Panasonic launches Lumix DMC-ZR1 digital compact
Jul 27, 2009 at 15:03 GMT
Panasonic has launched the Lumix DMC-ZR1 (ZX1 in Europe) incorporating the world’s first 0.3mm aspherical and spherical lens elements. The super-zoom compact with an 8x optical zoom lens starting at a wide 25mm equivalent, features a 12.1MP sensor and and 2.7 inch LCD. It includes Panasonic's latest Power OIS image stabilizer that the company says offers twice the shake suppression capability of the previous Mega OIS stabilizer.
Panasonic’s new DMC-ZX1 with 25mm Ultra Wide Angle 8x Optical Zoom Lens*1 and POWER O.I.S (Optical Image Stabiliser)
July 27, 2009 : Panasonic Lumix cameras go from strength to strength with technological advancements designed to offer the ultimate in picture performance and convenience. Panasonic’s new DMC-ZX1 is the latest addition to the award winning Lumix range of cameras. A younger, sister product to the highly regarded TZ series, the ZX1 offers even further compactness whilst also boasting a powerful 8x optical zoom.
Streets ahead of its competitors, the new ZX1 offers unparalleled features – incorporating an impressively powerful 8x optical zoom into a slim and compact body. Made possible by the newly developed lens unit incorporating the world’s first 0.3mm super-thin aspherical lens and industry’s first 0.3mm spherical lens*2– the DMC-ZX1 is highly technically specified yet remains astonishingly slim and compact.
The DMC-ZX1 features a 25mm ultra wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and powerful 8x optical zoom (equivalent to 25-200mm on a 35mm film camera) together with a 12.1-megapixel high resolution CCD into a compact body. The lens unit comprises of 9 elements in 7 groups, including 4 aspherical lenses with 6 spherical surfaces.
The 25mm ultra wide-angle feature is ideal for both broad landscapes and tight indoor shots like parties, restaurants or just in the home, letting photographers capture a wider view. Add to this the impressive 8x optical zoom lens and you can effortlessly zoom in and capture subjects in the distant, with dynamic perspective – ensuring you never miss that special moment. Perfect for concerts, festivals or even just when out and about, this powerful zoom also works during motion picture recording. Further, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function uses the centre part of the CCD to provide additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 15.6x.
Introducing the New POWER O.I.S
Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto mode – a hallmark of Lumix cameras – is now further advanced with the inclusion of further advanced image stabilisation system POWER O.I.S and Face Recognition*3. In iA mode, the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments. Just press, aim and shoot.
Taking advantage of Panasonic's accumulated optical technologies, MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser) has been incorporated into Lumix cameras from the early stage of digital camera development. Demonstrating the absolute need for hand-shake compensation led to its prevalence throughout the industry. MEGA O.I.S. has now evolved into the new POWER O.I.S., helping prevent handshake even when using high-powered zoom. The new POWER O.I.S clearly captures subjects in the ultra-telephoto range, which previously required a tripod.
With twice the shake suppression capability of previous models, the new POWER O.I.S is particularly effective when shooting at night with a low shutter speed for example, whilst also greatly improving the quality of shots taken indoors where a flash cannot be used or where a photographer doesn’t want to use a flash because it would spoil the mood. Thanks to POWER O.I.S, beautiful photos can be taken in situations that previously resulted in blurring.
Advanced Face Recognition for Beautiful Portrait Photography
The iA mode is even further advanced with the inclusion Face Recognition*4, a function that "remembers" faces. When a familiar face is recorded several times, the camera will prompt you to register the face. Once complete, if the familiar face appears into your frame again, the camera will display the name you specified for the person and prioritise focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and in sharp focus. Up to six people’s faces can be registered, and up to three can be simultaneously recognized to show their names once registered. Three images of each face can be registered for every person, to dramatically raise the detection accuracy. And when the angle of view is changed horizontally, the name display also rotates for easier reading.
With AF Tracking, the ZX1 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves - making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots when a great photo opportunity suddenly arises. Simply aim, lock, and shoot.
In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits fundamental functions users need in a good digital still camera. These include Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. Intelligent Exposure optimizes the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully. It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the camera detects the subject is in backlight. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically detects the five most common shooting situations - Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery and Macro - and switches to the appropriate Scene mode.
Outstanding Performance thanks to new Ultra High-Speed AF
Committed to ensuring seamless operation for stress-free photography, Panasonic is not one to rest on its laurels. In order to respond to the foremost desire of all photographers – to catch every possible shooting opportunity – Panasonic went back to the basis and developed an industry-leading, ultra high-speed AF that is twice as fast as its sister model the DMC-TZ7. If this wasn’t enough, Panasonic also dramatically shortened the start up time too.
To realize the ultra high-speed AF, a number of re-engineering and further improvements are made including the adaptation of higher-speed actuator, the optimization of algorithms and the parallelization of software processing element. The result is ultra high speed yet accurate AF performance for users to enjoy the airy shooting that has experienced never before. Panasonic also replaced its linear program processing with parallel processing to achieve an ultra high-speed start-up of 1.1 second.
The Quick AF system helps keep focus on the subject while the camera is in recording mode even before pressing the shutter button halfway. This improves the chances of getting the shot because the focus is always near the subject and AF time is minimized. The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions by simply selecting iA mode.
The Venus Engine V
In image processing, luminance noise and chromatic noise are reduced separately before and after signal processing. This is further refined by separating noise two-dimensionally into high-frequency and low-frequency noise. The circuits then effectively reduce only the low-frequency noise to minimize the unwanted noise and help produce beautiful, sharp still and motion images.
This multi-task image-processing engine has a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as approx. 0.007 seconds, making it easy to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In burst shooting mode, the ZX1/ZR1 can snap approx. 2.3 shots per second at 12.1-megapixel full resolution*5. In High-speed Burst shooting mode, it fires off an incredible approx. 10 shots per second*6 and the Flash Burst mode makes it possible to take consecutive shots with continuous emissions of the flash*7.
In addition to its outstanding performance, the high performance engine is also more energy efficient to extend the battery life up to 330 shots (CIPA) per a single charge.
Enjoy viewing your images
Highly specified, yet remaining easy to use – the new FX60 includes a variety of features to expand the fun and convenience for users. For example, all Lumix cameras can take 1920 x 1080 pixel HD (high-definition) quality photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV for full-screen viewing. The new DMC-FX60 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)*8. With HD component output capability, you can enjoy watching still and motion pictures in stunning HD quality taken by your DMC-FX60 by simply connecting the camera to a TV via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2).
In addition, with the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0, it is easy to view and edit your recorded contents. You may also choose to upload your videos to YouTube or burn them to a DVD disc for archiving.
Elegantly finished with a high quality aluminium texture which resists fingerprints – you can choose from a wide range of colours (red, white, blue, black and silver). With its slim, compact, pocket-fitting size and impressive specifications, the ZX1 is a great partner for travelling or for everyday snapshots. The ZX1 will be available from September so there’s not long to wait!
*1 35mm film camera equivalent: 25-200mm
*2 As at 27th July 2009
*3 Turn Face Recognition item ON and register the person with full-face portrait on the shooting menu in advance.
*4 Based on a CIPA standard
*5 Max. 5 images in standard mode / 3 images in fine mode.
*6 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording. (approx.10 fps in Speed Priority mode /approx.6 fps in Image Priority mode)
*7 Max. 5 images. In 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9) recording.
*8 1)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 VGA 30fps, WVGA 30fps and HD(1280x720) 30/15fps, we recommend using a high-speed memory card with "10MB/s" or greater on the package. Some lens movement sounds may be recorded. 2)For Europe, motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes.
1/2.33" Type CCD
4:3 Aspect Ratio: 4000 x 3000, 3264 x 2448, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480
|Movie clips|| 1280x720 pixels @ 30fps
4:3: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels @ 30 fps
16:9: 848 x 480 pixels @ 30 fps
Quick Time Motion JPEG
|File formats|| JPEG (DCF / Exif2.21
QuickTime (Motion JPEG)
|Lens|| 8x optical zoom
25 - 200mm (35mm equiv.)
F3.3 - 5.9
LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR
9 elements in 7 groups (4 Aspherical Lenses)
|Image stabilization||Power O.I.S lens-shift stabilization|
|Digital zoom||Yes, up to 4x|
|AF area modes|| Face / AF tracking
1-point high speed
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance|| Normal: Wide 50cm - infinity
Macro / Intelligent AUTO : Wide 3 cm / Tele 100 cm - infinity
|Metering|| Intelligent Multiple|
|ISO sensitivity|| Auto
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|| F3.3 - 5.9 / 2-Step (F3.3 - 10 (W) / F5.9 - 18 (T))|
|Still Piture Scene modes||
|White balance|| Auto
|Self timer||2, 10 sec|
|Continuous shooting|| Full-Resolution Image
2.3 fps Max. 5 images (Standard mode), Max 3 images (Fine Mode)
High-speed Burst Mode:
Approx. 10 fps (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)(Speed Priority)
Approx. 6 frames/sec (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)(Image Priority)
|Image parameters||Standard, Natural, Vivid, Black & White, Sepia, Cool, Warm|
|Flash|| Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Range: 0.3 - 5.1m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 2.8m (Tele/ISO Auto)
|LCD monitor|| 2.7" TFT LCD Display
Field of View : approx. 100%
AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode, High angle mode
|Connectivity|| USB2.0 High speed
AV Output (NTSC/PAL)
|Print compliance|| PictBridge
|Storage|| SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card
50MB internal memory
|Power|| Li-ion battery
AC adaptor (optional)
|Weight (no batt)||138 g|
|Dimensions||98 x 55 x 26 mm
(3.9 x 2.1 x 1.02 in)