Panasonic Debuts HD Consumer Camcorders

Panasonic has introduced two new high-definition video camcorders targeting the consumer market, with one—the HDC-SD1—storing video on SDHC memory cards and the other—the HDC-DX1—writing video to DVD discs.

We’re excited to introduce Panasonic’s first consumer High Definition video camcorders,” said Rudy Vitti, Panasonic’s national marketing manager. “We’ve implemented our black box technologies, such as our 3CCD camera system and Optical Image Stabilization to deliver the best image quality to consumers. These two camcorders offer quality and accessibility, with the scalability of SD memory with the HDC-SD1 or the convenience of recording to DVD discs with the HDC-DX1.”

Both camcorders utilize a Leica Dicomar lens with low-dispersion optical glass, and use the AVCHD format with a 3CCD system similar to those used in some broadcast video cameras. Light coming into the lens is split into three components (red, green, and blue), and each is then processed by separate CCD systems for more vivid color and greater detail. The two cameras also use Panasonic’s (non-digital) Optical Image Stabilizer technology to minimize the effects of shakes and wobbles while the cameras are being held, and boast 5.1 surround sound capture capability with five microphones—and a zoom mic function, enabling users to focus the microphones’ attention on the subject as they zoom in, rather than recording the environment’s general ambient sound. Both cameras offer 3-inch LCD monitors, 12× optical zooms, USB 2.0 connectivity, and PictBridge compatibility.

The HDC-SD1 can record about an hour of video on a 4 GB SDHC memory card; the HDC-DX1 can record about 40 minutes of video on a dual-layer DVD-R disc. The camcorders should be available in March, 2007, with the HDC-SD1 going for a suggested price of $1.499.95, and the HDC-DX1 carrying a suggested price of $1,399.95.

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