Panasonic compacts

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Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-ZS7 is said to be the world’s smallest photo/video hybrid superzoom digital camera. It has Sonic Speed autofocusing, 25 mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens anchoring a 12x optical zoom, 12.1-megapixel sensor, and built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) feature that embeds photos and videos with the latitude and longitude location details. Of course there’s High Definition (HD) video using AVCHD.

About that “sonic speed” AF – Panasonic says it enables a super-fast response time and a shutter release time lag as short as approximately 0.006 sec., allowing users to lock on the subject in approximately 0.35 sec. (wide-angle) and 0.41 sec. (tele).

The ZS7 features a new image processing technology, Intelligent Resolution, incorporated in its Venus Engine HD II. With this technology, three areas – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation – are examined pixel-by-pixel and automatically detected to enhance any degradation created during the digital zoom process or in high-sensitivity shooting. The outline areas are enhanced to give the edges more clarity, while simultaneously giving a moderate accent to the textured areas so it looks accurately detailed. To the soft gradation area, such as a face, the increased noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to make it smoother. As a result, says Panasonic, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and video recording.

The Intelligent Resolution technology also powers the Intelligent Zoom feature, which extends the camera’s zoom ratio by approximately 1.3x while maintaining the picture quality – and enhancing the digital zoom and making it comparable to the quality of an optical zoom, says the company.

For more advanced users, the camera adds manual control features, allowing for adjustments in shutter speed, aperture and exposure.

Other features: optical image stabilization; face recognition of up to 15 faces; Intelligent Scene Selector, automatically selecting whichever of six Scene Modes – Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Sunset – best suits the shooting situation; Happy Mode, a new Scene mode that optimizes colour, saturation and brightness to make both photo and video more vivid and true to the colour the users remember when they took it; High Dynamic, also added to the existing Scene modes, helps capture a scene with moderate exposure, even though the scene contains both bright and dark areas together.

The Lumix ZS7 can record AVCHD Lite HD video, which almost doubles the recording time in HD quality compared with the Motion JPEG format.

The Lumix DMC-ZS5 is like the ZS7, but with smaller LCD and Motion JPEG video, and the Venus Engone VI.

The ZS7 will be available in silver, black, and blue models, while the ZS5 will be available in black and silver.

The Lumix DMC-ZR3 is a full-featured digital camera with AVCHD Lite HD video recording capabilities, a 25 mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens anchoring an 8x optical zoom, in a slim body. Zoom power can be increased to 10x with Intelligent Zoom, which takes advantage of the newly-added Intelligent Resolution technology. Intelligent Resolution, a component of Intelligent Auto mode, helps maintain optimal picture quality by capturing higher quality signal processing. With this pixel by pixel process which detects a subject’s outline, detailed texture areas and soft gradation, the ZR3 is able to enhance any degradation created during the digital zoom process or in high-sensitivity shooting. As a result, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and video recording, says Panasonic.

iA mode automatically selects the best Scene mode, and also helps to correct handshake and any focus or brightness issues.

Features: Face Recognition; Happy Mode; AF Tracking; Intelligent ISO Control; Intelligent Exposure; Sonic Speed AF.

The Lumix ZR3 will be available in blue and black.

The Lumix DMC-TS2, a successor to the company’s first rugged digital camera designed for active outdoor use, features High Definition video recording in the AVCHD Lite format, 14.1-megapixel sensor, and it’s waterproof to 33 feet (10 m), shockproof to 10 feet (2 m), freezeproof to -10ºC (14ºF) and is dustproof.

The camera features Sonic Speed AF; Intelligent Resolution; Intelligent Zoom; iA (Intelligent Auto) mode; optical image stabilization; face recognition; Intelligent Scene Selector; Happy Mode; High Dynamic.

The TS2 has a 28 mm Leica DC Vario Elmar lens anchoring a 4.6x optical zoom.

Both HD video in Motion JPEG and AVCHD Lite are available.

The Lumix TS2 will be available in blue and orange — and that orange is really eye-catching.

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