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Panasonic Launches Still Cameras with HD Video

This week, Panasonic rolled new models in its Lumix line—cameras designed to produce both high-quality still photos and HD video images, as the distinction between still digital photography and HD video equipment lessens.

Both new Lumix units (DMC-TZ7 and DMC-FT1) include what Panasonic calls “motion-image AVCHD Lite technology” to produce HD imagery with quality audio.

The Lumix DMC-TZ7 will be marketed as “the world's smallest digital camera” with 12x optical zoom. On the other hand, the DMC-FT1 is made for remotes in rugged terrain and is waterproof, shockproof and dustproof, Panasonic said.

The AVCHD Lite scheme permits a user to watch both still images and HD video by inserting a SDHC/SD memory card (from the camera) into a Viera-brand Image Viewer (built-in card slot) to start playback on the Viera TV set. (The Lumix camera also can be connected via an optional mini-HDMI cable to a Viera TV.

Panasonic said the TZ7 features a 3-inch, 10.1-megapixel LCD with a wider viewing angle than is typical, for enhanced visibility during both recording and playback.

Also this week, Panasonic announced two new super-light HD camcorders (HDC-SD10 and HDC-TM10). The SD10 weighs eight ounces and records 1080p onto SDHC memory cards via AVCHD.