has introduced the first digital cameras to combine 12x optical zoom with
an optical image stabilizer. Panasonic's three new 12x zoom are the DMC-FZ3
(3-Megapixel), DMC-FZ15 (4-Megapixel) and DMC-FZ20 (5-Megapixel). Each
features a Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with 12x zoom (equivalent to a
35 - 420mm zoom lens on a conventional 35mm film camera) and F2.8 brightness
throughout the entire zoom range. Panasonic's MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer
automatically detects and optically compensates for hand movement by shifting
internal lens elements, enabling the user to capture crisp, clear, distortion-free
ultra-telephoto or macro shots of distant or moving subjects, even in
low lighting conditions.
These cameras also feature an extra-low dispersion (ED) lens to minimize
color aberration (color bleeding) -- a common problem in high-magnification
/ large aperture lenses. ED lenses are typically exchangeable lenses designed
for single-lens reflex cameras and high-end, professional cameras.
Panasonic has also improved its innovative Venus Engine LSI, the "brain"
of the camera that converts the optical data into digital information.
The new Venus 2 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. This simultaneous,
parallel processing results in a quick start-up, increased shutter speed
and reduced lag time. The improved LSI also allows faster consecutive
shooting than its predecessor. If desired, the camera will keep shooting
until the memory card is full.
All three cameras also include a host of sophisticated features such as
MEGA BURST consecutive shooting mode, real-time histogram, auto bracketing,
color viewfinder and more.