DigitalCameraReview.com
Panasonic Announces New HD Camcorders
by Andy Stanton -  1/9/2012

Panasonic has announced several new HD camcorders at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

HC-X900M
The HC-X900M camcorder, which can record HD videos at 1920 x 1080, 60 progressive, builds on the success of last year's HDC-HS900 by adding the new 3MOS System Pro imaging system to help achieve dramatic increases in performance thanks to a re-engineering of all the core imaging components: the sensor, processor and lens. This enables the HC-X900M to produce potentially bright video even under dim lighting, while also minimizing noise.

The new 3MOS sensor uses Panasonic's pixel shift technology, for improved colors, detail and noise reduction. The HC-X900M also employs a new processor, the Crystal Engine Pro II, which enables it to achieve much faster speeds for greater detail with HD images. The lens used by the HC-X900M is a wide angle, 12x optical zoom Leica Dicomar lens with an extremely fast f/1.5 maximum aperture for a brighter image in low light. The lens has a nano surface coating to reduce lens flare.

In addition, the HC-X900M has professional-like features such as a manual ring for selecting commonly used functions, rather than delving into the menu, an intelligent auto mode, 5.1-channel surround sound and an advanced optical image stabilization system called Hybrid O.I.S., which reduces the incidence of blur caused by camera shake. Hybrid O.I.S. even works when shooting while walking or otherwise moving, thanks to a function known as Active Mode. The HC-X900M can also shoot full-HD 3D video (in the AVCHD 3D format) with the new optional conversion 3D lens, the VW-CLT2, which has a fast f/2.0 aperture and 1.5x digital zooming.

Other features of the Panasonic HC-X900M include 32GB of built-in memory plus support for SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards, a touch screen LCD, a zoom mic function which links the microphone's capability to the camera's zoom action and helps to reduce surrounding noise, a wind noise canceller which automatically detects and suppresses only the wind noise, a pre-rec function which allows the camcorder to continuously record three seconds of video to an internal buffer memory to record scenes prior to pressing the record button, and an eco mode which automatically turns off the power when the camcorder is not operated for five minutes, thus saving battery power.

Pricing and 2012 availability will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipping. The Panasonic HC-X900M will be available in black.

HC-V10
The HC-V10 camcorder provides high definition video recording with a powerful 70x enhanced optical zoom in a compact design. Advanced features, including intelligent auto and pre-rec, allow users to point, shoot and easily capture HD videos with the press of a button.

The compact HC-V10 camcorder features high definition recording and a powerful 63x optical zoom lens with an enhanced optical 70x zoom function. HD video can be recorded in the popular MP4 format, and can also be recorded in iFrame format, which is designed to make video editing quicker.

The HC-V10's intelligent auto mode consists of four functions that automatically select the most suitable shooting mode - Power optical image stabilization suppresses blur from shaky hands, intelligent contrast control prevents blown highlights and blocked shadows, intelligent scene selector automatically selects the best scene mode to record in based on shooting conditions and face detection senses ambient lighting to adjust exposure and capture faces, even in dim or backlit scenes.

Other features of the HC-V10 include a pre-rec function which allows users to capture three seconds of video prior to pressing the record button, a 31.6mm wide angle lens, and HD Write HE 1.0 software for editing and sharing with friends and websites such as Facebook or YouTube.

The Panasonic HC-V10 will be available in black, silver and red. Pricing and 2012 availability will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipping.

HS-WA2
The HX-WA2 camcorder provides users with enhanced features and durable product design for more opportunities to shoot high quality video and still images in a variety of outdoor conditions. Ideal for capturing underwater activities and scenes, the HX-WA2 camcorder features a waterproof design which allows for submersion in water at a depth of up to 9 feet, 8 inches (three meters).

In addition to capturing HD videos, the HX-WA2 can also shoot, high-quality, 14 megapixel still images. The HX-WA2 includes a panorama mode function which operates by simply panning the camera up, down, left or right to easily capture horizontal or vertical panoramic images. Intelligent 15x zoom allows users to record faraway subjects in extreme detail and active electronic image stabilization helps reduce blur from shaky hands.

The HX-WA2 also includes HD Writer VE2.0 software, for creatively editing your videos and easily uploading them to Facebook and YouTube. The Panasonic HX-WA2 will be available in blue and orange. Pricing and 2012 availability will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipping.

HC-V700, HC-V700M, HC-V500, HC-V500M, HC-V100 and HC-V100M
These six HD camcorders all have an advanced 1MOS sensor with 1920 x 1080 resolution and capture exceptionally high quality videos in various lighting conditions. They all feature a compact body to make them more convenient to carry anywhere, ultra-long zoom, intelligent auto with face recognition and optical image stabilization to control blur caused by shaky hands. They all accept SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.

The HC-V700 and HC-V700M models include an ultra-sharp 460k-dot LCD with touch control, 3D image capability by mounting a 3D conversion lens, such as the new VW-CLT2, and Advanced Highlight Playback, which detects zooming, panning, scene changes, and faces in recorded images as "highlights" and then automatically plays back the detected highlight scenes. Other features include 21x optical zoom, which can be extended to 46x with intelligent zoom technology, a 28mm wide angle lens, Hybrid optical image stabilization for controlling blur from shaky hands and an eco mode, which automatically turns off the power when the camcorder is not operated for five minutes.

The HC-V500 and HC-V500M camcorders also have touch control and Advanced Highlight Playback, Hybrid optical image stabilization and an eco mode. Other features include 38x optical zoom, which can be extended to 50x zoom with intelligent zoom, a 32.4mm wide angle lens, and features that allow users to exercise their creativity - a function to convert 2D images recorded by the user into 3D images and four special effect modes, natural, pop, dynamic and classical.

The HC-V100 and HC-V100M camcorders are for consumers looking for a very lightweight option. They are compact, approximately the size of a can of soda. These models also feature low power consumption and extended recording capability, which makes them ideal for traveling, outdoor shooting, or other situations when it is difficult to charge the battery. Users are able to shoot continuously for 155 minutes in full HD without worrying about remaining battery power. Other features include a 34x optical zoom, which can be extended to 42x zoom with intelligent zoom, a 32.5mm wide angle lens and Power optical image stabilization.

All six camcorders will be available in black. Pricing and 2012 availability will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipping.