They won't guarantee you admittance into the Cannes Film Fest, but at least Panasonic's new HD camcorders will make your videos look good on the big screen. Joining the likes of Sony, Canon, and JVC are the company's first consumer HD camcorders, the HDC-SD1 ($1,499) and HDC-DX1 ($1,399). The HDC-SD1 records onto SD memory cards giving you about an hour's worth of HD footage using a 4GB SD card, whereas the bigger HDC-DX1, which records straight to DVDs, will give you about 40 minutes worth of footage using a dual-layer DVD-R disc. Both camcorders use the AVCHD format and will feature an optical image stabilizer which should put a halt to the shaky footage that often results from quaky hands. They'll also have...
a 12x optical zoom and be capable of recording 5-channel surround sound (as other HD camcorders do). Both will be able to take stills and the HDC-SD1 (shown above) will even come with a 4GB SD card, which is a nice touch considering the price. Hopefully the extra competition will help drive HD camcorder prices further south when these two models make their debut in March 2007.
Panasonic [Press Release]