Panasonic ( has announced the LUMIX DMC-LX5, a compact digital camera sporting an ultra-bright F2.0 ultra-wide-angle 24mm LEICA DC Vario-Summicron lens. Its 24mm wide angle lens offers extraordinarily large viewing space and now the optical zoom is extended to 3.8x(90mm) making the LX5 even more versatile, according to David Briganti, senior product manager, Imaging, Panasonic.

In addition to the newly-designed lens, the LUMIX LX5 features an image processing engine that combines technologies resulting in professional-quality photos, especially in low-light situations, he adds.Like its predecessor, the LUMIX LX5 features a 10.1-megapixel CCD, but it has an expanded dynamic range by increasing the sensitivity and the saturation.

In addition to capturing high-quality still photos, the LUMIX LX5 can record HD videos in AVCHD Lite, a format that allows almost doubling the recording time in HD quality compared with the conventional Motion JPEG format. Creative video shooting modes include Creative Movie mode, where users can set shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive movies. My Color mode and Film mode are available for more extended expression not only in photography but also in videography. The LUMIX LX5 also features Dolby Digital Creator to record high quality audio and the 3.8x optical zoom is available while shooting video.

Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX LX5, include:

° A 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high resolution Intelligent LCD with a High CRI (Color Rendering Index) backlight LED to greatly increase the color reproduction;

° Battery life extended to shoot 400 photos (CIPA) per a single charge.

° A variety of accessories, including a Live View Finder (DMW-LVF1), External Optical View Finder (DMW-VF1),  Wide Conversion Lens (DMW-LWA52), Conversion Lens Adaptor (DMW-LA6), MC Protector (DMW-MC52), ND Filter (DMW-LND52), PL Filter: DMW-LPL52, External Flashes, Leather Case (DMW-CLX5) and a Battery Pack (DMW-BCJ13).

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 will be available in late August at a suggested retail of US$499.95 and will be available in black and white models.