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Matsushita Electric (Panasonic) Introduces New LUMIX Digital Still Camera Models and Other SD-Related Products

Japan-Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand of consumer electronics and digital communications products, today announced the release of the new DMC-FZ1 and DMC-F1 digital still cameras, along with two other SD-related products, the SV-PT1 SD media storage unit featuring a 5 GB hard disk and the SV-P20 SD mobile printer. The DMC-FZ1 features the industry’s first 12x super optical zoom function1 and a Mega Optical Image Stabilizer. When combined with the variety of SD-compatible products available, these new digital still cameras from Panasonic allow the user to capture, view, save, and print still images without the need of a computer. The products will be sequentially launched on the Japanese market starting November 8 with no suggested retail prices set.

LUMIX is a line of digital still cameras that integrate the world-renowned optical technology of Leica Camera AG of Solms, Germany with the advanced digital AV (audio-video) technology of Panasonic. The new models are equipped with built-in DC VARIO-ELMART lenses, the latest fruit of the collaboration with Leica, and offer F2.8 brightness throughout the entire zoom range. Both also offer highly responsive operation, with reduced start-up time, shorter time lag between when the shutter button is pressed and when the image is captured, and a reduced shutter interval time. A newly developed digital signal processor enhances image quality and boosts processing speed, while improving the diagonal resolution by about 50% and producing smoother edges. These features let users attain truly superb picture quality.

The 350-gram (including battery and SD memory card) DMC-FZ1 is equipped with a 12x super optical zoom function (equivalent to a 35-420 mm zoom lens on a 35 mm film camera). This super zoom function is enhanced by the DMC-FZ1’s Mega Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) to prevent vibration, which is often a problem when zooming to a distant subject. It even works to minimize the slight shake caused when the user presses the shutter button, helping ensure clear, sharp images.

Following the DMC-FZ1, the more design-oriented compact 180-gram (including battery and SD memory card) DMC-F1 will be introduced in five different body colors. The DMC-F1 is equipped with a 3x zoom lens and has an effective resolution of 3.2 megapixels (3.34 megapixel CCD).

At approximately 250 grams, the SV-PT1 SD media storage unit is compact and lightweight. Its 5 GB PC-card-type removable hard disk and SD memory card slot can store approximately 5,000 digital still pictures.2 With one battery recharge sufficient for up to 10 transfers of data from a 512 MB SD memory card, it allows the user to store images exceeding the capacity of a SD memory card without having to use a computer. A video output terminal connects the SV-PT1 to a TV set, letting the user view stored images when selecting images to save.

Also introduced today is the SV-P20 SD mobile printer, a compact printer weighing 260 grams (excluding battery and memory card) and capable of printing images saved on SD memory cards using digital still cameras or digital video cameras. It features a built-in 1.5-inch screen that allows the user to view images and print various types of card-sized (up to 86 mm x 54 mm) pictures on-site. This SV-P20 is equipped with a USB terminal, which lets the user connect to a computer to print, add illustrations or text, and present slide-shows of images stored in the computer.

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