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The new LZ-Series models from Panasonic for 2008 feature Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR lenses and wide-angle shooting - 30mm on the LZ10 and 32mm on the LZ8. Furthermore, each new LZ-Series model boasts manual controls, convenient AA-battery operation, a 5x optical zoom, Intelligent Auto Mode and the Venus Engine IV (Panasonics new high-speed, image-processing LSI).

To provide digital photographers with added creative elements and performance, both LZ models sport manual control over aperture and shutter speed, thanks to the cameras newly-adopted iris. When shooting manually, users can choose from three modes: A-aperture priority, S-shutter speed priority and M-manual, allowing them to enjoy added control and creativity, normally reserved for higher end models. Also new to the LZ-Series is Advanced Scene Mode - a feature that gives consumers some manual control while using some of the common scene modes: Portrait, Sports, Landscape and Night portrait.

For consumers not quite ready for complete manual control, the LZ-Series also features Panasonics Intelligent Auto Mode, which is comprised of five distinct technologies designed to provide users with intuitive and automatic camera adjustments, regardless of the shooting condition and without the user having to do anything manually. Intelligent Auto mode, consists of the following features:

MEGA O.I.S. - Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the lens system shifts to compensate, helping to prevent hand-shake from creating a blurry image.

Intelligent ISO - Can determine if the photo subject is moving and change the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly, thus giving a blur-free photo.

Intelligent Scene Selector - Senses the ambient conditions, recognizes the shooting environment and will automatically select the appropriate scene mode from: Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait or Night Scenery mode.

Face Detection - Panasonics Face Detection detects up to 15 faces anywhere in the frame, even if they are moving, and automatically chooses the optimal focus and exposure settings so portraits come out clear and crisp.

Quick AF - The Quick AF (auto focus) system starts focus on the subject by just pointing the camera to the subject, thus minimizing the AF time.

The LZ8 also offers a 230,000-dot high-resolution Intelligent LCD, meaning the 2.5-inch screen detects the lighting condition and controls the brightness level to offer optimal clarity in any situation, whether dark or light; indoors or outdoors. The cameras also include the popular High Angle mode which makes the LCD screen easy to view when held high, to shoot over a crowd or a tall object.


Major DMC-LZ8 Features:

8-megapixel effective CCD for images up to 3264x2448 pixels

5x optical zoom, equivalent to 32-160mm on a 35mm camera

Optical image stabilization to help prevent camera shake and blurring

9-point AF with 3 point, 1 point and Spot options

2.5-inch TFT colour monitor with 230K pixels and 100% coverage

Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual, Intelligent Auto and 20 Scene modes

Burst mode captures @ 2.5fps up to 7 Large (8M) Fine images (10fps at 2M)

640x480/320x240 (4:3) or 848 x 480 (16:9) QuickTime movies, 30fps or 10fps with audio

Shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 8 seconds (Shutter priority and Manual modes)

Starry Sky Mode 15, 30, 60 seconds

Built-in flash with auto, fill, slow synchro and red-eye reduction modes

TTL Auto White Balance, 5 presets and custom set

27MB internal memory plus Secure Digital memory card slot

Plug-n-Play USB, Mass Storage compliant

PictBridge Direct-Print compatible

Powered by two standard AA type batteries