SOURCE: Panasonic

March 18, 2008 13:00 ET

Panasonic Unveils Company's First Touch-Screen Lumix Digital Camera, Complete With 25mm Ultra-Wide-Angle Lens and HD Video Capabilities

New LUMIX FX500 Packs 3-inch LCD With Touch-Screen Operation, 5x Optical Zoom and 10.1 Megapixels in Slim and Compact Design

SECAUCUS, NJ--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - Panasonic today announces the LUMIX DMC-FX500, the company's first digital camera with a 3-inch touch-screen LCD -- also featuring a 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica DC lens, 5x optical zoom and 10.1 megapixels. With a dual control system using both touch-screen and joystick operation, the ability to record High Definition (HD) video and advanced Intelligent Auto technologies, the FX500 packs innovative features and intuitive design, helping consumers enrich the digital photography experience and take better photos.

"With the FX500's touch-screen operation, we are giving our consumers a new interface that we think will prove extremely intuitive during playback, photo organization and of course -- helping to take high-quality photos," said Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "The FX500 represents a new flagship model for Panasonic, as we add brand-new capabilities to our already popular, slim and stylish FX-Series of LUMIX digital cameras and we introduce another model that features a 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens."

The FX500 has a hybrid control system that combines joystick control with touch-screen operation, so users can make fine adjustments by touch, using their finger, or the LUMIX stylus-pen that comes with the FX500. In manual exposure mode, adjustments can be made using the on-screen sliders to adjust aperture and shutter speeds. Users can also set the auto focus and exposure in frames by simply touching the subject, on screen, while recording. In playback mode, a new Easy Organization menu allows for photos to be selected and viewed by scrolling through the thumbnails located below the main window. Then, users can edit the titles using an on-screen keyboard.

The FX500 expands Panasonic's family of wide-angle LUMIX digital cameras and joins the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX35 as an ultra-wide-angle lens with a 25mm wide-angle lens, which can capture almost double the photo area at the same shooting distance compared with a conventional 35mm lens*. Also new to the FX500 is Auto Focus (AF) tracking, a feature that tracks the photo subject even if it moves after the AF is set -- especially helpful for catching active children or pets.

Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) mode is an advanced system of technologies that engage automatically, so the user does not have to change any settings. Maximizing the iA mode, users can go a step further and easily set auto focus and exposure by simply touching the screen. This kind of quick, easy operation is made possible with the touch-screen technology.

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX500 will be available in black and silver models for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $399.95 in May 2008. For more details and to download the full spec sheet, please visit: www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

*35mm film camera equivalent: 25-125mm

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In its commitment to provide consumers with extensive imaging resources, Panasonic LUMIX established the Digital Photo Academy, a series of nationwide workshops designed to instruct consumers how to optimize the features on their digital cameras and produce high-quality photos. Panasonic is honored to support OUR PLACE -- The World's Heritage, a project that will create the world's largest photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with acclaimed photographers exclusively using LUMIX digital cameras to capture all images. Information about Panasonic LUMIX digital still cameras and its affiliated programs is available at www.panasonic.com/dsc.