Panasonic Adds Standard Def SDR-H85, SDR-T50 and SDR-S50 To Camcorder Range

All three new camcorders from Panasonic—the SDR-H85, SDR-T50 and SDR-S50—have 33mm wide-angle lenses and 78x zooms, and while pricing and availability hasn't been announced yet, they sound decent enough. That aforementioned 78x zoom is enhanced optical, but true optical is 70x. Panasonic's also updated the range with a Wind Noise Canceller which detects and cancels wind noise when filming, something that's much-needed in my experience with them.

Announced today was Samsung's support of SDXC cards, and these three camcorders use those along with the usual SD and SDHC. The SDR-H85 also has an 80GB HDD and the SDR-T50 has 4GB flash storage. The H.264/AVC format is used for all three models, and YouTube uploading also. As said before, no word on pricing or availability, but if you're at all familiar with Panasonic's camera range.

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oday, Panasonic introduced three additions to its 2010 standard definition camcorder lineup - the SDR-H85, SDR-T50 and SDR-S50, designed to be portable, durable and high-performing. These camcorders may be small in size, but they have impressive features: a 33mm(*1) wide-angle and a long, powerful 78x ultra zoom - giving them remarkable range for capturing video both far and wide. Panasonic's new camcorder models are packed with enhanced features to help make shooting quality video easy, including the new Active mode for the Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), helping to suppress blur even if the user is moving and when the powerful zooms are extended.

The SDR-H85, SDR-T50 and SDR-S50 all feature a 70x optical zoom lens with an Enhanced Optical 78x Zoom function - meaning the camcorder uses the effective area of the CCD to further extend zooming power at the wide-angle setting. This makes it possible to capture images of vast landscapes and pull in distant subjects for dynamic close-ups. The new Wind Noise Canceller automatically detects and suppresses wind noise to maintain natural sounds. All three camcorders also feature Advanced O.I.S. which detects and corrects hand-shake at a rate of 4,000 times per second to help capture stable images.

"The 2010 lineup of Panasonic standard definition camcorders meets the needs of all users, offering compact bodies for mobility, a stylish look and feel, versatility and top-of-the-line features, including enhanced zoom capability, easy recording and convenient uploading and playback," said Chuck Kirkman, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronic Company. "The advanced, intuitive features of these new models make the video capturing experience, easy and enjoyable."

The 33mm Wide-Angle setting found on these camcorders is especially useful when shooting video indoors or in tight spaces - making it possible to shoot at a close distance from the subject while still fitting the surrounding area into the frame. The Wide-Angle setting also has the added benefit of allowing the subject's voice to be clearly captured, which is an important element of recording videos. The new Wide-Angle setting captures beautiful images of wide landscapes and allows large groups of people to fit into the frame, making it highly versatile for use in all kinds of shooting situations.

All Panasonic camcorders can record to SDXC, SDHC, or SD Memory Cards. In addition, the SDR-H85 records onto an 80 GB(*2) hard disk drive, which stores approximately 74 hours and 30 minutes of data (in LP mode) - making it ideal for recording long events and for use on extended trips. The H85 also protects data with its durable memory storage system that requires no drive mechanism, and an Anti-Shock Shield that helps protect the built-in hard disk from external impact. Additionally, the H85 simplifies the process of copying recordings from a memory card or hard disk to a DVD by simply connecting the camcorder to a DVD burner.

Panasonic's Twin Memory Camcorder - the SDR-T50 has built-in memory of 4 GB (holding 3 hours and 20 minutes) and is equipped with a relay recording function that automatically changes the recording media to the SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card when the built-in memory becomes full to ensure uninterrupted recording. The tough, compact bodies allow for easy transport and high resistance to impact. The SDR-S50 has a compact body, superb resistance to external impact and portability for use anywhere and records to SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Cards only. Video clips recorded on an SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card are supported by the VIERA Image Viewer function so they can be played by simply inserting the card into the card slot of a Panasonic VIERA® HDTV(*3) for large-screen viewing.

Other features found on all three camcorders include, iA (Intelligent Auto) with AF/AE Tracking, 1.9-sec(*4) Quick Power-On, Long Recording Mode, and Easy YouTube Uploading. The iA function, which automatically selects the most suitable shooting mode, has evolved even further and now includes an AF/AE Tracking feature, which tracks a moving subject to continuously optimize image quality. A new Intelligent Contrast Control, which automatically adjusts brightness to maintain the best possible contrast, has also been added to the three advanced functions from previous models, including Face Detection, Advanced O.I.S., and Intelligent Scene Selector.

Panasonic's Quick Power-On feature helps capture candid shots, while also saving energy by allowing the user to keep the LCD closed and the power off when not shooting. Long Recording Mode, which allows for double the record time as the normal record mode, is made possible by the camcorders' support of the H.264/AVC format with its higher compression ratio. Available on all three Panasonic camcorders, YouTube(*5) Uploading makes it fast and easy to upload clips by simply installing the VideoCam Suite software, which is included with each model.

Pricing and availability for the Panasonic SDR-H85, SDR-T50 and SDR-S50 camcorders will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date. All models will be available in black and the SDR-H85 and SDR-S50 will also have silver and red options. For more information on these models, please visit: www.panasonic.com/CES2010.