Tuesday, 28 April 2009 10:46

Panasonic rolls out 2009 plasma, home theatre and camera ranges

Panasonic has pushed out a raft of new products for the digital home, including an ultra-thin HD TV with WirelessHD connectivity. But some of them are still months away from the stores.

The Viera Z1 54in HD plasma is just 1in thick and comes with a separate tuner that connects via Wireless HDMI so the only cable needed for the screen is the power cord.

If you can tolerate something a little thicker and with more cables, there's also the V10 with a 50in screen and a 2in profile.

Still too big? There's always the G10 series, which will come in 42, 46 and 50in models.

All these models have an extensive feature list including an SD card slot for playing AVCHD movies or displaying JPEG photos.

The 42in G10 is due in May at $A2749, followed by the 46in ($A3299) and 50in ($A3799) versions in June.

The V10 is scheduled for August delivery, with the Z1 following in September. Prices will be revealed closer to those times.

That September launch for the Z1 is a little strange, given that a companion product - the SC-ZT1 wireless home theatre system is planned for August.

Find out more about that - and Panasonic's new still/video camera - on page 2.

The SC-ZT1 (no price yet) uses uncompressed data streams to the speakers for high quality sound, Panasonic officials explained.

Each of the two speaker units contains four speakers for "lifelike virtual 7.1 sound".

Also new is the Lumix DMC-GH1 interchangeable lens camera that can shoot D-SLR-quality still images or HD movies.

"This ground-breaking new product is the flagship of the LUMIX G Series, delivering outstanding video and stills and giving the user amazing creativity and versatility," said Tanya Mudge, Panasonic Australia's product manager for Lumix and camcorders.

"It joins the LUMIX G1 as the latest Micro Four Thirds System camera and incorporates all the hallmarks of this standard, with a downsized body, combining advanced functions with easy operation," she added.

Features include face memory (faces previously photographed are prioritised when making focus and exposure decisions), autofocus tracking of moving objects, optical image stabilisation, and automatic scene selection (eg of low-light mode).

The $A3299 DMC-GH1 will ship in late May and include a 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 lens. Other lenses and additional accessories will be available.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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