Panasonic Releases FX01 With 28mm Wide Angle

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February 14, 2006 – Panasonic announced the 6-megapixel FX01 today, which it claims is the world’s smallest camera with a 28 mm wide angle lens. The FX01 measures 3.7 x 2 x 0.95 inches and may be the smallest camera with that particular focal length. However, Kodak released the V570 in January, which has a 23 mm wide angle to its lens in a thinner 0.8-inch thick body. Still, the compact Panasonic FX01 has the trademark Mega optical image stabilization and includes a High Sensitivity scene mode to reduce blur in its images. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 will sell for $349.95 when it hits the market in March.

"The Panasonic DMC-FX01 is a compact and stylish camera, so Mega optical image stabilization is vital since most people hold small cameras out in front of their bodies, in an unsteady position," said Monica Helmer, national marketing manager for Panasonic’s Digital Imaging Group, in today’s press release. "This would typically lead to blurry photos, but with the FX01, the result is beautiful, clear wide-angle pictures."

The slim digital camera has a new Leica 3.6x optical zoom lens that has a focal range from 28-102 mm and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The wide angle allows users to snap wider landscapes and big group portraits without having to stack people in rows. The wide angle lens adds a new dimension to the FX-series, which is known for its large LCD screens and stylish profiles.

The Panasonic Lumix FX01 has a 2.5-inch LCD screen with 207,000 pixels and a High Angle mode that allows users to take pictures overhead without solarizing. This model also has a Power LCD function that boosts the brightness by 40 percent so the view can be seen clearly in bright sunlight. The LCD doubles as a viewfinder, offering 100 percent coverage.

The FX01 doesn’t have many manual exposure controls, but includes 16 scene modes instead. There are two Baby modes that allow users to record the ages of two children on each photo taken. There is also a High Sensitivity mode that reduces the resolution and increases the ISO to 800-1600 to capture pictures in low light. These ISO settings are not available for manual adjustment as the range only extends 80-400.

Besides its 16 scene modes, the Panasonic FX01 has a movie mode that can shoot standard 640 x 480-pixel video or 848 x 480-pixel widescreen video, both at 30 frames per second. The camera also has a playback mode that features display of users’ favorite images, in-camera basic editing features, and a calendar sorting function.

This Panasonic Lumix digital camera has a Venus Engine Plus image processor that allows the camera to start up in about 1.6 seconds and speed up to 3 frames per second in the burst mode. With this, the FX01 gets 320 shots per charge of its lithium-ion battery.

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