updated 11:35 am EST, Thu December 7, 2006
Panasonic AVCHD Camera Duo
Panasonic this morning revealed a pair of new 3CCD camcorders using the enhanced compression of AVCHD to improve their picture quality and recording time. At the forefront is the HDC-SD1 (pictured): the camera is the world's smallest and lightest 3CCD HD-capable camera, Panasonic says. This is accomplished by the use of SDHC memory cards for storage. Although no moving parts are needed to record information, the extra capacity of the new SD format allows for 4GB or more of video. The included 4GB card can hold an hour of 1920x1080 HD, according to the company. The more conventional HDC-DX1 exchanges this flash memory for dual-layer recordable DVDs and can write as much as 40 minutes of HD directly to a mini DVD disc.
More details and photography after the jump.
Both cameras are distinguished by the unprecedented use of 5.1 channel audio recording: the SD1 and DX1 each have five distinct microphones and will produce a surround sound effect that adapts as the focus and central subject change. Each camcorder is also said to sport enhanced optics, with both models using a 13-element Leica-made lens and an optical image stabilizer that corrects sudden movement without sacrificing quality. The two are expected to ship in March at prices of $1,499 for the SDI and $1,399 for the DX1.