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NAB: Panasonic unveils HD AG-HMC150 pro camcorder

updated 03:15 pm EDT, Mon April 14, 2008

Panasonic HMC150 HD Cam

Panasonic on Sunday revealed its newest AVCCAM professional camcorder, the AG-HMC150, at the NAB show in Vegas. The camera uses the industry's newest compression standard, AVCHD, to record video onto SD cards exclusively. Based on the standard-definition AG-DVX100, the HMC150 can record 1080 and 720 HD video at average speeds up to 21 Mbps. Four recording modes give users the flexibility to record up to 12 hours of 1440x1080-pixel HD video or three hours of 1920x1080 on a 32GB SD card. Resolution of 1280x720 can also be set, with the HMC150 supporting 1080/24p, 1080/60i and 720/60p HD formats.

The HMC150 sports a 13X Leica Dicomar manual zoom lens with a 28mm wide angle setting and a 73mm diameter. Automatic optical image stabilization helps keep video smooth, and the focus and iris can be adjusted manually or automatically. A 3.5-inch LCD shows thumbnails of recorded content. Images are captured via three 16:9 progressive 1/3-inch CCDs and a 19-bit digital signal processor capable of 14-bit A/D conversion.

Transferring or viewing video is done by simply plugging in the SD card into compatible devices or via the camera's USB 2.0 interface to Mac or PC computers. There is also an HDMI out, component out (mini D terminal) and composite out, as well as remote control connections. Professional-grade audio connections comprise XLR two-channel audio input, manual two-channel audio level VR and RCA audio out.

The HMC150 will carry a price of $4,500 when it goes on sale in the fall.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    21 Mbps!

    Now if only they could take the same encoder and put it in the consumer cameras (such as Canon's Vixia), instead of the 17 Mbps ceiling they now have... AVCHD seems to be showing a lot of promise, but in the consumer space, professional reviewers seem to agree that HDV (on MiniDV tapes) continues to offer best quality. And the only reason that is so is because AVCHD bitrate has been throttled down in order to fit more on those SDHC cards. This is fine for family beach shots, or even for birthdays, but for a high-school basketball game, AVCHD at 17 Mbps begins to show pixelation very quickly.

    Perhaps next year... Just in time for those sub- $20 32GB SDHC cards.

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