updated 01:15 pm EST, Wed January 9, 2008
Panasonic HD camcorders
Moving beyond the home theater sphere at CES, Panasonic has announced two new camcorders, the HDC-HS9 and SD9. Both are capable of recording AVCHD video at 1080p and 24fps, and are also equipped with 3CCD sensors and optical image stabilization. Onboard software detects faces automatically, and also analyzes situations for shooting problems; should it find any, it suggests corrections like better lighting or slower panning. Sound is recorded in 5.1 channels using five separate microphones, and output can be displayed on HDTVs using an HDMI cable.
The HS9 is a dual-format camera, able to store video on either its 60GB built-in hard drive, or SD/SDHC cards up to 16GB in size. The hard drive alone should allow for approximately 23 hours of 1080p video, creating a maximum capacity of 29 hours.
The SD9 is claimed to be the "world's smallest and lightest" HD camcorder made for SD/SDHC cards. Panasonic will not say what the largest card the camera can accept is, but assuming equivalence with the HS9, it should be able to fit 16GB cards capable of six hours of 1080p content. Both cameras will be released in March, the SD9 costing $800, and the HS9 going for $1,100.