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Panasonic’s funky new SD-card high-def camcorder

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Panasonic will begin selling two new high-definition camcorders in December, based on the recently developed AVCHD format, it said Wednesday at a news conference in Tokyo.

One of the cameras, the HDC-SD1, records images onto an SD memory card so users don’t have to worry about blank tapes or discs. The camera, which was unveiled in prototype form at October’s Ceatec show, can store about 90 minutes of video on a 4GB memory card at 6Mbps bitrate.

The second of the two cameras, the HDC-DX1, records onto 8cm DVD-RAM/-R/-RW and DVD-R dual-layer (DL) discs. A dual-layer disc can store up to an hour of video, according to Panasonic.

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Both cameras record at 1080i, which is just below the 1080p system judged to be the highest of several video quality levels that fall within the high-definition bracket. They also both have 3CCD sensors behind the lens (one each for red, blue and green)  to provide a better picture than models with a single image sensor.

The HDC-SD1 will go on sale in Japan on December 1 and is the more expensive of the two cameras. It will cost ¥180,000 (US$1,527) with a bundled 4G-byte card. The HDC-DX1 will hit stores two weeks later and will cost ¥160,000. The memory card camera is small, measuring 74 x 69 x 142 mm, and weighs 430g excluding the battery. The DVD camera measures 92 x 91 x 163 mm and weighs 680g.

Martyn Williams

01:09 AM JMLH • Permalink
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