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Go wide, get close with Panasonic - A brace of 10x optical zoom compacts featuring 28mm wide angle lenses have been announced by Panasonic
Panasonic Lumix cameras go from strength to strength with technological advancements designed to offer the ultimate in picture performance and convenience. Panasonic’s new DMC-TZ2 and DMC-TZ3 are the latest members of the award-winning Lumix TZ family of digital cameras, which is renowned for packaging a remarkable 10x optical zoom in a compact, stylish body. To further add to their appeal, the TZ2 and TZ3 go one step further to feature a 28mm wide-angle Leica DC lens (equivalent to 28-280mm on a 35mm film camera) for wide-angle shooting.
More detail in a single frame
The 28mm wide-angle lens opens up a plethera of photographic opportunities, allowing photographers to easily capture a large group of people, or expansive architectural structures and landscapes with dynamic width and rich perspective. The wide-angle lens is particularly helpful in situations where you cannot step back or move away from a subject - ideal for shooting group portraits in a small room for example.
The diminutive size of the 7.2 megapixel DMC-TZ3 and 6.0 megapixel DMC-TZ2 belies the wealth of technological features. Incorporating a powerful 10x optical zoom in such a slim and stylish body is impressive in itself. Add to this the incorporation of Panasonic’s Mega O.I.S that prevents blurring from shaky hands, Intelligent ISO to prevent motion blur, and the high quality, high performance image-processing Venus Engine III to name but a few – and the calibre of these new additions becomes apparent.
The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens comprises 11 elements in nine groups, including an ED (extra-low dispersion) lens and three aspherical lenses. This advanced lens unit passes Leica’s stringent standards and delivers an exceptional optical performance. To further add to their appeal, the zoom ratio can be extended up to 15x in 3megapixel resolution mode (13.8x for the DMC-TZ2) with minimal deterioration thanks to the Extra Optical Zoom. By using the central part of the CCD, this powerful zooming function allows you to easily capture and magnify distant subjects. Furthermore, in combination with the 4x digital zoom, a zoom factor of up to 60x can be achieved (55x for the DMC-TZ2).
28mm wide angle lens with a difference
Conventional cameras generally use almost the entire CCD area when recording an image, and the angle of view may be altered regardless of the photographer’s intention. The TZ3 and TZ2 however, incorporate a 1/2.35” CCD (1/ 2.33” for TZ2) with a total of 8.50 megapixels (7.39 megapixels for the TZ2). This CCD, which is larger than those in conventional 7 megapixel and 6 megapixel class cameras, can reproduce images shot with the lens set 28mm to 280mm in any of three aspect ratios – 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 – so you can always capture dynamic, richly expressed shots with wide perspective.
Special moments deserve special attention
Capturing those special moments – whether it’s your child’s first birthday, a family Christmas, spectacular sceneries on holiday or simply a picture of your loved one – are priceless. Panasonic understands this and is committed to ensuring that whatever your shooting situation, your image will be beautifully captured. Having successfully incorporated Mega Optical Image Stabiliser (OIS) into its entire line-up, Panasonic has gone one step further with the 2007 models with the introduction of Intelligent ISO. A common cause of blurry images is the motion blur that can occur when a subject moves as the shot is being taken – particularly common when taking pictures of sports or young children for example. This is where Intelligent ISO Control comes in to its own. This system detects whether the subject is moving and, as necessary raises the ISO setting and shutter speed according to how fast the subject is moving and the light conditions. This happens automatically, so you can effortlessly shoot without the need to adjust the settings every time the conditions change.
Panasonic Lumix offers solutions for both major causes of blurred images – O.I.S when you are moving, and Intelligent ISO Control when the subject is moving. Thanks to Panasonic, you can now take clear and beautiful images in almost all situations.
The power of the Venus Engine III engine
The DMC-TZ2 and DMC-TZ3 boast Panasonic’s advance image processing Venus Engine III, offering the ability to take 300 pictures (270 for the DMC-TZ3) on a single charge. The TZ3 allows unlimited consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the 12.7MB built-in memory or the SD memory card. This engine, the brain of a digital camera, boasts outstanding response time with a 0.006 second shutter release time (the time taken between pressing the button on the camera and the photo being taken) and a shutter interval of approximately 0.5 seconds, thus enabling easy capture of spur-of-the- moment shots. In the burst shooting mode, it is possible to shoot at three frames per second in full resolution. Both models also allow unlimited consecutive shooting - so you can continue taking shots until the SDHC/SD memory card is full.
Noise reduction is also greatly improved, with picture noise removed in stages during image processing. Critical noise is analysed, and chromatic and luminance noise are reduced separately. The chromatic noise, which has greater effect on picture quality, is then selectively suppressed, resulting in clearer images.
Bright and beautiful motion pictures
Not only can you capture beautiful still images – these new models also record stunning wide aspect VGA (848 x 480) motion images at 30 frames per second. This enables you to view them on a widescreen television in a true widescreen aspect ratio. Perfect for skiing holidays for example you can showcase your skiing talents in full 16:9 glory on your widescreen television to your family and friends.
The DMC-TZ3 also offers an exceptional function that lets you select and display thumbnails of nine sequential frames from a motion image. This would be useful, for example, to analyse the way you swing a golf club or tennis racquet.
The perfect travel companion boasting 20 scene modes
The Lumix TZ2 and TZ3’s 20 scene modes allow you to effectively capture your travelling experience, wherever you go. The ‘aerial’ mode assists with shooting through aeroplane windows, and once you reach your destination, the new ‘beach’ mode is ideal for taking photos in strong sunlight. Used with a separately available marine case boasting a water-resistance of up to 40m deep, the underwater mode helps produce spectacular underwater shots, even at depths where there is no sunlight.
Travellers further benefit from the useful Travel Date Setting which, once you have preset the date of your departure, records and displays the images in chronological order of your trip. The World Time Setting is also useful as it allows you to set the time and date of 74 locations across the world. In addition, the new ‘Clipboard’ function lets you use the camera to hold an retrieve useful information on the trip. For example, you can quickly and easily take pictures of a map or train schedule, and view them when needed. In addition, the DMC-TZ3 benefits from a 3inch LCD screen (2.5inch for the TZ2) – so you can playback two photos at the same time and compare them.
Perfect for all occasions, the small DMC-TZ2 and DMC-TZ3 offer a wealth of features and effortlessly slip into your pocket ensuring you are ready for any photographic occasion. Available from May 2007.