Panasonic has today introduced the first 4-megapixel consumer digital camera with 12x optical zoom. Featuring F2.8 brightness throughout the entire zoom range, the camera's powerful 12x zoom (equiv. to 35-420mm on 35mm). It has Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) which helps to deliver sharp, vivid images even when taking handheld telephoto shots or shooting in low light. It is targeted for retail introduction in November, and will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $599.00.

Press Release:

ELEVATING THE PERFORMANCE OF DIGITAL STILL CAMERAS TO A NEW STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE, PANASONIC'S NEW LUMIX DIGITAL CAMERA IS INDUSTRY'S FIRST 4-MEGAPIXEL CONSUMER CAMERA OFFERING 12X ZOOM

SECAUCUS, NJ (October 2, 2003) Panasonic, creator of the celebrated Lumix line of digital cameras, introduces the industry's first 4-megapixel consumer digital camera with 12x optical zoom. Featuring F2.8 brightness throughout the entire zoom range, the camera's powerful 12x zoom is equivalent to a 35 - 420mm zoom lens on a conventional 35mm film camera. Its precision Leica lens, extraordinary telephoto features and no-lag processing speed enable this camera to capture every detail of distant or quick-moving subjects with superb brightness and clarity.
The new, high-performance DMC-FZ10 Lumix camera is targeted for retail introduction in November, and will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $599.00.
The camera features a 1/2.5" CCD and F2.8 large-aperture Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with 13 elements in 8 groups and three aspherical lenses. Legendary for rendering images with superb color reproduction and expressive depth, the Leica lens opens the door to exciting new creative possibilities, for both the first-time digital camera user and the experienced photographer.
Especially important for a high zoom camera, Panasonic's advanced MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) enhances the camera's telephoto zoom capabilities, helping to deliver sharp, vivid images even when taking handheld telephoto shots or shooting in low light. This feature uses motion sensors, which detects even slight hand movement and integrally links the lens control to the motion of the camera to reduce jitter. Unlike digital image stabilization systems, this optical system provides precise compensation with no degradation in image quality.
The DMC-FZ10's new histogram feature functions like a digital light meter, providing a graphic representation of the luminance level of the pixels composing an image. By using the histogram, users can exercise more precise exposure control for quality photos. The histogram can be displayed on the unit's large, 2-inch LCD screen while an image is being recorded and also after a shot has been taken.
Incredibly responsive, the DMC-FZ10 captures consecutive shots nearly as quickly as a motor-driven film camera. As soon as the camera's CCD captures the image signal, Panasonic's multi-tasking Venus Engine LSI simultaneously displays images on the LCD while writing data to the memory card, significantly reducing lag time between shots. To capture sudden events as they unfold, Panasonic's exclusive MEGA BURST recording feature enables consecutive rapid-fire shooting, capturing 4 frames per second with undiminished quality from frame to frame.
The camera can also record motion images (320 x 240 pixel JPEG) in 30 or 10-frames-per-second QuickTime , complete with audio.
The DMC-FZ10 features manual focus, aperture, shutter and exposure functions to help enhance the picture taking experience. Other features include centering guidelines; self timer; program AE; continuous AF function, Spot AF Switching and AF Lock; digital automatic pop-up flash and multiple flash modes; multiple image display; a special panning mode for capturing fast action with clear detail; built-in USB1 port and more.
The camera comes with a lens hood to help diminish flare and ghosting when photographing extremely bright scenes. Other accessories included are: rechargeable battery pack and charger; 16MB SD Memory Card; AC cable; DC cable; A/V cable; USB connection cable; lens cap; carrying strap and software on CD-Rom.
Panasonic consumer digital cameras are marketed in the United States by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. The company is a division of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (NYSE:MC) of Japan, one of the world's largest developers and producers of innovative digital and other electronic products for consumer, business and industrial use. Consumers can get information on Panasonic consumer products from Panasonic's Customer Call Center at 800-272-7033 or access Panasonic's home page at www.panasonic.com.