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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37

By dpreview staff on Jul 21, 2008 at 15:03 GMT

Panasonic has today announced the successor to the FX35 digital compact camera - the FX37. The new model comes with Panasonic's Venus IV imaging processor and an enhanced Intelligent Auto mode which is now capable of tracking an object once the AF has locked onto it. All this fancy new technology has been built around a 10.1 MP sensor and a 25mm (35mm equivalent), 5x zoom lens. The Lumix DMC-FX37 will be available in the UK from August for £249.99.

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Press release:

25mm Ultra-Wide-Angle* 5x Optical Zoom LEICA DC Lens in Sleek, Super-Slim Profile 10.1-megapixel Lumix DMC-FX37 Featuring Advanced Intelligent Auto Mode

* 35mm film camera equivalent: 25-125mm

Panasonic is pleased to introduce the new Lumix 10.1-megapixel DMC-FX37 with astonishing 25mm equivalent ultra-wide-angle* LEICA DC lens and a powerful 5x optical zoom (equivalent to 25mm to 125 mm on a 35mm film camera), which captures almost double the viewing space at the same shooting distance compared to ordinary 35mm cameras, resulting in remarkable images with unprecedented width and depth. The world-acclaimed FX series pursues high picture quality and unique features in an urbane, sophisticated profile to which the DMC-FX37 proudly joins.

Panasonic’s iA (intelligent auto) mode, which makes it easy for anyone to take beautiful photos, has been further enhanced. The newly added AF Tracking function automatically tracks the subject once the AF has been set even if the subject moves around, making it easier to capture sharp, well-focused photos of decisive moments. The FX37 continually monitors the light source and automatically activates the backlight compensation function if it detects that the light source is behind the subject. Face detection accuracy has also been increased, allowing continuous AF/AE adjustment even if a face moves or turns sideways to the camera. The Intelligent Exposure function helps capture natural-looking, true-to-life images by suppressing blocked shadows and blown highlights.

For image processing, the FX37 features the high-speed, high-performance, next-generation Venus Engine IV. The engine allows the FX37 to shoot up to approx. 310 photos (CIPA) on a single battery charge thanks to improvements in power efficiency.

In addition to capturing beautiful still images, the FX37 makes it easy to shoot high-definition 1280 x 720p motion images at 30 fps with outstanding detail. Using the DMW-HDC2 HD Component Cable (available separately), these motion images can be output from the FX37 directly to a HD ready TV for large-screen viewing.

The FX37 features a new panel, which boasts a wide viewing angle, for its Intelligent LCD to ensure clear, easy viewing in all lighting situations.

The FX37 offers a number of other functions that expand photographic possibilities including new Scene mode. Pin Hole and Film Grain mode create film-camera-like effects, and Flash Burst mode allows continuous emission of flash on burst shooting**.  Another new mode is the Transform mode which adds more fun especially on portrait pictures, to give the subject special transformation effect to look funny. Additional convenient functions that help post shooting include Image Leveling and batch resizing,

Dressed in a metal-finished panel, the sleek and slim DMC-FX37, a sophisticated camera full of desirable functions, offers the enjoyment of taking snapshots with a fantastic view and fun never before experienced. The DMC-FX37 will be available in silver, black and brown - each with a distinctive finish or texture according to its color.***

*35mm film camera equivalent: 25-125mm
** Max. 5 images. 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

1. 25mm Ultra-Wide-Angle 5x Optical Zoom (25-125mm) F2.8 High-Quality Leica DC Lens and 10.1-Megapixel CCD

The 10.1-megapixel DMC-FX37 packages a 25mm Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT high-quality lens with 5x optical zoom, offering F2.8 brightness*. Comprising 7 elements in 6 groups, including 4 aspherical lenses with 6 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit passes Leica's stringent standards and delivers an exceptional optical performance. Notably, a newly developed unevenly thick concave meniscus EA(extra high refractive index aspherical) lens makes it possible to achieve the 25mm ultra-wide-angle high optical performance while keeping the lens unit thin and the body slim. The 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens records almost double the viewing space at the same shooting distance compared to ordinary 35mm cameras. Further, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function provides additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 8.9x by using the center part of the CCD.
*35mm film camera equivalent: 25-125mm

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

The DMC-FX37 adds a new AF Tracking function to iA (intelligent auto) mode, which is a combination of functions that makes it easy for anyone to take beautiful photos. In iA mode the camera does all the work, activating Mega O.I.S. (optical image stabilizer), Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection, and Intelligent Exposure. This leaves the user free to simply compose the shot and press the shutter button, with the assurance that the image will be clear, beautiful and properly exposed. 

With the new AF Tracking function, the user can “lock” the focus onto a moving subject. The camera then automatically tracks the subject as it moves, keeping it in focus without the user having to hold the shutter button halfway down. This makes it easier to capture the perfect moment clearly and in sharp focus when shooting images of a child, pet, sports or any scene with moving subjects and spur-of-the-moment action. Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically selects whichever of 5 scene modes -- Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, and Night Scenery – that best suits the shooting situation.

The Face Detection function can find up to 15 faces in the frame and adjusts the focus and exposure to capture them clearly and in sharp focus. Face detection accuracy has been increased in the FX37 to now provide continuous adjustment of the focus and exposure even if the face is turned sideways to the camera. Combined with AF Tracking, Face Detection helps users capture special moments, including the fleeting expressions on the faces of active children. Plus, with the FX37, the red-eye effect can be digitally corrected automatically when it occurs due to the use the flash.

Intelligent Exposure suppresses blocked shadows and blown highlights to capture images that look natural and true-to-life. It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the camera detects that the light source is behind the subject. This is useful when the effect of Intelligent Exposure is not enough due to the strong backlighting.

The Quick AF system allows the camera to keep focus on the subject while the camera is in recording mode even before pressing a shutter button halfway, to get the best result out of a shutter chance because the focus is always near the subject and the AF time is minimized.

In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits fundamental functions users need in a good digital still camera. These include Mega O.I.S., which prevents blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which prevents motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. The Mega O.I.S. conventionally has mode 1 and 2, and now it has AUTO mode to select the  most suitable mode according to the zoom ratio being used.

The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions by simply selecting iA mode. This makes the FX37 the ultimate, super-versatile automatic camera for capturing clear, beautiful, mistake-free photos with ease.

3. Exciting Options to Expand the Fun of Photography in the High-Definition Era

All Lumix cameras can take 1920x1080 pixel HD (high-definition) quality photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV for full-screen viewing. The new DMC-FX37 even records dynamic HD motion pictures in 1280 x 720p at a smooth 30 fps, in addition to WVGA (848 x 480) and normal VGA (640 x 480).

With HD component output capability, you can enjoy watching still and motion pictures in stunning HD quality taken by your DMC-FX37 by simply connecting the camera to a HD ready TV via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2).

The DMC-FX37 provides slideshows complete with music. Just select the pictures you want to show and choose the mood that best matches your selection from natural, slow, urban or swing, and you'll get an emotion-filled slideshow with a variety of slide change effects and matching music without any annoying adjustments. If you make the slideshow with HD photos in 1920 x 1080 pixels, you can also enjoy watching an impressive HD slideshow with music on a large-screen HDTV by using the optional component cable.
*In Motion Picture mode, the length of recording time depends on the capacity of the SDHC/SD Memory Card. (Up to the equivalent of 2 GB per motion-image recording.) When you set the motion picture quality to HD, WVGA and VGA, we recommend using a high-speed memory card with "10MB/s" or greater on the package. Some lens movement sounds may be recorded.

**For Europe, motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes.

4. High-Speed, High-Quality Image-Processing LSI the Venus Engine IV

An image-processing LSI, Venus Engine IV, features more advanced signal processing technology for rendering even higher-quality images. Notably, parallel noise reduction in both luminance signal and chromatic signal processing systems gains a more sophisticated process. First, the luminance noise is two-dimensionally separated into high-frequency and low-frequency noises and only the low-frequency noise, which tends to be conspicuous, is eliminated without affecting the high-frequency noise that greatly influences resolution. Second, 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 faithfully reproduces details in low-lit areas of pictures taken at low ISO sensitivity. The Venus Engine IV also elevates 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-FX37, the multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine IV supports a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as approx.0.005 second minimum and the shutter interval is as shot as approx. 0.9 second*. This camera's quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In Burst Shooting mode, the DMC-FX37 can snap 2.5 shots per second at full resolution**. And in High-Speed Burst shooting mode***, it fires off an incredible 6 shots per second. You also get unlimited consecutive shooting,**** which lets you keep shooting until the memory card is full. Newly added Flash Burst mode makes it possible to take consecutive shots with continuous emission of flash*****.

The Venus Engine IV also supports a High Sensitivity mode*** that lets the DMC-FX37 record at a setting of up to ISO 6400, sensitive enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash.This high performance engine is also superior in its energy efficiency to extend the battery life up to 310 shots(CIPA) per a single charge.

*Not including the time for AF
**Max. 5 images in standard mode/ 3 images in fine mode.
*** In 3-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.
*****Max. 5 images. In 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording.

5. Wide Viewing Angle 2.5-inch Large Intelligent LCD with 230,000-dot High Resolution for Easy Shooting and Playback

The DMC-FX37 incorporates an easy-to-see, large, 2.5-inch 230,000-dot high-resolution LCD. The Intelligent LCD function equipped in the FX37 detects the light condition and automatically boosts the LCD backlighting by max. 40% when shooting outdoors in bright sunshine. This function also 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. Together with the newly adopted panel which boasts a wide viewing angle, it secures comfortable viewing while both monitoring shots and playing back the results in any circumstances.

6. Other Enhanced Features

The new DMC-FX37 features a variety of functionalities to expand the convenience and fun for users to enjoy taking beautiful pictures.

The FX37 offers a total of 25 scene modes to respond easily to any shooting situation. The new Pin Hole and Film Grain modes add unique, film-camera-like effects and ambiences to images. One more new scene mode is the Transform mode, that trims and stretches the image to virtually transform the subject slimmer or stretched wider. It also has a shining effect to make the large transformation look more extreme and funny. The actual effects of the scene modes can be viewed on the LCD before taking the shot.

Image Leveling is another function that improves post-shooting convenience. When a recorded image “leans” to the right or left because the camera was held at a slight angle, the Image Leveling function rotates the image to straighten it and crops the unnecessary edges*. The FX37 can also resize multiple images at the same time.

The 2.0 HS-compatible USB port and approx. 50 MB of internal memory also enhance the convenience of using the FX37.

Drawing on its vast expertise in consumer electronics, Panasonic is committed to creating a new photographic culture by introducing innovative, high-performance cameras and other advanced digital imaging products.

*Resolution decreases.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37 Specifications

List price (EU)

UK £249.99

Sensor • 10.1 million effective pixels
• 10.7 million total pixels
• 1/2.33" CCD
• Primary Color Filter
Image stabilization • Lens-shift
• MEGA O.I.S. (Auto/Mode1/ Mode2)
Image sizes

4:3 Aspect Ratio:
• 3648x 2736 pixels
• 3072 x 2304 pixels
• 2560 x 1920 pixels
• 2048 x 1536 pixels
• 1600 x 1200 pixels
• 640 x 480 pixels

• 3:2 Aspect Ratio:
• 3648 x 2432 pixels
• 3072 x 2048 pixels
• 2560 x 1712 pixels
• 2048 x 1360 pixels

• 16:9 Aspect Ratio:
• 3648 x 2056 pixels
• 3072 x 1728 pixels
• 2560 x 1440 pixels
• 1920 x 1080 pixels

Movie mode • QuickTime Motion JPEG
• 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640 x 480 pixels 30 fps or 320 x 240 pixels 30 fps/10 fps
• 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 848 x 480 pixels 30 fps
• HD(16:9 Aspect Ratio): 1280x720 pixels 30fps
Output formats • JPEG ( Exif 2.21 standard)
Image processor Venus Engine IV
Lens • 5x zoom
• f=4.4-22mm (35mm Equiv.: 25-125mm)
• LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT
• 7 elements in 6 groups
• 4 Aspherical Lenses / 6 Aspherical surfaces
• Wide: F2.8 - F8.0 Tele: F5.9 - F8
Focus modes • Normal
• Macro
• Quick AF
• AF Tracking
AF assist lamp Yes
Shooting modes • Intelligent AUTO
• Normal Picture
• Motion Picture
• Clipboard
• Scene mode
Scene modes • Portrait
• Soft Skin
• Transform
• Self-Portrait
• Scenery
• Sports
• Night Portrait
• Night Scenery
• Food
• Party
• Candle Light
• Baby1
• Baby2
• Pet
• Sunset
• High sensitivity
• Underwater Starry Sky
• Fireworks
• Beach
• Snow
• Aerial photo
• Hi-Speed Burst
• Flash-Burst
• Film Grain
• Pin Hole
Metering • Intelligent Multiple
AE Bracketing +/- 0.3/3 frames
Exposure compen.

• +/-2 EV
• 0.3 EV increments

Sensitivity

• Auto
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• High Sensitivity Mode : Auto(1600 - 6400)

Shutter speed

• 8-1/2000sec
• Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec.

Aperture values • Wide: F2.8 - F8.0 Tele: F5.9 - F8
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Halogen
• White Set
• White Balance Adjustment
Drive modes

• Single
• Continuous

Burst speed • 2.5 frames/sec Max. 5 images (Standard), Max 3 images (Fine)
• High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 6 frames/sec (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)
Self-timer 10 sec. / 2 sec.
LCD monitor • 2.5"
• 230K dots
• Field of View : approx. 100%
• AUTO Power LCD mode
Viewfinder No
Flash • Auto
• Auto/Red-eye Reduction
• Forced On
• Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
• Forced Off
FLash coverage 0.6 - 6.0m (Wide/ISO Auto), 1.0 - 2.8m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Connectivity

• DC Input
• AV Output (NTSC/PAL)
• HD AV Output (Component)
• USB2.0 High speed

Storage • SD Memory Card
• SDHC Memory Card
• MultiMediaCard (Still image only)
• Internal Memory (approx. 50 MB)
Power • Li-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, 1000mAh)
• Battery life: 310 pictures (CIPA standard)
• AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC) (Optional)
Dimensions 94.7 x 51.9 x 22.0 mm
Weight (with battery) Approx. 146g

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