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July 19, 2006 – Panasonic updated its widescreen-optimized digital camera line, which up until today consisted only of the LX1. With today’s announcement of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2, the line has a new flagship. This digital camera has the same widescreen concept: its 10.2-megapixel image sensor is formatted to a 16:9 ratio, its 2.8-inch LCD screen is elongated to the wide format, and the 4x optical zoom lens has a wide 28mm angle. The widescreen-friendly Panasonic LX2 goes on sale for $499 in September.
The LX2 offers a lot of upgrades to its predecessor. The LX1 had 8.1 megapixels on a 1/6.5-inch CCD; the new LX2 has 10.2 megapixels on a 1/1.8-inch CCD. The larger widescreen image sensor is paired with an upgraded processor too. The one-year-old LX1 had a Venus Engine LSI II, while the LX2 boasts the third generation version.
"Our Lumix DMC-LX2 has the best features for the new digital lifestyle that puts a premium on capturing and sharing the images of our lives in a widescreen format," said Rich Campbell, Panasonic’s director of digital imaging, in today’s press release. "The 10.2-megapixel, true 16:9 CCD is about capturing expansive, beautiful pictures and sharing them in the most dramatic way possible on a widescreen TV."
The "expansive, beautiful pictures" are made possible with the Panasonic Lumix LX2’s complete manual control that includes manual and priority modes, more ISO options to choose from, and a new technology called Intelligent ISO Control being incorporated into Panasonic’s brand new models.
The Intelligent ISO Control tracks the movement of subjects and tailors the ISO (up to 1250) and shutter speed to reduce blur and provide a proper exposure. The camera also has manual ISO options from 100-1600 and a High Sensitivity scene mode that uses an ISO 3200 setting. All of the manual settings can be used while snapping full-resolution pictures. This is a huge improvement over the Lumix LX1, which had a paltry 80-400 ISO range.
The new Panasonic LX2 also improves battery life. The new camera can get up to 300 shots per charge on its lithium-ion battery as compared to the LX1’s 240 shots per charge. The new model also adds a larger 2.8-inch LCD screen that is widescreen formatted, unlike the 2.5-inch one on the LX1 that was 4:3 formatted. The LX2 beefs up its mode dial with an extra position specifically for streamlining printing. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 keeps the Leica DC 4x optical zoom lens from the LX1, as well as the optical image stabilization system present on all Panasonic cameras.