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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8
7.1MP with 12x Optical Zoom and OIS


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Digital Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8


Jan 31st, 2007. Press Info

Panasonic has today announced the Lumix DMC-FZ8, a new 7.2-megapixel digital camera, featuring a powerful 12x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 36-432mm on a 35mm film camera) with f/2.8 brightness.

While the DMC-FZ8 boasts the same high 12x zooming power as the Panasonic DMC-FZ50, which is currently popular among demanding amateur photographers, it also enhances mobility with its compactness and easy joystick operation. The Venus Engine III image processing engine gives it even higher image quality and speedier processing.
 

 

 




The Lumix DMC-FZ8 also incorporates the Intelligent Image Stabilization system, which Panasonic is including in other Lumix cameras being introduced simultaneously with the DMC-FZ8. This system comprises two features – Mega O.I.S.(optical Image Stabilizer) and Intelligent ISO Control – that together make it easy to capture beautiful photos every time you shoot. Now recognised as a must-have feature for digital cameras, Mega O.I.S. compensates for the effects of hand-shake, making it possible to capture clear, crisp photos indoors, at night, or when taking macro close-ups or using high powered zooming – situations in which hand-shake is most likely to be a problem.

Even Mega O.I.S., however, cannot suppress the motion blur caused by a subject moving as the photo is being snapped. That's where Intelligent ISO Control comes in. In this system, the camera's Venus Engine III image-processing engine detects whether the subject is moving and, as necessary, raises the ISO setting and shutter speed according to how fast the subject is moving and the light conditions. This happens automatically, so you can shoot without the bother of adjusting settings every time conditions change. Lumix and its powerful Intelligent Image Stabilization system do all the work for you. You enjoy easy, trouble-free shooting in any situation and get the satisfaction that comes with capturing clear, beautiful images.

Effective resolution has been increased to 7.2 megapixels, which supports the FZ8's enhanced functions. For example, Panasonic's Extra Optical Zoom function provides additional magnification to 18x when taking photos with 3-megapixel resolution. The resolution of the LCD has also been increased to 207,000 pixels, and the larger, 0.44-inch EVF (electronic viewfinder) has a resolution of 188,000 pixels, making it easy to see both when monitoring and playing back images.

Other features that improve usability and convenience include enhanced operation with a multi-purpose joystick, which further simplifies exposure compensation. Frequently used functions, such as light metering, AF (auto focus) mode, ISO setting, and white balance adjustment, are quickly and easily handled with the Quick Setting function. The position of the AF area can be selected among the 11 positions in the single point mode, the multi-point mode and the spot mode. When manually focusing, the focus area is automatically magnified and movable for greater control. White balance can be adjusted on two axes to better express the photographer's intended colouring.



Panasonic redesigned the DMC-FZ8 throughout to make it more stylish. A built-in memory with a capacity of approximately 27 MB is provided, and the camera accepts large-capacity SDHC memory cards. A metal mode dial also adds further strength to the design. A long battery life lets the FZ8 take around 380 on a single charge (CIPA). And the DMC-FZ8 can save image data in the RAW file format, which can be edited and developed with included software. For users who feel that ordinary compact cameras simply do not give them the functions and control they need for full enjoyment, the Lumix DMC-FZ8 serves as a gateway to truly creative photography.

1. Leica DC Lens with f/2.8 Brightness and Powerful 12x Optical Zooming in a Compact Body

The DMC-FZ8 packages a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with f/2.8-3.3 brightness and powerful 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 36-432mm on a 35mm film camera) together with a 7.2-megapixel CCD into a compact body. Comprising 11 elements in eight groups, including three aspherical lenses, this advanced lens unit passes Leica's stringent standards and delivers an exceptional optical performance. Further, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function uses the centre part of the CCD to provide additional magnification, extending the zoom power to 18x. Using this feature in combination with the 4x digital zoom brings the total zooming power to a remarkable 72x.

2. Intelligent Image Stabilization: Mega O.I.S. for Hand-Shake Plus Intelligent ISO Control for Motion Blur

Panasonic drew on its cutting-edge lens technology to invent Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) that prevents blurring from shaky hands – the leading cause of blurry images. Featured in the entire Lumix line-up since 2005, MEGA O.I.S. has earned such high praise from users around the world that it is a standard feature of digital cameras. In Panasonic's Mega O.I.S., sensors act at a frequency of 4,000 times per second to accurately detect even slight camera movement, such as from unsteady hands, and a corrective lens in the O.I.S. lens unit is shifted to compensate. With Mega O.I.S., it is easier than ever to capture clear, sharp, beautiful images when shooting telephoto shots, indoor portraits, illuminated night scenes or even the scenery you see from a train window.

While hand-shake is the single biggest cause of blurry images, it is not the only one. Another problem is the motion blur that can occur when a subject moves as the shot is being snapped. Incorporating Panasonic's new Intelligent ISO Control, Lumix cameras are the first in the world to fight motion blur. This system detects whether or not the subject is moving. If it is, the system automatically raises the ISO setting accordingly, allowing the camera to shoot at a higher shutter speed. If the subject is not moving, the camera shoots at a low ISO setting and captures beautiful, natural-looking images. Intelligent ISO Control is included as one of the corrections in certain scene modes used to shoot subjects that are often moving, such as Sports, Baby and the newly added Pet mode. Simply select the mode that best suits the subject, and Intelligent ISO Control provides the optimal corrections, making it easy to capture crisp, clear photos.

With Intelligent Image Stabilization – Mega O.I.S. to compensate for hand-shake plus Intelligent ISO Control to prevent motion blur – Panasonic has taken image stabilisation a leap forward and equipped the new Lumix DMC-FZ8 with the industry's most advanced countermeasures against blurring.

3. High-Quality, High-Performance Image-Processing LSI: The Venus Engine III

The DMC-FZ8 features the Venus Engine III, Panasonic's advanced image-processing engine that can record at a sensitivity setting as high as ISO 1250 with full resolution. Noise reduction is also greatly improved, with picture noise removed in stages during image processing. First, critical noise is roughly undraped and chromatic noise and luminance noise are separated. The chromatic noise, which has a greater effect on picture quality, is then selectively suppressed to a substantial degree.

With its multi-task image-processing capability, the Venus Engine III also boasts outstanding response time. Shutter release time lag is as short as 0.005 second and the shutter interval is as short as 0.6 second*. This fast response makes it easy to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment shots. In burst shooting mode, the FZ8 can fire off three shots per second at full resolution**. It also allows unlimited consecutive shooting*** – you can continue snapping shots until the SDHC/SD memory card is full.

Thanks to the energy-efficient Venus Engine III imaging engine, the Panasonic FZ8 offers a long battery life. The DMC-FZ8 can take around 380 shots on a single battery charge.

* Not including auto focusing time

**Max. seven images in standard mode/ five images in fine mode.

***The consecutive shooting speed varies with the memory card, image size, and image compression mode. The number of shots depends on the memory card size, battery life, image size and image compression mode.

4. More Intuitive Manual Control with a Joystick

The joystick that was so popular in the previous DMC-FZ7 for its superbly easy operation is now included in the DMC-FZ8. This allows a host of settings, such as manual focusing and exposure, to be made quickly and easily. When manually focusing, both the focal length and the depth of field according to the zoom range and aperture are displayed. The MF assist function lets you enlarge the focus area and even move it around with the joystick, to achieve quick focusing to suit the composition even when framing is fixed due to the use of a tripod. The joystick also makes it possible to quickly set frequently used functions like light metering, AF mode, white balance, ISO sensitivity, picture size, and compression format in the same way as in the popular FZ7. These shortcuts let you make fast, easy adjustments while keeping your eye on the subject.

The shutter speed in manual exposure mode can be adjusted from 1/2000 to 60 seconds to meet a wide range of shooting needs.

5. Bright, High-Resolution LCD and Electronic Viewfinder

The DMC-FZ8 boasts a large, 2.5-inch LCD with full 207,000-pixel resolution for comfortable viewing both while monitoring shots and playing back the results. The pixel-mixed readout method used by the CCD automatically increases the brightness of the live image on the LCD, making it much easier to shoot in low lighting. Thanks to the Power LCD function, which boosts the LCD backlighting by 40%, even shooting outdoors in bright sunshine is no longer a problem. The High Angle mode, which can be accessed quickly and easily via a dedicated button, makes the LCD screen extremely easy to view when the camera is held high, such as to shoot over a crowd.

The larger, 0.44-inch EVF has high, 188,000-pixel resolution to provide easy, corner-to-corner focusing confirmation even in manual focus mode.

6. Industry-Leading Auto-Focusing Speed for a High-Powered Zoom Model with Easy Manual Focusing

To match the shooting situation and subject's position, the user can select from five auto-focusing methods: multi, 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed, and spot. With the 1-point AF method, the auto-focusing area can be chosen from as many as 11 points with the joystick or cursor button. Various group area patterns can also be selected in the new Multi method. As with all high-powered zoom models in the Lumix family, the DMC-FZ8 leads the industry with its short shutter time lag for quick, smooth operation. Although screen-freeze in high-speed auto focusing is now minimised, it can be entirely eliminated when taking pictures of fast-moving subjects by selecting 1-point normal-speed AF.

Manual focusing, which is a valuable tool for professional-level photography, is also easy thanks to the previously described joystick.

7. Record Clear, Bright, Wide-Aspect VGA Motion Images – Ideal for Wide-Screen Viewing

In addition to recording standard VGA (640 x 480) motion images at 30 frames per second, the DMC-FZ8 can record stunning wide-aspect VGA (848 x 480) motion images at 30 frames per second. These 16:9 motion pictures look extremely impressive on a wide-screen TV. The pixel-mixed readout method used by the CCD enhances image brightness, so the pictures you see are clear, bright and beautiful.

The Panasonic DMC-FZ8 also offers an exceptional function that lets you select and display thumbnails of nine sequential frames from a motion image. This is useful, as an example, for analysing the way you swing a golf club or tennis racquet.

8. Other Advanced Features

In addition to its outstanding basic specifications, a host of other improvements make the DMC-FZ8 ideal as a tool for creative photography. Approximately 27 MB of built-in memory is provided, and the camera accommodates large-capacity SDHC memory cards. The long battery life lets the FZ8 take around 380 shots on a single charge (CIPA), for more shooting enjoyment. A wide variety of scene modes, including the new Pet and Sunset modes, also make it easy to get beautiful photos in a range of photographic situations. White balance allows fine adjustment from amber to blue on the horizontal axis and from green to magenta on the vertical axis.

With the Panasonic DMC-FZ8, the enjoyment of photography doesn't end when you're done shooting for the day. One additional function that broadens the fun of photography is Direct Print mode. To select it, simply turn the mode dial on the camera top. Then use a USB cable to connect the camera to a Pictbridge-compatible printer, and you're ready to print beautiful photos. Print all the images you shot or only your favourites, and make one copy or multiple copies as you wish. When you turn the mode dial, the mode selected is indicated on the LCD. This lets you change the mode to recording, playback or direct printing without taking your eyes off the subject.

Also interesting is the new Date Stamp function. In addition to showing the date a photo was taken, the FZ8 can show on which day of the trip a photo was taken. It can also stamp your baby's age in months on a photo, after you've taken the shots.* These dates, which can be helpful when making a photo album, can be stamped on photos whether you print them yourself at home or have a photo shop do them.

The SILKYPIX Developer Studio 2.0SE software application comes bundled with the Panasonic DMC-FZ8 for editing and developing images in the RAW file format. Using this software, you can freely adjust RAW data settings such as exposure bias and white balance even after shooting for greater enjoyment of digital photography.

*When the date is stamped on a photo, the photo is automatically resized to 3-megapixel, or the original size is maintained for photos smaller than 3-megapixel. However, you can choose either to save or overwrite the original picture.

9. More Fun with Optional Accessories

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 offers a wide line of optional accessories to expand shooting possibilities. A tele-conversion lens with 1.7x power (equivalent to 714mm on a 35mm film camera), a wide-conversion lens with 0.7x power (equivalent to 25.2mm on a 35mm film camera) and a close-up lens can be mounted using a lens adaptor. An ND filter and MC protector are also available to provide the Lumix FZ8 with true high-end camera capabilities.

  • DMW-LT55 Tele conversion lens*
  • DMW-LW55 Wide conversion lens*
  • DMW-LC55 Close-up lens*
  • DMW-LND55 ND filter*
  • DMW-LND52 ND filter
  • DMW-LMC55 MC protector*
  • DMW-LMC52 MC protector
  • DMW-LA2 Lens adaptor
  • DMW-AC7 AC Adaptor
  • CGR-S006 Battery pack
  • DMW-CZS7 Soft case
  • DMW-CHFZ8 Semi-hard case
  • *Requires Lens Adaptor (DMW-LA2) for attachment

With the optional Panasonic DMW-SDP1 HDTV Photo Player, it's easy to have a slide show of Lumix images in 1080i high-definition quality. By simply connecting the SDP1, via a component cable, to a high-definition TV such as a Panasonic Viera, and inserting the SDHC/SD memory card into its slot, users can view their photos on a large display together with family or friends. Like Lumix cameras, the DMW-SDP1 incorporates the Venus Engine III imaging engine. This provides extremely quick advancing from one slide to the next. It also helps in the playback of wide-aspect VGA (848x 480) motion images** that fit an HDTV’s 16:9 screen.


 

 

Specifications

Panasonic DMC-FZ8 Digital Camera

Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 112.5 x 72.2 x 79.0 mm (4.43 x 2.84 x 3.11 inch)
Weight
Approx. 310g (0.68lb). Approx.357g with Battery and SD Memory Card (0.78lb)
Camera Effective Pixels
7.2 Mega pixels
Image Sensor
1/2.5", 7.38 Mega Total Pixels CCD
Primary Color Filter
Optical Zoom
12x
Extra Optical Zoom
4:3 Aspect Ratio: 14.4x for 5 Mega, 18x for 3 Mega, 2 Mega, 1 Mega, 0.3 Mega
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 18x for 2.5 Mega
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 18x for 2 Mega
Digital Zoom
4x
(Max. 48x combined with Optical Zoom without Extra Optical Zoom)
(Max. 72x combined with Extra Optical Zoom)
Focal Length
f=6-72mm (35mm Equiv.: 36-432mm)
Lens
LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT
11 elements in 8 groups
(3 Aspherical Lenses / 3 Aspherical surfaces)
Aperture
Wide: F2.8 - F8 Tele: F3.1 - F8
Optical Image Stabilizer
MEGA O.I.S. (Mode1 / Mode2)
Conversion lens Compatibility
Yes
Focusing Area
P / A / S / M / Intelligent ISO / Motion picture:
Normal: Wide 30cm / Tele 200cm - infinity
Macro: Wide 5cm / Tele (except tele end) 200cm - infinity
Tele Macro (at tele end) : 100cm - infinity
MF / Simple mode : Wide 5cm / Tele (except tele end) 200cm - infinity
Tele Macro (at tele end) : 100cm - infinity
AF Metering
1-point / 1-point high speed / 3-point high speed / Multi-point / Spot
(position selectable by joystick except 3-point high speed)
Focus
AF / AF-Macro / MF Switchable, Manual Focus (Joystick), Continuous AF On/Off
AF Assist Lamp
Yes
ISO Sensitivity
Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1250
(High Sensitivity Mode : 3200)
White Balance
Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set1/2
White Balance Adjustment (2-axis adjustable, ±9steps each, Blue/Amber and Magenta/Green bias)
Exposure
Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
Exposure Compensation
1/3 EV step, -2 - +2 EV
Backlight Compensation
Yes (at simple mode)
Auto (AE) Bracketing
+/- 1/3 EV -1EV step, 3 frames
Light Metering
Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
Scene Mode
Dial: P(Program) mode, A(AperturePriority) Mode, S(Shutter Priority) Mode, M(Manual) mode, Simple
SCN (Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Panning, Food,
Party, Candle, Fireworks, Starry Sky, Baby1, Baby2, Snow, High sensitivity, Beach, Aerial photo,
Sunset, pet ),
Motion Picture, Playback, Print, Intelligent ISO
Shutter Speed
Program AE : 1-1/2000 sec
Aperture Priority AE / Shutter Priority AE : 8-1/2000 sec
Manual : 60-1/2000 sec
Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60 sec
Self Timer
2sec / 10sec / 10sec/3images
Auto Review
1sec, 3sec, Zoom
Review
1x / 4x / 8x
Picture Adjustment
Contrast: Low, Standard, High
Sharpness: Low, Standard, High
Saturation: Low, Standard, High
Noise Reduction: Low, Standard, High
Color Effect Mode
Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia
Recording Format
Still Image: JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system, based on Exif 2.21 standard), DPOF corresponding
image with audio: JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system, based on Exif 2.21 standard) + QuickTime
Motion picture: QuickTime Motion JPEG
Recording Image Size
4:3 Aspect Ratio: 3072 x 2304 pixels, 2560 x 1920 pixels, 2048 x 1536 pixels,
1600 x 1200 pixels , 1280 x960 pixels, 640 x 480 pixels
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 3072 x 2048 pixels , 2048 x 1360 pixels
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 3072 x 1728 pixels, 1920 x 1080 pixels
Image Quality
Fine / Standard / Raw
Motion Picture
4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels 30 fps, 10 fps
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 848 x 480 pixels 30 fps, 10 fps
Burst Shooting Mode
Full-Resolution Image, 3 frames/sec or 2 frames/sec
Full-resolution: Max. 7 images (Standard mode), Max. 5 images (Fine Mode)
Unlimited consecutive shooting
Yes
Easy Zoom / Zoom Resume
- / Yes
Still Image Rec. with Audio
5 sec
Audio Dubbing
Max. 10sec
Real-time histogram
Yes
Composition Guide line
Yes (2 patterns)
Built-in-Memory
27MB
Scene Mode Help Screen
Yes
Auto Angle Detection
Yes
Flip Animation
Yes
Travel Date / World Time
Yes / Yes
Date Stamp
Yes
Built-in-Flash
Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction,
Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Flash output Adjustment (1/3EV step, -2 - +2 EV)
0.3 - 6.0m (Wide/ISO Auto), 1.0 - 5.4m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Viewfinder
0.44" Color EVF (188K Pixels), Field of View : approx. 100%
LCD Monitor
2.5" Polycrystalline TFT LCD Display (207K Pixels)
Field of View : approx. 100%
Power LCD mode, High angle mode
Playback mode
25-thumbnail display, 9-thumbnail display, Calendar display, zoomed playback (16x max.),
image rotation, Slide show (duration is adjustable, also manual controllable),
Playback of favorite pictures
Creating still pictures from a motion picture
Resizing (selectable number of pixels), trimming, protection, aspect conv. DPOF print setting
OSD language
See Press Release Appendix
Recording Media
Built-in Memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard
Microphone
Yes
Speaker
Yes
Interface
DC Input, AV Output (NTSC/PAL), USB
Direct Print
PictBridge
Power
Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 710mAh) (Included)
AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC) (Optional)
Battery life (approx.)
380 pictures (CIPA Standard)*1 / 380 pictures (with EVF)
Included Software
LUMIX Simple Viewer, PhotofunStudio -viewer-
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 2.0SE
ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft PanoramaMaker
USB Driver

 


*1. Shooting conditions: 23°C with 50% humidity; LCD on; using SD Memory Card; starting to shoot 30 seconds after turning on the power; shooting once every 30 seconds with the flash in full operation for every other shot; changing the zoom setting from telephoto to wide, or wide to telephoto, for each shot; and temporarily turning the power off after each 10 shots (long enough to lower the battery temperature).

*Some accessories are not available in some countries.

*The use of recorded or printed materials that are protected by copyright for any purpose other than personal enjoyment is prohibited, as it would infringe upon the rights of the copyright holder.

*Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.

*The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems that have been certified by Leica Camera AG based on the company’s quality standards.

*All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.

*QuickTime and the QuickTime logo are used under license. QuickTime is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries.

*This unit is compatible with both SD Memory cards and SDHC Memory cards. You can only use SDHC Memory cards on devices that are compatible with them. You cannot use SDHC Memory cards on devices that are only compatible with SD Memory cards. (When using a SDHC Memory card on another device, be sure to read the operating instructions for that device.)






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