Panasonic Rolls Out its First HD Camcorders

Panasonic said it will start to ship its first HD camcorders by March 2007. Included in its product line will be a consumer-level model that will capture HD content using flash memory.

The HD cams (models HDC-SD1 and HDC-DX1) will be based on the AVCHD standard that Panasonic developed with Sony, according to published reports. AVCHD permits 1080i video capture to standard DVD discs, flash memory cards, and PC hard disc drives.

The new Panasonic units are 3-CCD models with optical image stabilization and 12x optical zoom lenses (Leica Dicomar). Panasonic said they would be its first models to record in 5.1 surround sound. Also, a "zoom mic" segues with the camcorder's optical zoom lens, allowing it to hone in on a distant subject's audio.

The SD1 model will record to an SD High Capacity (SDHC) flash memory card. The DX1 will record to standard DpVD discs.