Panasonic today announced three new models of 3CCD full high-definition camcorders that record video at resolutions of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Both the HDC-SD7, the smallest and lightest full-HD video camera to date, and the HDC-SD5, record onto SD Memory Cards. The HDC-SX5 uses DVD discs in addition to SD/SDHC Memory Cards, the first of its kind in the world. The HDC-SD5 and HDC-SX5 will be available from August 25 and the HDC-SD7 from September 8 in Japan.
The HDC-SD5 and HDC-SD7 are significantly smaller and lighter than their predecessor, the HDC-SD3. The HDC-SD5, measuring 65 (W) x 67 (H) x 135 (D) mm, weighs 340 g. The HDC-SD7, measuring 52 (W) x 110 (H) x 87 (D) mm, has a volume of 330 cc and is as light as 290g, making it the smallest and lightest in the world. The two models can record up to 90 minutes of HD video on a 4 GB SDHC memory Card which is included in the package.
The hybrid-type HDC-SX5 can record an additional 60 minutes of HD video onto a DVD-R dual layer (DL) disc, allowing it to record up to 150 minutes of HD video when both 4GB SDHC Memory Card and DVD-R DL are used. The HDC-SX5 features an easy, one-touch copy function that enables the user to copy video clips from an SD/SDHC Memory Card to a DVD disc by simply pressing the "Disc Copy" button without using a PC or other equipment.
As with every Panasonic camera, an optical image stabilizer is included as a standard feature. The Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) incorporated in the new camcorders detects and compensates hand-blur about 4,000 times a second, eight times more frequently than the previous models, the HDC-SD1 and HDC-DX1. This reduces blurry images caused by unsteady hands to about one third. This system is essential for full-HD recording and viewing as the finer the resolution becomes, the blurrier images become on a large-screen HD TV. The new camcorders feature 10x optical zoom Leica Dicomar lens that is designed for crisp, clear HD recording.
The three camcorders also feature a smart Pre-Rec function that helps the user to capture the anticipated sudden movement. When the Pre-Rec function is on, the camcorder records three seconds of images into an internal memory, before recording onto the SD/SDHC Memory Card begins. Then, when the record button is actually pressed, it will start recording onto the SD/SDHC Memory Card the entire scene including the three seconds of the images in the internal memory. This function allows the user to "go back" and capture the precious moment that would have otherwise been missed.
Panasonic also introduced 4 GB and 8 GB SDHC Memory Cards with the Class 6 speed specification which supports a data transfer rate of up to 20 MB per second and a 4 GB SDHC Memory Card with the Class 4 speed which supports a data transfer rate of 10 MB per second. They will be available from September 15 in Japan.