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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 and Lumix DMC-FX01 Digital Cameras Announced
by Ben Stafford -  2/17/2006

Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-TZ1, the world's smallest 10x optical zoom camera, and the Lumix DMC-FX01, the world's smallest camera with a 28mm (35mm equivalent) lens.  It seems like they have a thing for the "world's smallest ______".  Anyway, they will both be available in March and both will be available for $349.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1

Pansonic has really made a name for itself with it's long zoom FZ line of cameras, so it's no surprise that they want to get these longer zooms into a size that people like to put in a shirt pocket.  The TZ1 is a 5 megapixel camera that includes a 10x optical zoom lens.   To keep things crisp, the camera includes optical image stabilization.  With the latest Venus Engine III LSI image processor, the camera can reduce noise and chromatic aberration well when it takes images up to a sensitivity of ISO 800.  A 2.5 inch LCD tops off the top level specs.  A neat feature - "High Angle" mode - allows you to see the LCD better when viewing from a high angle (like taking overhead shots). 

A new feature that this camera brings is Linear AF.  Along with the high speed AF, the camera can achieve focus faster than most of its competitors.  In addition, the noise of the zoom motor has been decreased, allowing zoom control while shooting movie clips (which you can capture up to 848x480 at 30 frames per second).

According to Panasonic, the TZ1 has a start up speed of 0.95 seconds and a shutter lag as little as 0.006 seconds.  There are 18 scene modes and you can use SD cards with the camera.

The Lumix DMC-TZ1 will be available in March for $349.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Press Release

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01

Continuing the "world's smallest" theme, the FX01 feature a 3.6x optical zooms with a wide angle of 28mm in a very slim body.  It still includes Panasonic's MEGA optical image stabilization, even with just the 3.6x optical zoom.  The folks at Panasonic correctly assume that many people are holding the camera at arms length and that optical image stabilization will aid in sharp pictures. 

The FX01 takes images at a 6 megapixel resolution and has a 2.5 inch LCD.  This camera, like the TZ1, includes a "High Angle" mode that is activated with a dedicated button.  This mode allows you to see the LCD better when viewing from a high angle (like taking overhead shots).  Another notable feature is that it can take pictures with a sensitivity up to ISO 1600.  According to CIPA standards for testing battery life, the FX01 can get 320 shots on a single charge.  Sixteen scene modes are available to the photographer.

The Lumix DMC-FX01 will be available in March for $349.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 Press Release