Panasonic has released the Lumix DMC-FX66 ultra-compact. The 14MP camera features Intelligent Resolution technology and Power O.I.S. image stabilization. It also includes the company's new Happy mode that apparently optimizes the color, saturation and brightness of the recorded image to match your memory of the scene, plus a Cosmetic mode that enhances skin texture. It incorporates a 25-125mm equiv. wide-angle lens, 2.7 inch LCD and an HD output.

The FX66 is not being released in UK at present.

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Press Release:

The Ultimate Slim and Stylish Camera DMC-FX66
with 25mm Ultra Wide Angle to Powerful 5x Optical Zoom*
Featuring Intelligent Resolution Technology

January 26, 2010: Panasonic is pleased to introduce the new 14.1-megapixel LUMIX DMC-FX66 to the world acclaimed slim and stylish FX series. The new image processing technology “Intelligent Resolution” is incorporated in the Venus Engine VI for FX66. By detecting the signals whether they are at edges of the subjects, they compose detailed texture or just a soft gradation first and give appropriate enhancement to the edges and textured areas respectively. Unlike the uniform enhancement of sharpness, it is possible to perform the optimum signal processing to give a whole image outstandingly natural clearness with fine details. This technology is integrated in iA(Intelligent Auto) mode -- a hallmark of LUMIX cameras –making it possible to offer best automatic setting according to the scene.

The powerful 5x optical zoom can be increased its power to 6.5x equivalent with the Intelligent Zoom*1function taking advantage of the Intelligent Resolution technology maintaining the picture quality even using digital zoom. The 25mm ultra wide-angle feature is ideal for both broad landscapes and tight indoor shots, letting photographers capture a wider view. The 14.1-megapixel high resolution CCD reproduce the detailed images corner to corner and affordable with trimming or even more powerful Extra Optical Zoom by using the center part of it.

Notably the sonic speed AF in the FX66 features its speed at the industry's fastest level. Combined with a high-speed start-up, this gives the FX66 an industry’s fastest level of response that helps to catch even the most fleeting photo opportunities. The 2.7-inch large Intelligent LCD offers dynamic and clear view out of its small body. The battery life is also as powerful as approx. 380 pictures shooting thanks to the highly energy efficient image processing LSI, the Venus Engine VI.

Newly added options for FX66 expand the fun of casual photography. The Happy mode, a color option in the iA mode, applies color filter to look both photo and movie more vivid. A new scene mode Cosmetic mode lets you take portraits with desired color and transparency of skin. Sunset mode helps capture a impressive sunset.

With a variety of color options of high-quality aluminum texture, the slim, ultra compact FX66 best suits users who are awaiting the stylish camera that goes beyond the others.

25mm Ultra-Wide-Angle 5x Optical Zoom F2.8 LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens and 14.1-Megapixel High Resolution CCD
The 14.1-megapixel DMC-FX66 packages a 25mm LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT high-quality lens with 5x optical zoom, offering F2.8 brightness*1. Comprising 7 elements in 6 groups, including 3 aspherical lenses with 5 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit passes Leica's stringent standards and delivers an exceptional optical performance. Notably, Panasonic achieved the world's first incorporation of 0.3mm super thin aspherical lens and industry first 0.3mm spherical lens, both mold and mass production are difficult, into the newly developed lens unit. This makes it possible to fit the 25-125mm high performance lens in an astonishingly slim and compact body. The 25mm ultra wide-angle lens records almost double the viewing space at the same shooting distance compared to ordinary 35mm cameras. Thanks to the newly incorporated Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent Zoom is available with the FX66 which extends the zoom ratio by approx.1.3x maintaining the picture quality even using a digital zoom. This means the 5x optical can virtually extend to 6.5x equivalent. Furthermore, the Extra Optical Zoom function that extends zoom power to 10.5x (at 3-megapixel resolution) by using the center part of the 14.1-megapixel high resolution CCD to bring subjects even closer.

The New Venus Engine VI Integrating Intelligent Resolution Technology Assures High Picture Quality
The high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine V has been re-engineered to compile the new image processing technology “Intelligent Resolution” to be the Venus Engine VI. It enables the recording of beautiful images with higher quality signal processing.

With the Intelligent Resolution technology, 3 areas –outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation areas are automatically detected. The outline parts are enhanced effectively to give edges more clearness while giving a moderate accentuation to the texture areas to look it more finely detailed. To the soft gradation part, superior noise reduction process of the Venus Engine VI is applied to make it smoother.  Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way for it.  As a result, images are naturally clear and crisp with fine detail.

The Intelligent Resolution technology also realizes Intelligent Zoom, which virtually extends the optical zoom ratio by 1.3x to 6.5x equivalent maintaining the picture quality even combining the digital zoom. Details of a image in high sensitivity recording tend to be lost in the noise reduction process, however, the Intelligent Resolution works to keep them.

At the same time, the multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine VI supports a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as approx. 0.005 second and the camera's quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities together with the industry’s fastest level of Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus) that lets you lock on the subject minimum in approx. 0.25(wide-end) / 0.27(tele-end) second*2 and the short startup time of approx. 1.06 second. The high performance Venus Engine VI is also more energy efficient compared with the conventional Venus Engine V, extending the battery life up to 380 shots (CIPA) per a single charge.

iA (Intelligent Auto) Further Evolved with Intelligent Resolution Technology
Panasonic incorporated the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode in pursuit of the ultimate ease of operation and the reduction of misshots. In the iA mode the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments. Just press, aim and shoot. This mode is now further advanced with the inclusion of Intelligent Resolution technology for DMC-FX66.

The hand-shake component, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed, is recognized as a low-frequency vibration, for which the new POWER O.I.S. is particularly effective. This greatly improves the quality of shots taken at night or indoors where a flash cannot be used, or where the photographer doesn't want to use a flash because it would spoil the mood. It captures beautiful photos in situations that previously resulted in blurring. The Face Recognition function remembers registered faces to give an appropriate AF/AE on the people.
The Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene Modes -- Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and newly added Sunset -- that best suits the shooting situation.

In addition, newly incorporated Intelligent Resolution technology is always activated in the iA mode which results in the clearer and higher picture quality even with the 1.3x extended zoom range by Intelligent Zoom equivalent to 6.5x.

Once you enter the iA mode, these functions happen automatically together with other powerful shooting-assist functions -- AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure -- 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.

Newly added Happy Mode, a color mode option in the iA mode, optimizes color, saturation and brightness to make the image more vivid and true to the color of the scene you memorized.

Exciting Options to Expand the Fun of Photography in the High-Definition Era
All LUMIX cameras can take 16:9 HD (High Definition) quality photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen HDTV for full-screen viewing. You can enjoy slideshows of photos taken with the camera in stunning HD quality by inserting an SD Memory Card in to the VIERA Image Viewer (SD Memory Card slot) with VIERA HDTV.
The new DMC-FX66 even records dynamic HD movie in 1280 x 720p at a smooth 30 fps, in addition to WVGA (848 x 480) and normal VGA (640 x 480). You can use an optional mini HDMI cable to output the still and motion images you took from the FX66 directly to play back them on the TV for VIERA Link. You can take maximum advantage of Lumix camera's playback functions including the slideshow in which both still and motion images integrated in the timeline, category playback according to the scene mode you used or calendar display and so on. All control is possible using only the TV's remote control.
In addition, with the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0, it is easy to view and edit your recorded contents. You may also choose to upload your videos to YouTube or burn them to a DVD disc for archiving.

  • Motion images 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.
  • Use a card with SD Speed Class with”Class6”or higher when recording motion pictures in [MOTION JPEG]. SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.

Other Versatile Functions Adding to the Photographic Enjoyment
The FX66 is equipped with a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with super high resolution and a wide viewing angle. The screen brightness automatically adjusts in 11 steps as the surrounding brightness level changes, ensuring easy visibility at all times. The big screen reflects fine details, making it easy to check the focus before shooting. It also serves as a small photo and video viewer, allowing the user and friends to enjoy viewing the still and motion images together.

The new scene mode Cosmetic mode, featured only in the FX66, allows to take portraits with favored skin color(soft skin, natural skin, summer look) and degree of transparency of skin detail(low, standard, high). This makes it possible to take portraits with different impression of skin, for example, you can look yourself suntanned even if you’re not or you can defocus the unwanted wrinkles or mottles like having a underlight for studio photoshooting.

In addition to the conventional SD/SDHC Memory Card, the DMC-FX66 accepts the next-generation SD format SDXC (SD eXtended Capacity), that features high potential in both capacity and data transfer speed. The DMC-FX66 is compatible with Windows 7.

About Included Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0
The latest version of exciting software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 Edition comes bundled with DMC-FX66. With quick start-up and fast read-in of images, the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 Edition makes it possible to sort and organize photos not only of those newly taken but also of those stored in your PC. The Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture to automatically sort the photos by the registered faces without picking out each photo one by one when you only want pictures of a specific person.

You can also enjoy slideshows with a variety of effects and use your iTunes music library as background music. Motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube using the built-in YouTube uploader even in HD (High Definition) quality. It also lets you create a 360-degree rotation panorama file in MOV, which is especially easy if Panorama Assist mode in the camera is used. The software is of course compatible with the Windows 7.

Experience and feel the outstanding benefit of the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0. It will surely allow you to view, edit and archive your captured photos and motion pictures with greater ease and fun.

*1 Equivalent to 35mm camera: 25-125mm.
*2Using 1-area AF.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX66 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.33" Type CCD
• 14.5 million pixels total
• 14.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 4320x3240(14M) / 3648x2736(10M) / 3072x2304(7M)
/ 2560x1920(5M) / 2048X1536(3M) / 640X480(0.3M)
• 3:2 Aspect Ratio: 4320x2880 (12.5M) / 3648x2432 (9M) / 3072x2048 (6M) / 2560x1712 (4.5M) / 2048x1360 (2.5M) / 640x424 (0.3M)
• 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 4320x2432 (10.5M) / 3648x2056 (7.5M) / 3072x1728 (5.5M) / 2560x1440 (3.5M) / 1920x1080 (2M) / 640x360 (0.2M)

Movie clips • 1280x720 pixels @ 30 fps
• 4:3: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels @ 30 fps
• 16:9: 848 x 480 pixels @ 30 fps
• Motion JPEG
File formats • Still Image: JPEG(DCF/Exif2.21)
• Motion picture: QuickTime Motion JPEG
Lens

• 5x optical zoom
• 25 -125mm (35mm equiv.)
• f=4.5-22.5mm
• F2.8 - 5.9
• LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR
• 7 elements in 6 groups

Image stabilization Power O.I.S lens-shift stabilization
Digital zoom Yes, up to 4x
Focus

• Normal
• Macro
• Zoom Macro
• Quick AF On/Off (On in Intelligent Auto)
• Continuous AF On/Off
• AF Tracking

AF area modes • Face / AF tracking
• 11-point
• 1-point high speed
• 1-point
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: Wide 50cm - infinity, Tele 100cm - infinity
• Macro / Intelligent AUTO/ Clipboard: Wide 3 cm / Tele100cm - infinity
Metering • Intelligent Multiple
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• 80
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• High Sensitivity Mode : Auto (1600 - 6400)
Exposure compensation ± 2EV, 1/3EV steps
Exposure bracketing ± 1/3 EV ~ 1EV step, 3 frames
Shutter speed • 8-1/2000 sec
• Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec
Aperture • F2.8 - 5.9/ Iris Diaphragm (F2.8 - 6.3 (W) / F5.9 - 6.3 (T))
Modes

• Intelligent AUTO
• Normal Picture
• SCN
• Cosmetic
• Motion Picture
• Clipboard

Scene modes

• Portrait
• Soft Skin
• Transform
• Self-Portrait
• Scenery
• Panorama Assist
• Sports
• Night Portrait
• Night Scenery
• Food
• Party
• Candle Light
• Baby1
• Baby2
• Pet
• Sunset
• High sensitivity
• Hi-Speed Burst
• Flash Burst
• Starry Sky
• Fireworks
• Beach
• Snow
• Aerial photo

White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Halogen
• White Set
Self timer 2, 10 sec
Continuous shooting • Full-Resolution Image
1.8 frames/sec Max. 5 images (Standard mode), Max 3 images (Fine Mode)
• High-speed Burst Mode:
Approx. 6.0 frames/sec (image priority)
Approx. 10 frames/sec (speed priority)
(recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)
Image parameters Standard, Vivid, Natural, Black & White, Sepia, Cool, Warm, Happy (only in iA Mode)
Flash • Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
• 0.6 - 6.0m (Wide/ISO Auto), 1.0 - 2.8m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.7" TFT LCD Display
• 230K dots
• Field of View : approx. 100%
• AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode
Connectivity • USB2.0 High speed
• AV Output (NTSC/PAL)
• miniHDMI
• DC Input
Print compliance • PictBridge
• DPOF
Storage • SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
• 40MB internal memory
Power • Li-ion battery
• Charger included
• AC adaptor (optional)
Weight (no batt) 145 g
Weight (with batt) 123g
Dimensions 97 x 54 x 22 mm
(3.82 x 2.13 x 0.86 in)