Panasonic Marks 15 Years of LUMIX with Two New Cameras
Panasonic’s first-quarter camera introductions for 2018, which marks the 15th anniversary of the inauguration of the LUMIX brand, include the $999 GX9, a compact single-lens mirrorless camera, replacing the GX8, and the $799 DMC-ZS200, replacing the ZS100, which is the newest flagship camera in the LUMIX Travel Zoom series.
The GX9 houses a 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a low-pass filter, which combines synergistically with Panasonic’s Venus Engine. An L.Monochrome D mode has been added as a feature, which enables photographers to shoot natural-looking monochrome photos; a Grain Effect was developed within this functionality which the company describes as randomized, to deliver a more realistic film-grain simulation than competitors’ models.
Its 5-axis Dual Image Stabilizer corrects for shaky hands and blur for wide-angle to telephone settings. Certain ergonomic improvements were effected, such as recessing the exposure compensation dial; the unit’s 2,760k-dot-equivalent resolution live viewfinder (LVF) tilts approximately 90 degrees, and the camera is also outfitted with a three-inch, 1,240k-dot static touch monitor that yields nearly 100 percent field of view, and tilts upwards 80 degrees and down 45 degrees for more flexibility in camera positioning when shooting. Other features include ultra-fast auto focusing in approximately 0.07 second, and the ability to record high-res 4K video in 3840x2160 at 30p, or 24p in MP4. Also, the 4K PHOTO feature has been streamlined with enhancements like Auto Marking, which identifies the best shot from a series of frames to simplify choice, and Sequence Composition, which synthesizes several sequentianl motion images of the subject within the camera. Nighttime shooting has also been enhanced, through automatic selection and synthesis of brighter pixels for better images of events like fireworks or of night scenery.
The camera also features both low-energy Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi, and instant image sharing. Its pricing includes the FS 12-60mm LUMIX lens; availability is end of March.
The LUMIX DMC-ZS200 pocktable Travel Zoom Camera, also with Panasonic’s Venus Engine, packs a host of features into an ultra-compact form factor. It is equipped with a 15X Leica optical zoom lens (equivalent to a 35mm camera’s 24-360mm lens) with a one-inch 20.1-megapixel high-sensitivity MOS Sensor for 4K video/4K PHOTO capability. Its 5-Axis HYBRID Optical Image Stabilizer Plus helps to suppress hand shaking in photo and video recording. One enhancement over the preceding model is a 0.21-inch, 2,330k-dot-equivalent live viewfinder (LVF). Both the LVF and the 3-inch touchscreen display provide approximately 100 percent field of view, says Panasonic.
The camera further features Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi connectivity, and instant image sharing – meaning when the camera is connected to a smartphone or tablet that has the Panasonic Image App for iOS or Android, users can shoot, browse and share images remotely. It also adds the L.Monochrome feature, as on the GX9. Battery life is rated at approximated 370 pictures per charge, when the camera’s rear monitor is used.
Its lens system has been newly developed, according to Panasonic, so that space is utilized most efficiently to keep the body compact when the lens is retracted. The model also offers AC/USB power charging, and it is available in both black and in a shade of silver that is more akin to a gunmetal grey color. It becomes available in mid-March.