Friday, July 20, 2012

Panasonic launches Lumix G5, FZ200 and LX7 cameras

New cameras have been added to the Panasonic Lumix ranks (© Panasonic)
Panasonic has unveiled its latest mirrorless camera, the Lumix G5, with the bold claim: "the G5 has arrived to replace DSLR cameras."
The updated camera - the successor to the Lumix G3 - boasts a 16-megapixel sensor, new Venus engine and a host of additonal features.
Panasonic is even pushing a new name for this type of camera. Eschewing the commonly used 'compact system camera' (CSC) moniker, it introduced the Lumix G5 as a 'DSLM' camera (where the 'M' stands for mirrorless).
At the camera's launch, Panasonic said DSLM cameras now account for more than 50% of the market for interchangeable lens cameras in Japan. It is now targeting similar success in its overseas markets. Unlike other mirrorless camera manufacturers, Panasonic does not also produce DSLR cameras.
Also announced at the launch were two digital compact cameras, the Lumix LX7 and the Lumix FZ200.
The LX7 was announced as a camera that is "all about the lens". It boasts a super-bright 1.4f lens, enabling excellent background defocus and the use of much lower ISO levels in night shooting.
Panasonic described the FZ200 as its "high-zoom hero", a bridge camera with a 24x optical zoom.

Panasonic Lumix G5

The Lumix G5 offers a 16-megapixel sensor (a newly designed version, rather than the same one used in the G3) and a brand new image processing engine: Venus Engine VII FHD.
The combination of the two means the G5 can shoot video in full HD 1080p at 50 frames per second with stereo sound. It also has ISO settings ranging from 160 all the way up to a whopping 12,800, for improved low-light performance.
Other additions include a function lever, so users can operate power zooms directly from the camera. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has an eye sensor, so it switches on automatically as you raise the camera to your eye, and there is an electronic shutter, meaning shots can be taken completely silently.
The G5 can shoot at six frames per second or up to 20 frames per second at a reduced resolution.
Panasonic says the camera also has a high-speed auto-focus system, which it dubs "light speed AF". The AF tracking system means "the LUMIX G5 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves."
On the back is a three-inch LCD screen. As with the G3, this is free-angle to it can be moved around.

Panasonic Lumix FZ200

The FZ200 has a 24x optical zoom Leica lens with a f2.8 aperture available throughout the entire zoom range.
Panasonic's built-in optical image stabilisation technology should ensure it remains blur-free even at long zoom. The 25mm ultra wide-angle lens offers around twice the shooting area as a standard 35mm lens.
A 12-megapixel sensor and Venus Engine enables the camera to shoot at up to ISO 6,400. Burst shooting is at up to 12 frames per second.
It shoots full HD video at 1920x1080 50p with Dolby Digital audio. Panasonic claims the 1,200 mAh battery will take more than 500 images on a single charge. On the back is a three-inch, free-angle LCD screen.

Panasonic Lumix LX7

The LX7 is a camera built for low-light photography with a super bright f1.4 Leica lens. Inside is a 10.1-megapixel high-sensitivity MOS sensor and Venus Engine VII FHD.
The large aperture means it's easier to create images with a shallow depth of field, as well as being suitable for macro and low-light photography.
The camera's ISO range is from 80 - 12,800 and it records video in 1920x1080 Full HD at 50 frames per second. A built-in neutral density filter lets you lower the shutter speed while keeping the aperture fully open - there is direct access to this on the camera ring.

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