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All posts tagged "panasonic"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Panasonic's Viera TX-P50GT30 Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

"We thought last year's Panasonic GT20 plasma TVs were good, but the P50GT30 knocks the spots of its predecessors. It ramps up the online functionality that's becoming such an essential item of 2011's TV feature counts, sports a drastically improved design, and best of all serves up the best 2D and 3D picture quality we've seen from a mid-range TV."

Panasonic makes some very, very good plasma TVs - I very nearly bought one a couple of years ago but ended up going for an LG model - and despite what some people might think, plasma TVs are still alive and kicking in this era of LCD TVs. The Panasonic Viera TX-P50GT30 appears to have a lot going for it, not the least of which is an attractive outer shell. The LG TV I bought? One of the reasons why is that it looked much nicer hanging on my wall. Nice to see that Panasonic has re-vamped their outer shell!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

GPS Ultra Zoom Camera Roundup

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

"One of the most popular digital camera genres in recent years has been what some have called the "travel zoom". These compact cameras have typically featured lenses of around 10X - 14X, large LCDs, and HD movie modes. In 2011, camera manufacturers really put the "travel" in travel zoom, by adding GPS receivers to their cameras. So, not only do you now have a camera which can go anywhere, but you'll know exactly where you took the photo."

One advantage of dedicated cameras is the ability to offer a zoom lens, so huge zoom factors are still pretty much a selling point. Combine that with a compact size and the result is a camera that still sells pretty well in this age of smartphones. I was a bit surprised at the winner of this shoot out, but I won't spoil the surprise, other than saying that the initial debut of the line was very lacklustre to begin with. Well done C... I mean, camera company!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Panasonic Launches New Line of Camcorders, Several of them Waterproof

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:41 PM

"Panasonic today announced the release of the new waterproof Full-HD Camcorder HX-WA10, which allows easy, effortless photo and video shooting. The WA10 is also optimized for shooting outdoors and in rainy weather. It captures stunning, detailed images with Full-HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, thanks to Backside Illumination (BSI) technology for shooting in dimly lit conditions, and 16-megapixel still image recording with top-class digital camera quality. This lets users easily enjoy authentic HD shooting in a wide range of situations."

Engadget has the breakdown of all the products, but the one that interests me the most is the HM-TA20 (pictured above right). I've been looking for a new Flip-style camera and the fact that this one is waterproof to 15 feet and dust-proof is quite appealing. I like that it has a three inch screen - my Flip Mino's screen is so tiny it's kind of ridiculous.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Panasonic Lumix GF2 Reviewed by Digital Camera Resource Page

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

"The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 (priced from $499) is a compact interchangeable lens camera that uses the Micro Four Thirds standard. It's the follow-up to the popular DMC-GF1 (a camera I own myself), offering a smaller body, touchscreen LCD, faster performance, Full HD movie recording, support for Panasonic's 3D lens, and more. That's on top of its 12 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, beautiful 3-inch LCD with a well-implemented live view feature, a do-everything Intelligent Auto mode, and plethora of optional extras."

Here's another review of the GF2, which is strictly-speaking not quite a follow-up to the GF2. Panasonic really should have given in a different model number. Perhaps this is just the stop-gap reaction to the smaller Sony NEX cameras while Panasonic designs something new that is even smaller than the GF2. Regardless, I still think in many ways, this is better than the NEX cameras because of the larger lens system that Olympus and Panasonic have built up. Unfortunately, it looks like that tiny 14mm f/2.5 isn't quite so hot...

Panasonic Announces Prices for a Slew of Cameras

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:00 PM

Remember those cameras Panasonic announced at CES 2011? Well, they've got prices for them. The GF2 gets prices too. Here's a quick summary:

DMC-GF2 with 14-42mm lens - $599.95

DMC-GF2 with 14mm lens - $699.95

DMC-FP7 - $229.99

DMC-FP5 -$199.99

DMC-FH27 - $229.99

DMC-FH25 - $199.99.

DMC-FH5 - $149.99

DMC-FH2 - $139.99

DMC-S3 - $129.99

DMC-S1 - $119.99

Press release after the break.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Panasonic Announces New Lumix Cameras; Way More Interesting Than CES 2011 Announcement

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:30 PM

Panasonic has more cameras up it sleeves, and it makes me wonder why they bothered with CES 2011 in the first place: These are way more interesting. First up we have the ZS10 (TZ20 in Europe/Asia, and pictured above) and ZS8 (TZ18 in Europe/Asia). These continue the compact superzoom lineup Panasonic started with the TZ1. Both cameras have the same stabilised 16x 24-384mm equivalent f/3.8-5.8 zoom lens, but are quite different in other areas. The ZS8 uses a 14 megapixel CCD, capable of 720p videos in MJPEG mode, a 3" QVGA screen, and the same tagging feature for Facebook and YouTube that came with the CES 2011 cameras. The ZS10 has a 14 megapixel CMOS sensor with 1080p videos in AVCHD, GPS, a 3" touchscreen, and a 10 FPS high-speed mode.

The TS3 (aka FT3 in Europe/Asia) is a refresh in Panasonic's rugged line. It features a stabilised 4.6x 28-128mm equivalent f/3.3-5.9 zoom lens, 12 megapixel CCD, 2.7" QVGA LCD, 1080i video mode, waterproof and shockproof capability, and GPS with a compass, altimeter and a barometer. Truly for the more adventure-minded. I'm curious to know how well the barometer and altimeter works.

Finally there's the slim FX78, which replaces the FX75 (and maybe the FX700, both cameras are so similar). This is basically a premium compact, with a stabilised 5x 24-120mm f/2.5-5.9 zoom lens, 3.5" QVGA (time to step it up Panasonic) touchscreen, 1080i video mode, and claimed better AF compared to its predecessor. Oh, and there are some fancy retouching options to make one look better.

It is nice to know that with these more advanced models, Panasonic has not jumped onto the 16 megapixel bandwagon yet. Hopefully a consumer electronics giant like them can help stem the crazy megapixel race. Cameras are expected to be available in March; no word on pricing. More photos and full press release after the break.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Upgrading the Plain, Old Remote

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:30 PM

"Probably the best mash-up of the web and TV that we've seen so far is the upcoming Panasonic Viera line. These TVs run a version of Android, and Panasonic will be selling a companion Android tablet that can act as a remote control. (Note that the remote software is just an Android app, so it can run on Android phones, as well.) In addition to its remote capabilities, the tablet can do all the normal stuff that an Android tablet does."

This certainly looks slick and I really like the idea of just having an app on my phone that can act as a smart remote for all the TV's in my house. But usually I just want to change the channel or adjust the volume and the simplicity of a dedicated dumb remote is hard to beat. Check out the full article for more info on this interface as well as some other smart interfaces you may see in the future.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Panasonic Announces Updated FH and FP-series Cameras, and New S-series Budget Shooters

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

I've liked Panasonic cameras for sometime now, but their budget area is, like so many other manufacturers, hopelessly crowded and, in my opinion, unnecessary. Adding another line to the mix isn't helping. Also not helping is the lack of any pricing information on these cameras at this time.

To start with, we have four FH-series cameras. They are the Lumx DMC-FH2, DMC-FH5, DMC-FH25, and DMC-FH27. The FH2 and FH5 share the same 4x 28-112mm equivalent f/3.1-6.5 (really slow) lens, 2.7" LCD screen, and 720p video mode. The former uses a 14 megapixel sensor, the latter a 14 megapixel one. The FH25 and FH27 are both 16 megapixel shooters with an 8x 28-224mm equivalent f/3.3-5.9 lens (which is now Leica branded) and the now-common 720p video mode. The FH27 has a 3" touchscreen instead of the 2.7" screen.

Lumix FH2/FH5/FH25/FH27

The FP-series gets an update too. The DMC-FP5 features a 14 megapixel sensor, a 4x 35-140mm equivalent zoom lens packed vertically inside the camera, optical image stabilisation, a 3" touchscreen LCD, and 720p video. The DMC-FP7 has a 16 megapixel sensor instead, and upsizes the touchscreen to a 3.5" one. It also has a glossy exterior instead. On that basis alone I would pick the cheaper camera.

Lumix FP5/FP7

Finally we have the new S-series cameras; cute rounded shapes ahoy! The DMC-S1 has a 12 megapixel CCD (it's funny to think how 12 megapixels is now considered "budget"), an optically stabilised 4x 28-112mm equivalent f/3.1-6.5 lens not unlike the one in the FH2 and FH5, 2.7" LCD screen, and 720p video. The DMC-S3 comes equipped with a 14 megapixel CCD instead.

Lumix S1/S3

One feature that would have been interesting is the Lumix Uploader, which allows you to tag photos onto the camera for social networks... but then you have to connect the camera to the computer to complete the upload. Wasted potential if you ask me.

Oh, and more pictures at the links!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Things I Want to See in 2011

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 08:00 AM

Welcome to 2011! The last decade was a breath-taking one for digital photography, and the last few years have brought about a torrent of changes and improvements, along with the digital revolution settling down somewhat. Still, a new year brings new possibilities, and here is what I would like to see for 2011:

1. Open Platform Camera

One reason for the popularity of cameras in smartphones is the software you can add to it. Want different effects? Download an app to process them on the phone. Want to see said effects in real-time? Download an app to replace the default camera app. Want an intervalometer? Download an app for that too!

Having an open platform for developers to add functionality to the camera would be an amazing selling point. This would go beyond consumer-level gee-whiz; there is plenty for for enthusiasts too. Change button assignments, tone curves (this has existed but not always the easiest to do), even autofocus and auto exposure behaviour for the adventerous. There is also something to be said for spending less time in image editors...

Of course this would kill some manufacturers' unique selling points. Olympus and their Art Filters will probably be the first casualty. Coupled with most camera companies being conservative in nature, this is unlikely to happen from a traditional manufacturer. Anyone out there willing to take a chance on this?

2. Truly Connected Cameras

Tying in with the above point on open platforms, connectivity is the next big thing. Most of us share our photos digitally nowadays, and the Internet is the main way to do this. Standalone cameras still rely heavily on having a computer to do this. Smartphone cameras are showing the way this should be done, so where are the connected cameras? The Olympus E-PL2's bluetooth dongle (a leaked piece of news at this time of writing) is a step forward, and hopefully will set the tone for the rest of the year.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Panasonic GH2 Reviewed by Digital Resource Page

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:30 AM

"The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 (priced from $899) is a hybrid camera/camcorder that uses the Micro Four Thirds standards. It's the follow-up to the DMC-GH1, and it offers a host of new features, including a higher resolution sensor, faster autofocus and continuous shooting, a touchscreen support for Panasonic's 3D lens, and an improved Full HD movie mode."

The Panasonic GH1 is a fantastic but underrated camera, and I am glad to see that the GH2 improves on it. DCResource has a review and the camera does not disappoint. Have a read, and remember that the GH2, unlike the GH1, does not require you to purchase the stupidly expensive 14-140/4-5.8, which was the main reason for the GH1's poor reception. If you are keen on shooting videos and have an actual plan to do so (unlike yours truly who bought the GH1 and has yet to publish a single video), this is a camera that should be in your shortlist.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm F4.0-5.6 MEGA OIS Reviewed by PhotographyBLOG

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

"The Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm F4.0-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. is a new telephoto lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. With MTF bodies having a crop factor of 2x, it provides an effective focal range of 200-600mm in 35mm terms, yet only weighs just over 500g."

Need a little more reach for your Micro Four Thirds camera? The Panasonic 100-300/4-5.6 is it. I prefer it to the Olympus 75-300/4.8-6.7 for the price (US$550 vs US$900) and the extra half a stop at the long end. It might be a bit larger, but at these sizes I doubt they will make much a difference; the length and weight also means I recommend this for use with a Panasonic G or GH camera for the grip and viewfinder.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Get a Free Panasonic 3DTV with an Avatar 3D Blu-ray Purchase!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

"When Panasonic announced it was including copies of Avatar in 3D with its 3DTVs and Blu-ray players, it simply seemed like a great marketing move. Now it's looking like more of a coup, with Panasonic UK confirming that the company's bundle deal runs until February of 2012."

When I hear the word "bundle," several things come to mind. Gaming console bundles like Halo with your PS3 or Gran Turismo 5 with a Wii or Dance Central with your PS3. It apparently is a great way to spur sales, though I have to admit that I really wonder if anyone is fanatical enough about Avatar in 3D that they would buy a TV to go with it. At least with console bundles you can buy the game separately. Not so with Avatar 3D! And now it appears that you will not be able to for at least another year. I can only surmise that Panasonic is having a real hard time selling those 3DTVs. It kind of makes me wonder if something is wrong with them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gizmodo's List of "Budget" Lenses

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:38 AM

"If you're shopping for a new lens of some sort, you've come to just the right place. Here's ThePhoblographer's list of the best lenses you can get your hands on without breaking the bank."

Defnitely a budget lens: Nikkor DX AF-S 35mm f/1.8G

Alright, I know it's hard to write articles (else I'd do some more myself), but I wish some writers would write more for their target audience than for themselves. While some of the lenses in the list are indeed budget (normal lenses are usually not expensive), they're all prime lenses. I'm thinking a general techblog on this topic should include some budget but quality zooms in the list (Tamron's 17-50 comes to mind). Also, when going through the list, note that there's no distinction between the use of the lens on APS-C-sized and 35mm-sized sensors for Nikon and Canon systems. There's no mention of other systems, but hey, I guess they don't count in today's market.

And really, the Nikkor AF 28mm f/2.8D? The neutered version from the manual focus version that drops two elements and CRC (Close Range Correction System) is hardly what I call legendary. Budget certainly, but not my favourite wide angle Nikkor, which is hardly wide once you mount it on a DX camera; see my point on not making distinctions on sensor sizes when discussing lenses.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Four-way Mirrorless Camera Shootout

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:00 AM

"In this review, I'm going to stick to one camera from each maker. I'm ignoring the more DSLR-like cameras with optical (EVF) viewfinders, such as the G and GH series from Panasonic and the NX5 and NX10 from Samsung. What I'm looking to cover here is the cameras most likely to act as a competent compact replacement for a typical DSLR user. To that end I've narrowed things down to these four:"

Continuing from his earlier compact camera review, Thom Hogan looks at four mirrorless cameras (I can't quite call them EVIL, can I?) and not surprisingly finds them all capable of producing good photos; just a matter of what one's preferences are. Personally, I can't give up a viewfinder, so all of them are out for me. If you're looking for such a camera though, check out the article for a experienced photographer's viewpoint.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Digital Photography Review's Premium Compact Roundup

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:54 PM

"It wasn't so long ago that DSLRs were out of financial reach for most enthusiast photographers. Back before DSLRs fell below the magic sub-$1000 mark, the only way for most people to 'go digital' was to invest in a high-quality compact, offering SLR-like control, but without the expensive extras - the large sensor and interchangeable lens mount."

Well, here is another look at a trio of compact cameras; this time the Canon S95 is present instead of the G12; I wonder where is the Samsung EX-1 though? It pretty much has the same conclusion as the last one I posted: Image quality is not an issue with modern compacts, and one should choose based on their needs and wants instead. Want something wider? Pick the LX5. Want something small? Pick the S95. Want something fast and works like a professional-grade camera? Don't pick the P7000. Hit the link for the full article.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Premium Compact Shootout: Nikon vs Canon vs Panasonic

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:00 PM

"We're now almost two decades into the competent digital compact camera era, but many things remain the same. The big issue has been and remains the small size of the image sensor in these cameras. While there has been a strong increase in image quality over the years, the small sensor sized used just doesn't allow the high-end compact camera to produce DSLR-like results in dynamic range or high ISO shooting."

Thom Hogan has compared three premium compacts, the Nikon P7000, the Canon G12, and the Panasonic LX5. While I am certain they all are decent (Nikon surprises me somewhat), I still like the Panasonic's combination of size, focal length, and looks. It is a very charming camera, the LX5. On another note: The Nikon looks way too much like a Canon; Thom Hogan even notes that the operation is more Canon than Nikon-like. If so, what is the appeal of buying a P7000 when there is a G12? Nikon really should have worked harder on differentiating the product (plus a compact that works like a Nikon DSLR is worth extra points in my book).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Panasonic GF2 Reviewed by PhotographyBLOG

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 AM

"The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 is the World’s smallest and lightest compact system camera with a built-in flash. Replacing the popular GF1 model, the new GF2 is is 19% smaller in size and 7% less in weight than its predecessor, thanks largely to the introduction of a touch-control interface via the 3 inch 460,000-dot LCD screen. The DMC-GF2 also offers full HD movies at 1920 x 1080 at 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) in AVCHD format with stereo sound, a new Graphic User Interface, a 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor, Venus Engine FHD image processor, expanded ISO range of 100-6400, a built-in pop-up flash and Dust Reduction system."

Well, the camera may not have shipped yet, but here's a review of the Panasonic GF2. PhotographyBLOG concedes that it is not quite the replacement for the GF1, but it offers much to shooters looking to upgrade from small-sensor compact cameras, and at a lower price than the GF1's launch price. I prefer to keep my external controls, so the GF2 is even less appealing to the GF1 for me. However I can see it will appeal to the more casual shooters with its slightly smaller size, the 1080p video, and the touch screen controls. The interesting thing is how Panasonic is using the 14mm f/2.5 lens in the promo shots; the smaller lens certainly makes the camera look smaller, but, like the NEX cameras, I wonder how many people will still be interested once a bigger lens with greater telephoto reach (consumers love telephoto lenses) is used.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Panasonic Lumix GF2 Announced

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:45 AM

"Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-GF2 Micro Four Thirds camera. A simplified version of the company's GF1, it inherits the same flat-body design but with revised control layout and touch-screen control. It is built around a 12MP CMOS sensor but with a more powerful processor than its predecessor, allowing AVCHD video recording of 1080i60 movies from 1080p30 capture."

So, I get busy for a few days and Panasonic decides to throw a little surprise. The GF2 gains a few things, notably 1080 HD videos, as well as a smaller size, but loses some buttons, the ability to use a remote cable, and a few flash options. Oh, and you'll need to buy a smaller battery as well. Mind, you lose a few milimetres on each side. Not quite seeing the benefits here! The camera will be available in January 2011, with a 14/2.5 kit or 14-42/3.5-5.6 IS kit, and no word on pricing. DPReview has one of their previews, so check out the link.

EDIT: Engadget has posted their hands-on preview, so have a read if you're interested in another angle.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Panasonic GF2 To Be Announced Tomorrow?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:48 PM

"Thanks to a french 43rumors reader we can show you the very first picture of the Panasonic GF2!!! The picture shows the advertising at "Salon de la Photo" in Paris (the event starts tomorrow). The GF2 looks like the Panasonic LX5! And with the new Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 lens lens it is the smallest mirrorless kit on earth! It has 12 megapixel (The same G2 sensor), records FullHD, a complete new imaging processor, touchscreen and announcement is expected at 6am London time (November 4th)."

I've been a big fan of my Panasonic GF1, but have often wished it were just a bit smaller - especially the 20mm lens - and it looks like Panasonic has listened by shrinking the size down a bit. I like the look of that 14mm f/2.5 lens as well! Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Panasonic MW-20 Photo Frame Handles Videos, Music and Photos Too

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

"As if pictures of your friends, family and favorite pets weren’t enough; Panasonic is about to give your loved ones a soundtrack. However, the new MW-20 digital picture frame doesn’t just add that tinny sound that oh-so-many-other frames have had in the past. Instead, the company is going to double your pleasure, by adding in an iPod dock and stereo sound."

Digital photo frames are much easier to show pictures of your friends and family than having a computer and a monitor tucked away on top of your fireplace. However, with the explosion in phones with cameras, it is only natural that some manufacturers would tie smartphones like the iPhone to display your photographic prowess. Not satisfied with pictures anymore, the MW-20 also handles music and videos. I would not be surprised if in a year or two, you find that most digital photo frames just become large screen extensions of our more portable devices and even hook up to the cloud.

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