updated 04:20 pm EDT, Mon April 20, 2009
Panasonic AG-HMC40 camera
At the currently ongoing National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, Panasonic is showing off a new professional video camera from its AVCCAM lineup, the 3-megapixel AG-HMC40. Capable of capturing 10.6-megapixel still images, the camera uses 2-megapixel quarter-inch 3MOS imagers, a 12x optical zoom and a weight of less than 2.2lbs to both record better in low light while remaining easy to carry. It records to SDHC memory cards in AVCHD (H.264) format at up to 1080p for 30 or 60 frames per second and can also record at a film-speed 24 frames per second at 720p.
In software, the video camera can improve the perceived detail with a dynamic range stretch mode as well as a gamma mode, with the former helping to compensate for sharp variations in lighting conditions while the latter gives recordings a more grainy, film-like look.
The camcorder is capable of recording in the four professional AVCCAM modes, including the high-quality PH mode that averages 21Mbps and a maximum of 24Mbps, the HA mode at approximately 17Mbps, the HG mode at 13Mbps and the extended recording HE mode at about 6 Mbps. On a 32GB SDHC card, users can record 3 hours of 1080p video in PH mode, 4 hours in HA mode, 5.3 hours at HG and as much as 12 hours at a 4:3-ratio 1440x1080 resolution in HE mode. Via the 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen, users can adjust solid-state recording functions including pre-record, interval recording, shot marker and metadata capture.
Connections on the HMC40 include an HDMI output, mini B-type USB 2.0 ports, a composite output (AV multi/ch1, ch2), analog component (mini-D), detachable XLR audio input and audio REC level adjustment dials.
The HMC40 will be available in August, priced at $3,195.