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Panasonic Announces 5-Megapixel Digital

From Panasonic’s press release:

The DMC-LC1 has a digital brain but the heart and soul of a finely crafted 35mm camera, right down to its controls. A true breakthrough in digital camera craftsmanship, the 5-megapixel DMC-LC1 brings a traditional photographic experience to the digital world, evoking the look, feel, precision, and responsiveness of a 35mm camera. Zoom, focus and aperture are manually controlled by ring settings on the lens; shutter speed is controlled by a dial located on the top of the unit. And, like all of Panasonic’s Lumix models, the DMC-LC1 features a high-performance Leica lens for extraordinary image rendering.

The DMC-LC1 combines unrivalled Leica optics with Panasonic’s most advanced digital electronic technology to create a camera that allows photographers to experience a new level of creative expression. The camera’s full manual operation serves as a natural extension of the photographer’s hands and eyes.

Leica lenses retain a legendary reputation for creating images that capture the most delicate nuances of light and shade, the elusive ambience of “air”, and subtle gradations of color. The new DMC-LC1 incorporates a finely crafted, F2.0 – 2.4 Leica DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens (13 elements in 10 groups) with zoom capability equivalent to 28 – 90mm on a 35mm camera.

Beyond the lens, Panasonic converts the optical data into digital information with unmatched processing speed. Panasonic’s innovative Venus Engine LSI handles all image processing functions simultaneously — from displaying the image on the LCD to writing data to the memory card — as soon as the CCD captures the image signal. The result is superb image rendering and outstanding responsiveness.

The DMC-LC1 can capture image in the RAW format as well as Super Fine/Fine/Standard JPEG and QuickTime(r) motion JPEG images. Often referred to as a “digital negative,” the raw file format stores uncompressed data directly off the camera’s CCD with no in-camera processing. This raw image can then be manually manipulated in a photo editing program. Adobe announced at PMA today a free, updated version of the Camera Raw plug-in, which will provide integrated support of the Panasonic raw format within Adobe PhotoshopR CS, the latest version of Adobe’s professional image editing product.

The DMC-LC1 features a built-in USB port and SD Memory Card/Multimedia Card slot, offering consumers networking versatility with PCs and a wide variety of compatible SD-enabled devices.

Other features include:

— Built-in pop-up flash which can tilt 45 degrees to create a bounce flash.

The camera can also accept and synchronize with optional external flash

units. Auto-flash and manual flash settings.

— Red-eye compensation.

— Large 2.5-inch LCD.

— 3.2x optical and 3x digital* zoom.

— Burst shooting mode.

— Real-time histogram.

— Auto bracketing mode automatically takes three or five shots at different exposures.

— Remote shutter helps prevent even slight shaking or vibration caused by contact with the camera.

— Three light metering modes: Intelligent Multiple/Center Weighted/Spot

— Microphone and speakers for audio recording.

— Included accessories: Battery charger/AC adaptor, battery pack, SD Memory Card, AC cable, DC cable, lens cap, A/V cable, USB driver, USB connection cable, lens hood, hood cap, MC protector, remote shutter, strap, SD viewer software, ArcSoft editing software: ArcSoft PhotoBase(tm), ArcSoft PhotoImpression(tm), ArcSoft PhotoPrinter(tm) and ArcSoft Panorama Maker(tm).

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC1 is scheduled for March, 2004 delivery. It will have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,599.00.

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