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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9

By dpreview staff on Jul 20, 2005 at 07:05 GMT

Panasonic has announced an addition to the FX range with the sleek and sexy Lumix DMC-FX9. Available in three colors, red, silver and black, the FX9 ups the pixel count to 6 million. It forfeits an optical viewfinder in favor of a 2.5-inch LCD with 180% more pixels than the FX8 at 207,000 and maintains that effective Optical Image Stabilization system, despite only having a 3x zoom. It also boasts the Venus Engine Plus LSI for high performance processing in speed and image quality and offers a 3 frames per second burst mode. The DMC-FX9 also adds two new scene modes to those found on the FX8, which are Starry Sky and Candle.

It will be available in the UK at the end August in silver and black priced £349.99.

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Press Release:

The Ultimate of the Stylish and Compact LUMIX FX series

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9

6-Megapixel 3x Optical Zoom DMC-FX9 with MEGA O.I.S.

Panasonic is introducing the incoming LUMIX model DMC-FX9, which is the next-generation model of the world-renowned stylish and compact MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)-equipped FX series. The FX series boasts high picture quality, a large LCD, compactness and stylish design, features desired in a compact camera. Its startup time accelerated, the DMC-FX9 is now with substantially upgraded with total effective pixels increased to 6-Megapixel, and includes the zoom function Extra Optical Zoom that extends zoom ratio up to 4.1x in 3-Megapixel recording and a clearer LCD based on the FX8 that was released earlier. The increase in effective pixels to the large as 6-Megapixel produces impressive, precisely detailed images. The highly commended 2.5-inch large LCD now provides much more clarity, by increasing its resolution to 207K pixels. Also, a total of 14 scene modes including 2 new modes allow all users to enjoy taking high quality pictures more easily and more comfortably. The FX9 is available in silver, black and red colors, each with a specially textured coating pleasing to the touch. The DMC-FX9 is a notch above model than the alluringly stylish and yet ultimate compact FX8 with all the favored Panasonic advantages, that is to say, a best-in-class blue chip.

1. 6-Megapixel high resolution CCD and LEICA DC lens
The LUMIX DMC-FX9 has a 1/2.5” 6-megapixel CCD to capture high-resolution image. The 3x(equivalent to 35 mm to 105 mm on a 35 mm film camera) zoom ratio can be extended up to 4.1x in 3-Megapixel image recording mode with minimal deterioration, by intentionally using the central part of the 6-Megapixel high resolution CCD. The lens part is comprised of LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens. The combination of 3 aspherical lenses generates high optical performance while preserving the compactness of the unit.

2. Crystal-clear 2.5” large LCD monitor
The 2.5” large LCD monitor is substantially increased in resolution by more than 180% up to 207 k pixels and provides a much clearer view together with the powerful backlighting of the Power LCD function that helps easy viewing even outdoors in sunny locations. Thanks to the large, clear LCD, you can now display images that are precise even in thumbnail format, at a maximum of 25 images at a time.

3. MEGA O.I.S. offers clear, sharp images in difficult situations
MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer), that Panasonic thinks it indispensable for all digital cameras, especially for compact models that lacks stability, is subsumed under LUMIX all line-up released in this year. Every slight hand-shake movement is detected accurately with the sampling frequency at 4,000 times per second and will be compensated to render clear, sharp images.

MEGA O.I.S. is equipped 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. In consequence, since MEGA O.I.S. enables a beautiful picture shot without blurring at slower shutter speeds of more than three steps compared to the conventional models without O.I.S., you can enjoy shooting clear and beautiful pictures easily even in the situations using slow shutter speeds, like indoor shots for portraits and nighttime scenery for illuminated object, as well as in shootings using macro mode.

4. High performance, low energy consumption image processing LSI: Venus Engine Plus
The DMC-FX9 incorporates the Venus Engine Plus LSI for high performance image processing in both speed and image quality as well as other LUMIX models. For the burst shooting mode, it boasts the shooting at 3 frames per second at full resolution. You can start it the moment you want thanks to the independent button*, allowing you to record consecutive images and select the best one afterward. And the Unlimited Consecutive Shooting function** allows limit-free consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the SD memory card. The industry-leading release time lag of 0.006 sec does not let you miss a shooting chance and helps you capture the spur-of-the-moments.

The Venus Engine Plus reduces the power consumption to the 70% of that of Venus Engine II. On the other hand, high density mounting allows bigger and more powerful battery to fit in. Both result in the extension of battery life enabling the shooting of 270 images per single charge.
*The button also performs as “delete” in playback mode.
**The speed of the unlimited consecutive shooting varies depending on the SD memory card.

5. Faster AF and enhanced options
The AF method can be selected according to the shooting situation: 5-point, 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed and Spot. In 1- point high-speed AF, the AF time has been dramatically reduced to achieve outstanding focusing with speed and precision as good as the FX8.

Although screen-freeze in high-speed AF is now minimized, to take pictures of fast-moving subjects you can select 1-point normal-speed AF, which does not have any screen-freeze while focusing.

Finally, to extend the AF ability under low-light conditions or even at night, an AF assist lamp is included.

6. Higher quality moving images
A newly incorporated CCD that adopts a 9-pixel mixed readout method makes it possible to record beautiful full-size movies in VGA size at 30 fps. The new CCD provides much higher luminous signals, enhancing the picture quality not only in size but also in the brightness level of the image. On the sound front, built-in speaker lets you enjoy playing back movies with audio on the 2.5” large LCD anytime, anywhere.

7. Easy-to-use scene modes matches wider situations
LUMIX FX series has a mode dial that shortcuts the selection of the scene mode that best matches the situation quickly and easily. The DMC-FX9 contains 2 new modes added to the FX8’s Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Self Portrait, Baby, Soft Skin and Food, providing a total of 14 scene modes to assist your shooting according to the wide-ranging situations. Let us once again introduce our unique mode “Baby”. This allows easy growth recording in which the baby’s time of age according to the preset birthday would be automatically recorded onto the image, as well as maximizing the purity by giving a shade of soft focus on the subject. This information can be displayed when you view the images taken in this mode on the camera LCD, and when reviewed or printed via the included LUMIX Simple Viewer. “Starry Sky” helps you capture the beautiful star-filled night sky by securing shutter speeds as slow as 15, 30 or 60 sec. “Candle” catches the natural color of candlelit sites without damaging the warm atmosphere. Both situations are normally difficult to capture as seen through your eyes, but these modes will help the camera approximate.

On the other hand, the simple mode offers easy shooting even to entry-level users by making most settings automatically. You just aim at the subject, zoom in or out, and press the shutter button.

8. More useful options for playback images
The newly incorporated large, high-resolution LCD allows the display of images even in tiny thumbnail size. Playback of 9, 16 and 25 is possible on a multi-split screen in addition to the normal 1 frame playback. This helps you to search for the image you want out of a number of images stored on the SD Memory Card, even if the images are in bulk. Furthermore, you can virtually checkmark your favorite images and keep them selected apart from the others, to make special slideshow with them only or make concurrent deletion of the non-checkmarked ones if you do not need them anymore. Thanks to this feature, the FX9 can serve not just as a tool for shooting images but also as a digital album, to enjoy seeing and showing your favorite pictures.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 specifications

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9

Sensor

• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 6.4 million pixels total
• 6.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes

4:3 Aspect Ratio
• 2816 x 2112
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480

3:2 Aspect Ratio
• 2816 x 1880
• 2048 x 1360

16:9 Aspect Ratio
• 2816 x 1584
• 1920 x 1080

Movie clips • 640x 480
• 320 x 240
• 30 fps/10 fps
• Limited only by capacity of the memory card
• With sound
File formats

• Still: JPEG
• Movie: QuickTime Motion JPEG

Lens • 35 - 105 mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• 4.1x "Extra optical zoom" for smaller sizes
• F 2.8/5.6 (W) F5.0/10
Image stabilization MEGA OIS Mode 1 and 2
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Focus Autofocus
AF area modes • 1-point
• 1-point high speed
• 3 points high speed
• 5 points
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 50cm - infinity
• Macro: 5cm (W) 30cm (T)
Metering Intelligent multiple
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Shutter speed 8 - 1/2000 sec
Aperture Wide: F2.8 / F5.6 (2 steps) Tele: F5.0 / F10 (2 steps)
Scene modes • Portrait
• Sports
• Night Scenery
• Night Portrait
• Fireworks
• Party
• Snow
• Self-Portrait
• Food
• Baby
• Soft Skin
• Candle
• Starry Sky
• Scenery
White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Halogen
• White Set

White balance fine tune 150K step, -1500 - +1500K except for auto set
Self timer 2 or 10 secs
Continuous shooting 3fps or 2fps max 8 images (standard) 6 images (fine)
Image parameters • Fine, standard
• Natural, Standard, Vivid
• Cool, warm, black and white, sepia
Flash • Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off
• Range: 0.3 - 4.0m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 2.2m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Viewfinder None
Orientation sensor Yes
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 207,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• DC in
• AV out
Print compliance • PictBridge
• DPOF
Storage • SD/MMC card
• 16 MB card supplied
Power • Lithium ion battery
• Charger optional
Weight

• 127 g (0.28 lb) without battery and card
• 155g (0.34lb) with battery and card

Dimensions 94 x 51 x 24 mm (3.7 x 2 x 1 in)

Additional images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
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