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Panasonic premieres Lumix DMC-FZ100 high-speed superzoom camera

By dpreview staff on Jul 21, 2010 at 06:00 GMT

Panasonic has released the Lumix DMC-FZ100 super-zoom digital camera with Full HD AVCHD video recording. With a 24x zoom lens (25mm - 600mm equiv.), 14.1 MP CMOS sensor and 460K dot 3.0 inch tiltable LCD, it includes features such as Image Stabilization, the latest Venus Engine FHD processor and P/A/S/M shooting modes. It also offers the industry's fastest full resolution burst shooting using a mechanical shutter at 11 fps. The camera is designed with a focus mode switch on the lens barrel, and a rear jog dial for better control while shooting manually. It will be available from the end of August for a suggested retail price of $499.95. Now with demonstration of zoom range added.

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Zoom range demonstration

If you're having difficulty getting your head around what 25-600mm equivalent looks like in the real world? Here's a simple demonstration. Images shot with a pre-production FZ100, so may not represent final image quality.

25mm equiv 600mm equiv.

Press Release:

Ultimate Hybrid Digital Compact Camera DMC-FZ100 with Full HD Movie Recording Offering Active, Creative Photo and Movie with Powerful 24x Optical Zoom and Hi-Speed Response

Stockholm, Sweden (July 7, 2010) Panasonic, is pleased to introduce new DMC-FZ100, top-of-the-line of LUMIX popular FZ series that packs a powerful optical zoom and creative options including manual operation, adding full HD movie recording capability. The newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens in the DMC-FZ100 extends its optical zoom range from 27mm to 25mm at wide end and the zoom power from 18x to 24x to be even more versatile compared with the DMC-FZ35*1.

Also the newly developed 14.1-megapixel MOS sensor lets the FZ100 record high quality 1920x1080 full HD movie as smooth as 50i (PAL). Together with a host of options, the unlimited expression of not only photo but also of movie is now easily available with FZ100. The high speed MOS sensor realizes the industry’s fastest level of burst shooting in 14.1-megapixel full resolution at 11 fps with mechanical shutter and even 60 fps in 3.5-megapixel recording mode*2. It also enables the camera to record high speed movie at 220 fps in QVGA size, to capture the motion of a subject the naked eye cannot see.

The new image processing LSI the Venus Engine FHD assures high picture quality in both photo and movie recording. It also compiles the Intelligent Resolution technology to perform the optimum signal processing depending on the part of a picture to give a whole image outstandingly natural clearness with fine details. The powerful 24x optical zoom*1 can be increased its power to 32x equivalent with the Intelligent Zoom function taking advantage of the Intelligent Resolution technology maintaining the picture quality even using digital zoom. The Sonic Speed AF in the FZ100 features its speed at the industry's fastest level. Combined with a high-speed start-up, this gives the FZ100 an industry's fastest level of response that helps to catch even the most fleeting photo opportunities.

The manual control of FZ100 elevates the operability even higher with the incorporation of new jog dial. Focus switch is newly equipped on the lens barrel true to the system camera. User can enjoy creative shooting expressing their intention not only in photo but also in movie, utilizing a host of options including Creative Movie mode and My Color mode.

The iA (Intelligent Auto) mode – an advancing hallmark of LUMIX – now comprehends Motion Deblur mode*2. The Motion Deblur mode is available by updating the motion detection (Intelligent ISO Control) and brightness control (Intelligent Exposure) to gain as high shutter speed as possible. Combined with the outstanding brightness of the lens and the POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), the DMC-FZ100 thoroughly prevents any kind of blur - whether the blur is caused by a handshake or the subject's motion.

The POWER O.I.S., Face Recognition, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure work appropriately just by entering the iA mode for any user to take beautiful photos with maximum ease.

The 3.0-inch free-angle Intelligent LCD has now 460,000-dot high resolution to dramatically, improve visibility during recording and playback. The battery life is also as powerful as approx. 410 pictures shooting thanks to the highly energy efficient MOS sensor and image processing LSI, the Venus Engine FHD.

Recording both high quality photo and movie with super fast response at 25mm ultra wide angle to super telephoto 24x, the DMC-FZ100 is none-the-like versatile digital compact camera with functions that satisfies users at any level of photography from beginners to high amateurs. 25mm Ultra Wide-Angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens with Powerful 24x Optical Zoom for Ultimate Versatility in Both Photo and Movie Recording
The FZ100 features a high-quality LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 25mm ultra wide-angle lens with a 24x optical zoom(35mm camera equivalent:25-600mm). Comprising 14 elements in 10 groups, including 3 ED lenses and 2 aspherical lenses with 3 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit realizes the outstandingly compact body while passing Leica's stringent standards to deliver exceptional optical performance suppressing distortion at wide end and color bleeding at tele end. Thanks to the newly incorporated Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent Zoom is available with the FZ100 which extends the zoom ratio by approx. 1.3x maintaining the picture quality even combining a digital zoom. This means the 24x optical can virtually extend to 32x equivalent. Furthermore, the Extra Optical Zoom function that extends zoom power to 50.6x (at 3-megapixel resolution) by using the center part of the large MOS sensor to bring subjects even closer. Newly Developed 14.1-Megapixel MOS Sensor Pursuing Even Higher Level in Resolution, Sensitivity and Speed
To realize the 1920x1080 full HD movie recording with high image quality, the new 14.1-megapixel MOS sensor is developed for DMC-FZ100. For the effective concentration of light, the newly developed sensor adopts microfabrication technology to achieve even higher sensitivity. With an advanced micro light tube structure, both color mixture and signal loss are prevented. The result is that the photo and movie shot at any sensitivity from low to high have outstanding clearness.

The high speed digital signal output technology integrated in the DMC-GH1 is applied also to the DMC-FZ100 realizing the high speed consecutive shooting and full HD movie recording. It lets the DMC-FZ100 shoot 11 fps in 14-megapixel full resolution with mechanical shutter and 5 fps with continuous AF. Even higher speed burst shooting is available with DMC-FZ100 if electronic shutter is used– 60 fps in 3.5-megapixel*2. It also enables the camera to record Full HD 50i (PAL) smooth movie. In addition, the high speed movie at 220 fps in QVGA size is another advantage of the sensor which captures the motion of a subject. The frame rate, AF setting and the recording resolution can be easily selected according to the movement of the subject with a dedicated button on the top of the camera.

Photos shot with the burst shooting are automatically organized and it is easy to play them back later either in the camera or on PC using the bundled software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.2 HD Edition.
Despite its outstanding performance, the high performance MOS sensor contributes to energy efficiency extending the battery life up to 410 shots (CIPA) per a single charge. 1920x1080 60i Full HD Movie Recording in the AVCHD format
The LUMIX DMC-FZ100 is an advanced photographic tool for recording not only great photos but also beautiful full-HD movies. In addition to Motion JPEG images, the DMC-FZ100 can record high-resolution full-HD 1920 x 1080 50i (PAL) movies in AVCHD (MPEG-4/H.264)*4 format. The AVCHD format features almost twice the recording time in HD quality than the conventional Motion JPEG and excels in the compatibility with AV equipment like HDTVs or Blu-ray players. A special, separate button on the top lets the user instantly start recording movies while shooting photos without any having to make any extra settings.

The powerful 24x optical zoom is available in movie recording with the mechanism designed to minimize the noise of auto focusing or zooming. With DMC-FZ100, there are always two options to record spur-of-the-moment scenes – high-quality photos or movies. The user can simply choose the one that saves precious memories most beautifully.

The popular iA (Intelligent Auto) is also available in movie recording. The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), Face Detection, and Intelligent Scene Selector also support shooting beautiful movie with ease. The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality. The Intelligent Exposure that also optimizes the exposure to prevent over/under exposure part from occurring.

The movies also come with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, to offer highly realistic sound to the movie. For more creative sound recording, an optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) is available. And a Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind.

It is also possible to take still image while recording motion picture simultaneously (3.5-megapixel)*2.With the Video Divide function, users can divide the video into two sections to shorten or delete the unwanted part on the spot in the camera. You can cut out a clear still image from a movie in the camera thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology. A host of options enhances the usability and fun of recording high quality full HD movie.

Photos or movies recorded in AVCHD on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV. Simply insert the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SD Memory Card slot) on VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc Player to playback your contents. Alternatively, you can use an optional mini HDMI cable to output the still and motion images you took from the FZ100 directly to the TV for VIERA Link. You can take maximum advantage of LUMIX camera's playback functions including the slideshow in which both still and motion images are integrated in the timeline, category playback according to the scene mode you used or calendar display and so on. All control is possible using only the TV's remote control.

In addition, with the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.2 HD Edition, 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.
  • Motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 29min 59 sec in European PAL areas
  • Continuous recording exceeding 2GB is not possible when recording motion JPEG. Remaining time for continuous recording is displayed on the screen.
  • Use a card with SD Speed Class*5 with "Class 4" or higher when recording motion pictures in [AVCHD]. Also, use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 6" or higher when recording motion pictures in [MOTION JPEG].
Redesigned Venus Engine FHD with Even Higher Signal Processing Performance
For the image processor, the new Venus Engine FHD is incorporated that features exceptionally advanced signal processing capabilities. By separating chromatic noise from luminance noise and applying the optimal noise reduction to each, you can capture clear and beautiful images even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity levels. The Venus Engine FHD also provides precisely selective noise reduction to the chromatic noise without affecting the border of colors which is judged from the brightness level of a pixel. The Intelligent Resolution technology is another feature of the Venus Engine FHD.

With the Intelligent Resolution technology, 3 areas — outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation areas are automatically detected. The outline parts are enhanced effectively to give edges more clearness while giving a moderate accentuation to the texture areas to look more finely detailed. To the soft gradation part, superior noise reduction system of the Venus Engine FHD is applied to make it smoother.

Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way for it. As a result, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and movie recording. The Intelligent Resolution technology also realizes Intelligent Zoom, which virtually extends the optical zoom ratio to its approx. 1.3x equivalent maintaining the picture quality even combining the digital zoom. Details of an image in high sensitivity recording tend to be lost in the noise reduction process; however, the Intelligent Resolution works to keep them. Linking smoothly with the MOS sensor, the Venus Engine FHD processes a large amount of signals at high speed, making it possible to record high resolution consecutive shots and full HD movie recording.

At the same time, the multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine FHD achieves a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as approx. 0.008 second and the camera's quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities together with the Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus).

Intuitive Manual Control and Creative Option

The excellent manual controllability is the advantage of DMC-FZ100, making it stand out of standard compact cameras. The newly adopted jog dial enhances the operability together with the focus switch relocated on the lens barrel.

In movie recording, the DMC-FZ100 goes further than simply recording HD movies. Apart from the movie recording capability of conventional digital compact cameras, the DMC-FZ100 also features a Creative Movie mode, which lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive movies. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to movies, which is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subject. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and it is desired to have each of them stand out.

My Color mode, which was popular in the LUMIX G Micro System cameras, is a special option that gives free reign to the user's creativity. With a variety of options including new Pin Hole, Film Grain, High Dynamic and High Dynamic B&W, the My Color mode makes it easier and more fun to create interesting, expressive images by shooting images with most intensive color, brightness and saturation parameters The popular My Color mode is available also in movie recording giving the user a wider range of expressive possibilities to explore together with the Creative Movie mode.

The newly added hot shoe allows attachment of various accessories including an optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) or an optional external flash (DMW-FL220/360/500). The DMC-FZ100 is also compatible with a optional remote shutter (DMW-RSL1) for advanced expression in photography.

Great Photography Is Not only from a Professional Photographer — Advanced iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode for Photo & Movie
The DMC-FZ100 has advanced functions that will satisfy experienced photographers, yet is easy enough for beginners to use comfortably.

The hand-shake component, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed, is recognized as a low-frequency vibration, for which the POWER O.I.S. is particularly effective. This greatly improves the quality of shots taken with high zoom, at night or indoors where a flash cannot be used, or where the photographer doesn't want to use a flash because it would spoil the mood. It captures beautiful photos in situations that previously resulted in blurring. The Face Recognition function remembers registered faces to give an appropriate AF/AE on the people. The Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene modes — Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Sunset — that best suits the shooting situation.

With the DMC-FZ100, the Motion Deblur mode* is incorporated to prevent blur even more powerfully. The mode is a comprehensive integration of Intelligent ISO Control which automatically adjusts ISO setting and shutter speed according to the subject's movement and the advanced contrast control system of Intelligent Exposure that also optimizes the exposure to prevent over/under exposure part in a picture. The camera judges the appropriate shutter speed to suppress the motion blur according to the movement of the subject. The shutter speed rises as high as possible activating the high sensitivity recording by pixel mixed readout method.

Plus, the Intelligent Resolution technology is always activated in the iA mode which results in the clearer and higher picture quality in every photo and movie with extended zoom range with the Intelligent Zoom equivalent to 32x optical zoom.

The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions by simply selecting the iA mode to take beautiful photos and movies with maximum ease.

The Happy mode, a color mode option in the iA mode, optimizes color, saturation and brightness to make both photo and movie more vivid and true to the color of the scene you memorized.

Other Features Enhancing the Photographic Experience
The DMC-FZ100 features free-angle 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high-resolution LCD (which boasts a wide viewing angle) and 0.2-inch 201,600-dot EVF, both with 100% field of view. A large, clear, easy-to-see LCD, that rotates 180° horizontally and 270° vertically to offer even more comfortable view for both monitoring when shooting and for playing back the results. The 1cm Macro shot is also available to capture subjects with fine detail with the FZ100.

Rich Options for Further Expandability

The DMC-FZ100 offers a wide variety of options to choose from to match every shooting situation and shooting style.
  • Tele Conversion Lens(1.7x): DMW-LT55
  • Close-up Lens: DMW-LC55
  • Conversion Lens Adaptor: DMW-LA5 NEW
  • MC Protector: DMW-MC52
  • ND Filter: DMW-LND52
  • PL Filter: DMW-LPL52
  • External Flash: DMW-FL220(GN22) / DMW-FL360(GN36) / DMW-FL500(GN50)
  • Stereo Microphone: DMW-MS1
  • Remote Shutter: DMW-RSL1
  • Battery Pack: DMW-BMB9
  • Carrying Case: DMW-CZS100 NEW
  • Bag:DMW-CZ18
About Included Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0
The exciting, multi-functional software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 comes bundled with DMC-FT10. With quick start-up and fast read-in of images, the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 makes it possible to sort and organize photos not only of those newly taken but also of those stored in your PC.

The Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture automatically sorts the photos by the registered faces without picking out each photo one by one when you only want pictures of a specific person. You can also enjoy slideshows with a variety of effects and use your iTunes music library as background music. Motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube using the built-in YouTube uploader even in HD (High Definition) quality. The new PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 also lets you create a 360-degree rotation panorama file in MOV.

Experience and feel the outstanding benefit of the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0. It will surely allow you to view, edit and archive your captured photos and motion pictures with greater ease and fun.

*1 Equivalent to 35mm camera: 25-600mm.
*2 In the high speed burst shooting at 60 fps, the picture size is 3.5-megapixel(16:9), 3-megapixel(3:2), 2.5-megapixel(4:3) or 2-megapixel(1:1)
*3 The picture size may be reduced.
*4Full-HD (1920 x 1080) movies are recorded at 50i (PAL). HD (1280 x 720) movies are output and recorded by the image sensor at 50p (PAL).
*5 SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 specifications

Price • US: $499.95
Sensor • 1/2.33" Type MOS
• 15.1 million pixels total
• 14.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes 4:3
• 4320 x 3240 (14M)
• 3648 x 2736 (10M)
• 3072 x 2304 (7M)
• 2560 x 1920 (5M)
• 2048 x 1536 (3M)
• 640 x 480 (0.3M)
3:2
• 4320 x 2880 (12.5M)
• 3648 x 2432 (9M)
• 3072 x 2048 (6M)
• 2560 x 1712 (4.5M)
• 2048 x 1360 (2.5M)
• 640 x 424 (0.3M)
16:9
• 4320 x 2432 (10.5M)
• 3648 x 2056 (7.5M)
• 3072 x 1728 (5.5M)
• 2560 x 1440 (3.5M)
• 1920 x 1080 (2M)
• 640 x 360 (0.2M)
1:1
• 3232 x 3232 (10.5M)
• 2736 x 2736 (7.5M)
• 2304 x 2304 (5.5M)
• 1920 x 1920 (3.5M)
• 1536 x 1536 (2.5M)
• 480 x 480 (0.2M)
Movie clips • AVCHD : 1980 x 1080 (FSH: 17Mbps / FH:13Mbps)
• AVCHD Lite: 1280 x 720 pixels (SH: 17Mbps / H:13Mbps )
• Motion JPEG: 1280 x 720 pixels @ 30fps
• 4:3: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels @ 30 fps
• 16:9: 848 x 480 pixels @ 30 fps
File formats • Still Image: JPEG(DCF/Exif2.21), RAW
• Motion picture: AVCHD, AVCHD Lite, QuickTime Motion JPEG
Lens • 24x optical zoom
• 25 - 600mm (35mm equiv.)
• f=4.5-108mm
• F2.8 - 5.2
• LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT
• 14 elements in 10 groups
Image stabilization Power O.I.S lens-shift stabilization
Digital zoom Yes, up to 4x
Focus • Normal
• Macro
• Quick AF On/Off (On in Intelligent Auto)
• Continuous AF On/Off
• Manual Focus (Jog dial and cursor key button)
• One Shot AF
• AF Area Select
• AF Tracking
AF area modes • Face / AF tracking
• 11-point
• 1-point High speed
• 1-point
• Spot (flexible/ scalable)
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: Wide 30cm - infinity, Tele 200 cm - infinity
• Macro / Intelligent AUTO/ Clipboard: Wide 1 cm / Tele 100cm - infinity
Metering • Intelligent Multiple
• Center
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• Intelligent ISO
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• High Sensitivity Mode : Auto (1600 - 6400)
Exposure compensation ± 2 EV, 1/3EV steps
Exposure bracketing ± 1/3 EV ~ 1EV step, 3 frames
Shutter speed • 60-1/2000 sec
• Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec
Aperture • F2.8 - 5.5 (F2.8- 8 (W) / F5.2 - 8 (T))
Modes • Intelligent AUTO
• P (Program)
• A (Aperture Priority)
• S (Shutter Priority)
• M (Manual)
• SCN
• Creative Movie mode
• My Color mode
• Portrait mode
• Sports mode
• Night Portrait mode
• Close-up mode
• Custom
Scene modes • Panorama Assist
• Party
• Candle Light
• Baby1
• Baby2
• Pet
• Sunset
• High Sensitivity
• Flash Burst
• Panning
• Starry Sky
• Fireworks
• Beach
• Snow
• Aerial Photo
• Photo Frame
• High Speed Movie
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Halogen
• Color Temprature
• White Set 1,2
Self timer 2, 10 sec
Continuous shooting • 11 frames/sec
• 60 frames/sec High Speed Burst mode
Image parameters Standard, Dynamic, Nature, Smooth, Vibrant, Nostalgic, Standard B&W, Dynamic B&W, Smooth B&W, My Film 1/2, Multi Film (My Color Mode) Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, High Dynamic, Dynamic Art, Dynamic B&W, Silhouette, Pinhole, Film Grain, Custom, Happy (only in iA mode)
Flash • Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
• 0.3 - 9.5m (Wide/ISO Auto), 1.0 - 5.1m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Viewfinder • 0.20" 202K Pixel equiv.
Approx 100% Field of view
LCD monitor • 3.0" Free Angle TFT LCD Display
• 460K dots
• Field of View : approx. 100%
• AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode
Connectivity • USB2.0 High speed
• Mini HDMI
• AV Output (NTSC/PAL)
• DC Input
Storage • SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
• 40MB internal memory
Power • Li-ion battery
• Charger included
• AC adaptor (optional)
Weight (no batt) 496 g
Weight (with batt) 540 g
Dimensions 124 x 82 x 95 mm
(4.89 x 3.20 x 3.74 in)

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Comments

Total comments: 2
Steve Reekie NZ
By Steve Reekie NZ (Dec 5, 2011)

I've used one of these for a while now. Best camera I've ever had. Excellent for forest & landscape photography, fungi, insect & orchid macros.
Some of my latest shots .... http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1694498335619.88498.1632653001&type=1

0 upvotes
John Hetherington
By John Hetherington (Jul 11, 2011)

Any news of an upgrade for this - it fits my bill to a T - and is now retailing on Amazon UK for around £330.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 2