Panasonic's new GX7 DSLM and FZ72 bridge
Panasonic has announced the new Lumix DMC-FZ72 and GX7. We sent Art Editor Noel Hibbert out to Longleat Safari Park to test whether the cameras were wild or whether they just monkey’d around.
The GX7 is a 16MP, 90 degree tiltable viewfinder-wielding DSLM camera with full creative control and video recording. The FZ72 is a bridge camera which packs an impressive, if not mind-blowing, 60x optical zoom.
Noel’s first impressions:
FZ72 – Being a die-hard lover of DSLR I have always snubbed bridge cameras, thinking they don’t offer me enough… until now. This camera is light and has the optical zoom that would be hard pushed to match without a wheelbarrow load of kit! This is a camera I would take away on holiday as it would capture all your needs and take up very little space, try it to believe the lens focal length!
GX7 – A real strong contender to the Olympus OM-D in every way - style, functions, quality - and you can even attach Olympus or Leica lenses. I for one would seriously think about adding this to my Nikon family, it would be amazing to use at weddings during the quiet times as the silent mode is what it says it is… Shhh, yep silent, you can’t hear a thing! And street photographers? You want those sneaky shots, it's perfect for that too without facing a lens glare of disgust. I love this camera. If you're thinking of moving to a DSLR, look at this first. You will not be disappointed.
For full specs and information and Noel's sample images, please see the press release below.
Continuing to push the boundaries, Panasonic is pleased to announce a new addition to the award winning and well renowned FZ series of cameras. Offering an outstanding zoom range with a 20mm ultra wide-angle lens and the industry’s highest 60x optical zoom, the DMC-FZ72 is set to be a firm favourite.
Super Wide-angle & Super Zoom
The FZ72 boasts the industry’s highest 60x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 20-1200mm) making it possible to capture wild animals or birds far in the distance. Thanks to the exceptionally long zoom, users can confidently capture shots in the distance that are not possible with alternative zoom cameras. Exceptionally versatile, the FZ72 also features a stunning Lumix DC VARIO 20mm ultra wide-angle lens, which captures approx. 140% wider angle of view compared with a 24mm lens, allowing users to capture dynamic and expressive landscapes. With the ultra wide-angle lens and super zoom, the FZ72 covers virtually all shooting angles.
Comprising 14 elements in 12 groups, including 6 aspherical lenses with 9 aspherical surfaces and 3 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses, this advanced lens unit realises the outstandingly compact body while delivering exceptional optical performance suppressing distortion at wide end and colour bleeding at tele end.
The zoom ratio can be further extended up to 120x equivalent, maintaining the picture quality even when combining a digital zoom thanks to the Intelligent Zoom and the Intelligent Resolution technology. If this wasn’t enough, the optical zoom ratio can further be extended with a 1.7x Tele Conversion Lens DMW-LT55 (sold separately). The 1.7x zoom of the DMW-LT55 telephoto lens transforms the 60x optical zoom of the FZ72 to an incredible 102x optical zoom, which is so powerful it can even capture the cratered surface of the moon clearly.
Power O.I.S With Active Mode
The DMC-FZ72 is equipped with Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser) with Active Mode – a feature enjoyed by the high-end DMC-FZ200 model. Providing approx. twice the correction angle at the tele-end setting, and blurless zoom shots and night shots, this feature ensures stable framing and blurless shots with powerful zooming.
The Active Mode is also fully functional in video recording, allowing active video recording at wide angle such as shooting while walking without causing deterioration of image quality.
Full HD Video with Stunningly Clear Sound
The FZ72 is versatile not only in its optical performance but also in its photo/video hybrid shooting capability. The DMC-FZ72 records high-resolution full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60i (NTSC, sensor output 30p) / 50i (PAL, sensor output 25p) videos in AVCHD (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. The AVCHD format excels in the compatibility with AV equipment like HDTVs or Blu-ray Disc players and the video can be played back by simply inserting an SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card or by connecting with a mini HDMI cable. Alternately, users can choose MP4 at 30p (NTSC) / 25p (PAL) for video recording, which has a higher compatibility with PCs.
Further highlighting its technical competence, the FZ72 boasts the highly realistic Dolby Digital Stereo Creator for superior video sound. The FZ72 also features the newly developed Wind Shield Zoom Microphone that minimizes wind noise by approx.70% compared with the predecessor DMC-FZ62, resulting in clear sound, even if it was recorded on a windy day. With a substantial increase in volume by approx.50%, the microphone boasts better S/N ratio to suppress noise in quiet circumstances to catch the target sound.
The industry leading 60x optical zoom with Power O.I.S. is also available in video recording, allowing recording of events in the distance. Designed to be user friendly, a dedicated button on the top of the camera enables users to instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make any extra settings.
High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine for High Speed Response and High Picture Quality:
The new 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and high performance image processing LSI Venus Engine elevate the response, sensitivity and image quality of the DMC-FZ72. The FZ72 provides Light Speed AF, allowing users to quickly focus on moving subjects, such as when shooting sports scenes or animals. Incredibly responsive, the DMC-FZ72 shoots 9 fps in 16.1-megapixel full resolution with mechanical shutter, and 5 fps with continuous AF. Together with the quick start-up time of approx. 0.9 secs, the DMC-FZ72 never misses the most fleeting shooting opportunities.
Full manual control is available with DMC-FZ72 for advanced users to enjoy more creative photography. With its P/A/S/M mode, users can enjoy creative shooting, offering users unlimited ways of expression in both photo and video.
Adopting Hot Shoe and high compatibility with a host of optional accessories, the DMC-FZ72 pushes the boundaries of what a palm sizes digital compact camera can do. The DMC-FZ72 will be available from August.
Panasonic has today launched the Lumix DMC-GX7, a highly-stylish new model in its range of premium quality Lumix G Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) cameras. The Lumix DMC-GX7 is the ideal new addition to the photography enthusiast’s arsenal, providing advanced image quality in low-light; manual and creative controls to allow you to express your individuality across your images and movies; and the world’s first built-in 90-degree tilt-able Live View Finder (LVF) on a DSLM body, that allows the user to achieve the perfect shot from any angle.
The Lumix DMC-GX7 is high-end in terms of both style and quality. Alongside the retro design, the camera boasts optimum image quality through achieving the perfect balance of the newly developed 16 megapixel (MP) Digital Live MOS Sensor and the Venus Engine image processor, enabling you to achieve stunning results, even when shooting in low-light. Meanwhile the Lumix DMC-GX7’s Contrast Auto Focus (AF) system, including Light Speed AF, will give you the speed and precision you need for every kind of shooting situation.
With a raft of manual and creative controls, the Lumix DMC-GX7 is a dream for the creatively-minded enthusiast, allowing you to use your photos and movies to turn daily scenes into unique reflections of your world. Meanwhile the tilt-able LVF – alongside the 1040K-dot high resolution touch-screen monitor – provides you with flexibility in composing your images, allowing you to set up the shot to achieve the best results.
With the Lumix DMC-GX7, there will be no limits on your creativity:
•Premium image quality: Designed to achieve the optimum image quality, the advances of the Lumix DMC-GX7’s sensor allows you to achieve exceptional results, even in low light situations:
•Low noise sensor: The Lumix DMC-GX7 incorporates a newly developed 16 megapixel (MP) Digital Live MOS Sensor, providing high resolution images with minimum noise. In particular, the camera has significant low-light shooting capabilities compared to its predecessor the Lumix DMC-GX1.
•Increased sensitivity and dynamic range: The Lumix DMC-GX7’s sensor achieves a higher saturation of light than other Lumix models due to its optimised pixel architecture with reduced circuitry and expanded light receiving area, producing better sensitivity and dynamic range. In addition to this, the micro-lenses are optimised enabling the sensor to take in more light.
•High performance processing: The Lumix DMC-GX7’s low-light shooting capacity is further boosted by the Venus Engine image processor’s advanced noise reduction systems. This added functionality makes it possible to remove large blocks of noise which were formerly hard to detect, helping you to produce clear, smooth images.
•High quality video recording performance: Panasonic’s Lumix G system is renowned for pushing the boundaries of video quality offered by interchangeable lens cameras, and this continues with the Lumix DMC-GX7. Boasting Full HD 1920 x 1080 50p smooth, high quality video recording in AVCHD Progressive and MP4 with stereo sound, the Lumix DMC-GX7’s sensor advances means you can achieve stunningly clear and sharp videos. High quality sound can also be recorded via Dolby Digital, while the Wind Cut function can also block out most of the noise picked up from background wind.
Stunning precision: With the Lumix DMC-GX7’s Contrast Auto Focus (AF) system, the speed and accuracy of your photography will be dramatically increased:
•High-speed precision AF: The Light Speed AF, means you can capture fast-moving subjects clearly and precisely.
•Full-area Touch AF and Touch AE: The Lumix DMC-GX7 takes intuitive photography to the next level, allowing you set the focus and exposure-setting directly on the subject in the monitor with just one touch, even while using the LVF.
•AF Tracking: The AF functionality of the Lumix DMC-GX7 is not just restricted to still images - Touch AF in video recording allows you to set the focus with one touch, while with AF Tracking you can ensure the focus stays on a subject or face, even if they move around.
•Pin-point AF and enlargement: The flexibility of the pin-point AF is further improved by allowing you to set magnification from 3x to 10x enlargement in 0.1x gradients, while One-shot AF means you can utilise AF even in Manual Focus (MF) mode to set a rough focus on the subject and then go back to MF for fine adjustments.
•Focus Peaking: For more practical control over focusing, the DMC-GX7 incorporates a Focus Peaking function that shows the peak of focus in MF and AF+MF mode. The detection level can be set to 'High' or ‘Low’ and then a colour can be selected to stand out from the shooting environment. In ‘High’ these are light blue, yellow or green and in 'Low' blue, orange or white can be selected.
•Low Light AF: With the enhanced Low Light AF users are able to focus on subjects even in very low light situations such as under starlight with industry leading -4EV.
•Integrated Optical Image Stabilisation: The Lumix DMC-GX7 is the first Lumix to integrate in-body image stabilisation (O.I.S). This works in addition to the traditional Lumix lens O.I.S. system which is automatically detected by the camera and is applied. This function is ideal for lovers of non-stabilised legacy lenses but can also be used with any non-stabilised lens.
•Complete shooting flexibility: The Lumix DMC-GX7 has been designed to give you total shooting flexibility so you can capture the perfect image, whatever the situation:
•Tilt-able Live View Finder: The newly built-in 90-degree tilt-able Live View Finder (LVF) boasts the highest resolution available with over 2.7mil dots and achieves a high color reproduction of approximately 100% using AdobeRGB as a reference. This LVF, alongside the 3.0-inch touch-control rear monitor, which also tilts up and down, means you have the freedom to compose your image regardless of difficulties posed by the environment as you can still see what you’ll be capturing on the camera whether you’re taking shots from the ground, waist height or above your head.. Meanwhile, the Eye Sensor AF feature starts auto focusing when you begin looking into the LVF, meaning you’ll never miss the perfect shot.
•Touch control monitor: The touch-control system of the new large 1040K-dot (approx.) high resolution monitor immediately allows you to focus on the subject with extremely high precision with just one touch, release the camera shutter or do both at the same time. In addition, light reflection from the monitor is dramatically reduced thanks to the new In Cell Touch LCD which eliminates additional reflection causing layers.
•Silent Shooting: Featuring a completely silent shutter mode which completely eliminates AF-sound, camera sounds and shutter sounds, you can capture that perfect ‘street photography’ shot without disturbing the subject.
•Image Sensor 16.0 MP LIVE MOS
•Engine Venus Engine
•ISO setting Auto / Intelligent ISO / 125(Extended) / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800 / 25600
•AF mode: Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing / Pinpoint / Touch AF
•Movie recording: Full HD 1920 x 1080 50p smooth, high quality video recording in AVCHD Progressive and MP4 with stereo sound
•LCD Monitor: 3.0inch (7.5cm)/ 3:2 Aspect / Wide-viewing angle /Approx. 1040K dots
•LVF: Approx.1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification, high colour reproduction of approximately 100% using AdobeRGB, 100% field of view and eye point of approximately 17.5 mm
•Size: 122.60 x 70.7 x 54.6 mm (excluding protrusions)
•Weight: Approx. 402g (body, battery and SD card)
•Interface: USB 2.0 High Speed Multi, miniHDMI, TypeC / Viera Link, internal stereo microphone, monaural speaker
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