Panasonic Leica 50-200 mm lens

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Panasonic has unveiled the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH. lens (equivalent: 100-400 mm), with Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosts and flaring, plus a rugged, dust/splash-proof design that is freeze-proof to -10F.

The Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) compensates for hand-shake movement. The lens works with Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) and Dual.I.S.2 when mounted on compliant Lumix cameras.

Comprising 21 elements in 15 groups, the lens system features two UED (Ultra Extra-low Dispersion) lenses, two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses and two aspherical lenses.

The sensor drive at max. 240 fps takes full advantage of cameras with high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF for video recording performance, and an inner focus drive system ensures smooth, silent operation. A micro-step drive system in the aperture control helps the camera smoothly catch up to brightness changes when zooming or panning, sats the company. The optical design is said to provide exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming.

The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm will be available at the end of June.


Panasonic GX9

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The Lumix GX9 from Panasonic is a compact Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera featuring a 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a low-pass filter, and Venus Engine image processing.

The L.Monochrome D mode is newly added to Photo Style, making it easy to shoot detailed dynamic monochrome photos with emphasized highlights and shadows. Plus, Grain Effect can also be adjusted in all monochrome modes with Photo Style.

A 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) in the GX9 is claimed to effectively suppresses blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the Dual I.S. compensates for a wider range of movement to enable blur-free photo/video shooting from wide to tele, even in low-light conditions.

A new wide screen LVF (Live View Finder) tilts up approx. 90 degrees. Plus, the camera’s 3.0-inch high resolution static-type touch monitor provides nearly 100 percent of field of view and tilts up approximately 80 degrees and down 45 degrees.

The Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology is said to deliver autofocusing in approximately 0.07 sec. A range of AF functions include Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF. Live View Boost makes it possible to check composition even in total darkness by boosting sensitivity just for live view.

The GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K video in 3840 x 2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. 4K PHOTO is said to be easier to use in more creative ways with Auto Marking and Sequence Composition, two new additions to Post Focus, Focus Stacking, Light Composition and 4K Live Cropping.

The Light Composition function, a new 4K Photo option, sees the camera synthesize images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel to easily produce more dramatic images of fireworks or night scenery in-camera.

The GX9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Lumix DC-GX9 with a Lumix 12-60 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens will be available in April with an MSRP of $1,300.

Panasonic ZS200

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The Lumix ZS200 is Panasonic’s new flagship camera in its Travel Zoom series. The camera comes with a 15X optical zoom (24-360 mm equivalent) Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens. The camera also includes 5-Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer Plus to suppress hand-shake in both photo and video recording.

The company notes it has added a new L.Monochrome mode in Photo Style for monochrome images with rich B&W film gradation.

The camera’s 1-inch MOS sensor produces high-quality images with stunning details, says Panasonic.The combination of a High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine delivers up to ISO12,800. There’s also an upgraded Live View Finder (LVF). Both it and a 3-inch touchscreen display provide approximately 100 percent field of view.

Panasonic says the ZS200 boasts exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity with minimum distortion and flare. This new lens system also enables stunning close-up shots with its 3 cm macro capability.

Yes, there’s 4K video recording – QFHD 4K video in 3840 x 2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. There’s also 4K Photo to extract single frames from 4K burst files shot at 30 fps to save as 8-megapixel equivalent images. In 4K Photo, Auto Marking and Sequence Composition are included in addition to Post Focus and Focus Stacking.

A Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology for ultra-fast auto focusing in approx. 0.1 sec.

The ZS200 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity for instant image sharing.

The camera also features independent dials and a Control Ring located on the lens barrel.

The Lumix ZS200, in black or silver, will be available in April at an MSRP of $1,100.

Panasonic Lumix G9

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The newest flagship camera in Panasonic’s Lumix line is the G9. Evolving from the GH5, the G9 is said to achieve the highest-ever image quality in photo shooting by elevating resolution, gradation and colour reproduction with its 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without low-pass filter. A High Resolution mode is also added that provides 80-megapixel equivalent images in JPEG /RAW formats in the camera. The Venus Engine image processor renders high-precision yet natural images with its Multipixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail Processing, says the company.

The Body I.S. (image stabilizer) in the G9 apparently is dramatically improved, making it possible to use 6.5-stop slower shutter speeds. This is achieved by a more accurate calculation of shake in various shooting conditions, utilizing information of angular velocity and motion vector acquired not only from the gyro-sensor but also from the image sensor and accelerometer sensor.

Combining B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis) and O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 in the camera compensates for larger movements that had been uncontrollable.

The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 works for both photo and motion picture recording, including 4K video.

The high-speed, high-precision AF with Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology is claimed to be the world’s fastest, with AF speed of 0.04 sec, which is said to be the fastest in the industry.

The G9 also boasts the fastest-in-class 20 fps (AFC) / 60 fps (AFS) in 20.3-megapixel full resolution.

The G9 also has the largest-in-class LVF (Live View Finder), says Panasonic, and no blackouts occur even in high-speed burst shooting. Night mode and an AF Point Scope function are also integrated.

Adoption of OLED for the LVF achieves smooth display at 120 fps and high speed response with minimum lag of less than 0.005 sec as well as 10,000:1 high contrast for exceptional visibility, notes Panasonic.

To withstand heavy field use, the camera is constructed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front / rear frame and is not only splash proof and dustproof but also freezeproof down to -10C. Panasonic also points to what is says is the largest-in-class Status LCD on the top. The rear monitor is a 3.0-inch free-angle LCD in 3:2 aspect. The G9 has a double SD Memory Card slot, compatible with UHS-II.

The G9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption. For Wi-Fi, 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) can be selected in addition to the conventional 2.4GHz (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) for an even more secure and stable connection.

The Panasonic Lumix G9 will be available in January.

Panasonic 200 mm lens

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Panasonic says its new Leica DG Elmarit 200 mm f/2.8 Power O.I.S. (the equivalent of 400 mm), boasts the sharpest-ever corner to corner image quality in Lumix G camera history. The bundled 1.4x teleconverter increases the focal length to an equivalent 560 mm.

The lens consists of 15 elements in 13 groups, featuring two UED (Ultra Extra-low Dispersion) lenses. The use of UED lenses and other optical technology is said to help achieve high resolution, high contrast corner to corner images while suppressing distortion and chromatic aberration.

Incorporating a triple linear motor system and maximum 240 fps sensor drive, the lens achieves high-speed, high-precision AF in both photo and video recording. In addition, the micro-step drive system as part of the aperture control helps the camera to smoothly manage brightness changes while panning.

The lens boasts a rugged, dust/splash-proof design and is freeze-proof up to -10C.

The Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200 mm f/2.8 Power O.I.S. will go on sale in December.

Panasonic 8-18 mm lens

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Panasonic has announced a new Micro Four Thirds zoom lens, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH., the equivalent of a 16-36 mm lens in full format.

The lens features Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosting and flaring. The lens also boasts a rugged, dust/splash-proof design and is freeze-proof.

Filter size is 67 mm.

Comprised of 15 elements in 10 groups, the lens system features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The use of these lenses, according to Panasonic, effectively suppresses spherical distortion or chromatic aberration to achieve high resolution and contrast from centre to corners.

The company also notes the new lens excels in video recording performance. In addition to silent operation achieved by an inner focus drive system, the micro-step drive system in the aperture control section helps the camera to smoothly capture brightness changes when zooming or panning. The optical design achieves exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming, says the company, which also notes the AF tracking performance when zooming is also improved thanks to high-speed frame analysis for focus control.

Panasonic Lumix GH5

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panasonic-gh5Panasonic teased us with an announcement at Photokina in September that it would soon unveil a new top-of-the-line digital single lens mirrorless camera, the Lumix GH5. The time has come, and the camera will be available in late March.

It’s quite the camera, as a flagship model should be, a Micro Four Thirds camera delivering a high-end, hybrid performance to photo enthusiasts and professional videographers looking to capture 4K 60p/50p video and 6K Photo.

The proof will be in the pudding, as the saying goes, but let’s see what the company has to say about the GH5 and its performance:

The camera is able to achieve high-quality images with real-life details through excellent resolution, image rendering and colour reproduction. Its new Digital LIVE MOS Sensor increases the pixel count by 25 percent compared to the GH4, from 16.05-megapixels to 20.3-megapixels, while also removing the low-pass filter.

The camera also comes with a new image processor Venus Engine, which achieves improvement especially in natural texture expression. The engine’s Multi-pixel Luminance Generation renders clear, sharp images by referring to a 9x larger area of pixel information during the de-mosaic process for precise detail reproduction. With Intelligent Detail Processing, the characteristic of every single pixel is analyzed to detect whether the pixel is located at a flat, detail or edge part of the picture. Optimum processing according to the characteristic of each pixel is then applied. This results in high-precision yet natural images with stunning detail suppressing false colours at its edges.

Also, Three Dimensional Colour Control detects not only hue and saturation, but also brightness, and applies optimum control according to the value of each factor. This achieves rich colour reproduction from shadows to highlights of the image. The conventional Multi Process NR (Noise Reduction) is upgraded to High Precision Multi Process NR. It boasts 4x the noise identification accuracy compared to the previous engine and preserves details even after the noise reduction process. As a result, photos can be clearly shot even at high sensitivity ISO values of up to 25,600.

There’s more, as might be guessed:

The GH5 also incorporates the 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) 2, which suppresses blurring in more powerful and advanced ways for both photo and video recording, including 4K video. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), it compensates for larger movements which were conventionally uncontrollable. The high-precision gyro sensor controls both the O.I.S. and B.I.S. compensation by studying the focal length and shooting conditions, making it possible to use a maximum 5-stop slower shutter speed.

Panasonic touts the GH5 as a lean, mean, video machine:

Signal readout speed has been accelerated by a maximum 1.7x in the new Digital Live MOS Sensor, and the new Venus Engine processes signals at a maximum 1.3x higher speed. This, says the company, realizes 4K 60p/50p ultra high-definition, smooth, video recording for the first time in a DSLM camera. It is also capable of internal 4:2:2 / 10-bit video recording, which is the colour subsampling commonly used for film production, for even more faithful colour reproduction.

The high-sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine effectively suppress rolling shutter distortion and realize high-speed readout of full digital signals. This ensures an outstandingly high image quality for every single frame. In addition, the focal length in video recording is kept the same as that in photo shooting (no cropping).

Users can freely choose between MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD formats at a variety of frame rates, and there is no recording time limit for both FHD and 4K video. Professional users working globally can set the system frequency to 59.94Hz, 50.00Hz or 24.00Hz.

While ‘Cinelike D’ and ‘Cinelike V’, which have similar gamma setting characteristics for film production, are available in Photo Style for video recording, the GH5 also provides ‘Like 709’ for compatibility with HDTV. A paid software upgrade to support V-LogL video recording is also available.

In response to requests from professional users, the camera comes with a Waveform Monitor and Vector Scope. It also embeds SMPTE-compliant Time Code either in Rec Run or Free Run count-up methods, which makes it easy to synchronize multiple video footage or sound sources in the post production workflow. Luminance levels can be selected between 64-1023 / 64-940 / 0-1023 (10-bit). Synchro Scan mode suppresses flicker and Color Bars (SMPTE / EBU / ARIB Standard) are also available.

The GH5 comes with a newly improved Depth from Defocus and Contrast AF technology, which not only calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating two images with different sharpness levels, but also analyzes the form, size and even motion of the subject comprehensively. Thanks to the new Venus Engine, the time for measuring the distance to the subject is 6x faster, while factoring the distance into in-plane or in-depth is 2x faster.

The speed of sensor drive during auto focusing in photo shooting mode has been increased to 480 fps, which is 2x faster than that of the GH4. Consequently, the GH5 realizes ultra-high-speed AF of approximately 0.05 sec and 12 (AFS) / 9 (AFC) fps high-speed burst shooting using a mechanical shutter in full resolution. By analyzing every single frame precisely, it achieves a maximum 200 percent higher precision frame detection with minimum motion detection error for higher tracking tolerance against moving subjects.

For even more precise focusing, the number of focus areas has been increased from 49 to 225. Users can create a group of focus areas depending on the composition and can control it easily with a new joystick located on the thumb position, without taking your eyes off the subject. This is possible even when using the LVF or releasing the finger off the shutter button.

If focus is not exactly as the user intended when the shutter is pressed, the GH5’s Post Focus function enables users to select the specific focus point even after shooting. In addition, the camera also features a Focus Stacking function. Taking a single macro photo with specific areas in focus, for example, can sometimes be difficult; Focus Stacking enables users to take multiple images of the same frame with different focus points. You can then combine them into one image with the defocus as you like.

The 6K Photo function makes it possible to capture at 30 fps by extracting the frame with the best timing out of the 6K burst file (in 3:2 or 4:3 aspect) to save as an approximately 18-megapixel equivalent high resolution photo. 4K Photo has also been upgraded enabling 60 fps high speed capture in approximately 8-megapixel equivalent resolution. In 6K/4K Photo, three exclusive modes are available to choose from depending on the situation; 6K/4K Burst, 6K/4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 6K/4K Pre-burst.

By compensating the signal information between the frames, the Venus Engine makes it possible to apply Post Recording Refinement over the pictures to correct distortion and reduce noise when playing back or cutting images out of the 6K/4K burst file. As a result, the picture quality of 6K/4K Photo shot at high shutter speed in high sensitivity or those shot in panning are dramatically improved.

The GH5’s main structure is magnesium alloy, a full die-cast front/rear frame. Secure construction and the sealing of every joint, dial, and button makes the camera not only splash/dust-proof, but also freeze-proof down to -10 Celsius.

The camera is equipped with two SD Memory Card slots compatible with high-speed, high capacity UHS-IIs. Users can flexibly choose the recording method either in Relay Rec, Backup Rec or Allocation Rec.

The GH5 has a large LVF (Live View Finder) with a magnification ratio of approximately 1.52x / 0.76x (35 mm camera equivalent). The high-precision, high-speed, OLED, 3.2-inch, free-angle, rear screen display features 100 percent field of view.

And, oh yes, the shutter unit is durable for approximately 200,000 releases.

The GH5 integrates Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 5GHz (IEEE 802.11ac) connectivity.

There’s an optional battery grip, to extend shooting time.

The optionally available microphone adaptor is a plug-in type adaptor for XLR microphone to record high quality stereo sound.

To save power, the camera automatically enters sleep mode after detecting the eye is off the LVF sensor.

Various shutter systems are available with the GH5: A mechanical shutter with maximum 1/8000 sec, an electronic-first curtain shutter with maximum 1/2000 sec which can be used with flash while suppressing the shutter shock, and an electronic shutter without shutter shock with maximum 1/6000 sec.

Firmware updates will add: Full HD 4:2:2 10bit video recording capability (scheduled for April); 400Mbps 4:2:2 10bit All-Intra video recording in 4K 30p/25p/24p; Full HD, high resolution video recording in Anamorphic mode; Hybrid Log Gamma in Photo Style mode which enables 4K HDR video recording and USB tethering (all scheduled for second half of 2017).

The Lumix GH5 will be available (body only) in late March.

Panasonic Lumix GX850

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pansaonic-gx850Designed for selfie-takers, the compact mirrorless camera Lumix GX850 offers a flip-up rear monitor and 4K Photo and 4K Video in a compact body.

The 3.0-inch touch control screen boasts a 180-degree tiltable structure and the camera goes into Self Shot mode automatically once the monitor is flipped. In Self Shot mode, a variety of functions for selfies are available, including a newly-added 4K Selfie mode. The beauty functions enable users to shoot portraits more attractively and after shooting, aesthetic/make-up retouching can even be applied in the camera with the Beauty Retouch function. Users can also choose to capture the background clearly or defocused depending on the situation with the new Background Control mode. Panorama pictures can be shot in Self Shot mode.

The 16.0-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without low-pass filter and the new Venus Engine combine to achieve crisp, high-resolution images in fine details with high-contrast, impressive colour reproduction and maximum ISO 25,600 high sensitivity, notes the company.

The GX850 records QFHD 4K videos in 3840 x 2160 resolution at 30p or 24p in mp4. Taking advantage of 4K technology, users can also enjoy 4K Photo shots and a variety of derivative functions, such as Focus Stacking, Post Focus and Light Composition.

For more creative freedom, Creative Control, Creative Panorama and Photo Style including L. Monochrome mode are included. The iA (Intelligent Auto) mode and Scene Guide are said to make the camera easy to use even for those new to digital interchangeable lens system cameras. Also the camera integrates Wi-Fi connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation.

A variety of beauty functions enable users to shoot more attractive portraits, offering Soft Skin, Defocusing and Slimming effects.

Face Shutter and Buddy Shutter functions can also be used to trigger the shutter release. They work when the face is once covered with a waving hand or when two faces come closer in a frame.

In 4K Photo, three modes can be chosen: 4K Burst, 4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst. All of these let the user save pictures in 8-megapixel equivalent resolution. A maximum of 150 frames in five seconds following a designated frame can be saved.

The LUMIX also offers a Post Focus function that lets users select the in-focus area even after shooting. This function was developed by combing DFD (Depth From Defocus) auto focus technology and 4K technology.

For beginners, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode provides a variety of shooting-assist functions including AF Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition, Intelligent ISO Control and Food Recognition.

The Scene Guide offers 21 sample pictures shot by professional photographers. Users can choose the one closest to their shooting situation and the optimum parameters for shooting the scene will be automatically set.

Creative Control mode features a total of 22 filter options.

The camera automatically starts recording photos at a time lapse sequence once the start time, interval and the number of pictures to shoot are set.

Users can record video in a designated short period of time (2/4/6/8 sec) as they shoot “moving photos.” In this function, rack focusing or addition of a fade effect (colour in/out, black in/out, white in/out) are available.

Available in silver and black, the Lumix GX850 will be available in early February.

Panasonic Lumix FZ80

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panasonic-fz80Panasonic’s Lumix FZ80 features the Lumix DC Vario 60x optical zoom (equivalent: 20-1200 mm). The 18.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and advanced image processor Venus Engine help achieve high-speed response and high-quality images.

For fast response and high mobility, the camera boasts a high-speed, high-precision AF with DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology1, which shortens the focusing time. It calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating two images with different sharpness levels at a high 240-fps signal exchange speed. As a result, the camera achieves focus in approximately 0.09 sec. This benefit is said to increase as the focal length grows. The company notes Contrast AF with DFD Technology works only with Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses.

The FZ80 also offers high-speed burst shooting at 10 fps (AFS) / 6 fps (AFC). Thanks to the touch-control system, users can quickly focus right on the subject and even release the shutter with touch operation.

The camera records smooth, high-resolution QFHD 4K videos in 3840 x 2160 resolution at 30p. The optical zoom and POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) with Active Mode suppresses blurring, even in video recording, says the company. Users can enjoy 4K photo shots and a variety of derivative functions, such as the new Focus Stacking, Post Focus, Light Composition, and 4K Live Cropping. For more creative freedom, Creative Control and Creative Panorama options are available.

As well as a rear monitor with touch-control system, the camera has an EVF (Electronic View Finder). It also includes Wi-Fi connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image-sharing with easy operation, plus a hot shoe.

Intelligent Zoom extends the lens zoom ratio up to 120x equivalent.

The camera offers the Post Focus function which enables users to select the in-focus area even after shooting. This function has been developed by combining the high-speed, high-precision DFD (Depth From Defocus) auto focus technology with 4K technology. Both Post Focus and Focus Stacking can be activated quickly with the dedicated button on the top panel.

As well as QFHD 4K videos, the camera records Full-HD 1920×1080 videos at 60p in AVCHD Progressive or MP4 (MPEG-4 / H.264) format with full-time AF.

The FZ80 enables 4K Live Cropping in video recording to achieve stable panning or zooming in video recording. Thanks to its digital operation, panning and zooming images are smooth because it does not physically move the zoom lens.

A variety of video recording options are also available: High Speed Video, Time Lapse and Stop Motion Animation. High Speed Video records at 120fps.

Full manual control is available with the camera

Panasonic also notes the design of the grip has been re-engineered for stable holding during extended shooting.

The FZ80 will have a black body and will be available in March.

Panasonic 12-60 mm lens

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pansonic-12-60-lensPanasonic has a new standard zoom digital interchangeable lens, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (equivalent: 24-120 mm), the first lens in what the company says is the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-4.0 Series.

Designed for both stills and video, all of the lenses in this series feature a 9-blade diaphragm to give the aperture a rounded shape for an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings. All lenses also use Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosts and flaring. They boast a rugged, dust/splash-proof design and are even freeze-proof to withstand professional use under harsh conditions.

The 12-60 mm lens comprises 14 elements in 12 groups, and features four aspherical lenses and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses to suppress spherical distortion or chromatic aberration.

The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) effectively compensates for blurring, says the company, making it easy to shoot even in dim lighting. The lens works with the Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer), 5-axis Dual I.S., and 5-axis Dual I.S.2 systems when mounted on an applicable Lumix mirrorless cameras.

The linear motor enables the camera to comply with the sensor drive at 240 fps to take full advantage of cameras with high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF.

Notably, says Panasonic, the new lens excels in video recording performance. In addition to the silent operation achieved by the inner focus drive system, the micro-step drive system in the aperture control section helps the camera to smoothly catch up to brightness changes when zooming or panning. The optical design achieves exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming. The AF tracking performance in zooming is also improved thanks to high-speed frame analysis for focus control.

Panasonic says the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-4.0 Series lineup will expand with additional lenses; an 8-18mm (16-36 mm equivalent) and 50-200 mm (100-400 mm equivalent) are presently under development.