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Panasonic Announces First Digital Camera With 16:9 CCD

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July 20, 2005 - Today Panasonic announced the compact 6.6 oz. Lumix DMC-LX1, the first digital camera to sport a 16:9 CCD specifically designed for images taken in a widescreen format. The 16:9 CCD is 1/1.65 inches and offers 8.4 megapixels, along with a widescreen movie mode of 848 x 480 pixels at 30 fps that can be viewed on the 2.5" 207K-pixel LCD.

The 4.16 x 2.20 x 1.01-inch DMC-LX1 (spec sheet) can also shoot in 3:2 and 4:3 aspect ratios, with the latter mode offering VGA and QVGA movie modes at 30 and 10 fps. This compact model has a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens with 4x optical zoom—if the camera is shooting in its highest resolution; otherwise, it is capable of achieving up to 5.1x optical zoom when using lower resolutions (4 to 5.5 MPs) in all three aspect ratios. It has a Venus Engine II LSI to speed up internal processing, which according to Panasonic results in a shutter to shot lag time of just 0.01 seconds.

The LX1 also comes with MEGA Optical Image Stabilization to go with its shutter speed range of 60-1/2000 seconds and aperture range of f/2.0-f/8.0. It has an ISO range of 80-400, 14 scene modes, customizable white balance adjustment, and direct print options. This Lumix comes with a 32MB SD card, and shoots JPEGs, TIFFs, and RAW files for stills and Motion JPEGs for video.

The Lumix DMC-LX1 can be found for US $699.95 this September.

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