. Both high frequency noise that occurs in the dark part and low frequency noise in the light part are suppressed and as a result, images recorded in low-lit situations are now dramatically clear.

The Venus Engine has a quad-circuit system for processing large amounts of progressive Full HD data at high speed. Not only 1920 x 1080 60p smooth Full-HD video recording, but also super fast consecutive shots at 12fps (without auto focusing) and 5.5fps (with auto focusing) in full resolution. It is also compatible with recording high-speed video at 220fps in QVGA. At the same time, the multi-tasking image-processing engine, the Venus Engine, realizes a super-fast response time. The auto focus gains approximately 50 per cent faster speed compared with the FZ100, achieving Light Speed AF of approximately 0.1 second. The speed in AF Tracking also becomes faster, due to the improved tracking performance which doubles its sampling frequency.

As a step-up from LUMIX FZ47’s 1920 x 1080 60i video capture, the FZ150 realizes 1920 x 1080 60p AVCHD Version 2.0 (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. This camera also incorporates a stereo zoom microphone with a Wind Cut function,for high-quality stereo sound through Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator.

The Light Speed AF of approximately 0.1 second never misses fleeting photo opportunities, and for the advanced users, full manual control is available. Users

can also enjoy image shooting while expressing their intention, not only in photos but also in video, using a various options including the new Creative Control and Photo Style with a wide variety of preset options. Panasonic’s shake correction system now gains Active (full-time) mode, which helps to record stable video even if shot while walking.

The LUMIX’s popular iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode powerfully assists in any shooting situations to obtain improved results.

The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation, to optimize visual quality. Intelligent D-range Control creates HDR (high dynamic range) photos which results in a more natural looking images by preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights by optimizing the exposure for each part of an image. It also ensures a beautiful reproduction of gradation and details.

The FZ150 provides the new Creative Control mode with a selection of artistic effect modes including: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole. In addition, Photo Style is newly added to the FZ150 for the expression of finer nuance featuring: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait presets, while enabling finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction.

As a further step-up from the FZ47, the FZ150 is equipped with a hot shoe allowing attachment of various accessories including an optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) or an optional external flash (DMW-FL220 / FL360 / FL500). The FZ150 is also compatible with an optional remote shutter (DMW-RSL1) for advanced expression in photography.

The Panasonic LUMIX FZ150 will be available in black for a suggested retail price of $499.99, starting in late-September 2011.

Lumix Gf3x, Panasonic’s Smallest Compact System Camera Complete
With Lumix G X Vario Pz  14-42mm And 45-175mm
LENSES (see picture at bottom)
About the lens and the Camera

Panasonic’s new premium LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ POWER O.I.S. (H-PS14042) lens, will be available as a lens kit option with the DMC-GF3X model, the company’s smallest and lightest compact system camera. The lens is extremely compact and offers ultra-high portability,at approximately 26.8mm in length and weighing roughly 3.35oz.  This lens offers a versatile zoom range of 14-42mm (28-84mm equivalent) suitable for a wide-range of scenes, from dynamic landscape to classic portrait. Also announced is the LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S.

Using Crystallizing Panasonic’s optical technologies, the LUMIX X lenses features superb image rendering for lifelike textures, crisp edge-to-edge contrast, as well as a unique Nano Surface Coating to help minimize ghosting and flare in natural atmospheres with remarkable transparency.  Thus the LUMIX GF3X camera and lens combination can achieve Light Speed AF of approximately 0.1 second. The LUMIX GF3X also features POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), to make it easier to shoot clear shots even in low-lit situations. And the convenient zoom lever on the lens barrel gives users a more natural and stable way to zoom. Manual focusing is also available with a manual focus lever for even more precise control when needed.

The LUMIX GF3, like all the LUMIX G Series of Compact System Cameras, boasts high-speed contrast-detection AF system with fast response times. The LUMIX GF3 is also capable of 1920 x 1080 HD video in AVCHD format.

The LUMIX GF3X will be available in a black body and black lens in October 2011 for an MSRP of $799.99. The new LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ POWER O.I.S. (H-PS14042) lens will also be available separately for an MSRP of $449.99 and will be compatible with the DMC-G3, DMC-GF3, and DMC-GF2 with a firmware upgrade.

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