Semi-professional HD Camcorders With World’s Highest Total Pixel Count*
Panasonic expanded its 2009 High Definition (HD) camcorder line with three new semi-professional full-HD models. The HDC-HS300, HDC-TM300 and HDC-HS250 are more advanced and feature a newly developed 3MOS chip system. Each model features Panasonic’s first camcorder touch-screen that allows icons displayed on the LCD to be easily operated by touching them with a fingertip.
Panasonic’s new 3MOS system, available in the HDC-HS300, HDC-TM300 and HDC-HS250, assures high image quality for both motion and still images by using three full-HD MOS sensors to provide the world’s highest total pixel count of 9,150,000 pixels (3,050,000 pixels x 3)*. These three semi-professional camcorders are equipped with a newly developed, large-aperture Leica Dicomar lens (filter diameter: 43 mm) and a 1/4.1-inch image sensor. They also record still images with a 10.6-megapixel resolution and feature an 8.3-megapixel resolution for still images when simultaneously recording with video. The HDC-HS300, HDC-TM300 and HDC-HS250 have a luminance of 1.6 lx, allowing them to shoot video in very low-light conditions.
“More and more, we are moving towards a High Definition lifestyle, and Panasonic’s camcorders are no exception,” said Dennis Eppel, Vice President, Network Business Group, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “With the introduction of six new models, we are answering a consumer demand to record videos in High Definition quality that are ready for viewing on High Definition TVs. We also recognize that not all users are the same — so we are introducing HD models appropriate for both advanced and new users alike.”
All the semi-professional camcorder models feature more advanced Intelligent Auto (iA) technologies, making them intuitive to use to help users more easily create high-quality video. Panasonic’s iA features include:
- Shooting Mode: Chooses the most suitable shooting mode based on the subject.
- Auto Focus (AF) Tracking: Once the user touches a selected subject on the touch-screen — the subject can be at the center of the screen or at an edge — and locks the focus on the subject, AF Tracking keeps the subject in focus even if it moves or turns to one side. This records the subject with the optimal AF/AE (auto focus/auto exposure) settings.
- Scene Detection for Motion and Still Images: The iA automatically selects the most suitable settings from Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Portrait, and Night Scenery modes.
- Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S): Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and a lens unit shifts to correctly align the optical axis, so that images are sharp and help reduce blur. The corrections happen at a remarkable rate of 4,000 times per second. Users can capture clear, sharp images even when shooting long-distance zoom shots at times when hand-shake is typically a big concern. These models also have two O.I.S. modes designed exclusively for still-image shooting.
The HS300 and HS250 both feature an internal 120 GB** Hard Disk Drive (HDD), which can store up to 50 hours of recording (in HE mode).
New to Panasonic’s camcorder line are two twin memory models, the HDC-TM300 — part of the semi-professional line and HDC-TM20, one of the introductory models. A “twin memory” camcorder means the model can record to the built-in memory or an SDHC/SD Memory Card (optional), and feature a Relay Recording function. With this feature, when the built-in memory becomes full, the camcorder switches the recording media to the SDHC/SD Memory Card to provide uninterrupted recording***. Also, camcorders with a built-in memory versus an HDD are lighter, making them more portable. The HDC-TM300 has a 32 GB built-in memory, allowing for 12 hours of recording (in HE mode), while the HDC-TM20 comes with a 16 GB built-in memory for 6 hours of recording (in HE mode).
The HS300/TM300 models come equipped with a manual ring, an electronic viewfinder and a microphone terminal — all ideal for semiprofessionals looking for more expressive video shooting. These models allow delicate and precise fingertip control of the zoom, focus, aperture, shutter speed and white balance. The HDC-HS250 was designed to be a compact HD camcorder and is virtually identical to the HS300/TM300 models in camera performance, but without the manual functions and electronic viewfinder, thus providing the same high image quality, but in a smaller body for those who want high-quality shooting in a portable body.
Suggested retail prices for all camcorders are as follows:
- $1,399.95 for the HDC-HS300
- $1,299.95 for the HDC-TM300
- $999.95 for the HDC-HS250
All models come in black and will be available in April 2009.
* For home-use camcorders, as of January 7, 2009. Effective motion image pixels: 6,210,000 (2,070,000 pixels x 3).
** 1 GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes. Usable capacity will be less.
*** The SDHC/SD Memory Card must have memory space available that is larger than the data in the built-in memory to be merged.