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Panasonic Introduces 'World's Smallest' Professional HD Camcorder

Panasonic recently introduced the AG-HSC1U, a professional 3-CCD high-definition camcorder weighing 1.1 pounds.

The AG-HSC1U has a 3-inch widescreen (16:9) LCD monitor and 5.1-channel surround sound five-microphone system. It can also capture 2.1 megapixel 16:9 still pictures even during video recording. The camcorder features a 12X Leica Dicomar lens system with Optical Image Stabilizer. The AG-HSC1U also utilizes the newly developed, H.264-based Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video format, which delivers two times the recording efficiency of older MPEG-2 codec technologies like HDV.

The handheld camcorder records up to 88 minutes (41 minutes in the highest quality mode) of video on a high-speed 4 GB SDHC memory card. The AG-HSC1U comes standard with a portable 40 GB media storage unit for off-loading content from the 4 GB SDHC memory card. The 40 GB hard disk drive can hold the contents of ten 4 GB SDHC memory cards and has a built-in rechargeable battery. The camera also comes standard with a 4 GB SDHC memory card and with HD Writer Version 1.0 software.

The AG-HSC1U is available in March. Panasonic is also developing a professional AVCHD recorder that is expected to be available by end of 2007.