Panasonic announces the Lumix ZS3, ZS1, TS1, FX580, FX48 and FS25

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You may recall the three Lumix point and shoots that Panasonic announced on the 16th and thought that’d be the end of that. Well, those were just a warm up and today Panasonic revealed the rest of their 2009 lineup.

Starting it off for the Lumix line are the ZS3 and ZS1. Both are equipped with 10.1-megapixel sensors, 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens and 12x optical zoom. A world’s first is slapped onto the ZS3 because of its ability to record HD video ala AVCHD Lite format. A Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens bats clean up.

Update: AVCHD Lite is a new format that Panasonic and Sony have worked on that allows users to get twice the battery life and recording time.

Another cool feature in the ZS-series is Intelligent Auto (iA) mode with face recognition. The ZS1 has iA sans face recognition, which means it reverts to still image recording. iA with facial recognition will remember faces based on previous shots and automagically concentrates focus on those familiar faces. iA mode has also been implemented into Movie Mode. That’s kind of creepy, no?

The Venus Engine HD packs two CPUs and handles all the processing for the HD ZS3. Both models use SD memory cards. The ZS3 has a 3-inch LCD while the ZS1 has a 2.7-inch LCD.

The DMC-ZS3 will be aavailable in blue, red, silver and black for $400. The DMC-ZS1 will come in black or silver and will retail for $300. Expect to see both models in April.

The ZS3 also comes with the following features:

* Increased Scene modes for both still and motion image shooting – optimized for a variety of situations. There are 26 scene modes for still image and 17 for motion image (Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self portrait, Scenery, Low light, Food, Party, Candle light, Sunset, High sensitivity, Beach, Snow, Aerial, Pin hole, Film grain and Underwater)
* Two new My Scene settings let users assign their two most frequently used Scene modes to the setting, and with a simple switch, allow access to either scene instantly.
* New Panorama Assist scene mode allows users to shoot a number of consistent photos, either vertically or horizontally, by aligning them according to a guide that overlaps the screen. Then using those photos and the bundled PanoramaMaker software, users can create dramatic panoramic images.
* High-Speed Burst (Speed Priority) that fires off approx. 10 shots per second*4.
* Menus are clearer and easier to navigate with the Display Size option.
* Macro Zoom function lets users pull subjects even closer to capture dramatic close-up shots by using the 3x digital zoom in the wide-angle.
* Bundled Software: The latest version of PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition allows users to view, edit and archive captured content with greater ease and fun. Still and motion images can be transferred to the computer via a USB cable for viewing and archiving. Using PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition, users can edit and remove unwanted portions of video clips recorded in AVCHD Lite. Contents recorded in AVCHD Lite can be burned directly onto a DVD disc or the software can convert contents to MPEG2 format. The software also incorporates the Face Recognition function, which recognizes registered faces in photos stored on the computer, making organizing and archiving photos with a specific person much easier. Additionally, motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube.

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Next up is the TS1, which also boasts some world firsts for the Lumix line. It’s a rugged bloke that’s waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and records HD video to the AVCHD Lite format. Among those accolades includes a 12.1-megapixel sensor, iA Mode (face recognition for still images only and iA in Movie Mode), and 28mm wide-angle Lieca DC Vario-Elmar lens with 4.6x optical zoom. The TS1 has an airtight body that’s averse to water immersion, dust and sand. It can be taken down to a depth of 10-feet and dropped from up to 5-feet.

A start up time of 1.3 seconds and a shutter release lag time of 0.005 seconds also make this an appealing upgrade for the adventurous types.

The DMC-TS1 will be available this April for $400 in silver, green and orange. The TS1′s design hasn’t been finalized so there are no images at the moment. Or not since they seem to have some working models at the press conference.

* New Scene Modes for Still Images: Beach & Surf mode gives users a single mode with optimized auto white balance for optical shooting on the beach and in shallow water.
* New Panorama Assist scene mode allows users to shoot a number of consistent photos, either vertically or horizontally, by aligning them according to a guide that overlaps the screen. Then using those photos and the bundled PanoramaMaker software, users can create dramatic panoramic images.
* Increased Scene modes for both still and motion image shooting – optimized for a variety of situations. There are 26 scene modes for still image and 17 for motion image (Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self portrait, Scenery, Low light, Food, Party, Candle light, Sunset, High sensitivity, Beach & Surf, Snow, Aerial, Pin hole, Film grain and Underwater)
* LED Illumination is available in motion image recording.
* High-Speed Burst (Speed Priority) that fires off approximately10 shots per second*8.
* Menus are clearer and easier to navigate with the Display Size option.
* Macro Zoom function lets users pull subjects even closer to capture dramatic close-up shots by using the 3x digital zoom in the wide-angle.
* Bundled Software: The latest version of PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition allows users to view, edit and archive captured content with greater ease and fun. Still and motion images can be transferred to the computer via a USB cable for viewing and archiving. Using PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 HD Edition, users can edit and remove unwanted portions of video clips recorded in AVCHD Lite. Contents recorded in AVCHD Lite can be burned directly onto a DVD disc or converted to MPEG2 format. The software also incorporates the Face Recognition function, which recognizes registered faces in photos stored on the computer, making organizing and archiving photos with a specific person much easier. Additionally, motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube.

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Occupying the middle of the lineup is the FX580, which is also feature rich like its brethren. Image size varies from 10.1- to 12.1-megapixels. A 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica DC lens, touchscreen 3-inch LCD, iA Mode with facial recognition, a 5x optical zoom and ability to record 720p video at 30fps are the highlights for the FX580. Like the rest, it, too, will hit the street in April for $400 in an aluminum body that comes in black or silver.

* New Panorama Assist scene mode allows users to shoot a number of consistent photos, either vertically or horizontally, by aligning them according to a guide that overlaps the screen. Then using those photos and the bundled PanoramaMaker software, users can create dramatic panoramic images.
* High-Speed Burst (Speed Priority) that fires off approx. 10 shots per second.
* Macro Zoom function lets users pull subjects even closer to capture dramatic close-up shots by using the 3x digital zoom in the wide-angle.
* Bundled PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 software that features a Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in photos stored on the computer, allowing the user to easily sort files by the people photographed. Using the software, motion pictures can also be uploaded directly to YouTube.

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These are starting to get repetitive. A 12.1-megapixel shooter known as FX48 has a 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica DC lens with 5x optical zoom. That fancy iA mode with facial recognition is also featured here as well as 720p video recording at 30fps. Drops this April for $350 in silver and black.

* A bright 2.5-inch, 230,000-dot resolution Intelligent LCD that provides high resolution and a wide viewing angle.
* New Panorama Assist scene mode allows users to shoot a number of consistent photos, either vertically or horizontally, by aligning them according to a guide that overlaps the screen. Then using those photos and the bundled PanoramaMaker software, users can create dramatic panoramic images.
* High-Speed Burst (Speed Priority) that fires off approx. 10 shots per second*3.
* Macro Zoom function lets users pull subjects even closer to capture dramatic close-up shots by using the 3x digital zoom in the wide-angle.
* Bundled PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 software that features a Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in photos stored on the computer, allowing the user to easily sort files by the people photographed. Using the software, motion pictures can also be uploaded directly to YouTube.

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Rounding it out is the FS25. It comes equipped with a 5x optical zoom 29mm wide-angle Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens, 3-inch LCD, and snaps images at a resolution of12.1-megapixels. It records video up to 840×480 at 30fps. You can snag the FS25 in silver, black and gold for $250 this April.

* Macro Zoom function lets users pull subjects even closer to capture dramatic close-up shots by using the 3x digital zoom in the wide-angle.
* Bundled PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0 software that features a Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in photos stored on the computer, allowing the user to easily sort files by the people photographed. Using the software, motion pictures can also be uploaded directly to YouTube.

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Yay, we’re done!

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