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Panasonic launches Lumix DMC-FZ40 / FZ45 digital superzoom

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

Along with the DMC-FZ100, Panasonic has also announced the Lumix DMC-FZ40 superzoom (FZ45 in Europe). Slotting in where the FZ38/35 left off, it features the same 25-600mm equiv. lens as the FZ100, but with a 14.1MP CCD sensor and simpler 230K dot 3.0 inch fixed LCD (as opposed to the FZ100's CMOS sensor and high-res screen). The FZ40 also offers AVCHD Lite 720p HD video recording, manual shooting modes and 'Sonic Speed' auto-focus system that the company says offers the industry's fastest focus times. The European FZ45 version is limited to 29 minutes video recording. It will be available from the end of August for a suggested retail price of $399.95.

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Press Release:

Powerful 24x Optical Zoom Hybrid Digital Compact Camera with HD Movie Recording DMC-FZ45 Offering Active, Creative Photo and Movie

Stockholm, Sweden (July 7, 2010) Panasonic, is pleased to introduce another feature-packed hybrid digital compact camera with 14.1-megapixel DMC-FZ45 from the popular FZ series that combines a powerful optical zoom and creative options including manual operation. The newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens in the DMC-FZ45 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 to the DMC-FZ35*1. The new image processing LSI the Venus Engine HD II achieves high picture quality in both photo and HD 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 increases 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 FZ45 features its speed at the industry's fastest level. Combined with a high-speed start-up, this gives the FZ45 an industry's fastest level of response that helps to catch even the most fleeting photo opportunities.

The manual control of FZ45 elevates the operability even higher with the incorporation of new jog dial. A focus button lets users change its setting quickly according to the shooting condition. 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.

Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) mode — a hallmark of LUMIX cameras — includes POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) which features double the repression power compared to the conventional image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S. The hand-shake, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed, is effectively compensated by the new POWER O.I.S. to enjoy blur-free photography even using high-powered zoom. The iA mode is also available in movie recording mode.

It automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to correct handshake, focus and brightness problems — making the iA mode your one-stop solution to capture beautiful still and motion images.

The 3.0-inch 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD assures high visibility during both recording images and playing back them. Despite its outstanding performance, the DMC-FZ45 excels in the energy efficiency extending the battery life up to 580 shots (CIPA) per a single charge.

Recording both high quality photo and movie with super fast response at 25mm ultra wide angle to super telephoto 24x, the DMC-FZ45 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 FZ45 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 FZ45 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 CCD to bring subjects even closer.

Enjoy Easy Shooting of HD Movie in AVCHD Lite with Advanced iA(Intelligent Auto) Mode
The DMC-FZ45 is capable of recording high quality HD Movie in AVCHD Lite. The AVCHD Lite features almost doubling the recording time in HD quality compared with the conventional Motion JPEG and excels in the compatibility with TV and other AV equipment. The picture quality is greatly enhanced thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology. The DMC-FZ45 also features Dolby Digital Creator to record high quality audio.

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.

A special, separate button on the top lets the user instantly start recording movies while shooting photos without any extra settings. The powerful 24x optical zoom is available in movie recording, too. With the newly added 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 Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind.

Photos or movies recorded in AVCHD Lite 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 FZ45 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 5.0 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*2 with "Class 4" or higher when recording motion pictures in [AVCHD Lite]. Also, use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 6" or higher when recording motion pictures in [MOTION JPEG].

The Evolving iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode Makes Every Photo Blur-less
Panasonic incorporated the Intelligent Auto mode in pursuit of the ultimate ease of operation and the reduction of misshots. In the iA mode, the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments. Just press, aim and shoot.
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 new POWER O.I.S. is particularly effective. This greatly improves the quality of shots taken with high zoom and 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 while removing the unwanted red-eye. The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene modes - Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Sunset - that best suits the shooting situation.

In addition, 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 equivalent to 32x optical zoom by the Intelligent Zoom.

Once you enter the iA mode, these functions happen automatically together with other powerful shooting-assist functions - AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure - 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.
The newly added Happy mode, a color mode option in the iA mode, optimizes color, saturation and brightness to make both photos and movies more vivid and true to the color of the scene you memorized.

The Intelligent Resolution Technology Compiled in the New Venus Engine HD II Assures High Picture Quality for Both Photo and Movie
The high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD II is newly incorporated in the DMC-FZ45 to enable the recording of beautiful photo and high-definition movie with higher quality signal processing including the Intelligent Resolution technology.

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 process of the Venus Engine HD II 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.

At the same time, the multi-task image-processing engine, the Venus Engine HD II achieves super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as approx. 0.006 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). The high performance Venus Engine HD II is also more energy efficient compared with the conventional Venus Engine HD, extending the battery life up to 580 shots (CIPA) per a single charge.

5. Intuitive Manual Control and Creative Option
The excellent manual controllability is the advantage of DMC-FZ45, making it stand out of standard compact cameras. The newly adopted jog dial enhances the operability together with the focus button on the back of the camera.

In movie recording, the DMC-FZ45 goes further than simply recording HD movies. Apart from the movie recording capability of conventional digital compact cameras, the DMC-FZ45 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 is 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.

Other features Enhances Photographic Experience

The DMC-FZ45 features 3.0-inch large 230,000-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 offers even more comfortable view for both monitoring when shooting and for playing back the results.
The DMC-FZ45 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
  • 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 SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 specifications

Price • US: $399.95
Sensor • 1/2.33" Type CCD
• 14.5 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 Lite: 1280 x 720 pixels (SH: 17Mbps / H:13Mbps / L:9Mbps )
• 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: 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
• 23-point
• 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
• 80
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• High Sensitivity Mode : Auto (1600 - 6400)
Exposure compensation ± 3 EV, 1/3EV steps
Exposure bracketing ± 1/3 EV ~ 3EV step, 3 frames
Shutter speed • 60-1/2000 sec
• Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec
Aperture • F2.8 - 5.2 (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
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Halogen
• Color Temprature
• White Set 1,2
Self timer 2, 10 sec
Continuous shooting • 1.8 frames/sec
• 5 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" Color EVF (201,600 Pixels equiv.), Approx 100% Field of View
LCD monitor • 3.0" TFT LCD Display
• 230K dots
• Field of View : approx. 100%
• AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode
Connectivity • USB2.0 High speed
• 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) 450 g
Weight (with batt) 494 g
Dimensions 120 x 80 x 92 mm
(4.74 x 3.14 x 3.62 in)

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