Panasonic, the leading global manufacturer of consumer electronic products has launched its latest range of LUMIX digital cameras in the Middle East. The new range includes the 4.0-megapixel LS1 with 3x optical zoom best suited for entry-level users, the 5-megapixel LZ2 and 4-megapixel LZ1 featuring optical 6x zoom. The company is also introducing the 5-megapixel FZ5 with 12x optical zoom, an increased-performance and more compact model than the previous FZ3 model. All cameras feature Panasonic’s patented MEGA O.I.S. (Optical image stabilizer) that automatically compensates for hand shake while shooting, resulting in clear, defined images even by non-professionals. Panasonic is the first in the industry to have succeeded in incorporating MEGA O.I.S. into a compact digital camera. “Normally, blurred pictures caused by handshake are a major problem of compact cameras, particularly while shooting through a LCD monitor, but this is solved by MEGA O.I.S. The LUMIX range has gained wide acceptance by consumers in the Middle East owing to their high-end technologies with easy-to-use features,” said Koji Naka, Manager, Consumer Products, Panasonic Marketing Middle East FZE. LZ1, LZ2 and LS1 also incorporate a newly developed Venus Engine Plus. In addition to a consecutive shooting function that allows users to take 4 frames per second at full resolution for LZ1/LS1 & 3 frames per second for LZ2, the new system facilitates an unlimited* consecutive shooting mode, which allows users to shoot successive photos until the memory card or the built-in memory reaches capacity. What’s more, the new models include 14 megabytes of built-in-memory, which enables users to take pictures even without a SD Memory Card. Also, despite the large LCD display, the battery life achieves 215 pictures (CIPA) recording with included 2 AA OXYRIDE batteries. (235 pictures for LZ2 model) The newly developed Venus Engine Plus achieves about 50 per cent low energy consumption while providing even higher image quality and quick response. The LZ1, LZ2 and LS1 models feature a large 2.0 inch TRM (Transmissive with Micro Reflective) LCD monitor which is extremely easy to view, even outdoors on a bright sunny day. In addition, all model's zoom lens features the crystallization of Panasonic’s optics technology, aspherical lenses, which are used to achieve compactness and higher optical performance. The FZ5 model is well-suited for semi-professional or professional photographers that want to shoot events or subjects at a distance, such as sports matches. The remarkable 12x optical zoom combined with 4x digital zoom magnifies images by as much as 48x and can capture large frames of photo subjects even a long distance away. The camera is equipped with a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens for high resolution imaging with very little distortion, while the combination of 3 aspherical lenses preserves an astonishingly compact body size even for a 12x optical zoom digital still camera.