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Panasonic Lumix TZ50 WiFi Unveiled

Panasonic Corporation has unveiled the new Lumix TZ50 that offers users the ability to select images singly or in groups, and have them automatically transferred to Picasa Web Albums either over their own 802.11b/g compliant home wireless LAN.

Once images are uploaded, the Panasonic TZ50 can automatically have an email sent to the account holder, allowing them to forward it to friends and family from their cell phone. It’s also possible to browse through uploaded images to confirm they were uploaded correctly, and to delete them again – all from the camera itself.

Each Panasonic DMC-TZ50 includes twelve months of free access to T-Mobile’s Hotspots, after which time continued access requires a subscription.

The WiFi connectivity is obviously the standout feature which differentiates the Panasonic TZ50 from most of its competition, but there are plenty of other features besides that could prove attractive. Sensor resolution is 9.1 effective megapixels from a 1/2.33″ RGB CCD image sensor. This sensor can also yield images cropped to the 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios. It sits behind a Leica DC Vario-Elmar branded 10x optical zoom lens with a very useful 35mm-equivalent focal range of 28 – 280mm. Maximum aperture ranges from F3.3 to F4.9 across the zoom range.

The TZ50 also offers an unusually high resolution 720p (1280 x 720 pixel, 16:9 aspect ratio) movie mode with either 15 or 30 frames-per-second capture rates,

The TZ50 images are stored in a fairly generous 50MB of built-in memory, or on SD / SDHC / MMC flash cards. The Panasonic Lumix TZ50 also includes both NTSC / PAL standard definition and component high definition video outputs, plus a USB 2.0 high-speed computer connection. Power comes from a proprietary 3.7V 1000mAh battery pack which is rated for 300 shots to CIPA testing standards. Body dimensions are 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.4 inches, and the Panasonic TZ50 weighs 8.5 ounces fully loaded.

The Panasonic TZ50 will be available in the US in May 2008, priced at $450.