The LX3 also incorporates the Venus Engine IV, which provides more advanced signal processing technology for producing higher-quality images with reduced noise in both luminance signal and chromatic signal processing -- as compared to the Venus Engine III. The Venus Engine IV supports high sensitivity recording enabling the DMC-LX3 to record at up to ISO 3200 at full resolution and even up to ISO 6400 when using high sensitivity mode, enough to capture subjects in low lighting without using a flash**.
The Venus Engine IV also supports a faster response time, allowing the camera to shoot 2.5 shots per second at full resolution and six shots per second in High-Speed Burst mode.
The easy-to-use joystick operation which was featured in its predecessor continues with the LX3, as its intuitive design makes selecting different settings on the camera, including focus, aperture and shutter speed -- easy and quick. Other convenient design elements include a switch on the side of the lens barrel that allows the user to quickly change the focus modes between Manual Focus, Auto Focus and Macro Auto Focus. When choosing Manual Focus, the focus distance and the depth of field according to the zoom range and aperture is also displayed. For setting white balance, the LX3 provides a new color temperature display function, and still includes the Two-Axis white balance adjustment settings offered in previous models. Users can also customize and store their own personal settings of up to four unique functions and instantly recall them later using the mode dial.
Furthering its creative options, the LX3 also features a Film mode with six color types and three types of monochrome selections. Much like selecting from different film types, this function gives the user the flexibility and creative freedom to take more expressive digital photos. Also, when using the Multi-film mode, the LX3 produces a maximum of three images from a RAW file for the user to compare the different textures. Another new feature is the multiple-exposure feature, which lets the user create artistic photos by overlaying up to three consecutive images; while still viewing the last image on the 3.0-inch LCD screen. The LCD on the LX3 is new and improved with a 460,000-dot high resolution.
While the LX3 allows full manual control for more advanced photography, it also includes Panasonic's Intelligent Auto mode (iA), including the new feature, AF (auto focus) Tracking. AF Tracking automatically tracks the image subject and locks it into focus, making it easier for anyone to capture sharp, well-focused photos. The AF Tracking technology also improves face detection accuracy, allowing for crisp, sharp-focused shots even if the subject moves or turns their face. Other iA technologies include Intelligent Exposure, Digital Red-eye Correction, MEGA O.I.S, Intelligent ISO, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection (up to 15 faces) and Quick AF.
The DMC-LX3 has the ability to record High Definition (HD) video in 1280 x 720p at 24fps. With the newly added HD component output capability, still and moving pictures can be viewed by connecting the camera to a TV via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2). In addition, the LX3 features Image Leveling, so when a captured image "leans" to the right or left because the camera was held at a slight angle when the photo was taken, this feature rotates the image to straighten it and crops the unnecessary edges.
A number of accessories are also available to further expand the flexibility of the LX3 as more than just a typical point-and-shoot camera. The optional Wide Conversion Lens (DMW-LW46) brings the maximum wide angle to 18mm. Other optional accessories include: ND Filter (DMW-LND46)***, the new PL Filter (DMW-LPL46), the high-end aluminum External Optical Viewfinder (DMW-VF1); the GN22 Compact Flash mounts to the LX3ís hot shoe -- a new feature for the LX-Series.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX3 will be available in silver and black in August 2008 for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $499.95. [*Compared with Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX35 with 1/2.33Ē CCD. ** In 3-megapixel (4:3), 2.5-megapixel (3:2), 2-megapixel (16:9( recording. *** Requires a lens adapter DMW-LA4.]
Finally, the LUMIX DMC-FX37 digital camera with a 25mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC lens was introduced, enabling users to capture almost double the viewing space at the same shooting distance as compared to 35mm cameras. The 10.1 megapixel FX37, capable of High Definition video recording, also includes a powerful 5x optical zoom while maintaining a sleek, ultra-compact body and expands Intelligent Auto Mode (iA), Panasonic's system of intuitive technologies that help consumers take better photos.
"Panasonic is committed to manufacturing innovative, high-performance LUMIX digital cameras that offer technologies that are advanced, yet easy to use," said Briganti. "The FX37 gives users big features -- an ultra-wide angle lens, 5x optical zoom, and the enhanced Intelligent Auto technologies -- while still packing all this into ultra-sleek body easy enough to slip into a pocket or small purse. With wide-angles, consumers are able to fit more into their frame, giving them increased flexibility when taking photos."
Joining the LUMIX family, the FX37 comes with several of Panasonic's proprietary features, including the new AF (auto focus) Tracking function, which expands the iA system. AF Tracking automatically tracks the subject in the frame by locking it into focus, making it easier to capture sharp, well-focused photos. With AF Tracking, the FX37 continually monitors the light source and automatically activates the backlight compensation function if it detects that the light source is behind the subject. AF Tracking also increases Face Detection accuracy, allowing for crisp, sharp-focused shots even if the subjectís face moves -- or turns to a profile.*
When the FX37 is set to iA mode, the following technologies engage automatically; no settings need to be made:
* Intelligent Exposure: Helps prevents photos from being under- or over-exposed by instantly analyzing the framed image and adjusting the brightness in areas that are too dark because of dim lighting, backlighting or the use of the flash. The camera will automatically adjust the brightness accordingly.
* Digital Red-eye Correction: This feature helps to eliminate the red-eye problem that sometimes results when taking flash shots at night. Incorporated into the camera, the built-in flash emits a small preliminary flash before the main flash, detects red-eye and will digitally correct it.