Lastly, Panasonic has released the DMC-LS85 digital compact camera, a successor to DMC-LS80. Similar to the LS80, it is bundled with an 8.1 MP sensor and 2.5 inch LCD with 230,000 dot resolution. The optical zoom has been increased to 4x (33-132mm equiv) and the image processor has been upgraded to Panasonic Venus Engine IV. The camera also includes features such as MEGA O.I.S, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Detection and Intelligent Scene Selector.

Press Release:

Powered by AA Batteries – Panasonic’s new DMC-LS85

January 16th 2009 : Panasonic is pleased to introduce the new 8.1-megapixel DMC-LS85 camera. Running on AA batteries and featuring ultimate ease of use with iA(Intelligent Auto), the LS85 is a successor to the LS80. Setting itself apart from conventional AA battery operation cameras, the DMC-LS85 boasts a powerful 4x optical zoom and bright F2.8 high quality LUMIX DC VARIO lens (equivalent to 33mm to 132 mm on a 35mm film camera).

Intelligent Auto Mode - Great Shots Regardless of the User
Panasonic believes that anyone, even at entry technical level of photography, should be able to take beautiful pictures with ease - this is where the iA(Intelligent Auto) mode steps in. Comprising of four major functions (MEGA O.I.S, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Detection and Intelligent Scene Selector) that work together to provide the best possible shooting results everytime. The two most advanced countermeasures against blurring – MEGA O.I.S (Optical Image Stabiliser) to compensate for hand-shake and Intelligent ISO Control to detect and suppress motion blur – are built into the LS85.  Both image stabilizing technologies have been further advanced in detection accuracy and correction effect thanks to the new image-processing LSI, Venus Engine IV.

In addition to these two paramount anti-blurring technologies, the Face Detection system helps the camera to recognize human faces and to focus and set the exposure automatically. Up to 15 faces can be recognized simultaneously. Plus, the Intelligent Scene Selector automatically sets the appropriate scene mode according to the scene you're going to take from among the most frequently used scene modes, such as Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Scenery and Night Portrait mode. It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the camera detects that the light source is behind the subject. The Quick AF system allows the camera to keep focus on the subject while the camera is in recording mode even before without pressing a shutter button halfway, to get best result out of a shutter chance because the focus is always near the subject and the AF time is minimized.

Building on the successor of the highly successful LS80 – the LS85 enjoys a newly added independent iA button on the top of the camera – allowing access to the iA mode directly. Once you enter iA mode, these multi-capable functions work automatically so you can shoot without the bother of adjusting settings every time conditions change. You can enjoy easy, trouble-free shooting in any situation and get the satisfaction that comes with capturing clear, beautiful images.

Zooming in on the Lens
The 8.1-megapixel DMC-LS85 packages a bright F2.8 Lumix DC Vario lens with 4x optical zoom(33-132mm*) into a slim, compact body. Comprising 6 elements in 5 groups, including 3 aspherical lenses with 4 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit realizes the compact body yet delivering an exceptional optical performance. Further, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function provides additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 6.4x (211mm) by using the centre part of the CCD.

Image-processing LSI, Venus Engine IV for High Quality Images
The image-processing LSI, Venus Engine IV, features advanced signal processing technology for rendering high quality images.

The multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine IV supports a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as 0.007 second.  The camera's quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In burst shooting mode, the LS85 can snap 3.0 shots per second at full resolution.** And in High-Speed Burst shooting mode***,it fires off an incredible 4.5 shots per second. You also get unlimited consecutive shooting,**** 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-LS85 record at a setting of up to ISO 6400, sensitive enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash.***

The LCD In More Detail
The DMC-LS85 incorporates an easy-to-see, 2.5 inch large 230,000-dot high-resolution LCD for comfortable viewing while both monitoring shots and playing back the results. The Intelligent LCD function detects the light condition and automatically boosts the LCD backlighting by a maximum of 40% when shooting outdoors in bright sunshine, and adjusts the frame rate when shooting in low-lit situations in addition to using the pixel mixed readout method to secure clarity in such situations. Detecting the lighting condition precisely, and automatically controlling the brightness with a total of 12 fine steps, this function gives the display the most appropriate clarity in any situation without using extra energy. The High Angle mode makes the LCD screen extremely easy to view when the camera is held high, such as when shooting over a crowd.

View your Photos with Pleasure
To increase your enjoyment when playing back your images, the LS85 provides slideshows complete with music. Just select the pictures you want to show and choose the mood that best matches your selection from natural, slow, urban or swing, and you'll get an emotion-filled slideshow with a variety of slide change effects and matching music without any annoying adjustments to the newly added speaker.

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).

For movies, the DMC-LS85 can record WVGA***** (848 x 480) motion pictures at 30 frames per second in addition to standard VGA (640 x 480). The WVGA****** motion picture also fits a wide-screen (16:9) TV perfectly, to offer extremely impressive viewing.

Inherently user friendly, the LS85 includes a host of features for your convenience. For example, start-up time is dramatically shortened by approx. 40% to be as quick as 1.8 sec while AF points are now increased from 5 to 9 for more accurate focusing. The internal memory is now doubled in capacity to approx. 50MB, which is good enough to use as spare memory when you don’t have an SDHC/SD Memory Card. Battery life is extended to shoot more than 270 photos (CIPA) with two AA batteries thanks to the low energy consumption of Venus Engine IV.

For more stress-free operation, cursor key and buttons backside are now made larger. The menus are also easier to navigate thanks to the new "Display Size" option which is set to "Large" by default.  In addition, exclusively for the LS85, the level of easiness can be set by the user and if the user prefers the easiest way, additional setting menu will no longer be displayed to avoid confusion.

Included Software
The latest version of exciting software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 comes bundled with the DMC-LS85. The PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 allows the user to edit or organize a collection of photos with more ease and fun. It features Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture stored in your PC to sort the photos by faces. Conventionally, you had to pick up one by one out of hundreds of photos when you only want the picture of a specific person. But with the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0, the software automatically does it once the face is registered regardless of the camera type you used. On the sophisticated interface, you can also enjoy emotional slideshow with a variety of effects. Motion pictures (MOV or MPEG2) can also be upload directly to YouTube.*******

Dressed in a metal-finished panel, the compact and easy-to-hold DMC-LS85 offers ultimate ease in taking great snapshots casually - especially for beginners. The DMC-LS85 will be available from March and will come in a choice of silver or black

* 35mm film camera equivalent.
*
* Max. 7 images in standard mode/ 4 images in fine mode
*** In 3-megapixel(4:3), 2.5-megapixel(3:2), 2-megapixel(16:9) recording
**** 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.
***** When you set the picture quality to WVGA or VGA, we recommend using a high-speed card with “10MB/s” or greater displayed on the package. Motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes in some countries.
****** Continuous recording exceeding 2GB is not possible when recording motion JPEG. Remaining
 time for continuous recording is displayed on the screen.
******* YouTube is a trademark of Google Inc. All other company product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.