The Panasonic HC-MDH2 AVCHD Shoulder Mount Camcorder shoots SD and HD video that is compatible with PAL standards. It supports Full HD 1080p 50, using AVCHD version 2 compression at 28 Mb/s. It also shoots 1080i 50 recording at 24 Mb/s, as well as higher compression rates enabling longer recording times. The camera can also record SD footage, so it integrates into an SD or HD workflow. This makes it an option for those who are not yet ready to transition to HD but want to be able to use the same camera once they do.
The camera features a 1/2.33" MOS sensor that has been designed with a thinner wiring layer, which allows the sensor to capture more light resulting in a better low light image with less noise than with a similar sensor with a thicker wiring layer. Panasonic's Crystal Engine Pro image processor converts the info from the sensor to a viewable image. It also handles the image processing of the 50X intelligent zoom, providing smooth looking video, and minimizing artifacts.
The camera features built-in image stabilization that operates in 5-axes, compensating for vertical, horizontal, forward and back tilt, and panning motions that might otherwise be distracting to your audience. The HC-MHD2 features a level function, where the camera corrects shots that are not horizontally level. The camera's Intelligent auto mode allows the camera to select the appropriate settings to capture you image. However, you can choose to manually control, focus, zoom, iris, and white balance. The camera comes with an eyepiece viewfinder for a traditional ENG approach to shooting, but you can also use the built-in touch panel LCD instead. The camera records to available SD/SDHC/SDXC media, and features 2 x media card slots, allowing either relay or simultaneous recording to create an instant back up. Once you've captured your footage, you can connect an available USB drive to the camera and transfer directly to the drive without using a computer or other USB host device. An update on the little red recording light, the illuminated ring at the base of the lens glows to indicate the status of the camera, either blue for stand-by or red for recording.
- The design of the image sensor increases sensitivity by using a thinner wiring layer, providing for larger photodiodes that can capture more light.
- The Crystal Engine Pro image processor processes the information from the image sensor to produce HD images. It also handles the image processing of the digital zoom, providing smooth images even when the zoom exceeds the optical capabilities of the lens.
- The camera features a built-in viewfinder and a 3.0" touchscreen LCD, allowing you to frame your shot, view your images, and control the camera's features.
- The 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S.+ stabilizes your image minimizing shake by compensating for vertical and horizontal shake, as well unwanted up/down tilt, and panning shake.
- The camera's Level Shot function automatically corrects and adjusts the level of the image.
- The camera features a 20x optical zoom, which is complimented by a 50x intelligent zoom, which uses algorithms to produce a digitally zoomed image with minimal artifacts.
- The camera's two media card slot accept available SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, and you can choose relay recording, which automatically switches recording from one card to the other when the first one becomes filled, or simultaneous recording, which provides you an instant back up.
- The IA (Intelligent Auto) mode can automatically select the appropriate camera settings based on the shooting conditions.
- The IA plus mode allows you to adjust exposure compensation and white balance via the touch panel LCD.
- The lens features a manual control ring, pressing the Camera Function button on the side of the lens allows you to select manual control over focus, zoom, iris, white balance, or shutter speed.
- The built-in USB2.0 port allows you to connect a portable hard drive, and copy footage from the camera to the hard drive without using a computer. This function requires the camera to be powered via the AC adapter.
- An illuminated ring around the lens glows blue to indicate standby mode, and red to indicate recording. The illuminated ring can be turned off, allowing you to record surreptitiously.