Pre-PMA 2009: In Panasonic's fourth announcement of the day comes the the DMC-ZS1 compact digital camera (DMC-TZ6 in Europe) , successor to the DMC-TZ5. The new camera's lens has been extended to offer 12x optical zoom, starting at 25mm equiv. and the sensor resolution increased to 10MP. The ZS1 features the Intelligent Auto Mode that combines Intelligent Scene selection with AF tracking, Intelligent Exposure, Face Detection, optical image stabilization, and Intelligent ISO Control for ease of use.

Press Release:

Panasonic’s DMC-TZ6 – Your Perfect Travelling Companion

27th January 2009: Panasonic's new DMC-TZ6 is the latest addition to the award winning Lumix TZ family of digital cameras, which is renowned for packaging a remarkable 12x optical zoom in a compact, stylish body as well as featuring a 25mm ultra wide angle lens for wide angle shooting.  Successor to the hugely popular DMC-TZ5, the TZ6 is set to be a firm favourite.

Ultra Wide Angle Lens with 12x Optical Zoom
The 10 megapixel TZ6 features a high-quality LEICA DC VARIO ELMAR 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens with a 12x optical zoom. A lens like this, with a range from 25mm to 300mm in 35mm film equivalence, is almost inconceivable in such a small, lightweight camera. Comprising 10 elements in 8 groups, including 2 ED lenses and 2 aspherical lenses with 3 aspherical surfaces, and utilizing new lens material in its design, this advanced lens unit realizes the outstandingly slim and compact body while passing Leica's stringent standards to deliver exceptional optical performance. The Extra Optical Zoom function that extends zoom power to 21.4x (at 3-megapixel resolution) by using the center part of the large CCD to bring subjects even closer without deteriorating the image quality.

Intelligent Auto Mode Just Keeps Getting Better
Panasonic incorporated Intelligent Auto mode in pursuit of the ultimate ease of operation and the reduction of misshots. This mode is also further advanced with the inclusion of the AF tracking and Intelligent Exposure feature for the DMC-TZ6.  Furthermore, digital red-eye correction is also integrated in the Face Detection.

In iA mode the camera does all the work, activating AF tracking, Intelligent Exposure, Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector, Mega O.I.S. (optical image stabilizer), and Intelligent ISO Control. This leaves the user free to simply compose the shot and press the shutter button, with the assurance that the image will be clear, beautiful and properly exposed.

With the new AF Tracking function, the user can "lock" the focus onto a moving subject. The camera then automatically tracks the subject as it moves, keeping it in focus without the user having to hold the shutter button halfway down. This makes it easier to capture the perfect moment clearly and in sharp focus when shooting images of a child, pet, sports or any scene with moving subjects and spur-of-the-moment action.

Intelligent Exposure suppresses blocked shadows and blown highlights to capture images that look natural and true-to-life. It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the camera detects that the light source is behind the subject.

Face detection accuracy has been increased in the TZ6 to now provide continuous adjustment of the focus and exposure even if the face is turned sideways to the camera. Combined with AF Tracking, Face Detection helps users capture special moments, including the fleeting expressions on the faces of active children. Plus, with the TZ6, the red-eye effect can be digitally corrected automatically when it occurs due to the use the flash.

Intelligent Scene Selector automatically selects whichever of 5 scene modes - Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, and Night Scenery - best suits the shooting situation. The Quick AF system allows the camera to keep focus on the subject while the camera is in recording mode even before pressing a shutter button.

In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits fundamental functions users need in a good digital still camera. These include MEGA O.I.S., which prevents blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which prevents motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. The MEGA O.I.S. conventionally has mode 1 and 2, and now it has AUTO mode to select the suitable one between the modes according to the zoom ratio being used.

The user can activate all of these useful functions by simply pressing an independent iA button on the top of the camera, which is newly equipped for direct activation. All these features make the TZ6 the ultimate, super-versatile automatic camera for capturing clear, beautiful, mistake-free photos with ease.

The TZ6 features an impressive 2.7inch 230,000 dot resolution Intelligent LCD, ensuring images can be viewed with ease.

High Performance Venus Engine IV

The image-processing LSI, Venus Engine IV, features advanced signal processing technology for rendering high quality images. Featured in the DMC- TZ6, the Venus Engine IV supports a super-fast response time making it easy to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. And in High-Speed Burst shooting mode,*1 it fires off an incredible 6.5 shots per second. You also get unlimited consecutive shooting,*2 which lets you keep shooting until the memory card is full.

The Venus Engine IV also supports a High Sensitivity mode that lets the DMC-TZ6 record at a setting of up to ISO 6400, sensitive enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash.*3

Bright and Beautiful Motion Pictures
Not only can you capture beautiful still images – the TZ6 also records stunning motion images – WVGA (848x480), VGA(640x480), QVGA(320x240) - at 30 frames per second.  The WVGA*4 motion picture also fits a wide-screen (16:9) TV perfectly to offer impressive viewing. Perfect for skiing holidays for example you can showcase your skiing talents in full 16:9 glory on your widescreen television to your family and friends.

Additionally, all Lumix cameras can take 1920x1080 pixel high-definition quality photos that are ideal for full-screen viewing on a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV. Panasonic has long focused on making photography more enjoyable, such as by letting people view their images easily on a Panasonic Viera TV with Viera Image Viewer (internal SD card slot).

Perfect for all occasions, the small DMC-TZ6 offers a wealth of features and effortlessly slips into your pocket ensuring you are ready for any photographic occasion.  Available from April 2009, the TZ6 will be available in a choice of black or silver.

*1 In 3-megapixel(4:3), 2.5-megapixel(3:2), 2-megapixel(16:9) recording
*2
The consecutive shooting speed varies with the memory card, image size, and image compression mode. The number of shots depends on the memory card size, battery life, image size and image compression mode
*3 In 3-megapixel(4:3), 2.5-megapixel(3:2), 2-megapixel(16:9) recording
*4 Motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes in some countries.