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Pre-PMA 2008: Panasonic has quietly announced the LUMIX DMC-LS80, an economical model featuring a 33-100 mm equivalent zoom and 8.1 megapixel sensor. Also featuring - as it does on every single Panasonic camera - is Mega O.I.S. optical stabilization. Slightly worryingly the LS80's maximum ISO is quoted as 6400 so expect a sea of noise or an image devoid of fine detail. Either way, ISO ratings this high on a compact serve almost no practical purpose. That aside the LS80 seems a solid entry-level offering. More after the click.
Panasonic introduces a new Lumix digital camera, the DMC-LS80, that combines easy-to-use advanced functions and AA-battery operation convenience. A newly developed Lumix DC VARIO lens system with 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 33-100mm on a 35mm film camera) fits into its compact body and gives a clear, sharp clear image right to the edge of the picture. The CCD has been upgraded to 8.1-megapixel high resolution, so even after cropping, you will still have a high resolution picture. Both the external and internal design has been revised throughout to enhance the ease of operation.
At the heart of the DMC-LS80's super-easy operation is a comprehensive Intelligent mode that combines four distinct features aimed at making it easy to capture perfect images. First is the Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), a system that helps eliminate blurring due to hand-shake. Second is the Intelligent ISO Control, a system that fights motion blur by detecting if the subject moves and adjusting the ISO sensitivity and shutter speed setting according to the degree of motion and light conditions. Thirdly, is the Auto Macro mode. The camera automatically switches to the Macro mode according to its shooting distance with the subject. The Quick AF system allows the camera to start focusing on the subject even without pressing a shutter button halfway, as the camera is continually detecting and focusing. All these functions act automatically, so you don't have to think about them each time conditions change. You enjoy effortless, trouble-free shooting in any situation, as well as the satisfaction that comes with capturing beautiful photos.
The DMC-LS80 also offers a range of features that enhance usability. The Intelligent LCD function comes with a 230,000-dot high resolution monitor, which detects lighting conditions and controls the brightness level of the LCD allowing you to effortlessly capture and playback your pictures in any lighting situation. The Easy Zoom feature shifts the lens instantly to full zoom at the touch of a dedicated button, whilst the High Sensitivity mode offers recording at max. ISO 6400* thanks to the Venus Engine III. It also carries an internal memory of 24 MB (approx.) and is compatible with large-capacity SDHC memory cards, giving users more flexibility in recording.
The DMC-LS80, available in silver and pink**, offers entry-level users an easy to use compact camera, for shooting beautiful pictures.
*In 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording
**Availability of models and colours may vary depending on the sales area.
The Easy Zoom feature shifts the lens instantly to full 3x optical zoom power at a touch of a dedicated button, and with a second touch, the zoom ratio is further extended to 4.8x by activating the Extra Optical Zoom function*.
*When the picture size is set to 3-megapixel or larger, the photo is automatically resized to 3-megapixel. 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-megapixel.
Whilst hand-shake is the single biggest cause of blurry images, it is not the only one. Another problem is the motion blur that can occur when a subject moves as the shot is being snapped. Incorporating Panasonic's Intelligent ISO Control, Lumix cameras are the first in the world to fight motion blur. This system detects whether or not the subject is moving. If it is, the system
automatically raises the ISO setting accordingly, allowing the camera to shoot at a higher shutter speed. If the subject is not moving, the camera shoots at a low ISO setting and captures beautiful, natural-looking images. Intelligent ISO Control is included as one of the corrections in certain scene modes where the subjects are often moving, such as Sports, Baby and the Pet mode. Simply select the mode that best suits the subject, and Intelligent ISO Control provides the optimal corrections, making it easy to capture crisp, clear photos.
One more convenient function is the Auto Macro mode which automatically switches the camera in and out of macro mode by measuring the focusing distance.
The Quick AF system allows the camera to keep focus on the subject even without pressing a shutter button halfway, as the camera is continually detecting and focusing.
All these intelligent functions act automatically, requiring no additional setting so the photographer can concentrate on taking the spur-of-the-moment, beautiful pictures.
High-quality, high-performance image processing LSI: the Venus Engine III
With its multi-task image processing capability, the Venus Engine III boasts outstanding response time. Shutter release time lag is as short as 0.005 second*. In the consecutive shooting mode, it is possible to shoot at 2.5 frames per second in full resolution**. And in High-Speed Burst shooting mode***, it fires off an incredible 5.5 shots per second. You also get unlimited consecutive shooting which lets you keep snapping until the memory card is full ****.
The Venus Engine III also supports a new High Sensitivity mode that lets the DMC-LS80 record at a setting of up to ISO 6400, sensitive enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash*****.
*Not including the time for AF.
**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 speed of the consecutive shooting varies depending on the memory card. The number of recordable pictures depends on the memory card size, battery life, picture size and image compression.
***** In 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording
2.5-inch large, 230,000-dot high-resolution Intelligent LCD for easy shooting and playback
The DMC-LS80 incorporates an easy-to-see 2.5-inch large Intelligent LCD for comfortable viewing during both shooting and playback. The resolution has been doubled compared to the predecessor DMC-LS75, to boast 230,000-dot high resolution. The Intelligent LCD function detects the light condition and automatically boosts the LCD backlighting by max. 40% when shooting outdoors under bright sunlight, and boosts signals by the pixel-mixed readout method when shooting under low-lit conditions. Detecting the lighting condition precisely and automatically controls the brightness at a total of 12 steps, allowing you to effortlessly capture and playback your pictures in any lighting situation without using extra energy.
The High Angle mode, which can be accessed quickly and easily in Quick Menu, makes the LCD screen extremely easy to view when the camera is held high, such as to shoot over a crowd.
Viewing in various styles; HD photo and wide-aspect motion pictures
With TV screens getting bigger and picture definition becoming higher, consumers want to be able to view higher-quality still images and motion pictures. Panasonic has long focused on making photography more enjoyable by letting people view their images easily on Panasonic’s Viera TVs, with their internal SD card slot. With the DMC-LS80, you can shoot high-definition 1920 x 1080 pixel photos that are ideal for full-screen viewing on a wide-screen (16:9) TV. Panasonic also offers the DMW-SDP1 HDTV Photo Player, which makes it easy to view a slideshow of Lumix photos in 1080i high-definition quality.
In addition to recording standard VGA (640 x 480), the DMC-LS80 can record WVGA (848 x 480) motion pictures at 30 frames per second. Fitting a wide-screen TV perfectly, these wide aspect motion images make for extremely impressive viewing, plus a microphone has been added to allow recording motion picture with voice. *
*Connect the camera to TV using AV cable (supplied) to playback audio on TV. You can also playback the motion picture with audio on PC.
The DMC-LS80 runs on two AA [LR6] batteries, which are easily available, so you don't have to worry about battery life wherever you go. The DMC-LS80 shoots 180 images with the included Alkaline batteries and 470 images with optional Ni-MH rechargeable batteries (Typical capacity: 2600mAh / Minimum capacity: 2450mAh)*.
All new Lumix cameras incorporate a REC/PLAYBACK mode switch. This helps the photographer to instantly switch between recording mode and playback mode. The GUI (Graphic User Interface) has been upgraded to look more futuristic in terms of design and colour. The view screen also looks wider and clearer because all icons have been relocated to the sides.
A total of 20 scene modes assist you to take more beautiful picture in a wide range of situations. Around 24 MB of internal memory is built-in to back up the SDHC/SD Memory Card recording and copying.
*Based on a CIPA standard.
1/2.5" Type CCD
|Image sizes|| 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 2448, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 2176, 2560 x 1712, 2048 x 1360
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 1840, 2560 x 1440, 1920 x 1080
|Movie clips|| 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels 30 fps, 10 fps
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 1840 pixels, 2560 x 1440 pixels,1920 x 1080 pixels
|File formats|| Still: JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Movie: QuickTime Motion JPEG
33-100mm (35mm Equiv.)
LUMIX DC VARIO
6 elements in 5 groups (3 Aspherical Lenses / 4 Aspherical surfaces)
|Image stabilization||MEGA O.I.S. (Mode1/ Mode2)|
|Digital zoom||Yes, up to 4x|
Quick AF on/off
|AF area modes|| 1 point
1 point high-speed
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance|| Normal: 50cm - infinity
Macro / Intelligent : Wide 5cm / Tele 30cm - infinity
|ISO sensitivity|| Auto
High Sensitivity Auto (1600-6400)
|Exposure compensation||1/3 EV step, +/-2 EV|
|Exposure bracketing|| +/- 1/3 EV ~1EV step
|Shutter speed|| 8-1/2000 sec
Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec
|Scene modes|| Portrait
|White balance|| Auto
|White balance fine tune||No|
|Self timer||Yes, 2 or 10 sec|
|Continuous shooting|| Full-Resolution Image, 2.5 frames/sec Max. 7 images (Standard mode), Max 4 images (Fine Mode)
High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 5.5 frames/sec (recorded in 2M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)
|Image parameters|| Standard
Black & White
(Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction only in Night Portrait/Party/Candle Light mode)
Range: 0.3 - 5.9m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 3.2m (Tele/ISO Auto)
|LCD monitor|| 2.5" TFT LCD display
Approx. 100% coverage
|Connectivity|| DC Input
AV Output (NTSC/PAL)
USB 2.0 Full Speed
|Print compliance|| EXIF 2.21
SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard (Still image only)
|Power|| 2x AA batteries (Alkaline included)
Alkaline, Oxyride, Ni-MH compatible
|Weight (no batt)||129 g (4.6 oz)|
|Dimensions||95.7 x 62 x 31.2 mm (3.8 x 2.4 x 1.2 in)|