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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5, DMC-LZ3, and DMC-LS2 Digital Cameras Announced
by Ben Stafford -  1/7/2006

During CES, Panasonic has announced three new digital still camera models.  The Lumix DMC-LZ5 and Lumix DMC-LZ3 feature improved LCDs and faster auto focus.  The Lumix DMC-LS2 is an affordable camera that inlcludes Panansonic's optical image stabilization.  All three cameras are slated to be available in March.  The LZ5 will be $279, the LZ3 will be $229, and the LS2 will be $199.

Lumix DMC-LZ5 and Lumix DMC-LZ3

The newest cameras in the LZ line feature better LCDs and a faster auto focus time.  The LZ6 is a 6 megapixel camera and the LZ5 is a 5 megapixel camera.  Both cameras features Panasonic's Optical Image Stabilization for the 6x optical zoom lens and a 1 point high-speed autofocus that is new to the line.

Both cameras also feature Panasonic's Venus Engine Plus processor which, when paired with Panasonic's Oxyride batteries, allows the LZ5 to take 235 images and the LZ3 to take 250 images.

The LZ5's 2.5 inch LCD and the LZ3's 2 inch LCD feature better viewing angles and better sensitivity in low light.  The new 1-point high-speed auto focus allows a 40% faster autofocus time over previous models and a focus assist light was added to this line of cameras.  (The cameras also include a 5-point and 3-point autofocus modes.

Additional storage (on top of the 14 MB of internal memory) can be accomplished by using the SD slot.

Look for these cameras in March at $279 for the LZ5 and $229 for the LZ3.

Lumix DMC-LS2

This successor to the LS1 brings Panasonic's Optical Image Stabilization to a very affordable camera (at $199 in March).  This camera can take 5 megapixel images with a 3x optical zoom.  A 2 inch LCD allows easy viewing of the images.

The Venus Engine Plus processor, along with the Oxyride AA batteries will allow 250 images on a single charge.  The new 1-point autofocus (as mentioned above on the LZ cameras) allows a 50% faster autofocus over previous models.

A fun "Baby" mode creates a timestamp that tells the babies exact age by day, month, and year.  This mode allows storage ot two baby birthdates.

Additional storage (on top of the 14 MB of internal memory) can be accomplished by using the SD slot.

The LS2 will be available in March for $199.