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Panasonic's Lumix FX35: Classy 25mm wide-angle shots

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Another hour, another Panasonic point-and-shoot. This one has a unique 25mm wide-angle lens with face detection and a ten megapixel sensor. It should cost $349.95 in March and comes in silver, black, and blue.

PANASONIC’S NEW SUPER-SLIM LUMIX FX35 DIGITAL CAMERA OFFERS LINE’S FIRST 25MM WIDE-ANGLE LENS

LUMIX FX35 Packs a 25mm Ultra-Wide-Angle Leica Lens, Capturing Almost Double the Viewing Area*, Plus Panasonic’s Advanced Intelligent Auto Mode

LAS VEGAS (January 29, 2008) – Panasonic today announced the newest addition to its popular line of super-slim LUMIX FX-Series digital cameras, with the introduction of the DMC-FX35, complete with Panasonic’s first-ever 25mm ultra-wide-lens. The FX35, with 10.1 megapixels, also features a 4x optical zoom, Panasonic’s Advanced Intelligent Auto mode, a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens offering f2.8 brightness and the new fourth-generation new fourth-generation Venus Engine image processor.

“With the Panasonic LUMIX FX35’s 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens, we are providing consumers with a camera that captures remarkable and unprecedented width and depth – all available in a slim camera that is small enough to carry in a pocket or small purse,” said Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Consumers are gradually beginning to understand the value of wide-angle lenses. When they fully understand that the FX35 can help them capture almost double the frame, meaning they can squeeze twice as many friends into the group shot, we’re confident we’ll have some happy digital photographers.”

To achieve a 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens in the slim design of the FX35, Panasonic developed a new unevenly thick concave meniscus EA (Extra high refractive index Aspherical) lens. Working closely with Leica to meet their strict standards on lenses, the LUMIX FX35’s lens compromises of seven elements in six groups, including four aspherical lenses with six aspherical surfaces.

Panasonic’s Advanced Intelligent Auto mode expands Panasonic’s system of intuitive technologies with the addition of Intelligent Exposure and Digital Red-eye Correction. Consisting of seven advanced and intuitive technologies, with Advanced Intelligent Auto mode, the consumer is able to rely on the advanced technologies happening automatically, without them changing any settings, thus taking high-quality photos is easy and effortless. Advanced Intelligent Auto mode includes:

· Intelligent Exposure – With this new feature, photos will no longer be under- or over-exposed. Instead, the FX35, instantly analyze the framed image and adjusts the brightness in areas that are too dark because of dim lighting, backlighting or the use of the flash. The camera will automatically adjust the brightness accordingly.

· Digital Red-eye Correction– This feature helps to eliminate the red-eye problem that sometimes results when taking flash shots at the night. Incorporated into the camera, the built-in flash emits a small preliminary flash before the main flash, detects red-eye and will digitally correct it.

· MEGA O.I.S. – Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the lens system shifts to compensate, helping to prevent hand-shake from creating a blurry image.

· Intelligent ISO – With Intelligent ISO, the FX35 can determine if the photo subject is moving and change the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly, thus giving a blur-free photo.

· Intelligent Scene Selector – Intelligent Scene Selector senses the ambient conditions, recognizes the shooting environment and will automatically select the appropriate scene mode from: Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait or Night Scenery mode. This intuitive technology, helps the consumer use the most common scene modes that are built into the camera, but often go unused, without making any manual adjustments.

· Face Detection – Face Detection detects faces anywhere in the frame, even if they are moving, and automatically chooses the optimal focus and exposure settings so portraits come out clear and crisp. Panasonic’s Face Detection detects up to 15 faces.

· Quick AF – The Quick AF (auto focus) system starts focus on the subject by just pointing the camera to the subject, thus minimizing the AF time.

The FX35 features a fourth-generation high-performance image processing LSI, the Venus Engine IV. The Venus Engine IV produces higher-quality digital photos, as compared to the Venus Engine III predecessor, with an advanced signal processing system that produces a quick response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as 0.005 second, making it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. In burst shooting mode, the DMC-FX35 can snap 2.5 shots per second at full resolution**. Also, in High-Speed Burst shooting mode***, it fires an incredible 6 shots-per-second, plus unlimited consecutive shooting****, which lets the consumer snap photos until the memory card is full.

Consumers can view slideshows on the FX35’s 2.5-inch LCD, and new this year, can also add mood-appropriate music, choosing from natural, slow, urban or swing tunes. The LUMIX FX35 incorporates an Intelligent LCD, which detects the lighting condition and controls the brightness level of the LCD in 11 fine steps, to offer a display with the most appropriate clarity in any situation. Users can also enjoy slideshows of captured images with music effects to match the mood of the images. Furthermore, the High Angle mode makes the LCD screen extremely easy to view when the camera is held high, such as when shooting over a crowd.

The LUMIX FX35 is capable of recording 720p High Definition motion pictures and 1920 x 1080 pixel High Definition-ready photos that perfectly fit a wide-screen (16:9) HDTV. Panasonic VIERA Plasma or LCD HDTVs that have an integrated SD Memory Card slot, so viewing still images is simple as inserting the SD card. In addition, with the newly added HD component output capability, consumers can enjoy watching still and motion images in stunning HD quality taken by simply taking the DMC-FX35 and connecting the camera via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2).

The DMC-FX35 will be available in March 2008 in silver, black and blue, models with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $349.95.

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