Leica has its more unique creations, but some of its more affordable cameras are usually upscale parallels to Panasonic models — and that’s undoubtedly true for the newly official (and previously leaked) V-Lux 4 and D-Lux 6, which respectively echo Panasonic’s FZ200 and LX7 shooters. We can’t object too much. That similarity gives the 12-megapixel V-Lux 4 superzoom (seen up top) a 25-600mm equivalent lens with a constant, wide f/2.8 aperture to snap bright images at long distances. The D-Lux 6, meanwhile, combines its large 1.7-inch, also 12-megapixel sensor with a 24-90mm, f/1.4-2.3 lens and that distinctive aperture control ring. What you’re really getting over the Panasonic equivalents is a subtler, all-black Leica color scheme and a copy of Adobe Lightroom 4 to manage the imminent flood of photos. Photographers who don’t mind knowing their luxury cameras’ true roots can swing by Leica dealers in November to buy either design; we don’t yet know prices, but it’s safe to assume that the V-Lux 4 and D-Lux 6 will carry premiums over their more pedestrian equivalents.
Leica has built a name for itself in the compact market over the years with a handful of Panasonic rebrands — these Lumix models come equipped with a matte black housing, Leica lens and that famous red dot, with the inflated price tag to match. With this latest batch of cameras, the company appears to be taking a more respectable approach — at least with its high-end X2. But first, let’s tackle the V-Lux 40. On the Panasonic front, this camera looks strikingly similar to the Lumix DMC-ZS20 we saw emerge after CES. Both cameras include 14.1-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensors, a 20x, 24-480mm f/3.3-6.4 optical zoom lens and 1080p video capture. The housing has been modified slightly to include a recessed control panel, Panasonic branding has been removed and the Leica logo added. Such luxuries more than double the camera’s price from $269 to $699. Ouch. You can pick up the V-Lux 40 beginning today, or you can grab two virtually identical ZS20s for the same amount, with significant cash to spare.
You may remember the Leica X1, but you probably don’t. This $2,000 shooter was determined to be overpriced when it launched way back in 2009, and now the APS-C-equipped series has returned for a refresh. Dubbed the X2, this year’s flavor ups the ante with a 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor (boosted from 12.2) while retaining that beloved $2k sticker price. The compact all-in-one includes a fixed 24mm Leica Elmarit f/2.8 ASPH lens, which the company validates as a “classical focal length for photojournalism,” and a 2.7-inch 230k-pixel LCD on the rear. There’s also an option to add a Viso-Flex 1.4MP viewfinder with a 90-degree swivel function, along with a shoe-mounted mirror finder. The $1,995 camera’s price tag may be tough to swallow — but only until you discover the gratis copy of Adobe Lightroom in the box. Both the ZS20 V-Lux 40 and X2 are available now. Snap past the break for the pitch from Leica.
Panasonic’s new Eluga smartphone has arrived in Germany this week, and is now available to purchase from two online stores, Amazon and GetGoods, for around €400. The Panasonic Eluga smartphone is equipped with a 4.3 inch qHD touchscreen, powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, supported by 1GB of RAM, running Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread.
On the rear of the Eluga smartphone is an 8 megapixel camera, and on the front a noter for video calls. Conectivity is provided by HSPA+ and Wi-Fi, and it comes equipped with 8GB of internal memory. Panasonic explains a little more about its new Eluga smartphone:
“The ELUGA – whose name stems from the phrase ‘elegant user-oriented gateway’ – weighs in at just 103g, making it the lightest Android™ smartphone in Europe. As well as being waterproof, the ELUGA packs one of the largest screen ratio on the market – with a display comprising 66% of the phone’s body, thanks to its super-thin frame.”
The Pansonic Eluga will be arriving in the UK on April 24th priced at around £365.
Source: Pocket Droid
We have already seen some leaked photos of the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5, and now Panasonic’s latest Micro Four Thirds Camera is official and the device will go on sale for $599.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 features a 12.1 megapixel Live Mos sensor, which Panasonic calls a 12.1 megapixel ‘High Picture Quality’ sensor and it features an ISO range of up to 12,800 via an extended mode.
Other specifications on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 include a 3 inch 920,000 dot touchscreen display, and it can capture full HD video in 1080p at 60 frames per second.
We’ve seen Panasonic’s 2012 lineup of ruggedized and entry-level point-and-shoot cameras, but now the Japanese-based manufacturer is unleashing a pair of compact “Traveler Zoom” cams to the 2012 mix. The Lumix DMC-ZS20 and ZS15 include 20x (24-480mm) and 16x (24-384mm) optically stabilized zoom lenses, respectively, 3-inch 460k-pixel LCDs, 1/2.3-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensors and a 10 fps burst shooting mode (5 fps with continuous AF). The higher-end ZS20 features a 14.1 megapixel sensor and 1080/60p video shooting while the ZS15 captures 12.1 megapixel stills and 1080/60i HD clips. Both cameras include 0.1-second “Light Speed Autofocus” and top sensitivity levels of ISO 3200, though you’ll need to opt for the ZS20 to take advantage of GPS with map logging and a noise-canceling stereo mic. The pair will ship in March, with a black, red, white or silver ZS20 running you $350, compared with a $280 price tag on the black or silver ZS15. As always, you’ll find the full PR after the break.
Panasonic has helped lead the market for ruggedized cameras, which have been a hit among adventurous photographers for years, and now the company has two new additions to add to its water/shock/freeze/dustproof cam line. Described as “the optical outdoor companion,” the Lumix DMC-TS4 is Panasonic’s new ruggedized flagship, replacing the TS3 and packing a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor, 1080/60i HD video capture, a 4.6x 28-128mm optical zoom lens and 2.7-inch LCD. Naturally, it can withstand just about everything you’ll throw its way, considering that it’s waterproof to depths of 40 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet and freezeproof to temps as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The TS4 also includes GPS, compass, altimeter and barometer functionality, logging all this data to supplement your photos with a full weather and location readout. Panasonic has also added full manual control, letting you adjust both aperture and shutter speed when shooting in manual mode.
The TS4 may offer a respectable spec list, but it doesn’t come cheap. The TS20 is an attractive alliterative, however, with a slim profile, 16.1 megapixel sensor, 720p HD shooting, a 4x 25-100mm optically stabilized zoom lens and a 2.7-inch LCD. It’s waterproof to 16 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit and can survive drops from up to five feet. There’s no manual option on this lower-end model, but it does include Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto mode for more accurate shooting. The TS20 will ship in late-February in orange, blue, black and red for $180, while the flagship TS4 will be available in orange, blue, black and silver for $400 when it ships in mid-March. You’ll find both press releases after the break.
At Panasonic’s press event here at CES 2012, the company announced and briefly showed off a device it called a Skype tablet, then promptly whisked it away before we could get our hands on it. Well, we swung by the Panny booth to see it up close and some more info on the thing. As you can see in the gallery below, it’s got what appears to be a webcam and a 7-inch LCD on the front, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack and an SD slot round back. Unfortunately, our attempts to gather more info about the device were rebuffed, but feel free to peek at our pictures and pontificate on what lies beneath its silver facade.
Panasonic’s Lumix line is celebrating a whole bunch of new entries this week at CES. The FH series is expanding with two new slim additions, the DMC-FH6 and DMC-FH8. Both models do 720p video at 30 fps and rock Leica lenses and 5x optical zoom. The 16.1 megapixel FH8 has a three-inch LCD and shoots HD videos in MP4. The 14.1 megapixel F6 captures HD video in JPEG format and features a 2.7-inch display. Both new entries in the SZ series, meanwhile, feature 10x optical zoom, three-inch LCDs and 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica lenses. The SZ7 does 14.1 megapixel images and 1080p video, while the SZ1 goes 14.1 megapixels and 720p on the video front.
Also debuting this week is the LUMIX DMC-S2, a 14.1 megapixel compact shooter with 4x optical zoom and 720p video capabilities. The point-and-shoot also features Panasonic’s panoramic mode for stitching together images and auto retouch to adjust contrast and brightness in photos on the fly. As for pricing and availability? Not so much. Panasonic has promised such things a month prior to release — whenever that might be. Lots of pertinent press info after the break.
Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba today announced that they have reached an agreement in principle to collaborate on a new content protection technology for flash memory cards such as SD cards and various other storage devices. This content protection solution, tentatively named “Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative”, will be robust enough to protect HD content, the companies claim. For the details, visit the website below.
Leave it to Leica to rebrand a recent Panasonic camera, tack on its iconic red dot and then likely charge a premium. Such is the case with its “new” V-Lux 3 digital superzoom, which is essentially its take on the venerable Lumix FZ150 we spent some hands-on time with back in August. To recap, this shooter features a 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, Leica’s DC Vario-Elmarit 4.5 – 108 mm f/2.8 – 5.2 ASPH lens (that’s 25 – 600mm for you full-frame buffs), 1080p AVC HD video recording at up to 60fps with stereo sound and an a77-like 12fps continuous burst mode (albeit using manual focus). On back, you’ll find an articulating 3-inch LCD loaded with a 460K pixel resolution and a 0.2-inch EVF, both of which feature nearly 100% frame coverage. While there’s no word price, you can surely expect the V-Lux 3 to cost a few Benjamins more than its Lumix counterpart when it hits shelves in January. Hey, at least you can say its a Leica, right?
The Panasonic LUMIX GX1 is a new premium compact system camera. With a chic style, exceptional image quality and intuitive features, the 16 megapixel Panasonic GX1 offers an ISO range of 100-12800, auto-focus speed of 0.09 seconds, full HD 1080i video recording, a 3 inch screen with 460k dots, built-in pop-up flash, and 4.2fps burst mode at full resolution. Available in Gunmetal Grey and Raven Black, the GX1 will be available from mid December priced at £499.99 body only, £599.99 with the standadr 14-42mm kit lens, and £729.99 with the 14-42mm power-zoom lens (from mi January 2012).
Panasonic’s bringing its Tough ways to the tablet front, unveiling two new Honeycomb slates that could be the most durable consumer entries to that field we’ve yet seen. First up is the 10-inch A1, running with a 1.2GHz dual-core Marvell processor backed by 16GB of integrated storage and further expansion courtesy of microSD. That display packs 1,024 x 768 pixels in a 4:3 form-factor that is said to be anti-glare and stylus-ready, the whole package clocking in at a very healthy 2.13 pounds. Remember, this is an evolution of the Tough series: it’ll have more to love — including LTE or WiMAX connectivity and 10 hours of life from a user-replaceable battery.
There’s also a 7-inch B1, which we know a little less about at this point, but both are MIL-STD-810G rated to survive drops, dust and water. You know, the sorts of things that most tablet owners buy expensive cases to protect from. But, a starting MSRP of $1,299 for the A1 might make your budget keeper recoil at least a little bit, though the presumably somewhat cheaper B1 is still lacking a price. Both will quite literally drop in 2012, so watch those feet.
Do you shoot 3D photos? Nope, neither do we, but Panasonic certainly seems to hope that’ll change — perhaps even as soon as next month, when its Lumix 3D1 hits store shelves… for $500. And how much camera does half a grand buy you? Well, for starters you get not one, but a pair of 25-100mm optical zoom lenses (30-120mm in 3D mode), pumping images to dual 12.1 megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensors. Two lenses and two sensors make this pocket wonder a natural at stereoscopic 3D video, but it can also pull some pretty clever tricks with still photos. Sure, you can shoot full-res stills and 1080i video simultaneously, but those dual zoom lenses can operate independently as well, letting you snap pics and/or video at multiple focal lengths — capture a wide-angle shot with one lens and a close-up with the other, for example. Panasonic wasn’t able to demo this functionality during our briefing, so we can’t speak to the interface, but it certainly sounds like a nifty concept. Beyond that, expect up to 8 fps burst at full resolution, a 3.5-inch touchscreen and “dramatically clear” low-light images, even at high-ISOs (according to Panasonic). Ready to hear more from the camera maker? Jump past the break for the full PR.
Remember the Lumix GF1? It was one of Panasonic’s first Micro Four Thirds cameras, setting the bar quite high for models to come. But the GF1′s successors — the GF2 and GF3 — did not live up to expectations, with the company gradually shifting the series towards transitioning point-and-shoot users, and away from early adopters who grew accustomed to the performance and build quality offered by that beloved early mirrorless cam. Now that familiar look and feel is back, in the form of the Lumix DMC-GX1. The 16 megapixel ILC includes a Live MOS sensor and Venus engine, with a maximum ISO of 12,800. Like other Panasonic G-series cameras, the GX1 uses a Micro Four Thirds mount, and is compatible with both Panasonic and Olympus lenses, including the standard 14-42mm zoom that ships with the $800 kit, or the Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm retractable lens that comes packaged for $950. Existing lens owners can pick up just the body for $700.
What we really missed was the solid feel of the GF1 — everything from the housing to the controls felt well-made, while the design of later GF models, was… underwhelming. Picking up the GX1 helped to restore our confidence in the series — it was a pleasure to hold. There’s quite a bit of power under the hood, too. We weren’t able to test the GX1, which is expected to hit stores in mid-December, but Panasonic promises autofocus speeds of 0.9 second — you can focus simply by touching your subject on the 3-inch, 460,000-dot touchscreen. There’s also an external EVF option, which attaches to the camera’s hot shoe and offers a 1.44 million-dot display with 100-percent field of view. Movie buffs can capture 1080/60i HD video, with either MP4 or AVCHD compression. It goes without saying that the GX1 can shoot in RAW, and offers the complete gamut of advanced shooting modes. Of course the features don’t stop there, so jump past the break for the full PR from Panasonic.
Sure, we may not see flying cars in our lifetime, but a mainstream digital dash is a definite possibility. The all-glass vehicle dashboard has been conceptualized by other manufacturers in the past, but this year it’s Panasonic’s turn to try its hand at building a multi-display system. The electronics maker brought its Cockpit prototype to the CEATEC floor, causing quite a stir among passersby. The dash itself was little more than a semi-functional mockup, presenting recorded rendered video on the main 20-inch LCD and dual 10.4-inch secondary displays. The main display’s current objective appears to be improving safety, using a series of cameras to eliminate blind spots and alert drivers to other road hazards. Real-time driving stats are displayed atop a video feed, either from the rear camera (when in reverse), or one up front.
We spent a few minutes behind the wheel of Panasonic’s mockup, which consisted only of a pair of (rather comfortable) leather seats, along with a trio of LCDs, which the company claims are currently based on panels used in other Panasonic products, but may eventually utilize custom displays. This wasn’t an actual vehicle prototype — only the “cockpit” was on hand. The main display will (hopefully) focus the driver’s attention away from distractions on those two smaller screens — the one in the center can be used to control standard vehicle settings like climate and entertainment, while a second display positioned directly in front of the passenger seat can play movies and other content.
Are we there yet? No, so you better get comfortable for the long drive ahead. Overall the setup looked like it could have potential, though Panasonic warned us not to expect anything final until the end of the decade (2018 at the earliest). Jump past the break for a Cockpit drive-by.
We’re here in Berlin, covering IFA 2011, and Panasonic’s getting things started by showing off a concept camera, its first with a twin-lens capable of shooting 3D stills and video. Alas, the company’s press release is light on technical info, though it does reveal the system’s built on dual 4x lenses with “thin, folded” optics. Hopefully, we’ll see this thing in person while we’re in town and learn a bit more. In similar news, the company also announced the HDC-Z10000 (pictured), its first 2D / 3D camcorder with an integrated twin-lens. The camcorder records 1080p / 1080i AVCHD 3D video, has dual CMOS sensors with a combined resolution of 13.1MP and a glasses-less 3.5-inch LCD. It’s also capable of 3D macros as close as 17.8 inches — a record for twin-lens 3D camcorders, according to Panasonic. As the company’s been known to do, though, it’s holding off on revealing any details about pricing or availability, so it looks like we’ll have to save that for a rainy day.
Panasonic has added a new superzoom camera to its Lumix range with the launch of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150, and it comes with a 12 megapixel sensor and 24x optical zoom with a 25mm to 600mm range.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is capable of recording Full HD video in 1080p at 60 frames per second, and it comes with full manual, aperture priority and shutter priority controls, and it also features a news CMOS sensor and imaging engine.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 is expected to go on sale in September for around $500.
Source PC World
For many photographers, in-camera WiFi may be an attractive feature before you leave the store, but confusing setup and limited functionality reduce its appeal once you actually go and try to use it. Panasonic sets out to better take advantage of wireless connectivity with its Lumix FX90, adding Android and iPhone app support for transferring pictures and video directly to a mobile device, then uploading them to Lumix Club — a cloud-based photo-sharing service — and on to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. You can also share photos directly from the camera — a dedicated WiFi button launches a menu prompting you to select a sharing service — but app support brings the added benefit of your phone’s data connection. Beyond those new wireless features, the FX90 includes a 12 megapixel CCD sensor, 5x, 24-120mm optical zoom lens, 3-inch touchscreen, and 1080i AVCHD video capture. The FX90 will ship this fall with pricing yet to be announced, but jump past the break for the full rundown from Panasonic in the meantime.
The lack of a universal standard for active shutter 3D glasses became painfully clear during our 3D TV shootout last year, and gave plenty of reasons for buyers to skip the pricey specs altogether. Nine months later we see that LG has jumped onto passive 3D and CEA is playing catch up on the IR glasses problem, but many of the new HDTVs for 2011 are using Bluetooth technology to keep their glasses in sync — again without any promise of cross-manufacturer compatibility. A day late and a few dollars short, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and universal glasses maker XpanD are announcing the “Full HD Glasses Initiative” which should lay down a standard for consumer active shutter glasses to communicate over Bluetooth or IR. The new glasses should be backwards compatible with this year’s TVs, although early adopters from 2010 have no such guarantee. The press release (included after the break) indicates we can expect the new models to arrive in 2012, assuming they haven’t lost more ground to the FPR army and can still convince buyers to even look at 3D by then.
Sure, these days nearly all digital cameras can shoot video, but only a small handful give you the power to manually select aperture and shutter speed while doing so. The Lumix FZ47 is Panasonic’s latest high-end point-and-shoot to sport this functionality, providing full control over both video and still photo capture with its Creative Control mode. The 12.1-megapixel superzoom can shoot 1080i HD at 30 fps, though it’s notably lacking in the 1080p department. There’s also a 3-inch LCD, 24x Leica zoom lens with a 25mm wide-angle focal length, and an option to shoot 3.5-megapixel stills while recording video. For photographers wiling to settle for a good deal less power, Panasonic also just announced its entry-level Lumix LS5, which includes a 14.1-megapixel sensor, optical image stabilization, and 720p video, all powered by a pair of AA batteries. The $400 FZ47 will ship next month, while the LS5 hits stores in November, with pricing yet to be announced. Jump past the break for the complete rundown from Panasonic.