Panasonic has announced the latest addition to its mega-zoom line-up; the DMC-FZ30 incorporates an 8MP CCD and an optical image stabiliser.

Panasonic has announced the latest addition to its mega-zoom line-up; the DMC-FZ30 incorporates an 8MP CCD and an optical image stabiliser.

The FZ30 follows the DMC-FZ20 that was released last year. Its newly developed Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens has a focal length equivalent to 35-420mm, which can be controlled using a zooming ring, located on the lens barrel together with a focus ring. A new feature is the Extra Optical Zoom that extends the zoom range, enabling 5MP images to reach a 15.3x optical zoom capability, increasing to 19.1x for 3MP pictures, by utilising the centre of the CCD.

Featuring two modes, the Mega OIS (optical image stabiliser) helps minimise the effects of camera shake, enabling a shutter speed three stops lower to be utilised.

Panasonic claims a best in class 0.01 sec shutter release lag and a dramatic reduction in the start-up time from 5-sec to 0.97sec since the FZ20. This is thanks to the LSI Venus Engine II processor, which is also designed to rectify the effects of chromatic aberration and help produce clearly detailed results.

Images can be composed and previewed on the free angle 2-inch TFT LCD and 235,000 electronic viewfinder, of which the resolution has improved 180% in comparison to the DMC-FZ20.

Exposure modes on the FZ30 are Program AE, Automatic, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and 14 scene modes. New features include an AE lock button and 1-point high-speed auto focus, which reduces the AF time to a quarter of the level of the FZ20. A newly developed CCD enables the FZ30 to capture 30fps VGA movies with increased brightness.

The DMC-FZ30 will be available in September for £549.99. Panasonic has also developed a new conversion lens expanding the focal length to 24.5mm at wide angle and 714mm at telephoto.

Find out more at www.panasonic.co.uk or by calling 08705 357357.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 specifications

Dimensions (W x H x D): Approx.140.75 x 85.5 x 138.1 mm ( 5.54 x 3.37 x 5.44 inch)

Weight: Approx. 674 g. (1.49lb) Approx. 740 g with Battery and SD Memory Card (1.63lb)

Camera Effective Pixels: 8.0 Megapixels

Image Sensor: 1/1.8″, 8.32 Mega Total Pixels CCD Primary Color Filter

Optical Zoom: 12 x

Extra Optical Zoom: 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 15.3x for 5Mega, 19.1x for 3Mega, 2Mega, 1Mega, 3:2 Aspect Ratio: 15.3x for 4.5Mega, 19.1x for 2.5Mega, 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 19.1x for 2Mega

Digital Zoom: 2x / 4 x pre-select ( Max. 48 x combined with Optical Zoom without Extra Optical Zoom) (Max. 76.5x combined with Extra Optical Zoom)

Focal Distance: f=7.4-88.8mm (35mm Equiv.: 35-420mm)

Lens: LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 14 elements in 10 groups(3 Aspherical Lenses / 3 Aspherical surfaces, 1 ED Lens)

Aperture: Wide: F2.8 ? F11 Tele:F3.7 ? F11

Optical Image Stabilizer: MEGA O.I.S. (Mode1 / Mode2)

Conversion lens Compatibility: Yes

Focusing Area: Normal: Wide 30cm/ Tele 200cm ? infinity, Macro: Wide 5cm/Tele 200cm – infinity

AF Metering: 1 point/1 point high speed/3 points high speed/9 points/Spot, Selectable focus area on 1point/1point high speed

Focus AF, AF Macro, MF switchable, Continuous AF ON/OFF, Manual Focus (Ring), One-Shot AF

AF Assist Lamp: Yes

ISO Sensitivity: Auto/80/100/200/400

White Balance: Auto/Daylight/Cloudy/Halogen/Flash/White Set1/2 White Balance Adjustment ( 150K step, -1500 – +1500 K) (except for auto WB)

Exposure: Auto / Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual, Program Shift (P mode) Exposure button

Exposure Compensation: 1/3 EV step, -2 – +2 EV

Backlight Compensation: Yes (at auto mode)

Auto (AE) Bracketing: +/- 1/3 EV -1EV step, 3 frames

Light Metering: Intelligent Multiple/ Center Weighted/ Spot

Scene Mode

Dial: Auto, P(Program) mode, A(AperturePriority) Mode, S(Shutter Priority) Mode, M(Manual) mode, SCN1, SCN2 (Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Self-Portrait, Food, Baby, Soft Skin, Candle, Starry Sky), Moving-image, Playback

Shutter Speed: Program AE / Aperture Priority AE/ Shutter Priority AE : 8 – 1/2000sec, Manual : 60 – 1/2000 sec

Self Timer: 10 sec / 2sec

Auto Review: 1sec/3sec/zoom

Review: 1x / 4x / 8x

Contrast: Low, Standard, High

Picture Adjustment: Sharpness : Low, Standard, High, Saturation : Low, Standard, High

Noise Reduction: Low, Standard, High

Color Effect Mode: Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia

Recording Format: Still Image: JPEG(Design rule for Camera File system, based on Exif 2.2 standard), DPOF corresponding, Picture with audio: JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system, based on Exif2.2 standard)+ QuickTime

Motion images: QuickTime Motion JPEG

Recording Image Size: Still Image: 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 2448 pixels, 2560 x 1920 pixels, 2048 x 1536 pixels, 1600 x 1200 pixels, 1280 x 960 pixels, 3:2 Aspect Ratio: 3248 x 2160 pixels, 2560 x 1712 pixels, 2048 x 1360 pixels, 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 3072 x 1728 pixels, 1920 x 1080 pixels, Motion Image 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640 x 480 pixles, 320 x 240 pixels

Image Quality: RAW / TIFF / Fine / Standard

Motion Image: 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels 30 fps, 10 fps, Max. recording time depends on Memory Card Capacity

Burst Shooting Mode: Full-Resolution Image, 3 frames/sec or 2 frames/sec

Full-resolution: Max. 9 images (Standard mode), Max 5 images (Fine Mode)

Unlimited consecutive shooting: Yes

Still Image Rec. with Audio: 5 sec

Audio Dubbing: Max. 10sec

Real-time histogram: Yes

Composition Guide line: Yes

Scene Mode Help Screen: Yes

Auto Angle Detection: Yes

Flip Animation: Yes

Built-in-Flash: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off

Flash output Adjustment: (1/3EV step, -2 – +2 EV) 0.3 – 7.0m (ISO Auto)

External Flash: Hot Shoe

Viewfinder: 0.44″ Color EVF (235K Pixels), Field of View : approx. 100%

LCD Monitor: 2.0″ Polycrystalline TFT LCD Display (235 K Pixels)

Field of View: approx. 100%

Playback mode: 25-thumbnail display, 16-thumbnail display, 9-thumbnail display, Zoomed playback (16x max.), Image Rotation (except for RAW), Slide show (duration is adjustable, also manual controllable),

Playback of favorite pictures, Resizing (selectable number of pixels), trimming, protection, DPOF print setting

OSD language: Japanese,English,German,French,Italian,Spanish

Recording Media: SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard

Microphone: Yes

Speaker: Yes

Interface: DC Input, A/V Output (NTSC/PAL), USB Direct Print

PictBridge

Power: Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 730mAh) (Included) Battery Charger/AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC) (Optional)

Battery life (approx.): 280 pictures (CIPA Standard) / 300 pictures (with EVF)

Included Software: LUMIX Simple Viewer, Photo Fun Studio, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft Panorama Maker

USB Driver: Standard Accessories, Battery Charger, Battery Pack, SD Memory Card (32 MB), Lens Cap, Lens Hood, AV Cable, USB Connection Cable, AC Cable, Strap, CD-ROM