Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Panasonic 02/14/2006 Press Releases



PANASONIC

Press Release - February 14, 2006




Panasonic Introduces World's Smallest 10X Optical Zoom Digital Still Camera1

The DMC-TZ1, With MEGA Optical Image Stabilization And High Sensitivity Mode, Helps Prevent Blurry Photos




SECAUCUS, N.J. (Feb. 14, 2006) – Panasonic introduces the new DMC-TZ1, the world’s smallest 10x optical zoom camera. A powerful 10x optical zoom Leica DC lens is incorporated into a compact, easy-to-carry body, made possible by the integration of a retractable lens system with folded optics technology. Like all cameras in Panasonic’s line of digital still cameras, the TZ1 features MEGA Optical Image Stabilization to reduce blurry photos caused by an unsteady hand. The TZ1 will be available in March with an MSRP of US.95.

The TZ1 is a high-performance camera, and features the newly developed Venus Engine III LSI, which reduces chromatic aberrations that often occur in high-sensitivity modes of shooting. The result is a winning combination of MEGA Optical Image Stabilization and high sensitivity recording that helps defeat the causes of blurry, dissatisfying images: an unsteady photographer’s hand and a moving subject.

"The multi-purpose DMC-TZ1 fills an unmet consumer need for a compact camera with long optical zoom," explains Monica Helmer, national marketing manager for Panasonic’s Digital Imaging Group. "With 10x optical zoom, and its combined optical image stabilization and high sensitivity system, this camera is a top performer. Plus, the TZ1 can fit into a jacket or pants pocket, so it’s is ready to travel – and to perform."

The lens part of the TZ1 features the world’s first integration of a retractable lens system with folded optics technology, realized by the inclusion of a prism. It also incorporates three aspherical lenses, the crystallization of Panasonic optics technology, all resulting in an amazingly powerful 10x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens contained within a compact body.




The TZ1 has a bright 2.5 inch, high-resolution LCD that offers clear and easy viewing, even in low-light situations, by automatically increasing the brightness levels when needed. The TZ1 also has a recording capacity of 250 pictures on a single charge, thanks again to the Venus Engine III LSI’s advanced processor. The Venus Engine III consumes only 80 percent of the power used by the Venus Engine II in previous Panasonic cameras, even though the camera has significantly improved performance levels. Shutter release time lag is as little as 0.006 seconds, and shutter interval is approximately 0.5 seconds. Start up time is a rapid 0.95 seconds.

The MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer is an indispensable feature for all digital cameras. It compensates for hand-movement by shifting the lens unit to keep the optical axis aligned straight against the CCD. The result is beautiful pictures, free from blur and with no deterioration of image quality, at slower shutter speeds of more than 3 steps compared to other conventional models that do not have Optical Image Stabilization. This improves shooting long distance with the powerful zoom, as well as in low-light conditions when shutter speeds tend to slow, without worrying about image blur. It is now surprisingly easy to take clear, beautiful telephoto pictures, indoor portraits or illuminated night-time scenes.

Also, the TZ1 allows shooting at a manually adjustable sensitivity setting of up to ISO 800 in full resolution, thanks to the greatly improved noise reduction levels which are achieved by the separate detection of both chromatic and luminance noise by the newly developed high performance image processor, the Venus Engine III. Photographers can take advantage of high shutter speeds that suppress image blur caused by subject movement, such as children and pets, especially indoors.

The FX01 has a high resolution (207K pixels), 2.5" large LCD. The new High Angle mode makes the display easy to view from low angles, for example when holding the camera up high to take pictures over a crowd.* This high-resolution LCD also allows both a full display of images in up to 25 thumbnails on a multi-split screen and also the ability to date search an image with the Calendar Display mode.

The TZ1 is the first Panasonic digital still camera to adopt a Linear AF system and, combined with the high speed AF function, achieves among high zoom digital cameras an industry-leading high speed AF response time. In addition to the increased focusing times, the noise of the motor is also reduced and it is now possible to zoom while recording motion images.

In addition to standard VGA (640x480) at 30 fps motion image recording, the TZ1 also records stunning full-size movies in wide-aspect VGA (848x480) at 30 fps, so they can be viewed on a wide screen TV.

The TZ1 features a total of 18 scene modes2. "High Sensitivity3" mode is ideal for shooting moving subjects clearly without blurring at a maximum sensitivity setting of ISO1600. The newly incorporated "Beach" mode is perfect for shooting in strong sunlight and the "Aerial" mode assists with shooting through the windows of an airplane. Additionally, there is the "Under Water" mode which, when shooting with the separately available marine case, helps produce spectacular underwater shots. The marine case boasts a water-resistance of up to 40m deep and the "Under Water" mode helps create images with superb natural color, even at depths where there is little sunlight. Other features that are great for use while traveling are the "Travel Date Setting" which, presetting the date of departure, records and displays the images in chronological order of a trip. The "World Time Setting" can be set to show time and date for 74 locations across the world.

The TZ1 incorporates 13.4MB of built-in-memory, enabling picture taking even without an SD Memory Card.


1 For a digital still camera recordable of 1-megapixel or higher. As of February 14, 2006.
2 Not including Macro Mode.
3 Resolution significantly decreases in High Sensitivity mode.


About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom or through the company’s toll-free fax- back system at 888-734-7490.





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