The 1080p camcorders get even tinier, and this $1099.95 HDC-SD9 camcorder takes that to the extreme. Check it out next to an iPhone, and you'll see that Panasonic's claims of this being the smallest 1080p camcorder yet might just be true. Once Panasonic releases its 32GB SDHC card, this little shooter will be able to hold 58 hours of 1080p/24 on one tiny flash drive. Dang. Feels good in the hand, too. Its price is nice and low at $799.95, or if you want to record to either SDHC/SD cards or an internal 60GB hard drive, it'll cost you $1100 for its slightly bigger bro, the HDC-HS9. Look for both in March. Here's the press release:
PANASONIC UNVEILS TWO NEW FULL-HIGH DEFINITION CAMCORDERS, WITH NEW FACE DETECTION AND INTELLIGENT SHOOTING GUIDE
World's Smallest and Lightest* SD Card HD Camcorder Makes Debut at CES 2008
Las Vegas, NV (January 6, 2008) - Panasonic, a leader in High Definition and digital video technologies, today announces two new full-High Definition 3CCD camcorders, the HDC-HS9, a hybrid model that can record to either an SD (or SDHC) Memory Card or its built-in 60-GB hard disk and the HDC-SD9, the world's smallest and lightest* SD card High Definition camcorder, weighing in at just 0.606 pounds. Both the SD9 and HS9, which feature new Panasonic camcorder technologies, Face Detection and Intelligent Shooting Guide, will be displayed at the 2008 International CES in Las Vegas from January 7-10 at the Panasonic booth #9405.
The Panasonic HDC-SD9 and HDC-HS9 offer full-High Definition**, 1920 x 1080 progressive recording (24 frames per second)*** and use the AVCHD video format. In addition, the new models feature Panasonic's original 3CCD system, Advanced MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), and a Leica Dicomar lens - three components that also contribute to the high-quality video output. Advanced MEGA O.I.S. checks and compensates for hand-shake around 4,000 times per second, about eight times more effectively than Panasonic's previous systems. In a 3CCD camera system, the light received through the lens is split into its three primary color components - red, green and blue - and a signal from each is processed by one of the three CCDs to provide rich and detailed video images.
"Consumers will be amazed by the richness and clarity of the video taken with one of these new High Definition camcorders, as this is quality they are accustomed to getting when they go to the movies," Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "Panasonic is bringing the benefits of High Definition right into the living room, so anyone can enjoy high-quality videos in the comforts of their home. And with new features such as Face Detection and Intelligent Shooting Guide, these new intuitive technologies help consumers easily produce video content they would be proud to view in High Definition."
The SD9 and HS9 are the world's first**** camcorders to feature Face Detection for use in recording moving images. Face Detection automatically locates any faces in the picture and adjusts the exposure, contrast and skin tone to achieve optimal results. Thus, even when the faces are backlit or the lighting is low, faces are clear and not lost in the shadows.
Panasonic's Intelligent Shooting Guide makes important shooting features that are available on the camcorder, but often go unused by the consumer, more intuitive and obvious. For instance, with Intelligent Shooting Guide, the SD9 and HS9 will detect when shooting conditions are poor and then display tips on the LCD as a way for the user to correct the error before recording the content. Intelligent Shooting Guide can detect errors in the following common shooting situations: when the camcorder is panning too quickly or tilted; when the user's hand is swinging; when the
subject is backlit; or the lighting is too low. Now common shooting errors can be noticed prior to the playback and corrected accordingly.
The HDC-SD9 records on both SD and SDHC Memory Cards, and is even more compact than its predecessor, the HDC-SD5 model. After recording with an SD9, the SD Memory Card can be inserted into the SD card slot on certain Panasonic PZ Series VIERA HDTV's for easy, instant playback of High Definition video. Moreover, both the SD9 and HS9 are compatible with Panasonic's VIERA Link and can connect either to a VIERA HDTV via an HDMI cable, or the user can operate the camcorder using the TV remote control and following on-screen prompts.
The HS9 is a hybrid model and can record full-High Definition images onto either an SD (or SDHC) Memory Card or to its built-in 60-GB hard disk. A 16-GB SDHC Memory Card*** can hold approximately six hours of video, and the 60-GB hard disk can hold around 23 hours (both in HE mode). This gives the HS9 a total capacity of approximately 29 hours of full-HD recording. In addition, the HS9 can copy recorded video images from the SD Memory Card to the hard disk, or vice versa, with the push of one button, so no computer is needed.
Other new features on both the HDC-SD9 and HDC-HS9 include:
• Intelligent Shooting Selection Playback - Helps prevent recording errors being viewed during playback, as it will automatically skip over any shots that have serious errors, such as hand swing, fast panning, out-of-focus images or shots of the ground taken when the user forgets to turn off the camcorder.
• Advanced 5.1-Channel Surround Sound - With five microphones, when recordings are played on a 5.1-channel home theater system, viewers will be surrounded by clear, detailed sound. A Zoom Mic feature lets the microphone get as close as the camera's zoom lens.
• High-Speed Burst Shooting at 24 Frames/Sec - Ability for the camcorder to take up to 24 consecutive 2.1 megapixel resolution still images in one second or up to 72 consecutive shots in three seconds.
• World Timer - Handy for travelers this feature makes it easy to set the time when crossing time zones and again when returning home by switching between the two times with a press of a button. Simply select the destination from the display map, and the camcorder is automatically set for that time zone.
• 0.6-Sec Quick Start - Starts recording just 0.6 second from the time the LCD is opened, making it easier to catch those special moments that come with no warning.
Both models will be available in March 2008 with manufacturer suggested retail prices of $799.95 for the HDC-SD9 and $1099.95 for the HDC-SH9.
* For 3CCD camcorders capable of high-definition recording, as of January 6, 2008.
** In HA/HG mode.
*** "Full-HD video with 1920 x 1080 pixels" in Panasonic home-use camcorders refers to video recordings with 1,920 pixels in the horizontal direction and 1,080 pixels in the vertical direction.
**** 1 GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes. Usable capacity will be less. SDHC Memory Cards can only be used in SDHC host devices, which support the SDHC Memory Card.
About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), a market and technology leader in High Definition television, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic's exclusive Panasonic Plasma Concierge customer support program (888-972-6276) is administered through its Virginia-based Call Center, recognized as a Certified "Center of Excellence" by the Center for Customer-Driven Quality™ at Purdue University. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.