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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX2 & DMC-FX7

Jul 21, 2004 at 00:05 GMT

Panasonic has today announced two extraordinary ultra-compact digital cameras. On the face of it the DMC-FX2 and DMC-FX7 appear to be a pair of fairly ordinary if attractively designed four and five megapixel digital cameras. Both feature large LCD monitor (2.5" in the case of the FX7, 2.0" in the case of the FX2), both have improved responsiveness and performance and both are visibly smaller than the FX5 and FX1 they replace. However these cameras are remarkable because despite their ultra compact dimensions Panasonic has managed to squeeze optical image stabilization into the lens system. Impressive indeed and certainly enough (at least on paper) to raise these cameras above the competition.

Phil: I'm very impressed by these cameras, having seen them in the flesh they really are very small and the OIS does appear to work quite well, having image stabilisation in an ultra-compact is something I'd not thought of but does provided a better chance to get that all important shot. Note that not all FX7 body colors shown on this page will be available in all regions.

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Press Release:

Super Slim Compact Digital Camera DMC-FX7/FX2
Incorporate Advanced MEGA O.I.S.
with Large LCD Monitor

Panasonic is introducing the incoming LUMIX models 5.0-megapixel DMC-FX7 and 4.0-megapixel DMC-FX2, incorporating 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 35mm to 105mm on a 35mm film camera) and MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer). The DMC-FX5/FX1, the world’s first compact camera with MEGA O.I.S., have been developed thoroughly into the DMC-FX7/FX2. DMC-FX7 has achieved the conspicuous downsizing by approx. 33% ( 94.1 x 50.0 x 24.2 mm ) compared to FX5/FX1, while adopting the 2.5” large LCD monitor. DMC-FX2 is the same in size with 2.0” LCD monitor. Both models have enhanced their excellence not only with the compactness and total number of pixels, but also with a long list of technical improvements as in the image processing LSI and in the accuracy of O.I.S.

In the previous Venus Engine, the luminance signal is extracted from all RGB pixels to improve the diagonal resolution by 50%. In addition to that, the newly developed Venus Engine II gains new imaging process which adds the luminance signal extracted only from the G pixels upon detecting the horizontal / vertical lines in the image. This results in the improvement of the horizontal and vertical resolution by more than 10% compared to the former Venus Engine, while maintaining the 50% in the diagonal resolution.

Thanks to the further improved multi-task image processing, response has also been accelerated, resulting in the industry-leading release time lag of approx. 0.006(FX2) / 0.008(FX7) sec minimum and a shutter interval*1of approx. 0.3(FX2) / 0.4(FX7) sec for achieving more stress-free operation. It also boasts high consecutive shooting performance, realizing the shooting at 4(FX2) / 3(FX7) frames/second at full resolution. Newly installed Infinite Consecutive Shooting function*2 allows limit-free consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the SD memory card.

The unintentional hand-shake which occurs more frequently as the camera reduces in size can be controlled by the MEGA O.I.S., subsumed with 2 selectable modes. In “Mode 1”, the O.I.S. lens continuously compensates for vibration and in all Panasonic’s own “Mode 2”, the O.I.S. lens suppresses hand-shake only at the moment the shutter button is pressed. In this mode, the lens can move in all directions at the moment to maximize its effect, and higher-resolution image can be taken by capturing the image as close as to the center of the lens. Venus Engine II also encourages this advantageous performance in the point of enhancing the accuracy of hand-shake detection, which allows you to use the 1-step slower shutter speed than that of the models with previous Venus Engine. Consequently, even without using a tripod, it allows you to reduce the shutter speed 3 or 4 steps compared to the conventional cameras without O.I.S., while assuring clear images.

The DMC-FX7/FX2 incorporate newly developed compact LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens that promises high resolution and low aberration images. The 3 aspherical lenses and the full reexamination on the design have accomplished the downsizing of the unit even while adopting the O.I.S. lens.

Despite their handy slim bodies, DMC-FX7/2 boast large LCD monitors which help both shooting and reviewing images. The shooting with LCD monitor, especially indoors or in night scene, causes habitual hand-shakes but the MEGA O.I.S. would correct the vibration.

The LUMIX DMC-FX7/FX2 are designed to be the ultimate compact digital camera for the users of any need, in the moment of any situation, to capture clear, sharp images.

1. Super slim 5-megapixel 3x optical zoom model with 2.5” large LCD monitor

The LUMIX DMC-FX7 is the 5.0 (4.0 for FX2) mega effective pixels, 3x optical zoom(equivalent to 35mm to 105mm on a 35mm film camera) super slim compact digital camera equipped with 2.5”(2.0” for FX2) large LCD and LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens. The combination of 3 aspherical lenses generates high optical performance while preserving the compactness of the unit. The total volume decreased by 33% compared to the FX5/FX1. Power LCD mode offers brighter backlighting to make it easier to see even outdoors.

2. Upgraded MEGA O.I.S. offers clear, sharp images in difficult situations

MEGA O.I.S. is subsumed with 2 selectable modes. In “Mode 1”, the O.I.S. lens continuously compensates for vibration and in “Mode 2”, the O.I.S. lens suppresses hand-shake only at the moment the shutter button is pressed. In this mode, the lens can move in all directions at the moment to maximize its effect, and higher-resolution image can be taken by capturing the image as close as to the center of the lens. Venus Engine II also encourages this advantageous performance in the point of enhancing the accuracy of hand-shake detection, which allows you to use the 1-step slower shutter speed than that of the models with previous Venus Engine. Consequently, even without using a tripod, it allows you to reduce the shutter speed 3 or 4 steps compared to the conventional cameras without O.I.S., while assuring clear images. The unintentional hand-shake, which is frequently accompanied by the downsized cameras particularly in shooting with LCD monitor, can be powerfully controlled even in the slow-shutter shootings indoors or in the night scene.

3. With greatly improved resolution and response, the world's highest level performance: the Venus Engine II

Panasonic has achieved great improvements in both resolution and response compared to the previous Venus Engine. In the previous Venus Engine, the luminance signal is extracted from all RGB pixels to improve the diagonal resolution by 50%. In addition to that, the newly developed Venus Engine II gains new imaging process which adds the luminance signal extracted only from the G pixels upon detecting the horizontal / vertical lines in the image. This results in the improvement of the horizontal and vertical resolution by more than 10% compared to the former Venus Engine, while maintaining the 50% in the diagonal resolution. Besides, the amount of the noise reduction is controllable according to the brightness level of each subject in the image, which reduces the noise in the dark areas as low as 1/3 without affecting the resolution in bright areas of the image.

Thanks to the further improved multi-task image processing, response has also been accelerated, resulting in the industry-leading release time lag of approx. 0.006(FX2) / 0.008(FX7) sec minimum and a shutter interval*1 of approx. 0.3(FX2) / 0.4(FX7) sec for achieving more stress-free operation. It also boasts high consecutive shooting performance, providing shooting at 4(FX2) / 3(FX7) frames/second at full resolution. Newly installed Infinite Consecutive Shooting function*2 allows limit-free consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the SD memory card.

4. Enhanced AF options

With the DMC-FX7/FX2, AF method can be selected according to the shooting situation out of the 4 options; 9-point AF, 3-point AF, 1-point AF, and spot AF. Meanwhile in the 3-point AF, high-speed AF is achieved by using double frequency. In addition, AF assist lamp is provided for its effective operation even at night or in low-light situations.

5. A host of scene modes fit any situation

Newly adopted OSD supports easy-to-follow operation. Now 9 varieties of scene mode including Sports, Night Landscape(separated from Night Portrait mode), Fireworks and Party, assist shooting by selecting one from the on-screen menu according to the wide-ranging situation. Soft skin detail function works in portrait, night portrait and self-portrait mode detecting only skin tones and softens detail to produce smooth and beautiful skin.

Last but not least, the economy mode can now be adjustable to 2 modes to save the battery and extend the operation time. Color effect function has enabled another choice Sepia in addition to Warm, Cool and B&W.

*1 Not including the time for AF.
*2 The speed of the consecutive shooting varies depending on the SD memory card.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX2 & FX7 specifications

 

Panasonic DMC-FX2

Panasonic DMC-FX7
Sensor • 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 4.2 million pixels total
• 4.0 million effective pixels
• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 5.4 million pixels total
• 5.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 2304 x 1728
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
• 1920 x 1080 (HDTV 16:9)
• 2560 x 1920
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
• 1920 x 1080 (HDTV 16:9)
Movie clips • 320 x 240 (10 / 30 fps)
• No audio
• Limited only by storage
• 320 x 240 (10 / 30 fps)
• With audio
• Limited only by storage
File formats • Still: JPEG (EXIF 2.2): Fine / Standard
• Movies: MOV (Motion JPEG)
Lens • 35 - 105 mm equiv. (3x zoom)
• F2.8 - F5.0
• MEGA OIS (Mode 1 / Mode 2)
• "LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT"
Image stabilization Yes, optical, two modes
Digital zoom Yes, up to 4x
AF area modes • 1 point
• 3 points
• 9 points
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 0.5 m - Infinity
• Macro: 5 cm
Metering Intelligent Multiple
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Exposure compensation • +/- 2.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing • 3 frames
• 0.3 to 1 EV steps
Shuttter speed 8 - 1/2000 sec
Aperture • Two steps
• At wide: F2.8 / F5.6
Modes • Normal Picture
• Simple
• Macro
• Scene
• Moving Image
• Playback
Scene modes • Portrait
• Sports
• Landscape
• Night Landscape
• Night Portrait
• Fireworks
• Party
• Snow
• Self-portrait
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Halogen
• Manual
WB fine tune Yes
Self timer 2 or 10 sec
Continuous shooting • Full resolution: 4 or 2 fps
• Full resolution: 10 / 5 images
• Infinite consecutive (unlimited but slower shooting rate)
• Full resolution: 3 fps or 2 fps
• Full resolution: max 7 / 4 images
• Infinite consecutive (unlimited but slower shooting rate)
Image parameters Color (Natural, Standard, Vivid)
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Slow sync, On/Off
• Range: (wide) 4.0 m, (tele) 2.2 m
Viewfinder None
LCD monitor • 2.0" TFT LCD
• 130,000 pixels
• 2.5" TFT LCD
• 114,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 1.1
• A/V out
• DC-IN
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • Secure Digital / MMC card
• 16 MB SD card supplied
Power • Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Charger included
Weight (no batt) 130 g (4.6 oz) 135 g (4.8 oz)
Weight (inc batt) 148 g (5.2 oz) 153 g (5.4 oz)
Dimensions 94 x 50 x 24 mm (3.7 x 2.0 x 1.0 in)

Additional images