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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR3 boasts 8x zoom, thin form factor
by Allison Johnson -  1/25/2010

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR3 is announced today following in the slim footsteps of its predecessor, the Lumix ZR1. Measuring about an inch thick, the ZR3 houses an impressive 8x optical zoom lens branded with a familiar Leica "L." A handful of new features like Intelligent Resolution have been included in this update.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR3

The 14.1 megapixel Lumix ZR3 will feature the 25mm wide angle lens we've come to expect from Panasonic. The 8x optical zoom range equates to an equivalent telephoto reach of 200mm with a maximum aperture range of f/3.3-5.9.

Shooting modes will include the "program mode" equivalent Normal Picture, Scene, and iA Intelligent Auto among others. Like the also-new Lumix ZS7, the ZR3 incorporates a feature called Intelligent Resolution to help preserve detail when using digital zoom. Intelligent Resolution is utilized in iA mode as part of Panasonic's Intelligent Zoom feature.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR3

Panasonic claims the Lumix ZR3 is equipped with a fast auto focus system clocking in under 0.30 seconds. On the back panel, they've included a 2.7 inch 230k dot monitor that will automatically adjust brightness level based on shooting conditions. Also new to the ZR3 is a function called Happy Mode, which is a setting designed to boost color and saturation for situations that call for a vibrant photo, such as a sunset.

Pricing and availability
No word yet from Panasonic what the Lumix DMC-ZR3 will cost. They'll announce pricing 30 days before the camera starts shipping. When it hits the market, it will be available in silver, black, red, and blue.