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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Dec 5

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12/5/2007 2:06 PM  RssIcon

Affordable Point-and-Shoot HD Camcorder Offers Benefits of SD Card, Solid-State Recording, and Professional Audio Flexibility


WIESBADEN, Germany -- 29 Nov. 2007 -- Panasonic announced the expansion of its professional AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) product line with the introduction of the AG-HMC71 AVCHD camcorder. As the industry‘s first shoulder-mount AVCHD camcorder, the AG-HMC71 records high-quality 1080i images onto readily available SD/SDHC memory cards.


Like Panasonic‘s full-production-quality solid-state P2 HD recording system, the AG-HMC71 AVCHD camcorder eliminates the need for and cost of a special deck, as well as the time required to transfer content from a tape or optical disc to the PC for editing or content distribution. Because it uses a standard SD or SDHC card, its recording capacity will increase and media cost will decrease as the industry announces new higher-capacity cards, unlike tape or disc systems that need to be replaced.


Joining the small handheld AG-HSC1U in the AVCHD camcorder lineup, the AG-HMC71 utilises the industry-standard H.264-based AVCHD video format to deliver crisp HD images. AVCHD delivers twice the recording efficiency of older MPEG-2 codec technologies like HDV, and it is supported by a growing number of nonlinear editing packages including Apple‘s Final Cut Pro® Version 6.0.1 and iMovie®, Grass Valley™ EDIUS® Software Version 4.5, Pinnacle Studio™ Plus 11, Nero® 7 Premium Reloaded, Ulead VideoStudio® 11 Plus, and Ulead DVD MovieFactory™ 6 Plus.


The AG-HMC71 features three native 16:9 progressive ¼-inch CCDs to record or provide a live feed of widescreen 1440 x 1080 HD-resolution images of weddings, sports, concerts, or other events. It can be used by law enforcement agencies for training or surveillance; by schools for video production, live staging, and documentation; or by broadcasters and newspapers for Web journalism. The camcorder is equipped with a 12X 38.5mm to 462mm (35mm film camera equivalent) Leica® wide-angle zoom lens, one-push auto focus, and integrated Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) that ensures stable images, which are most critical when displaying HD video. The camera also provides excellent colour reproduction and inherits the exceptional colour rendition of Panasonic‘s other professional HD cameras.


The camcorder brings the benefits of solid-state recording to budget-conscious professionals. Like digital still photography, recording onto an SD/SDHC card offers a fast and simple IT-compatible workflow and ensures ultra-reliable performance because the AG-HMC71 uses no moving parts (unlike tape or disc-based camcorders) in the recording process. The AG-HMC71 is resistant to shock, vibration, temperature change, and extreme weather conditions, and because it is solid-state, users have instant access to the recorded footage without the need to ingest or digitise. In addition, SD and SDHC memory cards are inexpensive, widely available, and can be reused repeatedly. Because AVCHD records video as digital data files, content can be transferred and stored on affordable, high-capacity hard-disk drives (HDD) and optical storage media and transferred to new ones as advanced technology is introduced in the future.


The flexible camcorder provides professionals with continuous record time for long-form HD video production. With just the touch of a button, users can choose to shoot in one of the camera‘s three recording modes: 6 Mbps, 9 Mbps, or 13 Mbps. Using the new 16-GB SDHC memory card (available in November 2007), the AG-HMC71 can record for up to 360 minutes at 6-Mbps quality and up to 160 minutes at 13 Mbps, the camera‘s highest quality mode.


The AG-HMC71‘s lightweight, shoulder-mount design facilitates stable shooting and better balance during long recording sessions. The camcorder‘s three-inch 16:9 LCD monitor offers thumbnail display of recorded images so videographers can monitor or delete clips. Professionals can also capture 2.1 megapixel still images with the camcorder onto the SDHC memory card -- even during video recording. The SD card content can be played back directly on a growing number of large HD flat-screen displays, front- and rear-screen projectors, and PCs that offer an SD card slot with AVCHD decoder software. It also can be played back on the Blu-ray Disc™ Player DMP-BD10AEGK and the PlayStation™ 3 game system. Through the use of NLE software, content can also be rendered in various formats and delivered on a wide range of media.


Unlike entry-level cameras, the AG-HMC71 offers professional audio capabilities including two XLR mic/line switchable inputs with attenuation, +48V Phantom Power, and both auto and manual level, with record-level dials. This allows for flexible, high-quality audio recording using a wide range of wired and wireless microphones and mixers.


Professionals can instantly transfer content from the AG-HMC71 camcorder to Mac® or PC computers with an SD/SDHC card reader or by connecting the camcorder directly via its USB 2.0 interface. Other connectors which provide even greater flexibility include HD/SD component and composite (BNCs), HDMI, and RCA audio jacks.


The AG-HMC71 will be available in April 2008. Options will include a VW-VBG6E-K 600-mAH battery, VW-W4307HE-K wide conversion lens, and VW-T4314HE-K tele conversion lens.


More information is available at www.panasonic-broadcast.com or by calling +49 611 235 459.


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About Panasonic

Panasonic is a brand name for Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd. of Japan (MEI), one of the world‘s largest manufacturers of consumer electronics and ranked third on the Fortune 500 Electronics and Electrical Equipment Index. The company was founded in 1918 in Osaka, Japan, by Konosuke Matsushita and has grown from just three employees to more than 260,000 people worldwide. Panasonic has been operating in Europe since 1962, when it established its first sales office in Hamburg, Germany. The company‘s presence has increased throughout Europe following major investment programmes in manufacturing and sales operations.

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