New Lumix cameras, lenses due in July

Panasonic has announced three new products, but they won’t be in the local market until July (late May in Europe). They are the latest in the G Series mirrorless range, the Lumix G6; the Lumix G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens;and a new slimline compact, the Lumix DMC-LF1, the first camera in the company’s new ‘LF’ Series.

While there are no local prices supplied, US reports indicate a US$750 price point for the G6 with a 14-42mm kit lens and US$500 for the LF1. The unedited (sorry) metre or so of Panasonic press releases on the new products follows:

Panasonic announces LUMIX DMC-G6 – with outstanding image quality, responsiveness and mobility 

lumix-g6SYDNEY, 24 April, 2013 – Panasonic has announced the latest advancement in its G Series lineup, the new LUMIX DMC-G6 – with a feature set that’s ideal for the SLR enthusiast looking for a smaller camera.

The DMC-G6 offers high-quality, highly mobile shooting. For outstanding viewability, it has a high-resolution, high-contrast Live View Finder and an enhanced articulated monitor; while the introduction of Wi-Fi with NFC for smartphone control increases connectivity and flexibility in a range of shooting scenarios.

This camera is designed to take maximum advantage of every photographic situation. The DMC-G6 is precise and quick, ready to shoot just 0.5 sec after start-up. Low Light AF enables more accurate focusing on subjects even in low-lit situations.

The enthusiast user will also benefit from the camera’s high resolution imaging, minimal noise and precise high speed shooting via enhancements to the 16.05-megapixel LIVE MOS image sensor, Venus Engine image processor and the Light Speed AF system. The DMC-G6 also features stunningly smooth and cinema-like Full HD 50p AVCHD Progressive video recording with stereo sound.

The new, bright 1,440k-dot OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) LVF (Live View Finder) boasts excellent colour reproduction and a high contrast ratio of 10,000:1; and the large 3-inch free-angle monitor incorporates In-Cell Touch technology for outstanding viewability.

Creativity is given free rein with Creative Panorama, Time Lapse Shot, Stop Motion Animation and Clear Retouch, as well as the popular Creative Control mode with 19 filter effects.

The LUMIX DMC-G6 will be available in Australia in black from July. Pricing will be announced closer to the release date.

Key Features 

High image quality

The DMC-G6 has a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor for high resolution and high sensitivity with minimal noise. Panasonic’s pixel mix technology maximises the speed advantage native to the CMOS sensor. The current process is designed exclusively for the Digital Live MOS sensor to minimise noise generation. The fine wiring around the photodiode achieves a high aperture ratio, which results in high resolution and an excellent signal to noise ratio, while a high performance transistor encourages high speed signal processing.

The latest Venus Engine image processor further enhances these capabilities with a number of advanced noise reduction systems. The result is high sensitivity recording even at ISO3200 (Auto) or ISO25600 (Extended). The camera’s Low Light AF offers higher performance with precise focusing in dimly lit environments.

The controllable area of noise has been expanded by approximately 64x in size. This makes it possible to remove a large block of noise that was formerly hard to detect, producing clear, smooth images particularly for nighttime scenery. Multi-Process Noise Reduction works in two separate steps, allowing even finer control over noise levels. This allows the smooth reproduction of human skin, even in high sensitivity recording.

In addition, the Detail Reproduction Filter Process enhances the limit resolution by up to 3% and middle to high range contrast by up to 5%. The Advanced Intelligent D-range Control offers wider dynamic range while maintaining smooth gradation. Blocked shadows and blown highlights are suppressed, while every part of an image from dark to bright is faithfully reproduced.

Fast Response

The DMC-G6 is highly responsive, ready to shoot just 0.5 sec after start-up. Compared with Phase Difference AF, Panasonic’s Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy especially when shooting with a bright lens with small F value. Also surpassing Phase Difference AF, high-speed Light Speed AF captures fast-moving subjects clearly.

The camera and the lens exchange the digital signal at max 240fps to minimise focusing time. The DMC-G6 achieves high speed burst shooting at 7 fps in 16.05-megapixel full resolution, with a maximum of 40 fps using an electronic shutter; and AF Tracking provides consecutive shooting, capturing moving subjects in sharp focus at 5 fps.

Full-area Touch AF sets focus on any point in the field of view, for quick and intuitive focusing with free frame composition. Touch AE (Auto Exposure) allows focus and exposure to be set at a single touch of the subject displayed on the monitor. The DMC-G6 also incorporates Focus Peaking, which shows the peak of focus in MF and AF+MF mode.

The controls on the DMC-G6 body are ergonomically positioned and smooth and easy to use. The function lever allows direct adjustment of the allotted function – zoom, exposure or aperture control. This lever also operates magnification in playback mode and page flip in menu. Compatibility with the UHS-I (Ultra High Speed I) SDXC/SDHC Memory Card allows faster data writing even in RAW recording mode.

Stunning video recording performance

All LUMIX G cameras, especially the DMC-GH3, are renowned for high quality video recording. The DMC-G6 records stunningly smooth, high-resolution full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 50p (50 Hz) videos in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. The camera also supports 1080/24p native mode with 24 Mbps in AVCHD format. In addition, P/A/S/M mode lets users enjoy professional-like, expressive video recording. Full-HD video can also be recorded in MP4 at 28 Mbps, for playback on a PC or other portable electronic devices without converting files.

In addition to the practical full-time AF, the Touch AF in video recording also lets users enjoy professional-like rack focusing. AF Tracking locks on the subject and keeps focus even as it moves.

High quality sound can be recorded with Dolby® Digital. A Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind. In addition to the built-in stereo microphone, the DMC-G6 is equipped with a 3.5mm terminal for an external microphone to support advanced sound recording requirements. The Extra Tele Conversion function virtually extends the zoom range to a maximum of 4.8x without deterioration of image quality in lower resolution.

Easy wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi® / NFC with compliant smartphones/tablets

Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology allows users to connect the camera to their smartphone/tablet at a touch, and still and movie shooting can be controlled remotely from the smartphone screen. Setup is extremely quick and easy.

Simply by using the ‘Panasonic Image App’ for iOS/Android smartphones/tablets, users can monitor what the camera lens is seeing live from their smartphone at 30 frames per second and set zoom, focus, shutter release, shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation.

‘Instant Transfer’ allows data to be transferred automatically to the designated electronic device whenever the shutter is released. Users can also touch the image displayed on the camera to transfer it to the smartphone/tablet in playback mode. Location information can be tagged to an image using the GPS log of a smartphone/tablet.

The DMC-G6 makes archiving easy, transferring data to PCs or other compliant electronic devices automatically via a home wireless access point (router). Users can also save photos to Panasonic’s exclusive cloud service “LUMIX CLUB” and easily transfer images to Facebook™, Flickr™, Picasa™, Twitter™ or YouTube™. The Wi-Fi Direct™ function allows direct playback of images on DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) – compliant VIERA HDTVs or Blu-ray Recorders.

New LVF and touch monitor for excellent viewability

The large, bright 1,440K-dot OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) LVF (Live View Finder) with approx.100% field of view in 4:3 aspect boasts excellent color reproduction and astonishingly high contrast at 10,000:1 for outstanding viewability. The display time lag is minimised dramatically compared with its predecessor, the DMC-G5. The image output between the LVF and the rear monitor is switched automatically with the eye sensor on the LVF, which features sensitivity options – high, low and off – to reduce false operation when touching the rear monitor.

The new 3-inch large, 1036K-dot high resolution monitor rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down, with approximately 100% field of view. The front panel is directly attached to the new ‘In Cell Touch LCD’ with no air layer in between – this dramatically suppresses the reflection of external light. The monitor offers impressive visibility, with increased resolution of around 13% and improved color reproduction by around 20%.

The free-angle monitor with touch-screen operation makes it possible to shoot from a wider range of positions. The Touch Pad function allows the user to operate both LVF and monitor simultaneously for more intuitive shooting.

Enjoyable creative features

The latest creative features include Creative Panorama, Stop Motion Animation and Clear Retouch, in addition to Time Lapse Shot and the popular Creative Control mode which now offers a total of 19 filter effects.

Stop Motion Animation enables animation enthusiasts to bring life to still subjects by producing a stop motion video in camera. The Clear Retouch function lets users edit out unwanted parts of a picture after shooting by simply tracing over them on the monitor with a fingertip. Time Lapse Shot automatically starts recording photos in a time lapse sequence once the start time, interval and the number of pictures to shoot are set.

The Creative Control mode now includes 19 filters (increased from the DMC-G5’s 14), with Old Days, Sunshine, Bleach Bypass, Toy Pop, and Fantasy added to Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process, Low Key, Toy Effect, Star Filter and Miniature Effect modes. The effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable. Creative Panorama makes it possible to create a dramatic horizontal or vertical panoramic image by taking consecutive shots, overlaying the images and adding filters.

Other features

In iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, the camera does all the work, leaving the photographer free to capture key moments. Convenient iA features include AF Tracking, Intelligent D-range Control, Intelligent Scene Selector – now including Food Recognition mode, Face Recognition and Intelligent ISO Control. The iA Plus mode provides more flexible control, allowing users to adjust defocusing area in the background, exposure compensation, and white balance.

For less experienced users, ‘Scene Guide’ offers 23 sample pictures shot by professional photographers. Users can choose the one closest to the situation they are going to shoot and optimum parameters for shooting the scene will be automatically set. Furthermore, the shooting procedure, technical advice and the recommended interchangeable lens for the scene can be shown so the novice user can learn more about photography.

The DMC-G6 also incorporates a built-in flash (GN 10 ISO160・m / GN 8 ISO100・m).

MEDIA RELEASE 2 OF 3

Panasonic announces compact, stylish Super Zoom LUMIX G Lens: LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

SYDNEY, 24 April, 2013 – Panasonic today unveiled a new super zoom lens – the LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-FS14140) – as a new member of the LUMIX G digital interchangeable lens family.

The new lens will be available in Australia in July. Pricing will be announced closer to the release date.

Complying with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the new lens offers a wide and long zoom range of 14-140mm (35mm camera equivalent: 28-280mm). This focal range combined with its compact and lightweight design, makes the H-HS14140 the perfect travel lens and the ideal choice when only taking one lens for a day’s shooting.

Comprising 4 elements in 12 groups, the lens system features three aspherical lenses and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses, and achieves dramatic downsizing despite its powerful 10x optical zoom, while minimising distortion and chromatic aberration.

The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser) effectively compensates for small, fast movements as well as large, slow movements, making it easy to shoot super clear shots even in low-lit situations such as night time or indoors.

With an inner focus drive system and stepping motor, the new LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. ensures smooth, silent operation to work with the Panasonic G Series cameras’ high-speed, high-precision contrast AF system in both photo and video recording. It is also compatible with the sensor drive at max. 240 fps to take maximum advantage of cameras with high-speed AF such as the DMC-GH3 and the new DMC-G6.

The new LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. is built with a highly reliable metal mount, and uses multi-coated lens elements that minimise ghosts. Seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth defocus effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings.

MEDIA RELEASE 3 OF 3

Panasonic announces LUMIX DMC-LF1: the high-performance creative compact

LF1k_slant-527x400SYDNEY, 24 April, 2013 – Panasonic has announced the new LUMIX DMC-LF1, the first camera in the company’s new LF Series – a slim and stylish model with technologies designed for superb image quality and creativity that will satisfy the demands of photo enthusiasts.

The DMC-LF1 offers an impressive lineup of imaging features, including a fast F2.0 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens with a 7.1x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 28-200mm), 1/1.7-inch High Sensitivity MOS Sensor, plus a convenient 0.2 inch Electronic Viewfinder.

Capabilities that put versatility and creative control in the hands of the photographer are Wi-Fi with NFC for smartphone control, manual functions including a Control Ring and Composition Guide, and effects including Creative Panorama, Creative Control and Creative Retouch.

Other key features include 1,920 x 1,080 50i full-HD video recording in AVCHD / MP4[xi] with high quality stereo sound, POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser) with Active Mode to suppress blur in still and video shooting, and a high-visibility 3-inch 920K-dot Intelligent LCD.

Doug Campbell, Product Marketing Manager, LUMIX, Panasonic Australia, said: “The DMC-LF1 will allow users to fully realise their photographic inspiration. Many enthusiasts will be excited by features such as Wi-Fi and the electronic viewfinder; as well as the LUMIX hallmark of offering an outstanding camera that is easy to operate and makes photography enjoyable and rewarding.”

The LUMIX DMC-LF1 will be available in Australia in July, with colour choices of black and white. Pricing will be announced closer to the release date.

Key Features

F2.0 Fast LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON Lens with 7.1x Optical Zoom

The DMC-LF1 is equipped with a newly developed 28mm wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens with 7.1x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 28-200mm). The F2.0 lens captures twice as much light as a F2.8 lens. The extraordinarily rich amount of light allows a higher shutter speed to capture stunningly clear, sharp, blur-free images in low light; and also provides highly expressive gradation and shallow depth of field. The lens minimises distortion at the wide end, for stunning, true-to-life images with outstanding resolution and detail.

Panasonic has been able to integrate the F2.0 lens in the DMC-LF1 by combining the company’s unique technologies – a technology for the mass production of a slim lens with a flange of just 0.3mm, and a black-box technology for assembling spherical and aspherical lenses. The lens unit consists of 10 elements in 8 groups with 4 aspherical lenses with 7 aspherical surfaces including an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens that compensates for chromatic aberration across the entire zoom range.

1/1.7-inch, 12.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine

The DMC-LF1 incorporates a 1/1.7-inch, 12.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor which is larger in size when compared to standard digital compact camera sensors. Thanks to the extensive light receiving area of each cell, the performance of high sensitivity image recording in low light is superior, with an excellent signal to noise (S/N) ratio and wide dynamic range. The result is a high resolution image with stunning clarity even at low ISO settings.

The high performance Venus Engine image processor has advanced signal processing and further supports noise reduction, with high sensitivity recording even at ISO12800.

The high speed digital signal output technology supports camera performance, achieving consecutive shooting at 10 fps in full resolution with mechanical shutter and recording full-HD 50i smooth video in AVCHD/MP4[xii]. Sonic Speed AF captures fleeting shooting opportunities, and high speed burst shooting at 60 fps is also available to capture fast-moving subjects.

Practical Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and Large, High Resolution LCD

The DMC-LF1 incorporates an EVF and an LCD in a sleek, stylish body. The 0.2-inch EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) has 200K-dot resolution and 100% field of view. It ensures stable framing and high visibility of live view images even in bright sunlight.

The 3.0-inch, 920,000-dot Intelligent LCD has a wide viewing angle and features automatic brightness adjustment in 7 steps as the surrounding brightness level changes, ensuring easy visibility at all times. The large screen with AR coating allows the user to see fine details, making it easy to check the focus before shooting.

Get inspired with creative control

Step-up users will enjoy the DMC-LF1’s advanced functions. Manual control is made easier with the Control Ring, which enables direct, intuitive control over frequently-used settings – zooming, aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity and Creative Control / Creative Panorama. A composition guide can be accessed via the LCD or EVF, and users can improve their photographic skills by viewing and choosing from Rule of Thirds Offset, Diagonal Lines, Tunnel, Radiation1, Radiation2 and S-shape, and framing the subjects along the guided lines. ‘Level Gauge’ detects the horizontal / vertical angle of view while shooting and displays this on screen, as well as sensing if the camera is tilted forwards or back. This is ideal for building and landscape shots.

The DMC-LF1 is also equipped with Creative Control and Creative Retouch, featuring a total of 15 filter effects – Retro, Expressive, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, Star Filter, Cross Process, Soft Focus, One Point Color and Old Days. Creative Control lets users apply a filter effect while shooting, while Creative Retouch allows effects to be applied in-camera afterwards.

With the Creative Panorama function, it is possible to apply selected filter effects to the horizontal / vertical panoramic image, which can be shot by sweeping the camera in any of four directions – to right, left, top or bottom.

Easy wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi® / NFC with compliant smartphones/tablets

Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology allows users to connect the camera to their smartphone/tablet at a touch, and still and movie shooting[xvi] can be controlled remotely from the smartphone screen. Setup is extremely quick and easy.

Simply by using the ‘Panasonic Image App’ for iOS/Android smartphones/tablets, users can monitor what the camera lens is seeing live from their smartphone at 30 frames per second and set zoom, focus, shutter release, shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation.

‘Instant Transfer’ allows data to be transferred automatically to the designated electronic device whenever the shutter is released. Users can also touch the image displayed on the camera to transfer it to the smartphone/tablet in playback mode. Location information can be tagged to an image using the GPS log of a smartphone/tablet.

The DMC-LF1 makes archiving easy, transferring data to PCs or other compliant electronic devices automatically via a home wireless access point (router). Users can also save photos to Panasonic’s exclusive cloud service “LUMIX CLUB”. The Wi-Fi Direct™ function allows direct playback of images on DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) – compliant VIERA HDTVs or Blu-ray Recorders.

Other features

In iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, the camera does all the work, leaving the photographer free to capture key moments. Convenient iA features include AF Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition and Intelligent ISO Control. The iA Plus mode provides more flexible control, allowing users to adjust defocusing area in the background, exposure compensation, and white balance.

The camera’s battery can also be recharged via AC or USB according to the user’s preference.

 

 


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