The HDC-SD1 records onto high capacity, solid-state SDHC Memory Cards. This tough, compact model debuts as the world's smallest and lightest 3CCD High Definition video camcorder. Because there are no moving parts in the recording section, the HDC-SD1 is also exceptionally resistant to impact. The user can count on reliable, virtually error-free recording.
The HDC-DX1 records onto convenient DVD discs. There is never a need to rewind or fast-forward, so users can play back a scene immediately after recording. The video image and sound data are recorded directly onto the disc for easy storage.
Both models use the high-resolution AVCHD format and feature the kind of 3CCD video recording system used in many professional broadcast cameras. The HDC-SD1 provides about 1 hour of High Definition recording on a 4GB SDHC Memory Card and the HDC-DX1 provides about 40 minutes of High Definition recording on a dual-layer DVD-R disc.
"We're excited to introduce Panasonic's first consumer High Definition video camcorders," said Rudy Vitti, national marketing manager, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "We've implemented our black box technologies, such as our 3CCD camera system and Optical Image Stabilization to deliver the best image quality to consumers. These two camcorders offer quality and accessibility, with the scalability of SD memory with the HDC-SD1 or the convenience of recording to DVD discs with the HDC-DX1."
Panasonic, which has devoted extensive research and development to improving the image and sound quality of home-use video cameras, believes that the 3CCD camera system is essential to creating High Definition video cameras with the level of image quality demanded by consumers today. In a 3CCD camera system, the light received through the lens is split into its three primary color components (red, green and blue), and the signal from each is processed by one of the three CCDs (charge-coupled devices or chips). Compared with conventional 1CCD camera systems, Panasonic's 3CCD system provides more vivid, true-to-life colors, greater detail and richer gradation.
These two new models also incorporate Panasonic revolutionary Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) that minimizes the effect of the slightest shake of the hands, resulting in crisp, clear images that are beautiful on a large screen. Because this system is optical and not digital, there is no loss of quality and images are captured in all of their original beauty. O.I.S. is truly necessary in the age of large-screen, high-resolution TVs, when every image imperfection is easily visible.
The HDC-SD1 and HDC-DX1 feature the world's first 5.1-channel surround sound system with 5 microphones(2). When recordings made with these models are played on a 5.1-channel home theater system, viewers are surrounded by a clear, detailed sound that makes them feel as if they are right in the middle of the action. A Zoom Mic function links the microphone's action to the camera's action. When zooming in on a subject in the distance, for example, the microphones also zoom in and record the sounds specific to that subject. When recordings made with the HDC-SD1 and HDC-DX1 are viewed on a large- screen, high-resolution TV with 5.1-channel surround sound, the result is the kind of detailed, vibrant images and acoustic performance that make High Definition a truly revolutionary technology.
The Leica Dicomar lens featured in the HDC-SD1 and HDC-DX1 has 13 lens elements in 10 groups, with 21 multi-coated surfaces, and uses low-dispersion optical glass to reduce chromatic aberration(3). This advanced lens also minimizes harmful reflections, so images are crisp, clear and free of flare and ghosting.
With the HDC-SD1 and HDC-DX1, Panasonic has set new image and sound quality standards for today's video cameras, while giving home users a tool for making their own High Definition recordings.
Both high definition camcorders will be available in March, the HDC-SD1 for a suggested price of $1,499.95 and the HDC-DX1 for a suggested price of $1,399.95.