Panasonic introduces AG-HSC1U, AVCHD-shooting 3CCD camcorder
Panasonic introduced the world''s smallest professional 3CCD high-definition camcorder, the AG-HSC1U. Weighing 1.1lbs., this handheld camcorder delivers 1080i recordings with the accuracy and natural 3CCD color reproduction that professionals require for capturing events in HD.
This affordable HD camcorder is ideal for widescreen, high-resolution event documentation, presentation, training, coaching, and video production applications. Compatible with the growing number of large HD flatscreen displays as well as front- and rear-screen projectors, the AG-HSC1U offers much sharper images than can be obtained by standard definition (SD) camcorders.
Highly reliable and flexible because it records to solid-state media with no moving parts (as opposed to tape- or disc-based systems), the noiseless AG-HSC1U camcorder records up to 88 minutes (41 minutes in the highest-quality mode) of video on a high-speed 4GB SDHC memory card. A portable 40GB hard drive, capable of receiving and storing the contents of 10 4GB SDHC cards in the field, is packaged with the camcorder. SD video can be output in the widescreen 16:9 format.
“With the introduction of our AVCHD recording system, Panasonic expands its ability to offer professionals and video enthusiasts high-quality, solid-state acquisition solutions at a price that they can afford,” said Robert Harris, vice president of marketing, Panasonic Broadcast.
By utilizing the newly developed, H.264-based Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video format, the AG-HSC1U delivers two times the recording efficiency of older MPEG-2 codec technologies like HDV. The AVCHD format is supported by a growing number of leading companies throughout the industry.
The camera comes with HD Writer version 1.0 software to perform simple edits as well as the ability to record onto a DVD-R for HD playback on a Blu-ray disc player from Panasonic or Sony (including PlayStation 3).
More sophisticated editing software from third-party NLE companies is expected in the spring. In addition, Panasonic is developing a professional AVCHD recorder that is expected to be available by end of 2007.
The AVCHD camcorder incorporates a native 1/4in. 16:9 three-CCD system to deliver accurate, beautiful HD images. Its Leica Dicomar lens system features 13 lens elements in 10 groups and 21 multi-coated surfaces. The wide-angle auto/manual-focus F1.6 lens with 43mm filter size includes advanced optical image stabilization (OIS). Its optical image stabilizer ensures reliable and stable acquisition in virtually every shooting environment. The lens system uses low-dispersion optical glass for reduced chromatic aberration to produce professional-looking images.
The easy-to-use camcorder features a 16:9, 3in., 251,000-pixel LCD side screen that rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles for playback or monitoring. The AG-HSC1U offers as standard the world''s
first 5.1-channel surround sound system with five microphones for production-quality sound. By recording in 5.1-channel surround sound, a professional can incorporate active sounds coming from many directions. A Zoom Mic function links the microphones'' action to the camera''s action.
Other key features of the professional graphite-colored camcorder include faster recording on startup (1.7 seconds), a Digital Zoom (30X to 700X) and a minimum illumination of 6 lux for low-light shooting. For increased versatility, the AG-HSC1U can capture 2.1Mpixel still images onto the SDHC memory card – even during video recording. Video connections including HDMI, USB 2.0, component video, composite video, stereo audio, plus stereo mic in.
The AG-HSC1U (including camcorder, 40GB SD Store portable hard drive, 4GB SDHC memory card and HD Writer version 1.0 software) will be available in March at a suggested list price of $ 2,099. The camera will be offered with a one-year parts and labor professional warranty.