updated 02:30 pm EST, Wed November 8, 2006
Panasonic HDC-SD1 cam
Panasonic's HDC-SD1 is the first camcorder to record to SD cards in the AVCHD format. Based on H.264, the format was developed by Panasonic and Sony, and promises HD in smaller file sizes than those found on HDV and MiniDV cameras. Because the camera uses flash memory instead of discs, the SD1 also eliminates seek times associated with fast-forwarding and rewinding. A 3CCD sensor can record images up to 1080i in resolution, and a set of five microphones can record 5.1 surround sound, adjusting their pickup as the user zooms in and out. The Leica Dicomar lens has 12x optical zoom and a maximum aperture range of f/1.8 to 2.8. The camera will go on sale December 1st in Japan for the price of 180,000 yen ($1,530). A 4GB SD card will come standard.