Panasonic introduces Hard Disc Drive camcorders with SD card functionality

reprinted from a Panasonic press release:


Panasonic Introduces SD Card/Hard Disc Drive Hybrid Camcorders With 25-Hour Recording Capacity

Shock/Drop-Protected Models Feature 30GB HDD, OIS, Power LCD Plus and One-Touch DVD Creation


LAS VEGAS, NV (January 7, 2007) Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company today announced two camcorders that have the ability to record video to SD Cards or to a built in 30GB Hard Disk Drive, combined with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), 32X Optical zoom, a floating anti-shock damper system, extended recording times up to 25 hours1, Power LCD Plus technology to increase viewfinder brightness and contrast in sunlight or bright locations, and bundled software that enables one-touch DVD creation on a PC.


"Our 2007 SD card/hard-drive camcorders are ideal for travel and event shooting because they eliminate the constant need to change media," said Rudy Vitti, national marketing manager, for Panasonic Camcorders. "They can hold 21 times more data than an 8cm-DVD disc and if users do need to keep shooting before downloading a full drive, they can switch to the SD Card and continue recording without interruption. The SD card adds scalability as well as the option to record on removable media."


To ensure continuous recording under rough conditions, hard drives are protected by a floating, anti-shock damper system and an automatic sensor that detects falls 20cm and higher, automatically disengages the hard-drive write heads, and instantly transfers the video stream to the unit's buffer memory.


Performance enhancements achieved through the use of hard-drive storage media include near-instantaneous access to movies and still images selected via thumbnail images on the viewfinder, 2X USB downloads to a PC, and one-touch DVD creation using a dedicated "DVD Copy" button on the camcorder, bundled copy software, and a PC equipped with a DVD burner.


Other features common to both models include 30GB shock-mounted HDDs, Panasonic's Optical Image Stabilization system for minimizing hand shake and blur without compromising image integrity, SD Card slot, Power LCD Plus, 2.7" wide LCD for accurate image composition when shooting in 16:9 format, one-touch navigation and joy stick control, and a high-speed shutter (1/60 1/8000).


The top of the Hybrid Camcorder line, model SDR-H200, has a suggested retail price of $799.95. The SDR-H200 features a 3CCD imaging system for maximum color purity and separation, 10x optical zoom and 3.1MP still-picture recording. With a suggested retail price of $599.95, the SDR-H20 comes with a 512 MB SD memory card and a 32x optical zoom. Both models are expected to go on sale in April.

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