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Panasonic Lumix LS5, Lumix FZ47 release date and price announced

Compact cameras powered by AA-size batteries are a rarity these days and when you do find them they’re either large megazooms or budget-priced entry-level compacts. Panasonic introduces two new Lumix cameras – the LS5, a value-added entry-class compact with a 26mm f/2.8 wide angle lens, and the FZ47, taking on the role of Panasonic’s flagship ultrazoom with a 24x optical zoom lens.Panasonic Lumix LS5, Lumix FZ47 release date and price announcedThe compact, entry-level Panasonic LS5 digital camera offers an effective resolution of 14.1 megapixels from a 1/2.33″ RGB CCD image sensor, which Panasonic has coupled to an unbranded 5x optical zoom lens with a generous 26mm-equivalent wide angle. Importantly, the Panasonic LS5’s lens features a true optical image stabilization system with which to fight blur caused by camera shake. The Panasonic LS5’s lens has a two-step aperture that offers F2.8 and F7.9 at wide angle, or a rather dim F6.5 and F18.4 at telephoto. The minimum focusing distance for the Panasonic DMC-LS5 is fifteen centimeters at wide angle, or 60 centimeters at telephoto.

The Lumix FZ47 is outfitted with a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens covering an equivalent zoom range of 25-600mm. At its core is a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor. It will record 1080 HD video at 60i or 720p at 60p in AVCHD. Video can also be recorded at 1080 or 720p at 30 fps with MP4 output. This latest Lumix ultrazoom will feature a 3.0-inch 460k-dot LCD. The FZ47 will be equipped with Panasonic’s top tier stabilization system, Power O.I.S. Maximum burst shooting speed at full resolution will be 3.7 fps with a 10 fps mode at a reduced 3 megapixel resolution.

Panasonic also included optical image stabilization and the ability to record movie clips at 720p HD resolution at 30 frames per second. Shooting modes are geared for automatic snapshots, though, so you won’t find aperture and shutter-priority controls.

“The Lumix FZ series is an extremely popular line for Panasonic, and we expect this model to be another winner for users who not only want an impressive 24x optical zoom, but those that seek exceptional image quality, and thanks to the Leica lens and FullHD video capabilities — the FZ47 delivers,” said Darin Pepple, Panasonic imaging senior product manager. “New to the FZ series are the improved AF speeds, 3D-photo shooting and full 1080 HD video capabilities.”

“The Lumiz LS5 is the ideal digital camera for an entry-level user who wants an extremely easy to use digital camera that does not sacrifice image quality,” said David Fisher, Panasonic imaging product manager.

Other features include Face Detection, which finds human faces on which to concentrate the appropriate focus and exposure settings; Intelligent Scene Selector, which detects the environment and sets the best shooting parameters based on Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Macro; and easy uploading to YouTube and Facebook.

Simultaneous video recording and 3.5-megapixel still capture is possible, and there’s a “Creative Video” mode allowing for manual adjustment of shutter speed and aperture, plus the expected filters and effects. Optical image stabilization, face recognition and Panasonic’s iA “intelligent auto” mode are all present, together with a 3D photo system. On the back is a 3-inch 460k-dot preview display.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47 will be available in black this August for an MSRP of $399.99. The Lumix LS5 will become available later in November with a yet-to-be-released price tag.

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