updated 12:35 pm EST, Fri January 8, 2010
HD cameras use powered image stabilization
Panasonic is using CES to reveal six new camcorders, split evenly between HD and standard-definition models. The HD cameras include the HDC-HS60, HDC-TM55 and HDC-SD60. All three are equipped with 25x optical zoom, and now have the option of powered image stabilization, said to reduce vibration five times better than was possible with earlier Panasonic technology.
The cameras have also been given support for SDXC memory cards, and face recognition, which detects up to six faces and uses them as the basis for focus, exposure and tracking. Updated LCD displays support some touch functions, and new wind noise cancellation attempts to mask unwanted ambience during outdoor recording.
While all of the HD models can record to SD cards, the HS60 and TM55 have the additional option of internal storage. The HS60 is equipped with 120GB of hard drive space, and can copy files back and forth from a card. The TM55 has 8GB of built-in memory. No prices or release dates are yet available.
The standard-definition cameras are likewise missing release information, but include the SDR-H85, SDR-T50 and SDR-S50. A 70x zoom lens is standard for each, along with SDXC support and the new wind cancellation feature; instead of powered image stabilization however, users get a new Active mode for the previous stabilization technology. The cameras further lack touchscreen commands, but have been upgraded with automatic contrast control and auto-focus/auto-exposure tracking.
The H85 incorporates an 80GB hard drive, and can copy videos directly to a DVD burner. The T50 has 4GB of internal memory, which it uses first before switching to an SD card. Like the HDC-SD60, the SDR-S50 is limited to to recording to SD.