February 24, 2008: Panasonic has released its third generation of high definition (HD) camcorders, with two new models – the HDC-SD9 and HDC-HS9 – which use the AVCHD format and capture images in 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution.
Claimed as the world’s smallest and lightest 3CCD Full HD camcorder, the HDC-SD9, which will be available next month with 32GB of memory for $1869 (RRP), records to SD/SDHC memory cards to offer unmatched mobility. The larger HDC-HS9 model (RRP $1999) is a hybrid model that records HD images onto either a SD/SDHC Memory Card or a built-in 60GB hard disk. The HS9 can copy recorded video images from the SD card to the hard disk, or vice versa.
The SDR-S9 is claimed as the world’s smallest, lightest 3CCD Full HD camcorder.
The new models introduce ‘Face Detection’ to the HD camcorder range. Panasonic’s ‘Face Detection’ system automatically adjusts the exposure according to the ambient brightness, so faces appear bright and easy to see. When the camcorder detects a face in the scene, a square frame appears around it in the LCD monitor, and the exposure is adjusted to correct the brightness level. The skin tone is also smoothed. Face Detection can detect up to five faces at once.
Another new feature is an Intelligent Shooting Guide , which detects shooting problems – such as when the camcorder is panning too quickly or tilted, the user’s hand is swinging,
the subject is backlit, or the lighting is too low – and displays operating advice on the LCD. Both camcorders feature 5.1-channel surround sound and have five microphones for recording. When these recordings are played on a 5.1-channel home cinema system, a realistic impression of the scene is created. A Zoom Mic function links the microphones’ directivity to the operation of the zoom lens, and a Focus Mic function picks up sounds from sources in the area in front of the camcorder, regardless of whether the lens is focusing on a near or distant object.
Both models include a burst mode that allows up to 25 consecutive 2.1MB-resolution still images to be captured in one second, or about 75 consecutive shots in 3 seconds for motion analysis. A special ‘World Timer’ eliminates the need to manually reset the camcorder time when crossing time zones. Time can be set for two different locations, such as home and a travel destination. The user can switch between them at the press of a button. For full product and stockist information, phone Panasonic on 132 600 or visit www.panasonic.com.au.