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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS3

Jan 29, 2008 at 17:00 GMT

Pre-PMA 2008: Panasonic has today launched an entirely new line of Lumix compact digital cameras - the FS series. This appears to be conceptually similar to the FX line but slightly below that premium range in terms of specification and possibly build quality. The first model to slot into this segment is the FS3, an 8.1 megapixel 3x zoom compact with the typical Panasonic blend of fully automatic control with user overrides should the camera misread the prevailing conditions.

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Press Release:

8.1-Megapixel LUMIX DMC-FS3 with 3x Optical Zoom f2.8 Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens Combines Simple Operation and Slim, Stylish Profile Featuring Intelligent Auto Mode

35mm film camera equivalent: 33-100mm

Panasonic is pleased to introduce the new 8.1-megapixel DMC-FS3 with f2.8 Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 33mm to 100 mm on a 35mm film camera) as part of the new Lumix FS series. The new FS series is similar to the world-acclaimed FX series, pursuing easy and simple operation with its high-grade profile for users at every stage to enjoy taking beautiful pictures.

The new DMC-FS3 features iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, which comprises 5 shooting-assist functions; Mega O.I.S., Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection and Quick AF functions. Mega O.I.S. suppresses hand-shake and Intelligent ISO Control prevents motion blur. The Intelligent Scene Selector sets the appropriate scene mode by automatically selecting it from the most frequently used scene modes, such as Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait and Night Scenery. The Face Detection system detects a human face to set the focus and appropriate exposure for it automatically. The Quick AF system allows the camera to start focusing on the subject even without pressing the shutter button halfway, to get the best results from every shooting opportunity by minimizing the AF time. Once you enter iA mode, these multi-capable functions happen 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.

Panasonic’s own high performance image processor has newly entered its fourth generation, to be reborn as Venus Engine IV assuring higher-quality pictures with an advanced signal processing system. The DMC-FS3 boasts a 230,000-dot high-resolution LCD with Intelligent LCD function, this detects the lighting condition and controls the brightness level of the LCD in 11 fine steps, thus offering a display with the most appropriate clarity in any situation. The slideshow setting now comes equipped with a musical option, allowing users to listen to music whilst viewing their images, giving emotional impact when desired. The Easy Zoom feature shifts the lens instantly to full zoom at the touch of a button. It also boasts an internal 50 MB memory (approx.) giving users more flexibility when shooting.

With a metal finish the DMC-FS3 is slim and sleek. It takes a great photo yet combines it with ease of operation. The DMC-FS3 will be available in silver, black blue, pink and green*
*Availability of models and colours may vary depending on the sales area.

1. Newly Developed 3x Optical Zoom (33-100mm) Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens and 8.1-megapixel High Resolution CCD

The 8.1-megapixel DMC-FS3 comes with a 33mm* 3x optical zoom Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with f2.8 brightness. Comprising six elements in five groups, including three aspherical lenses with four aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit complements the outstandingly slim and compact body yet still passes Leica's stringent standards to deliver an exceptional optical performance. Furthermore, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the extra optical zoom function provides additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 4.8x by using the centre part of the CCD.

The Easy Zoom** feature shifts the lens instantly to full 3x optical zoom power at the touch of a button, and with a second touch, the zoom ratio is further extended to 4.8x by activating the Extra Optical Zoom function.
*35mm film camera equivalent: 33-100mm
**When the picture size is set to 3 megapixels or larger, the photo is automatically resized to 3 megapixels. When the lens is shifted back to the wide-end, the picture size is set to the original size automatically. The original size is maintained for photos smaller than 3 megapixels.

2. Great Photography Is Not Only from Professional Photographers Anymore -- Intelligent Auto Mode

Panasonic incorporated the Intelligent Auto mode to ensure ultimate ease of operation and the reduction of misshots. The Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) compensates for possible hand-shake and the Intelligent ISO Control detects and suppresses motion blur. As the industry’s most advanced countermeasures against blurring, 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 key anti-blurring technologies Panasonic continues pursuing the idea that anyone at any technical level of photography should be able to take beautiful pictures with ease. This is due to the introduction of Intelligent Auto Mode. Increasing the number of scene modes is one thing and taking advantage of them is another, and that’s where the Intelligent Scene Selector comes in. It automatically sets the appropriate scene mode according to the picture you are about to take. Most frequently used scene modes include Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery and Night Portrait mode. 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. The Quick AF system allows the camera to keep focusing on the subject even without pressing the shutter button halfway, to get the best results from every shooting opportunity by minimizing the AF time.

These multi-capable functions happen automatically, so you can shoot without the bother of adjusting settings every time conditions change -- the powerful Intelligent Auto Mode does all the work for you. You can enjoy easy, trouble-free shooting in any situation and get the satisfaction that comes with capturing clear, beautiful images.

3. High-Speed, High-Quality Image-Processing LSI Further Evolves into the Venus Engine IV

A new image-processing LSI, Venus Engine IV, features more advanced signal processing technology for rendering even higher-quality images.

Notably, dual noise reduction for luminance signal and chromatic signal processing systems, a technology established by the preceding Venus Engine III, gains a more sophisticated process. Firstly, the luminance noise is two-dimensionally separated and only the low-frequency noise, which tends to be noticeable, is eliminated without affecting the high-frequency noise that greatly influences resolution. Secondly, the information of the change point between colours is minutely stored for precise determination of edges, thus colour bleeding is dramatically suppressed. This not only produces a clearer image in high ISO sensitivity recording, but also reproduces details in low-lit areas of pictures taken at low ISO sensitivity.

The Venus Engine IV also enhances the detection accuracy and corrective effect in both Mega O.I.S., which prevents hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which suppresses motion blur.

Featured in the DMC-FS3, the multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine IV supports a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as 0.00X second and the shutter interval is as short as 0.X second* despite high-resolution picture recording. The camera's quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In burst shooting mode, the DMC-FS3 can snap 3 shots per second at full resolution.** And in High-Speed Burst shooting mode,*** it delivers an incredible 7 shots per second. You also get unlimited consecutive shooting****, which lets you continue shooting until the memory card is full.

The Venus Engine IV also supports a High Sensitivity mode that lets the DMC-FS3 record at a setting of up to ISO 6400, sensitive enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash.*****
*Not including auto focusing time
**Max. 7 images in standard mode/ 4 images in fine mode.
*** In 2-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.
***** In 3-megapixel(4:3), 2.5-megapixel(3:2), 2-megapixel(16:9) recording

4. 2.5-inch Large, 230,000-dot High-resolution LCD for Easy Shooting and Playback

The DMC-FS3 boasts a large, 2.5-inch 230,000-dot high-resolution LCD display for clear 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 max. 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 11 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.

5. Exciting Options to Expand the Fun of Photography

The Lumix camera offers a wide variety of options to expand the fun of photography. The DMC-FS3 now provides slideshows complete with a musical option. Just select the pictures you want to show and choose the mood that best matches your selection from natural, slow, urban or swing. You are then able to view your slideshow along with the chosen music, giving it an emotional touch.

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 is focused on making photography more enjoyable and accessible by letting people view their images easily on a Panasonic Viera TV with internal SD card slot.

For the motion picture, the DMC-FS3 can record WVGA (848 x 480) motion images at 30 frames per second in addition to standard VGA (640 x 480). The WVGA motion picture also fits a wide-screen HDTV perfectly, to offer extremely impressive viewing.

6. Other Features
The Panasonic DMC-FS3 features a variety of functions which expand convenience and fun for users at every stage. The energy-efficient Venus Engine IV imaging engine encourages the long battery life of DMC-FS3 to shoot around 330 shots despite their large, bright LCD on a single battery charge*.

With reference to design improvements all new Lumix cameras incorporate a REC/PLAYBACK mode. This helps the photographer to instantly switch between recording and playback modes, while always knowing which mode the camera is in. The GUI (Graphic User Interface) has been modified to look more futuristic in terms of design and colour while maintaining the visibility of characters.

A total of 21 scene modes help you to take more beautiful pictures in a wide range of situations.

Another valuable function is the Title Edit* option, which allows text to be input as additional information for the picture, for example, names of children or pets, and travel places. This information can be helpful when making a photo album, it can be stamped on photos with the Text Stamp function whether you print them yourself or have a photo shop do them. Around 50 MB of internal memory is built-in to back up the SDHC/SD Memory Card recording and copying.

The major features mentioned above can be quickly understood with the newly installed slideshow program called Demo mode.

The DMC-FS3 is compatible with an optional marine case (DMW-MCFS5) which allows users to shoot underwater while scuba diving, etc.
*Based on the CIPA standard.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FS3 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 8.32 million pixels total
• 8.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 2448 pixels, 2560 x 1920pixels, 2048 x 1536 pixels,
1600 x 1200 pixels, 640 x 480 pixels
• 3:2 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 2176 pixels, 2560 x 1712 pixels, 2048 x 1360 pixels
• 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 1840 pixels, 2560 x 1440 pixels,1920 x 1080 pixels

Movie clips • 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels @ 30 fps, 10 fps
• 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 848 x 480 pixels @ 30 fps, 10 fps
File formats • JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
• QuickTime (Motion JPEG)
Lens • 3x optical zoom
• 33-100mm (35mm equiv.)
• 5.5-16.5mm
• Wide: F2.8 - 5.1
• LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT
• 6 elements in 5 groups (3 Aspherical Lenses / 4 Aspherical surfaces)
Image stabilization MEGA O.I.S lens-shift stabilization
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom Yes, up to 4x
Focus • Normal
• Macro
• Quick AF On/Off
AF area modes • Face
• 9-point
• 1-point
• 1-point high speed
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 50cm - infinity
• Macro / Intelligent AUTO: Wide 5cm / Tele 30cm - infinity
Metering Intelligent Multiple
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• 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 Wide: F2.8 / F8 (2 steps) Tele: F5.1 / F14 (2 steps)
Modes • Intelligent AUTO
• Normal Picture
• Motion Picture
• Scene 1
• Scene 2
Scene modes Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery,
Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High sensitivity, Hi-Speed Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo, Underwater
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Halogen
• White Set
White balance fine tune • White Balance Adjustment (only in underwater mode)
Self timer 2, 10 sec
Continuous shooting • Full-Resolution Image: 3 frames/sec Max. 7 images (Standard mode), Max 4 images (Fine Mode)
• High-speed Burst Mode: Approx. 7 frames/sec (recorded in 2M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)
Image parameters Standard, Natural, Vivid, Black & White, Sepia, Cool, Warm
Flash • Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced Off (Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction in Night Portrait/Party/Candle Light mode only)
• Range: 0.3 - 6.3m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 3.4m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD Display
• 230K dots
• Field of View : approx. 100%
• AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode, High angle mode
Connectivity • USB2.0 Full speed
• AV Output (NTSC/PAL)
• DC Input
Print compliance • PictBridge
• DPOF
Storage • SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard (Still image only) card
• 50MB internal memory
Power • Li-ion battery
• Charger included
• AC adaptor (optional)
Weight (no batt) 118 g (4.2 oz)
Dimensions 94.9 x 53.4 x 22.5 mm (3.7 x 2.1 x 0.9 in)