Panasonic Digital Cameras Add Face Recognition - InformationWeek

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Panasonic Digital Cameras Add Face Recognition

When a face is recorded several times, the cameras ask whether it should be registered, so the devices can automatically prioritize focus and exposure in future pictures.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX580

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX580
(click for larger image)
Panasonic on Tuesday introduced two digital cameras with face-recognition technology that enables a user to set the cameras' auto-focus and auto-exposure operations to a single person in a group.

The Lumix DMC-FX580, a successor to last year's FX500, also features a 3-inch touch screen for controlling the camera's operation. The latest version sports a 25-mm ultra-wide-angle Leica DC lens, a 5x optical zoom, and a larger image recording size of 12.1 megapixels.

The second camera, the Lumix DMC-ZS3, is a compact camera with the same lens as the FX580, but with an image-recording size of 10.1 megapixels.

But the cameras' unique feature is the face-recognition capability that lets users give priority to a single person in a picture. When a face is recorded several times, the cameras ask whether it should be registered, so the devices can automatically prioritize focus and exposure in future pictures, unless instructed otherwise by the user. The setting means the subject's face is brighter and more sharply focused than other subjects.

In reviewing photos, users can choose to display only pictures that contain a specific registered face using a feature called "category playback."

In addition to still photos, the FX580 and the ZS3 can record high-definition video. Both cameras include outputs for playback directly to a digital television. The DMW-HDC2 component cable is sold separately.

The FX580 features an aluminum body and is available in silver and black. The DMC-ZS3 is available in silver, black, blue, and red. The cameras are scheduled to be available in April for a suggested retail price of $400.

Along with the FX580 and ZS3, Panasonic also introduced on Tuesday the Lumix DMC-TS1, a waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof digital camera that also features high-definition video recording. The TS1, which offers the same resolution as the FX580, is made for picture taking during outdoor activities. The camera is also scheduled to be available in April and is priced at $400.

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