Secaucus, NJ (July 20, 2005) Panasonic is introducing another industry first today, the 8.4 megapixel Lumix DMC-LX1, the first digital camera to have a true 16:9 CCD for taking wide aspect pictures. This compact camera also features 4x optical zoom, equivalent to 28 to 112 mm on a 35 mm camera.<?xml:namespace prefix = o /> "Putting a true 16:9 CCD in the hands of photographers is an obvious move for Panasonic," says Monica Helmer, national marketing manager for the optical group. The company's goal is to provide consumers with the tools for creating a connected lifestyle. "With the LX1, consumers can capture the widescreen image, take the SD memory card from the camera and view the image on one of our widescreen displays. Movies and many TV shows are in 16:9. Now your personal pictures can be, too." Like other cameras in the Lumix line, the LX1 features Panasonic's MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, the key to removing unintentional shaking from the picture-taking experience. With MEGA OIS, pictures come out crisp and clear. The LX1 also features Extended Optical Zoom, which utilizes the center of the CCD to create a 5.5 megapixel, 16:9 image at 5x zoom, bring the photographer even closer to the subject. For high-speed image processing, the LX1 utilizes the Venus Engine II LSI. It boasts quick responsiveness that realizes best-in-class level release time lag of 0.01 seconds. The LX1 also is the first digital still camera that can record moving images at 848x480 16:9 Wide VGA, as smooth as 30 frames per second. The LX1 offers manual focus and exposure, with both adjustable by an easy-to-use joystick. A switch on the side of the lens barrel lets users quickly change the focus mode. Another switch lets users choose between 16:9 wide image mode, 3:2 image mode, and 4:3 image, in case a more traditional aspect ratio is desired. The 2.5 inch LCD monitor is perfect for reviewing still images, movies, and up to 25 thumbnail images for quick review, turning the LX1 into a digital photo album as well as a fun image capture device.<o></o> "This camera is perfect for the person who wants a creative picture shooting experience," Helmer notes. "It's easy to use, very capable, and with MEGA OIS will make a great widescreen photographer out of anyone. The DMC-LX1 will be available this September for an MSRP of $699.95.