Panasonic Puts High-Definition Video in Small Packages

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Panasonic has announced two new high-definition camcorders that, at just half a pound, the company says are among the lightest on the plaenet…at least for full HD AVCHD camcorders as of today. Issues of weight (or lack of it) aside, the new HDC-SD10 and HDC-TM10 record 1,920 by 1,080-pixel high-definition video direct to SD/SDHC memory, and sport 16× optical zooms and optical image stabilization to make sure users get exactly the shot they want.

“We recognize that users are looking for camcorders that capture high-quality, high definition video, but they also want something lightweight that has advanced, yet easy-to-use functions,” said Panasonic Consumer Electronics’ senior product manager for imagine Chuck Kirkman, in a statement.

Both the SD10 and TM10 sport Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto function which automatically picks out a scene mode for a given shot; the cameras also sport face detection technology so faces are properly exposed in video, and intelligent contrast control. Both cameras also offer autofocus and auto-exposure tracking so users can follow a moving subject; the tracking technologies are supposed to work even if the subject moves around or turns to the side. The cameras both feature a pre-recording function that automatically retains three seconds of video prior to a user pressing the Record button.

Both cameras record video to SD/SDHC memory cards, with the TM-10 also sporting 8 GB of onboard memory. Users turn the cameras on and off by opening and closing the LCD viewfinder; the cameras are supposed to fire up in less than two seconds, and will automatically shut off after five minutes of idle time to preserve battery life. Both cameras feature a video light and flash for filming in dark places.

The SD10 and TM10 should be available in September for suggested prices of $549.99 and $599.99, respectively; the SD10 will be available in black, while the TM10 will be available in black or silver.