Panasonic today announced its 2011 line-up of standard definition camcorders, the SDR-H100, the SDR-T70 and the SDR-S70 — all compact models with advanced features like a 33mm wide-angle and a powerful Enhanced Optical Zoom of 78x. With the long and powerful zoom, Panasonic also features an Advanced OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) feature, plus Active mode — to help reduce blur when zooming, even if the user is walking.
Panasonic's three camcorder models differentiate themselves from each other based on their media storage. All three models record to SDXC, SDHC or SD Memory Cards, but the SDR-H100 records onto an 80GB hard disk drive (approximately 74 hours and 30 minutes of data when recording in LP mode), while the SDR-T70 has 4 GB of built-in memory (approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes of video in LP mode).
Panasonic's 33mm wide-angle lens makes shooting video indoors or in tight spaces more convenient by allowing more surrounding area into the frame. The wide-angle capability allows users to easily fit sweeping landscapes or large groups into the frame. Plus, with the powerful 70x optical zoom and an Enhanced 78x Optical Zoom function, these are truly versatile camcorders. The Enhanced Optical Zoom uses the effective area of the CCD to further extend zooming power at the wide-angle setting. However, because hand-shake becomes more noticeable with powerful zooming, Panasonic's Advanced O.I.S. detects and corrects hand-shake at a rate of 4,000 times per second, to help limit blurring while zooming.
Panasonic continues to expand the iA (Intelligent Auto) suite — a series of features that when activated, automatically selects the appropriate settings for optimal video quality. New to iA for the three camcorder models is the AF (Auto Focus)/AE (Auto Exposure) Tracking feature, which allows the user to simply “lock on” to a subject at the center of the screen by pressing the AF/AE button. The tracking function then automatically follows the subject even if it moves or turns to one side, helping to ensure the subject is recorded with optimal AF/AE settings. Other iA features include Intelligent Contrast Control, Face Detection, Advanced OIS, and Intelligent Scene Selector, and each is activated by simply pressing the iA button to capture beautiful images under virtually all shooting situations.
Other features of the new standard definition Panasonic camcorders include:
- Eco Mode — Automatically turns off the power when the camcorder is not operated for five minutes, reducing wasteful energy use and saving battery power.
- Zoom Mic — Links the microphone operation to the camcorder action, zooming in on sounds, while the video is also zooming.
- Wind Noise Canceller — Detects and helps suppress wind noise to provide more natural sounds.
- LED Light — Allows the user to better capture video in low-light settings.
- Easy YouTube & Facebook Uploading — Makes it fast and easy to upload video clips to YouTube.com and Facebook.com by simply installing the included VideoCam Suite software to a PC. Then, connect the camcorder to the PC using the USB interface and the software automatically starts up. When the video clip is recorded in Web mode, the user simply follows the specified procedure to upload a video clip.
Price and Availability
The Panasonic SDR-H100, the SDR-T70 and the SDR-S70 will be available in March 2011. The SDR-H100 and SDR-S70 will be available red, black and silver models, while the SDR-T70 will be available in black only. Suggested retail pricing is: