Thursday, March 1, 2007

Two new 3CCD High Definition AVCHD Camcorders from Panasonic - have we been waiting for these?

It has happened! Now we have two HD devices from Matsushita Electric with their traditional 3CCD sensors system. One model - HDC-DX1 can record and play DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD-R discs and SD/SDHC Memory Card. But it’s not only my opinion that DVD camcorders can’t make a high quality film because their processors are weak for that work. For example my PC with AMD Atlon XP+ 3000 needed about one night for encoding one film from MiniDV format to DVD. I think it is a problem for Matsushita engineers to build into the Panasonic HDC-DX1 something like the Core 2 Duo, although the HDC-SD1 is a more interesting camcorder. It has no moving parts in the recording section because SD-1 records to SDHC Memory Cards. However this compact model is the smallest HD camcorder now. As for SDHC-cards it concerns we already have 4 Gb cards and it is not a limit now. These two new models have some great features like Optical Image Stabilizer and 5.1-channel surround sound system with 5 microphones. Specialy for HD cams Leica Dicomar has designed new lens. The prices for new Panasonic HD-cams do not look terrible and are the same as for Sony’s HD camcorders. You can wait for the HDD or MiniDV HD camcorders but I think that HDC-SD1 is a cool device. But the price is cool too and this summer a lot of new models will appear on the market which can cause lessening of the prices.

Image Sensor
1/4" CCD x 3 (560 k x 3 pixels, Total / 520 k x 3 [16:9] (Motion Picture / Still Picture) Effective)
F Value
F 1.8 (wide) / 2.8 (tele)
Optical Zoom
12x Variable Speed Zoom
Focal Length
4.0 - 48.0 mm
Filter Diameter
43 mm
35 mm Film Camera Equivalent
38.5 - 462 mm [16:9] (Motion Picture / Still Picture)
Lens Brand
Leica Dicomar
Minimum Illumination
2 Lux (MagicPix)
AF / Manual
White Balance
Auto / White Set / Indoor / Outdoor (with IR Sensor)
High-Speed Shutter
1/60 - 1/8000 (Motion Picture), 1/60-1/8000 (Still Picture)
Auto / Manual
Backlight Compensation
3,0" LCD 250,000 pix
1m-2.5m (approx.)
Stereo 5ECM, 5.1-ch Surround Sound, Zoom Mic, Wind Noise Reduction
Date recording
Auto Date ( in Data Code)
Image Stabilizer
Digital Zoom
40x 700x
Self Timer
Yes (10sec. / 2sec. / OFF) (Only Photo)
Card Slot
Still Pictures
JPEG Picture size: [16:9] 1920 x 1080 2.1MEGA
Max. 999stills
Microphone (Stereo mini)
Yes (in)
2,0 High Speed (mini B)
Component Video
Power Supply
DC 9.3 V / 7.2 V
Battery Pack

Recording Format
Recording Time
HF: 40 min. / HN: 60 min. / HE: 90 min. (w / 4GB SDHC Memory Card) HF: 28 min. / HN: 42 min. / HE: 62 min. (w / dual-sided RAM disc)
Recording Mode
HF / HN / HE HF: 13 Mbps / CBR, HN: 9 Mbps / VBR, HE: 6 Mbps / VBR HF / HN / HE HF: 13 Mbps / CBR, HN: 9 Mbps / VBR, HE: 6 Mbps / VBR
Audio Recording Format
Dolby Digital (AC3) / 5.1ch or 2ch Dolby Digital (AC3) / 5.1ch or 2ch
Thumbnail Display
8 Scenes / Page 8 Scenes / Page
Applicable Disc

8cm DVD-RAM Ver.2.1 / 8cm DVD-R for General Ver. 2.0 / 8cm DVD-RW Ver.1.1 2x-speed(2x / 1x), DVD-R for DL Ver.3.0
Power Consumption
8.0W 11.4W
Weight (w/o Battery)
430 g 680 g
Dimensions (W x H x D)
74.1 x 67 x 137 mm 91.5 x 90.2 x 162.4 mm
Prise abt.
US$1499 US$1399

I already wrote about HD camcorders such as Sony HandyCam: DCR-SR42E, DCR-SR62E, DCR-SR82E, DCR-SR200E and DCR-SR300E in my post:’ five new camcorders with hard disk drive’ and in the next post: ‘7 new 1CCD HD camcorders from Sony – any reasons to buy some or wait for 3CCD cams’. And I had a long talk (walk) with beautiful showgirl from Panasonic. Therefore my opinion is: 3CCD HD camcorder with Memory Card is the best but a tiny bit expensive. The Hard Disc drive is just a little delicate for travelers. While for this day Mini DV devices has too long history.
What about other mfrs. look at:
- 3 Canon's HD camcorders: HV10, HV20 and HR10; is only PowerShot TX1 still groovy?
- Puppet Sanyo Xacti HD2 vs clever Canon HV20 or groovy JVC GZ-HD7: it's time to buy a HD-camcorder or wait?
- Aiptek GO-HD vs Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD1 or HD2; $299 HD camcorder attacks HD market.

No comments: