At a regional press conference in Sapporo, Hokkaido Japan this morning, Panasonic has announced what is a highly anticipated series of HD camcorder products, including the HDC-SDT750 -- a consumer-based AVCHD Full HD camcorder that can shoot in 3D with an interchangeable 3D conversion lens and the HM-TA1 -- a new-genre HD mobile camera with pocket-size dimensions and a size small enough to fit in the palm of the hand.
Two other products announced include the HDC-MDH1 -- a shoulder-type style SD Card Full HD camcorder and the HDC-SDX1 -- the world's lightest Full HD camcorder with Advanced Optical Technology in a compact body.
These announcements follow closely from the announcement of five new compact and hybrid digital cameras announced on 21 July 2010, such as the LUMIX LX5.
Here's a quick brief of the four new HD camcorders announced this morning:
HDC-SDT750 - Consumer-based 3D-capable HD camcorder
The SDT750 is the result of research Panasonic has been conducting in collaboration with Hollywood film studios over the years. The development of the world's first consumer 3D camcorder allows 3D images to be recorded at home by simply attaching a 3D conversion lens.
The system incorporates Panasonic's Broadcast Technology, the camcorder employs a 3MOS System, which lets users create their own 3D movies, currently seen as a technology used only by broadcast professionals.
With the 3D conversion lens, the SDT750 records right-eye and left-eye images simultaneously through its two lenses. The right and left images (each with 960 x 1080 pixels) are recorded using the side-by-side method.
When combined with a VIERA 3DTV and Blu-ray Disc player/recorder, the SDT750 makes it possible for friends and family to view their memories in vivid, lifelike images.
Note that even without the 3D conversion lens, the SDT750 comes with improved Noise Reduction (NR) technologies that helps you record dimly lit images in greater beauty. Other functions include 1080/50p recording, Intelligent Auto (iA) mode in the new HYBRID O.I.S. and plenty of manual functions.
The new HYBRID O.I.S. (Optical Images Stabilizer) is a hybrid optical and electrical images stabilization system. The SDT750 is able to detect subtle blurring that occurs when the entire arm moves vertically or horizontally. The blurring is corrected using a lens in the optical system and a sensor in the electrical system. What's impressive is that normal O.I.S. works when the 3D conversion lens is attached.
The SDT750 also comes with a 35mm wide-angle lens for indoors or tight spaces, 5.1-channel surround sound system (five microphones that include the Zoom Mic and Focus Microphone), and a Pre-Rec function (basically records 3 seconds of video into an internal buffer memory).
The 3MOS System has an effective motion image pixel count of 7,590,000 pixels (2,530,000 pixels x 3) and Full HD 1080/50p recording.
Panasonic HM-TA1 Compact HD Mobile Camera
Besides the 3D capabilities of the SDT750, Panasonic has also announced a new genre HD mobile camera -- the HM-TA1. Small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, the TA1 slips easily into a pocket or a bag and records Full HD video and high-quality photos (8 megapixels).
It measures 53.0 (width) x 17.8 (depth) x 104 (height) mm.
With an integrated USB terminal and easy uploading to YouTube and Facebook, the TA1 users MPEG-4 AVC file format (MP4) and even supports Apple's iFrame video format (960 x 540/30p) for editing ease with Mac's iMovie software.
A built-in software, HD Writer PE 1.0, automatically starts up once a user plug the TA1 into the PC. The software allows one-touch loading of image data into the PC for editing.
The TA1 is also a Skype IP phone service, so turn it into a web camera for free Skype-based video calls by connecting it to a PC.
In addition to Full HD images, the HDC-MDH1 records high-quality SD images (AVCHD standard definition) with a shoulder-type stability that professionals will like.
The 35.8mm wide-angle setting helps fit everything in one shot. Like the SDT750, the MDH1 comes with the HYBRID O.I.S.. It also comes with Intelligent Zoom for up to 23x and uses the SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card as recording media.
Similarly to the SDT750, the MDH1 also comes with the O.I.S. Lock which is a powerful hand-shake correction technology in addition to HYBRID O.I.S. By pressing the O.I.S. Lock button on the LCD monitor, the blur detection sensitivity is maximized and all camera movements are detected as hand-shake and corrected. This makes it ideal for high sensitive recording like bird watching.
Finally, the HDC-SDX1 is the world's lightest Full HD camcorder with Advanced Optical Technology in a compact body. The SDX1 is compatible with the MPEG-4 AVC file format (including iFrame) besides AVCHD, weighs only 185g and features the HYBRID O.I.S. system.
The SDX1 works with Skype and provides hassle-free to directly upload video clips to YouTube or Facebook.
It measures 51.5 (width) x 57.5 (height) x 107.5 (depth) mm. Even with a compact body, the SDX1 features a 35.8mm wide-angle setting that users can record self-portraits or portraits of other people indoors (on top of sweeping panoramas).
Expect up to 23x telephoto zoom power and the included HD Writer AE 2.6x software, which lets users directly upload videos onto YouTube or Facebook. Of course, the SDX1 can also double up as a web camera for making free Skype video calls from a PC.