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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8

Ilse Jurrien
PMA 2010 Report
Friday 23rd, February 2007
Posted by: Ilse Jurrien

Panasonic introduces the Lumix DMC-FZ8 7.2-megapixel camera, featuring a powerful 12x optical zoom, LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens and the ever popular and indispensable Optical Image Stabiliser (O.I.S). With a joystick control for manual adjustment of focusing and exposure setting, the DMC-FZ8 offers high end specification and portability. Bridging the gap between high-end compacts and digital SLRs, Panasonic’s DMC-FZ8 offers a level of control close to that of an SLR, but without the need for interchangeable lenses. Perfect for photographers on the move and families who want to shoot pictures outdoors for example, the FZ8 offers an easy way to enjoy the fun of capturing beautiful digital pictures.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8

Panasonic Lumix FZ8 -12x optical zoom
The Lumix DMC-FZ8 is equipped with a 7.2 megapixel CCD and a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens offering a powerful 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 36mm to 432mm on a 35mm film camera) with an aperture of F2.8 to F3.3. If this wasn’t enough, in 3-megapixel resolution mode, the Extra Optical Zoom function uses the centre part of the CCD to provide additional magnification, extending the zoom power to an impressive 18x. Using this feature in combination with the 4x digital zoom brings the total zooming power to a remarkable 72x. The combination of 11 elements in eight groups, including 3 aspherical lenses generates superior optical performance while maintaining the compactness of the unit.

Panasonic DMC-FZ8 - Optical Image Stabiliser
Panasonic is the first manufacturer to have successfully incorporated Optical Image Stabiliser (OIS) into its compact cameras - a feature strongly appreciated worldwide and now considered to be a standard requirement of photography. O.I.S minimizes the jitter from shaky hands that causes many photos to look blurred. By shifting the O.I.S lens unit to keep the optical axis aligned straight against the CCD, the camera ensures images are captured with supreme clarity and sharpness.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 - Intelligent ISO Control
While hand-shake is the single biggest cause of blurry images, it is not the only one. Another problem 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. Building on the success of its predecessor the FZ8 incorporates a new feature designed to resolve motion blur. Intelligent ISO Control 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 even the most demanding situations.

Panasonic FZ8 - Venus Engine III image processor
Heir to the award winning DMC-FZ7, this new addition to the Lumix range has enhanced the excellence of its predecessor not only with the total number of pixels but also with several other innovative technical improvements. A key improvement is the inclusion of Panasonic’s advanced image-processing LSI, Venus Engine III that can record at a sensitivity setting as high as ISO 1250 with full resolution. 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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 - Shooting modes
Spontaneous moments can easily be captured thanks to a 1.8 second start up time and a 0.005 second shutter release time lag (the time between pressing the button on the camera and the photo being taken). Additionally, the burst shooting mode boasts the capability of sequential shots at a rate of 3 frames per second at full resolution. The unlimited consecutive shooting function allows you to take photos in succession up to the capacity of the memory card or built in memory. Thanks to the energy-efficient Venus Engine III, the FZ8 offers a long battery life, allowing around 380 shots on a single battery charge.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8

Panasonic DMC-FZ8 - SD memory cards
In addition to these technical improvements, the FZ8 also includes a number of user friendly features. For example, the FZ8 is provided with approximately 27MB of built-in memory - perfect for those moments when your SD card is full for that vital shot. The new addition also offers an element of future-proofing by accepting SDHC memory cards - the new SD memory cards with capacity over 2GB – allowing even more digital images to be captured on one card.

Panasonic Lumix digital cameras - Specifications
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX12
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX10
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ6
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS75
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS60
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8

Panasonic FZ8 digital camera - Auto Focus
The DMC-FZ8 really will work hard to ensure you capture every moment important to you. The various AF methods can be selected according to the shooting environment and the position of the subject: multi, 3 point high-speed, 1-point high speed, 1-point normal-speed and spot. With the 1-point AF method, the auto-focusing area can be chosen from as many as 11 points with the joystick or cursor button. Various group area patterns can also be selected in the new Multi method. As with all high-powered zoom models in the Lumix family, the DMC-FZ8 leads the industry with its short shutter time lag for quick, smooth operation.

Panasonic DMC FZ8 - Motion image recording
In addition to standard VGA (640x480) motion image recording, the DMC-FZ8 also records stunning full-size movies in wide-aspect VGA (848x480) at 30fps, enabling you to view your recordings on a widescreen television. Designed with creativity in mind, the FZ8 employs the same intuitive joystick control as appreciated in the FZ7 for manual adjustment of focusing and exposure setting.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 - Software & Availability
To further add to its appeal, the FZ8 can save image data in the RAW file format, which can be edited and developed with the SILKYPIX Developer Studio 2.0SE included software. Using this software, you can freely adjust RAW data settings such as exposure bias and white balance even after shooting - ensuring greater control and greater enjoyment of digital photography. The DMC-FZ8 packs a wealth of advanced technology and easy-to-use features in a sleek, compact package making it a highly attractive proposition. The DMC-FZ8 will be available from March 2007.

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The PMA show, or Photo Marketing Association, continues its yearly tradition of maintaining a network of photo imaging as well as the experience and know-how of the industry. The PMA represents 20,000 members from over 100 countries, who are all active within the imaging industry. As a reflection of the changes in the market, the PMA organization has also changed and has become more diverse. Nowadays, the member group consists of representatives coming from photo retail, manufacturers, commercial photo labs, professional sports and news photography, in addition to small album print suppliers and photo processing centers. The PMA 2012 Trade show focuses on an industry which is heavily affected by the unstable situation of the global financial economy. However, whether the latter will also stand in the way of the innovation and product introductions, remains to be revealed by the PMA International Convention & Trade Show in Anaheim Convention Center (California, US).