Panasonic today expanded its High Definition (HD) suite of products, with the announcement of two new full-HD camcorders, the HDC-SD100 and HDC-HS100, the first AVCHD camcorders with a 3MOS system.
The HDC-SD100 records to SD Memory Card, while the hybrid HDC-HS100 records to both SD Memory Card and to its internal 60 GB hard drive. Both models include manual functions for the user wanting more precise control over zoom, focus, iris, shutter speed and white balance. The models also include Panasonic's new Intelligent Auto (iA) mode, a set of technologies that automatically activate, making video shooting an easy, seamless process.
The first AVCHD camcorders with a 3MOS system are newly developed by Panasonic and based on the company's 3CCD technology. With their expanded light-receiving areas, the MOS sensors significantly improve image quality, even in low lighting. The three MOS sensors process the red, green, and blue components of incoming light separately. These sensors also have about double the light-receiving area of CCD sensors, so image quality when shooting in low light is much higher. Compared with a conventional 1MOS, Panasonic's new 3MOS system captures more vibrant colors and richer gradation. This high-precision imaging element is the first to shoot in lighting as low as 2 lux.
Adding to the 3MOS sensor, Panasonic HD Advanced Pure Color Engine and a new Leica Dicomar lens helps the SD100 and HS100 deliver the high quality images in full-HD 1920 x 1080 recording. The use of a highly-refractive lens also made it possible to have both 12x zoom power and a compact body.
A noise reduction circuit combines with the Intelligent Contrast Control circuit to boost image quality while reducing power consumption. The dynamic range is also about twice that in previous Panasonic models, which helps prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows and allows more natural color expression.
Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) detects hand-shake and then triggers the lens to shift to correctly align the optical axis. This happens at a rate of 4,000 times per second.
Face Detection automatically adjusts the exposure, contrast, skin complexion effect, and focus so that faces are always clear. Face Detection can detect up to 15 faces in a frame.
Intelligent Contrast Control continually measures the ambient light intensity and adjusts the contrast as it changes, helping to prevent a washed-out look in bring parts of an image and black-outs in parts with shadows.
Both camcorders come packaged with HD Writer 2.6 software for Windows, and also support iMovie '08 for Apple, which let users directly edit the full-HD moving pictures they capture with their camcorders. The SD100 and HS100 are compatible with Panasonic's VIERA Link, allowing users to connect the camcorder to a VIERA HDTV via an HDMI cable, and operate the camcorder using the TV remote control, and following on-screen prompts. Furthermore, users can also take the SD Memory Cards from the camcorders and slip it into the SD card slot on a Panasonic PZ850 series VIERA HDTV, or a Panasonic BD50 or BD30 Blu-ray Disc Player.
Users can also copy their video content to DVDs. A Panasonic VW-BN1 DVD Burner (optional) can be used to burn HD images onto a DVD disc in the original AVCHD format; no need to use a PC. The copied DVD discs can then be easily played with the VW-BN1 and sent via the SD100 or HS100 to a HDTV.
Both Panasonic models will be available in September 2008 for manufacturer?s suggested retail prices of $1,299.95 for the HDC-SD100 and $1,099.95 for the HDC-HS100.