Panasonic is pleased to introduce the 4.0-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4 with a Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) that compensates the handshake, plus a newly developed 12x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 35mm to 420mm on a 35mm film camera). The DMC-FZ4 is heir to the 3.1-megapixel DMC-FZ3, but enhances its excellence not only with the total number of pixels but also with other innovative technical improvements such as faster AF and various design development on the grip or the position of shutter button, to encourage higher-level shooting with comfortable operation.
The remarkable 12x optical zoom can capture large frames of photo subjects even a long distance away. Furthermore, Panasonic's Mega O.I.S. assures stability of the magnified image and resolves the problem of blurring when the zoom photography is operated by hand without the assistance of a tripod. The camera is equipped with a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens for high resolution imaging with very little distortion. Moreover, the combination of 3 aspherical lenses preserves an astonishingly compact body size even for a 12x optical zoom digital still camera.
The engine, or the brain, driving high picture quality and quick response of the camera is once again the leading-edge image processing LSI Venus Engine II, which boasts excellent resolution in the horizontal and the vertical, in addition to the diagonal. An industry-leading release time lag of 0.006 second and a shutter interval of approximately 0.3 seconds (not including time for AF) allows you to precisely capture your target subject. What's more, consecutive shooting performance boasts the capability of sequential shots at a rate of 4 frames per second at full resolution. An unlimited consecutive shooting function allows you to take photos in succession until the memory card or built-in memory is full.
Remarkable 12x Optical Zoom in a Compact Body
The Lumix DMC-FZ4 digital camera is equipped with a 4.0-megapixel CCD and newly developed Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens offering 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 35mm to 420mm on a 35mm film camera) with aperture of f2.8 to f3.3. The combination of 3 aspherical lenses, the crystallization of Panasonic's optics technology, generates high optical performance while preserving the compactness of the unit. The zoom range can be totally extended to 48x when combined with 4x digital zoom.
Mega O.I.S.--The Essential Feature for Digital Cameras
Mega O.I.S., which Panasonic strongly believes is indispensable for a high-magnification model, is subsumed with two selectable modes. In Mode 1, the O.I.S. lens continuously compensates the vibration, and in all Panasonic's own Mode 2, the O.I.S. lens suppresses hand-shake only at the moment the shutter button is pressed. In this mode, the lens can move in all directions at the moment to maximize its effect, and higher-resolution image can be taken by capturing the image as close as to the center of the lens. Venus Engine II also encourages this advantageous performance in the point of enhancing the accuracy of hand-shake detection; consequently, even without using a tripod, it allows you to reduce the shutter speed more than three steps compared to the conventional cameras without O.I.S., while assuring clear images. It is difficult to capture crisp and clear images in shootings with high-powered zoom or with macro mode without using a tripod. The shutter speed tends to slow when shooting in low-lit indoor conditions or taking pictures of nighttime scenery. However, Mega O.I.S. enables you to easily take clear, beautiful pictures in such situations.
The Venus Engine ll Leads the Industry for Its Quick Response
The Venus Engine ll engine is the brain of digital camera, driving high picture quality and quick camera response. Panasonic has achieved great improvements in both resolution and response compared with the performance of previous Venus Engine. In the previous Venus Engine, the luminance signal was extracted from all RGB pixels to improve the diagonal resolution by 50%. In addition to that, the Venus Engine II gains a new imaging process that adds the luminance signal extracted only from the G pixels upon detecting the horizontal/vertical lines in the image. This results in the improvement of the horizontal and vertical resolution by more than 10% compared with the former Venus Engine, while maintaining the 50% improvement in the diagonal resolution.
The multitask image-processing LSI realizes outstanding response with an industry-leading shutter-release time lag of 0.006 seconds minimum and a shutter interval of approximately 0.3 seconds (not including time for AF), achieving more stress-free operation. It also boasts high consecutive shooting performance, providing shooting at 4 frames per second at full resolution. The Unlimited Consecutive Shooting function allows limit-free consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the memory card or built-in memory. The number of recordable picture depends on the memory card size, battery life, picture size, and compression.
The Industry-Leading Short AF Time for a High-Zoom Model
An AF method can be selected according to the shooting situation: 9-point, 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed, and Spot. In the newly incorporated 1-point high-speed AF, the shutter time lag (including AF speed, i.e. the time from full shutter realease to image capture) has dramatically been reduced to one-third the level of the previous DMC-FZ3 model, and has resulted in achievement of industry-leading short shutter time lag for a high zoom model.
Although screen-freeze in high-speed AF is now minimized, if you take the picture of a subject with fast movement, you can select 1-point normal-speed AF, which does not have any screen-freeze while focusing. In addition, an AF assist lamp expands the AF ability even at night or under the low-light conditions.
A Variety of Settings with Mode Dial and Scene Modes
Convenientyly select from 9 scene modes that meet most any shooting situation thanks to the newly installed Scene Mode Help screen. This shows the description of each mode on the LCD monitor and makes it easier to select the mode that best fits the shooting conditions.
Manual functions such as aperture-priority AE, shutter-priority AE, or manual exposure are selectable directly by the mode dial, which offers smooth control. It also offers easy shooting even to entry-level users by providing a Simple Mode in which most settings are determined automatically. You just aim at the subject, zoom in or out, and press the shutter button.
High-End Usability Satisfies a Wide Range of Photographers
A 1.5-inch LCD monitor provides immediate visual image confirmation, and an extended battery life of 300 images (CIPA) gives the FZ4 more staying power than its predecessor.
Auto-angle detection, another new feature, records whether an image was taken horizontally or vertically. This ensures that when playing back on the LCD monitor and displaying images on your TV by connecting your Lumix with a video cable, vertical images are automatically displayed vertically and horizontal images are automatically displayed horizontally.
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