Panasonic's New HD Camcorders Take Videos Of Things In HD

We've seen Panny's standard-def camcorders, but here are Panasonic's three new HD cams. The HDC-HS60, HDC-TM55 and HDC-SD60 are all compact LCD touchscreen camcorders with 35.7mm wide-angle lenses and a healthy 25x optical zoom. And that's just the basics.

They're also the first Panasonic camcorders capable of recognising up to six faces in view. You can pick a face to keep focus on in a shot, and it has a wind noise canceller and an Eco Mode that turns off the power after five minutes of dormancy. The zoom can also extend to 35x for those occasions when you need to spy on the house one further down the block.

Pricing and availability will be announced "30 days prior to shipping date", which we don't know yet. But know that you'll have at least a month to mull it over.

Panasonic Unveils New Full HD Camcorders, Ideal for Casual Shooters Looking for Portability and HD Quality

Equipped with Wide-Angle Lenses and Extended Zooms, Panasonic's New HD Camcorders, including the HDC-TM55, Provide Increased Shooting Ranges

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Panasonic today introduces new full High Definition (HD) camcorders to its 2010 line, which includes three compact and stylish models, the HDC-HS60, HDC-TM55, HDC-SD60 - perfect for users wanting portability, without sacrificing HD quality. All new Panasonic HD camcorders feature a 35.7mm wide-angle lens, ideal for capturing a variety of different shooting situations, such as self-portraits, indoor group shots and outdoor landscapes.

Panasonic's three lightweight and stylish introductory HD camcorder models, the HDC-HS60, HDC-TM55 and HDC-SD60 may be ultra-compact in size, but these models all feature a powerful 25x optical zoom. And with Panasonic's new Intelligent Zoom feature, the new HD camcorders can extend to a 35x zoom. Intelligent Zoom corrects image degradation in ordinary digital zooming to deliver stunningly clear HD quality, even with the zoom fully extended.

"Consumer demand for High Definition camcorders continues to grow, so Panasonic's 2010 line of camcorders introduces some models intended for users new to HD camcorders - so they are small, compact and easy-to-use," said Chuck Kirkman, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronic Company. "The Panasonic HS60, TM55 and SD60 are intuitive camcorders that deliver full High Definition video that users will be proud to show their friends and family, either from a computer or a High Definition television."

All three new models expand Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) with the addition of Face Recognition, a feature that lets the user register up to six faces and the camcorder will then automatically prioritize focus and exposure on the registered face(*1). In addition, the focus continues to track the subject as the person moves anywhere within the LCD frame, making it easy to focus on a specified person in a group. Other iA features include: AF/AE Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Contrast Control, Face Detection and POWER O.I.S. POWER O.I.S., new to the 2010 line of HD camcorder is approximately five times the corrective power of previous versions and helps suppress blurring from low-frequency vibration. Also, all models feature Active mode in POWER O.I.S. which minimizes the blurring while the user is moving and walking.

All Panasonic camcorders record content to SDHC/SD Memory Cards and the new SDXC Memory Cards, including Panasonic's newly announced 64 GB(*2) SDXC Memory Card - to enable high capacity content storage and fast data transfer speeds. The hybrid HS60 camcorder can also record data onto its large 120 GB(*2) Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and can copy recorded video from a card to the HDD, or vice versa, with a simple one-touch operation. The Twin Memory version, the HDC-TM55, records to its 8 GB(*2) built-in memory and the SD60, recording to memory card only, is highly resistant to impacts since it has no drive mechanism.

Other features included on the 2010 Panasonic HD Camcorder line:

* Eco Mode(*3): Automatically turns off the power when the camcorder is not operated for five minutes, reducing wasteful energy use and saving battery power. * Wind Noise Canceller: New feature that automatically detects and suppresses wind noise to help ensure natural sounds with lifelike ambience. * Touch-Screen Operation: Touch-screen icons displayed on the LCD lets users operate a variety of functions intuitively without taking their eyes off of the subject they are recording. * Auto Power LCD: Automatically adjusts the brightness of the LCD screen according to the shooting environment. In dark places, the screen brightness is reduced to 1/3 the normal level. In bright outdoor places, the screen brightness is double the normal level. * VIERA Link(TM): Connect a Panasonic HD Camcorder to a Panasonic VIERA® HDTV via an HDMI mini cable, and operate the camcorder using the TV's remote control and follow on-screen prompts.

Pricing and availability for the Panasonic HDC-HS60, HDC-TM55, HDC-SD60 High Definition camcorders will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date. All models will be available in black. For more information on these models, please visit www.panasonic.com/CES2010.

*1 Depending on background and facial expression, camcorder may not recognise a registered person. For family members with similar facial features, camera may not correctly identify the intended subject.

*2 GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes.

*3 Set to ON when shipped from the factory.

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