New Camcorders from Panasonic

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Panasonic has announced a gaggle of high-def, palm-sized camcorders, each designed to capture impressively high quality 1080/60p video capture under the lowest lighting conditions.

Panasonic 3MOS System Pro

The heavy hitter of the bunch is the Panasonic HC-X900M, which features an  8.96Mp (4k2k resolution) 3MOS imaging sensor (1/4.1") that is designed to capture 1080/60p HD video and stills under any and all lighting conditions, including extreme low-light scenarios. According to Panasonic, the HC-X900M’s high-def imaging sensor is driven by a re-engineered Crystal Engine Pro II image processor that produces imagery that’s about 40% quieter than the camcorder’s predecessors, the Panasonic HS900 and TM900.

To capture the finest image quality, Panasonic’s HC-X900M has an f/1.5 Leica Dicomar 12x optical zoom lens (with a 29.8mm wide-angle equivalent) that features flare-busting Nano Surface Coatings and an Octagon Iris Diaphragm that enables user-controlled defocusing that allows you to shoot close-ups that maintain background details.

Other features found on the HC-X900M include 16Mp still capture, manual focus override; a 5.1-channel surround sound audio system; a Zoom Mic function and Wind Noise Canceller for optimized audio quality; an advanced  5-way Optical Image Stabilization system (HYBRID O.I.S +) with a hyper-sensitive O.I.S. LOCK function that adds additional levels of protection from blur and camera shake when zooming in to photograph birds and similar subjects from a fixed angle; full-HD 3D video image capture (AVCHD 3D format) with the optional VW-CLT2 3D lens; and 3D conversions from 2D subjects using the camera’s 3D Conversion function.

The Panasonic HC-X900M also features an iA function that includes face recognition, AF/AE Tracking, an Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Contrast Control for times you just want to “point and shoot.” An especially impressive feature is the HC-X900M’s 1,150,000-dot 3.5" touch screen that in addition to Touch Zoom and Touch Shutter functionality, allows for viewing 3D playback without need of 3D glasses. And along with the HC-X900M’s 3.5" LCD, the camera also sports a 0.27" 230,000-dot viewfinder.

Panasonic’s HC-X900M supports SD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards and includes 32GB of internal memory.

Image Sensor  1/4.1" MOS Sensor x 3
Zoom 12 x - (35mm Equivalent 29.8 - 368.8mm)
Recording Media Built-in memory (32GB), SD, SDHC, SDXC Memory Card
Recording Format AVCHD 3D/ Progressive [iFrame] MP4 - MPEG-4 AVC/ H.264
Microphone 5.1-ch Surround, Zoom and Focus Microphone
LCD Monitor 3.5" Wide 3D LCD monitor (1,152,000 dots)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 2.64 x 2.83 x 5.90" (67 x 72 x 150mm)
Weight  0.93 lb (0.42 kg)

Panasonic 1MOS System

Panasonic’s 1MOS-series camcorders, which feature a slightly smaller imaging sensor than the HC-X900M, start with the HC-V700M (SD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards plus 16GB of internal memory). It features a Panasonic 1MOS imaging sensor; 21x optical zoom (and up to 46x i.Zoom) with 28mm wide-angle equivalency; 5-axis O.I.S. image stabilization; a 3.0" 460,000-dot LCD; a dual channel zoom mic with a wind noise canceller; and 6.1Mp still capture.

Other features found in Panasonic’s HC-V700M include a choice of 2D or 3D imaging (3D capture requires an optional conversion lens, such as the VW-CLT2), as well as post-capture 2D to 3D conversion via the camera’s 3D Conversion Function. There’s also a very cool Advanced Highlight Playback function that utilizes what Panasonic calls an Intelligent Index System (I.I.S.) that detects scene changes such as zooms, pans, scene changes, image fades and facial detection; and along with any user scene selections, digests them into a compilation of video highlights for quick review.

For those who prefer or need a longer zoom range Panasonic has introduced the HC-V500 (SD, SDHC, SDXC memory ), which features a 38x optical zoom lens (plus 50x i.Zoom) with a 32.4mm equivalent f/1.8 wide angle equivalency; a choice of 2D or 3D imaging (plus post-capture 2D to 3D conversion via the camera’s 3D Conversion Function); Advanced Highlight Playback, 5-axis O.I.S. image stabilization, a 3.0" 230,400-dot LCD; a dual channel zoom mic with a wind noise canceller; four special effects modes (Natural, Pop, Dynamic and Classical); and 3Mp still capture.

Additional features common to Panasonic’s HC-V700M and HC-V500 include a power-saving ECO-Mode that turns the camera off when left idle for more than five minutes. Their touch-screen displays feature a Touch Zoom mode that allows you to zoom in or out with the touch or sweep of a finger and a Touch Shutter mode that enables you to focus on your subject and capture a still image with the touch of a finger.

A bit more modest and compact (2 x 2.34 x 4.43") is Panasonic’s HC-V100 (SD, SDHC, SDXC memory),  which features a 34x optical zoom lens (plus 42x i.Zoom) and a 32.5mm f/1.8 equivalent wide angle equivalency; a 2.7" 230,400-dot LCD; Power O.I.S. with Active Mode; a dual channel zoom mic with a wind noise canceller; and 2.1Mp still image capture.

Panasonic’s HC-X900M, HC-V700M and HC-V500 camcorders are available only in black. The HC-V100 is available in black and silver.

  HC-V700M HC-V500 HC-V100
Image Sensor  1/2.33" High Sensitivity MOS Sensor 1/5.8" High Sensitivity MOS Sensor 1/5.8" High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
Zoom 21 x - (35mm Equivalent 28.0 - 717.4mm) 38 x - (35mm Equivalent 32.4 - 1345mm) 34 x - (35mm Equivalent 32.5 - 1205.7mm)
Recording Media Built-in memory (16GB), SD, SDHC, SDXC Memory Card SD, SDHC, SDXC Memory Card SD, SDHC, SDXC Memory Card
Recording Format AVCHD Progressive [iFrame] MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/ H.264 AVCHD Progressive [iFrame] MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/ H.264 AVCHD [iFrame] MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/ H.264
Microphone 2-ch Stereo (Zoom Mic) 2-ch Stereo (Zoom Mic) 2-ch Stereo
LCD Monitor 3.0" Wide LCD monitor (460,800 dots) 3.0" Wide LCD monitor (230,400 dots) 2.7" Wide LCD monitor (230,400 dots)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 2.165 x 2.717 x 4.705" (55 x 69 x 120mm) 2.067 x 2.559 x 4.705"  (53 x 65 x 120mm) 2.028 x 2.343 x 4.429" (51 x 60 x 112mm)
Weight  0.597 lb (0.27 kg) 0.500 lb (0.23 kg) 0.399 lb (0.18 kg)

HC-V10

For those seeking a simple-yet-able camcorder, Panasonic has introduced the HC-V10, which despite its small form factor, has a 63x optical zoom (with an Enhanced Optical 70x Zoom function) and the wide-angle equivalency of a 31.6mm f/1.9 lens for capturing vivid MP4 video clips. Available in a choice of black, silver and red, the Panasonic HC-V10 contains a number of advanced video-capture features that can be utilized by beginners and advanced videographers alike, including Intelligent Auto (iA) and Pre-Rec that enables true Hi Def, point-and-shoot simplicity with a simple touch of the shutter button.

Other neat, easy-to-use features include 2D editing; an HD Writer software that features a Timeline mode, displayed storyboard style, for accurate video editing; a Smart Wizard mode that enables you to easily copy video clips to your PC via a USB connection; and a Copy/Archive/Playback mode that automatically skips over pre-archived video files when you copy your video clips to your PC, preventing unnecessary, memory-hogging duplicate files. The HD Writer HE 1.0 software enables easy uploading of video clips to YouTube and Facebook. Panasonic’s HC-V10 is compatible with SD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards.

Image Sensor  1/5.8" High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
Zoom 63 x - (35mm Equivalent 31.6 - 2261.5mm)
Recording Media SD, SDHC, SDXC Memory Card
Recording Format MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/ H.264
Microphone 2-ch Stereo
LCD Monitor 2.7" Wide LCD monitor (230,400 dots)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 2.165 x 2.539 x 4.311" (55 x 64 x 110mm)
Weight  0.467 lb (.21 kg)