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Panasonic outs HS700 and TM700 HD camcorders
by Jamison Cush -  2/9/2010

Panasonic today unveiled two new HD camcorders, the HDC-HS700 and the HDC-TM700, both featuring a longer zoom, wider lens, and more advanced image stabilization than last year's TM300.

Panasonic HDC-HS700
Panasonic HDC-HS700

Similar specs, different storage capacity
Both the HS700 and TM700 shoot high-definition 1920x1080 video (1080/60p) through a 35mm wide-angle Lecia lens. Panasonic claims that the camcorders' high-sensitive 3MOS system allows for a vivid color production and high performance in low-light. The 3MOS sensor also shoots 14.2 megapixel stills and enables users to pluck 13.3 megapixel stills from video footage. The camcorders sport 12x optical zoom which can be extended to 18x Intelligent Zoom, which essentially is digital zoom with Panasonic image enhancement.

Panasonic HDC-TM700
Panasonic HDC-TM700

Both devices have a 3.0 inch LCD touchscreen with automatic screen brightness adjustment and a manual ring for simple zoom, focus, aperture, shutter speed, and white balance control. They also feature a host of Panasonic branded technology, including Power Optical Image Stabilization, Intelligent Auto (automatically selects ideal shooting mode, now with face recognition and subject tracking), smile detection, Wind Noise Canceller, five on-board microphones for 5.1 channel surround sound, and Zoom Microphones.

The only notable difference between the two is the storage capacity. The HS700 has a 240GB hard disk drive, while the TM700 has 32GB of built-in memory. Both support SD and Panasonic's new 64GB SDXC card.

Pricing and availability
While there was no word from Panasonic on pricing or a shipping date, last year's model, the TM300, retailed for $1,300 at launch.