The newly announced Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 will be, in my opinion, a very welcome update to its predecessor the TZ1. Panasonic has done a lot more than just give the TZ1 a resolution upgrade. The new TZ3 still features a 10x optical zoom, but also allows wide angle shooting (28mm equivalent) and brings the 3 inch screen to the show. It also shoots at up to 7.2 megapixels and includes Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S image stabilization system and Intelligent ISO Control.
The TZ3 has a slightly larger sensor than other cameras in the 7 megapixel class. The larger sensor allows the camera to shoot in a variety of aspect ratios: 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 and still retain as much image data as possible.
The camera also features the LSI Venus Engine III processor for faster reponse and better image processing. Noise reduction is improved and the processor allows the camera to shoot at up to ISO 1250 in full resolution. Shutter release lag times can be as short as 0.005 seconds and the shutter interval can be as shot as 0.6 seconds. In continuous shooting mode, the TZ3 can take three shots per second at full resolution.
Another great improvement over the TZ1 is that the TZ3 has a built-in lens cover.
The TZ3 is also just a bit smaller than the TZ1 at 4.20 x 2.37 x 1.47 inches.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 will be available in March 2007 for a suggested retail of $349.
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