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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Luuk Jurrien
Photokina report
Wednesday 19th, July 2006
Posted by: Luuk Jurrien

Panasonic introduced the new Panasonic Lumix 6 Megapixel, f/2.8 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 35 mm to 105 mm on a 35 mm film camera) Leica DC lens Panasonic DMC-FX3 featuring MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer) and max. ISO 1600 high sensitivity mode (Not including Macro Mode). Panasonic has long led the industry with its incorporation of an optical image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S., into even its compact range of cameras. This system produces no deterioration of picture quality and has now become a standard feature for all digital cameras in the market. Now the new Panasonic FX3 also benefits from a High Sensitivity mode which allows shooting at a maximum sensitivity setting of ISO 1600.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Panasonic FX3 camera - Anti Shake
This mode acts as another anti-blurring measure, in addition to the MEGA O.I.S. system, by suppressing image blur which can be caused by the movement of subjects, and especially benefits indoor photography of children and pets at fast shutter speeds. For the image processor, the Venus Engine Plus LSI is incorporated for high performance image processing, both in terms of speed and image quality, while still preserving low energy consumption.

Panasonic Lumix FX3 - Availability
Another feature that elevates the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX3 is the incorporation of 13.5MB of built-in memory while the battery life is long enough to shoot up to 320 pictures(CIPA) on one charging, in order to ensure that you do not miss those great spur-of-the-moment shots. In addition, motion images can be taken in even wide VGA in addition to the normal VGA format so that you can enjoy dynamic viewing on wide aspect TVs. The Panasonic LUMIX FX3 is not just a compact and stylish camera but a special model having a winning combination of MEGA O.I.S. which conquers the blur due to hand-shake and High Sensitivity which suppresses the other major cause of blurred image resulting from the subject’s movement, enabling every type of user to take clear, beautiful and blur-free pictures. The Panasonic FX3 will be available in silver and black. The new Panasonic Lumix DMC FX3 is a step above the average stylish & compact models and can be confidently recommended for saving those precious memories of your family and friends.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FX3 digital camera - Leica lens
The 6 Megapixel Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX3 features 3x optical zoom (equivalent to 35 mm to 105 mm on a 35 mm film camera) f/2.8 Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens housed in a compact body. The lens part comprises of seven elements in six groups, incorporating three aspherical lenses to generate high resolution images with richer gradation. The zoom ratio can be extended up to 4.1x in 3 Megapixel resolution mode thanks to the Extra Optical Zoom function which gives extra magnification (and minimal image deterioration) by intentionally using the centre part of the CCD.

Panasonic DMC FX3 - MEGA O.I.S.
MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer), deemed by Panasonic as indispensable for all digital cameras, is featured on the entire Lumix range and, having been highly evaluated and appreciated by the users across the world, has now become a standard requirement within the digital imaging arena. It compensates for hand-shake by shifting the O.I.S. lens unit to keep the optical axis aligned straight against the CCD, ensuring that the image is always captured sharply. As a result, MEGA O.I.S. produces beautiful pictures, free from blur and with no deterioration of image quality, at slower shutter speeds of more than 3 steps compared to other conventional models which do not have O.I.S. You can now shoot stunningly clear pictures with ease, even in situations that require slow shutter speeds, such as indoor or nighttime portrait shots, or close-up shots of a delicate flower using macro mode.

Panasonic Lumix FX3 compact camera - ISO and Sensitivity
Furthermore, the Panasonic FX3 allows shooting at a maximum sensitivity setting of ISO 1600, with the High Sensitivity mode, which reduces image blur caused by subject movement, and especially benefits indoor photography of children or pets at fast shutter speeds. This High Sensitivity mode is made possible by the pixel-mixed readout method on the CCD. The picture quality is good enough for printing out to standard 4” x 6” (10cm x 15cm) size. Thanks to this winning combination of image stabilization technologies, which compensate for both hand-shake and subject movement, the two major causes of image blur. With MEGA O.I.S. and the new High Sensitivity mode, you can take clear and sharp shots in so many ways.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FX3 digital compact camera - Processor
With its multi-task image processing capabilities, the Venus Engine Plus boasts excellent response time with a shutter release time lag of only 0.006 sec. and a shutter interval of 0.7 sec. In the burst shooting mode, it is possible to shoot at three frames per second in full resolution. The Panasonic DMC-FX3 enables easy capture of those spur-of-the-moment shots. The Panasonic FX3 also allows unlimited consecutive shooting up to the capacity of your SD/SDHC Memory card. Despite the high performance mentioned above, the Panasonic DMC-FX3 achieves long battery life to shoot approx. 320 pictures (CIPA) on a single charge.

Panasonic FX3 digital camera - LCD display and Auto focus
The Panasonic FX3 has a 2.5” large LCD. The pixel-mixed readout method performed by the CCD automatically increases the brightness level of the live image in low-lit situations, which greatly facilitates easy monitoring to shoot. With the help of the Power LCD function, which boosts the backlighting of the LCD by 40%, even shooting in bright outdoors situations is no longer a problem. The High Angle mode makes the display extremely easy to view from low angles or high angles, for example when holding the camera up high to take pictures over a crowd, and can be accessed easily and quickly by using the dedicated button. The various AF methods can be selected according to the shooting environment and the position of the subject: 5-point, 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed and spot. The inclusion of an AF assist lamp provides further assistance in low light situations when focusing is difficult. The results: stress free photography with never a moment missed.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3 - Video and Scene
In addition to standard VGA (640x480) motion image recording, the Panasonic Lumix FX3 also records stunning full-size movies in 16:9 wide VGA (848x480) at 30 fps. Shooting is one thing but viewing is another, and you will be suitably impressed by the 16:9 moving image when it is displayed on a wide screen TV. The brightness level of these moving images is also enhanced as a result of the pixel-mixed readout method performed by the CCD. The Panasonic FX3 contains a total of sixteen scene modes to assist you in a wide range of photographic situations. When shooting in our unique “Baby” mode, your children’s age at the time of image capture is automatically recorded onto that image, determined by the date of birth which has been preset by you. “Underwater” mode, a great mode for underwater photography, for use with the Marine Case, which is available separately.

Panasonic Lumix FX3 compact camera - Memory card
High Sensitivity mode is made possible by the pixel-mixed readout method by the CCD, is ideal for shooting moving subjects clearly without blurring at a maximum sensitivity setting of ISO 1600. On the other hand, in the “Simple” mode, almost all adjustments can be automatically set even including the backlight compensation, allowing even the entry-level users to take beautiful images easily. The Panasonic DMC-FX3 includes “World Time Setting”, which was featured on other recently released Lumix model and much appreciated, allowing you to set the time and date of 74 locations across the world. And finally, the 13.5MB built-in memory allows you to record the image even if you do not have an SD Memory Card or to keep your favorite images in your camera to playback or show like a digital album.

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