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Panasonic updates Lumix line with 3D, Wi-Fi, ans power zoom lenses

Panasonic Lumix FX90

Panasonic has announced new additions to its Lumix camera line, adding a wide range of capabilities and features designed to appeal to both casual and experienced photographers—including powerful zooms, 3D shooting capability, and Wi-Fi.

First up, the Lumix FX90 is a compact point-and-shoot camera with integrated Wi-Fi capability to enable immediate social sharing of images—so long as you’re within range of a Wi-Fi network, anyway. The FX90 sports a 12.1 megapixel sensor, 5× optical zoom, a 30inch LCD display, along wit optical image stabilization, “Sonic Speed” autofocus for fast shooting times, and Intelligent Auto mode that enables features automatically based on the detected shooting environment—and those features include face tracking, face recognition, motion de-blur, scene selection and intelligent exposure. There’s also a dedicated Wi-Fi button that opens up a Wi-Fi connection (where available: WPS supported) enabling immediate sharing via Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, and Facebook. Oh, and it shoots 1080p video. Panasonic hasn’t announced pricing, but expect to see the FX90 in the next few months.

Panasonic Lumix FZ150

Folks not scared of a little heft in their cameras might look at the Lumix FZ150, which features a 12.1 megapixel resolution and a mammoth 24× optical zoom lens that can be used for both stills and HD (1080p) video. The FZ150 sports a “Light Speed” autofocus that can nab subjects in about a tenth of a second, and the camera’s intelligent audo mode can bring together optical image stabilization, scene selection, Motion Deblur, and exposure control. Panasonic also touts the FZ150’s multi-process noise reduction that applies noise reduction to images based on the brightest portions of an image, helping even low-light photos come out clearly, and there’s a 3D Photo mode: the camera takes 20 panning shots then selects the two that can be melded together for the most effective 3D image that users can view on any Viera 3DTV or any MPO-compatible gear.The FZ150 should be available late next month in black for a suggested price of $499.99.

Panasonic has also announced a new premium Lumix “X” series of lenses for its DMC-GF3X and G-series compact system cameras. The first two offerings are 14–42mm and 45–175mm lenses: the first offers an ƒ3.5-5.6 aperture range while the second goes out to ƒ4-5.6. Panasonic is billing the first as the world’s smallest interchangeable digital power zoom lens: it sports an internal zoom motor activated with a side-mounted rocker switch. The result is a zoom system that is far less bulky than Panasonic’s previous Micro Four-Thirds lens offerings. Panasonic plans to offer the 14–42mm lens on its own for $399.99, or with the Lumix GF3 for $749.99, beginning in October. The 45–175mm lens will be available in September for $449.99.

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Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
Panasonic announces firmware upgrade that makes all Lumix G lenses HD

Panasonic has released firmware that will upgrade seven of its Lumix G interchangeable lens series to HD quality. This means videos will be smoother and won’t suffer autofocus lag or noise, and Panasonic says its optical image stabilizer technology will be enhanced by the upgrade.
It’s an all-around bonus for Lumix G-series users, a high-end device that nails stills but can’t quite compete with dedicated cameras for video recording. It’s a popular series and undeniably impressive, but video from Micro Four Thirds cameras hasn’t always gotten the best reviews. This bumps the pricey camera’s capabilities up a notch and keeps it from being easily bested by new releases--which in turn helps consumers justify spending so much on it to begin with.
Here are the seven lenses that will be issued the firmware uprade:

LUMIX G 14mm / F2.5 ASPH. (H-H014)
LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS014042)
LUMIX G FISHEYE 8mm / F3.5 (H-F008)
LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS100300)
LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm / F4.0 ASPH. (H-F007014)
LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS014045)
LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS045200)

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Panasonic announces 3D camcorder, Lumix compact camera
Panasonic HDC-Z10000 2D/3D camcorder

Although 3D technology still hasn't taken off strongly with consumers, Panasonic is betting that, with just the right gear, everyday photographers and video fans will embrace that technology. To that end, Panasonic has announced its new HDC-Z10000 2D/3D camcorder, and has begun teasing a twin-lens 3D-capable Lumix 3D compact camera, both of which could reach consumers by the end of the year.

First up, the Panasonic Lumix 3D compact camera will be able to shoot 3D photos like a traditional point-and-shoot, but with its twin lenses it will also be able to shot 3D stills and high-definition 3D video. The Lumix 3D gets its small size from two 4× zoom lenses with folded optics and optical image stabilization that operates in 2D, 3D, and video modes. The camera will be able to shoot 2D stills and video at the same time, while the side-by-side lenses will also be able to capture 3D video in AVCHD format. Users can then pop the videos over to their 3D-capable Panasonic Viera TV via an HDMI cable.

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Panasonic announces the Lumix DMC-FZ47 and DMC-LS5
panasonic announces the lumix dmc fz47 and ls5 fz100k

Panasonic has introduced two new Lumix models, targeting both advanced photographers and entry-level shooters.
Lumix DMC-LS5
The Lumix DMC-LS5 is an entry-level, AA battery-bearing point-and-shoot. The LS5 is most definitely a camera for beginners, relying on auto settings. It’s similar to the rest of the LS series: It’s small, it’s easy to use, and encourages users to explore the automatic scene settings--there’s no manual control over the aperture or shutter. But like competitor cameras of this design, there are more than a handful of shooting modes to choose from as well as intelligent scene selectors like Macro, Night Portrait, and Night Scenery. The most major departure from the rest of this lineup is the fact that it uses AA batteries, which means it’s likely to be quite affordable (pricing has yet to be announced).
As far as specs go, the LS5 compares nicely with most pocket cams in its price range – given that we’re correct to assume it will be pretty inexpensive. It has a 14.1-megapixel CCD sensor and 5x optical zoom with a maximum aperture of F2.8. Panasonic is promoting the low light performance of the LS5, and given its max aperture that’s a little surprising, but the sensor must be powerful enough to compensate.
The LS5 also includes optical image stabilization technology as well as 720p, 30fps HD video recording. It also comes equipped with YouTube and Facebook auto-uploading features and sports a 2.7 LCD screen (230K resolution).
Lumix DMC-FZ47
Panasonic is also bringing a more advanced camera to the table. The FZ47 follows up the FZ40 and offers a few improvements to the already popular camera. It might not have the hip-factor Panasonic’s interchangeable lens Lumix line is enjoying at the moment, but the high-zoom FZ series is about as professional as it gets at this price. It boasts a 24x optical zoom and a maximum aperture of F5.2. These features are made all the more useful by the “Sonic Speed” AF, which Panasonic says is about 35-percent faster than in the previous model. It also packs a 12.1-megapixel CCD sensor and a Venus Engine FHD processor, which aids its full HD video capture.

Photographers will have full manual control with aperture and shutter priority mode. But this doesn’t mean the FZ47 doesn’t have built in creative functions--and then some. In addition to 3D capture capability, the camera also includes filters like Pin Hole, High Key, Film Grain, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect…the list goes on.
The only knock we have against the FZ47 is that it can’t shoot in RAW, but the outlook is bright for this camera that will retail for what sounds like an extremely reasonable $399.99 beginning in August. See below for full specs.

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