Panasonic 2009 Miami Lumix Camera Introduction

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Hands-On In Miami With The Panasonic Lumix ZS3 & TS1

Panasonic 2009 Lumix Digital Camera Intro
South Beach - taken the new Panasonic Lumix ZS3I’m wearing shorts and sandals and I’ve got a greasy film of sunscreen on my pale, winter skin. Forty-eight hours ago I was skiing knee deep Utah powder at 10,000 feet. Now I’m on a beach taking pictures of a girl in a bikini with a huge albino snake. Is this a dream? Nope – it’s Panasonic’s 2009 Global Lumix Seminar. I’m on Miami’s famous South Beach and I’ve got two pre-production Panasonic digital cameras to play with and pretty girls to point them at. It’s a crazy paradigm shift to be sure. But I’m a pro and I can handle it.

The word “Lumix” comes from combining “lumi,” meaning light and “mix,” for the combination of technologies Panasonic uses in their digital cameras. Panasonic introduced the Lumix designation in 2001. They manufacture nearly all of the critical camera elements in their own factories, which means they have the ability to really control the quality of their digital cameras. They got outside help for one part of the camera, and for that they went to one of the most respected names in optical design and manufacturing – Leica. The Leica DC Vario-Elmar lenses on Panasonic’s Lumix cameras are all made in Leica certified factories.

2009 Panasonic Lumix Camera Presentation

New Panasonic Lumix Cameras and Features
Panasonic announced 9 new digital cameras for the US market, including a seriously upgrade to the Lumix TZ-Series, and their first shockproof and waterproof offering. The key theme for this introduction is “hybrid,” for cameras that are just as capable at capturing video as still images. Key to the do-it-all hybrid concept is a new video HD recording format – AVCHD Lite, a new processing engine, and a dedicated video button. Panasonic’s Face Detection has been enhanced with “Face Recognition,” which can remember up to 6 registered faces. The iA Intelligent Auto shooting mode, which chooses the optimal scene mode, ISO, and autofocus settings can now be used for video as well as stills. Of course, all of Panasonic’s compact digital cameras feature their respected MEGA O.I.S. optical image stabilization.

Panasonic Face Recognition feature demo
Miami Dolphins dancers help demonstrate Panasonic’s new Face Recognition feature.

next pagePanasonic Lumix TS1 Waterproof Digital Camera >>

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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Patia says:

    What I want to know is, where are the pictures of the half-naked men? Hmm?

    Having used the TZ4 and TZ5, I agree that iA mode is pretty darn impressive. And I’m interested in the TS1 — it would be great for my summer float trips. But why, I wonder, did they have to go and change the TZ to ZS? TZ sounds better.

    I hope Panasonic’s 15,000 layoffs announced today don’t affect its camera lines. Good thing you got that junket in beforehand.

  • Photo-John says:

    I saw the news about the layoffs. I assume this event was planned before the economy took a big dive. And it was good for me and I hope it was good for them. I found it to be very informative and useful. I definitely got a lot more out of it than I would have a quick booth tour at a tradeshow.

    I think I have a picture of some man for you. I will dig it up :-)

  • Phil says:

    Any video samples?

  • Majken says:

    What is your experience in terms of shutter time? I plan to buy underwater housing and use the camera on diving trips, so shutter time can be pretty important. I hear that Canon is very fast, but I haven’t heard anything regarding Panasonic.


  • Photo-John says:

    Do you mean shutter-lag – the delay between the time you press the shutter release and when the picture is actually taken? My experience with Panasonic has been that they’re cameras are excellent with shutter-lag. They may actually have the least. I don’t recall how the ZS3 / TZ7 performed in regards to shutter-lag. But based on experience with other Panasonic Lumix cameras, I think it’s probably pretty good. Although it definitely won’t be as good as a digital SLR.

  • Majken says:

    That is exactly what I meant – thanks :) I am looking specifically at the TS1/FT1 and hope that your experience includes that particular camera? Would you say that this camera is as good as other “ordinary, non -waterproof” digital cameras when it comes to taking pictures on dry land? What I mean is, would you say that this is an underwater camera or is it a good digital camera, that just happens to be (more or less) waterproof?


  • john says:

    Does anyone know if one is able to adjust the cameras shooting settings in a manual mode?

  • Photo-John says:

    Neither the Panasonic Lumix ZS3 / TZ7 nor the TS1 have a true manual mode. They both offer exposure composition to adjust image brightness. But that’s the most control you can get. If you want more control take a look at the Pannasonic Lumix LX3. It has full manual exposure controls:

    Panasonic Lumix LX3 User Reviews >>

  • Action Jackson says:

    When is the TS1 going to be on store shelves? Do you feel that the TS1 will have better image quality or out perform the new Canon D10?

  • Action Jackson says:

    Photo John-

    How does the TS 1 image quality compare to the canon D 10?

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