This article is also contributed by Andrew Chan.
Fukushima, Japan, 19 July 2006 - Today, Panasonic announces the official launch of six digital camera models, including the highly anticipated Lumix L1 DSLR. A press conference was held at the Panasonic Lumix digital camera plant in Fukushima City in Japan, for Asian tech and photographic journalists to try the new digital camera models first hand. Hardware Zone was privileged to be among them, and in this brief introductory review, we will tell you about the key specifications and capabilities of each new model, as well as sample photographs that were taken at the famous historic city of Nikko.
Most of the new Lumix cameras now come with the industry's first 'intelligent' ISO control system for blur reduction. Although all Lumix cameras already have an optical stabilization system to reduce or eliminate blurring caused by shaky hands, fast moving subjects will still appear blur in shots taken with a slow shutter speed. To increase shutter speed for any given scene, the ISO must be increased as well.
The Intelligent ISO system automatically detects if the subject is moving and engages a higher ISO setting for a faster shutter speed. The technology is even smart enough to detect the speed of the moving subject to engage varying ISO levels to achieve the appropriate shutter speed.
Panasonic claims that the new Venus Engine III image processor featured in some of the models has the best ever noise reduction capability. The processor reduces both luminance and chromatic noise before and after signal processing.