There have been long-time rumors about the next models from Panasonic. The page below was pure spam but some people here firmly believed in the "news" reported, and started out discussing them. I will show how and why it was only a dreamer's wish-list commenting in italics every note...
Warning: rumors date was late 2004...! This is here only for historical (and laughing) reasons.
Note reported coming from a Panasonic engineer. (duh, a Japanese engineer leaking important information? ha,ha,ha!)
It's still unclear if the successor of the Panasonic FZ-20 will be called "FZ-31" or "FZ-33" (maybe there will be two different models); the model discussed here will be Panasonic's flagship for some time (announcing the FZ5 was only to buy some time for final development phase). (yes, the "entry-point" for fake news has to be at least realistic and interesting)
Camera type: SLR-like, like the FZ-20, a bit bigger (6.5" large) and heavier, featuring a new 1/1.8" Super-CCD GRGB-type. (this is the first step: switching from realistic to dreams. But we could even take it for good and go on...)
Resolution: 3264×2448 pixels (8 megapixels); other low resolutions down to 320×240. Video modes up to 640×480 at 24, 25 or 30 fps, with audio and zoom (thanks to a plug for external stereo microphone). (this again seems realistic, but it's starting pricey...)
Lens and zoom: Leica lens group, 12× zoom (36 to 432mm in terms of 35mm-equivalent), F2.8 along all the zoom range. ISO rating: from 50 to 800. Normal focus from 27cm, macro from 5cm, super macro from 1.7cm. Shutter speed: max 1/5000sec, min 30sec (up to 240sec for bulb mode). (if you didn't suspect anything here, then you surely were already spreading out these news - you jerk! those ISO/shutter notes are simply too weird to be real on the current combination of lens group, sensor size, etc; it's not only a technology issue, but a mix of poor-man's dreams)
Pop-up "dual flash": can be oriented along vertical and horizontal axis (or used in alternate single flash mode to get no flash lag), up to 8.5m, plus hot-shoe (which doesn't block the pop-up flash), with support for TTL-flash. Infrared shooting mode (IR only or IRGB) allows stunning night shots. (yes, Panasonic could do it; mount the LC1 flash type on all cameras... but having two flashes it's at least something to laugh at! and the configurable infrared is currently fantascientific for a low-cost camera... didn't you smell yet a rat?)
Continuous drive: user adjustable from 1 to 13.7 fps, max 18 frames when full-resolution. Storage: 128 Mb internal flash memory disk, plus one SD/MMC slot and one Compactflash slot. Image format modes: JPEG (EXIF 2.2), TIFF, PNG, JPEG+PNG (the PNG is actually a RAW mode which boasts 16 bits per color component). Video/movie modes: Quicktime, MPEG4, AVI with XVID or libavcodec; audio-only modes: can record audio-only to WAV/MP3/OGG formats. (this is fantascientific because we don't expect big names to adopt open source standards for their machines... also, the costly multi-slot and the high-speed continuous-drive are again poor-man's dreams)
LCD screen: tilt-swivel, 2.5", high resolution, 60 Hz refresh, configurable auto-gain, auto-infrared converter. Interfaces: IEEE 1394 (optional add-on), full-speed USB 2.0 (USB port available also for battery "slow-charging"). Battery: proprietary (CGA-S002, compatibile with previous models), but its particular slot accepts also six AA-type batteries. (whoa, a super-costly 2.5" tilt-swivel... how big will be the camera? and its resolution and refresh... how many battery packs will you need? and even with infrared capture! fantascientific? and what about the "slow-charging" from USB current? and the six AA-type batteries? augggh!)
Another unique feature: the user expandable firmware; user can write its own drivers for image processing (pre- and post-shot) and upload them in the camera. (well, this is even higher: "user expandable firmware" - will a major brand sell such a great camera, maybe "Linux inside", allowing an user to write its own procedures and possibly reverse-engineer their own procedures?)
Bundle: includes a 0.6× teleconverter (to get a whopping wide-angle of 21.6mm equivalent), a polarizer filter, a lens adapter (62mm threaded), tethered cover, "flower"-style hood. Also, a three-button RF remote control and an external microphone (with 0.5m cable). (finally, a fabulous teleconverter and some of the most sold add-ons in the same package... whoah!)
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