Panasonic brings AVCHD camcorder to professional users

Athletic
department video coordinators and others who shoot long-form sports content
have a new option as Panasonic has expanded its AVCHD product line with the
introduction of the AG-HMC70 AVCHD camcorder. As the industry’s first shoulder-mount
AVCHD camcorder, the HMC70 records high-quality 1080i images onto readily
available SD/SDHC memory cards. The camcorder will be available next April.

AVCHD
technology is an important feature for video coordinators at athletic departments
or sports videographers who are shooting multiple hour events. It delivers
twice the recording efficiency of older MPEG-2 codec technologies like HDV, and
it is supported by a growing number of nonlinear editing packages including
Apple’s Final Cut Pro Version 6.0.1 and i-Movie, Grass Valley EDIUS Software
Version 4.5, Pinnacle Studio Plus 11, Nero 7 Premium Reloaded, Ulead Video
Studio 11 Plus and Ulead DVD Movie Factory 6 Plus.

AVCHD also
records video as digital data files so content can be transferred and stored on
affordable, high-capacity hard disk drives(HDD) and optical storage media and
transferred to new ones as advanced technology is introduced in the future.

Like
Panasonic’s full production quality solid-state P2 HD recording system, this
AVCHD camcorder eliminates the need for and cost of a special deck, as well as
the time required to transfer content from a tape or optical disc to a PC for
editing or content distribution. Since it uses a standard SD or SDHC card, the
HMC70’s recording capacity will increase and media cost decrease as the
industry announces new higher capacity cards.

The HMC70
features three native16:9 progressive ” CCDs to record, or provide a live feed
of, widescreen 1440 x 1080 HD resolution images of weddings, sports, concerts,
or other events. It can be used by law enforcement agencies for training or
surveillance, by schools for use in video production, live staging and
documentation, or by broadcasters and newspapers for web journalism. The
camcorder is equipped with a 12X 38.5mm to 462mm* Leica wide-angle zoom lens, one-push
auto focus, and integrated Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) that ensures
stable images, which are most critical when displaying high definition video.

The
flexible camcorder provides professionals with continuous record time for
long-form HD video production. With just the touch of a button, users can
choose to shoot in one of the camera’s three recording modes – 6Mbps, 9Mbps or
13Mbps. Using the new 16GB SDHC memory card (available in November 2007), the
HMC70 can record for up to 360 minutes at 6Mbps quality and up to 160 minutes
at 13Mbps, the camera’s highest quality mode.

The
HMC70’s lightweight, shoulder-mount design facilitates stable shooting and
better balance during long recording sessions. The camcorder’s 3-inch 16:9 LCD
monitor offers thumbnail display of recorded images so videographers can
monitor or delete clips. Professionals can also capture 2.1 Megapixel still
images with the camcorder onto the SDHC memory card – even during video
recording. The SD card content can be played back directly on a growing number
of large HD flat screen displays, front and rear-screen projectors, and PCs
that offer an SD card slot with AVCHD decoder software. AVCHD content also can
be played back on the Panasonic DMP-BD10AK Blu-ray Disc™ Player and on the
PlayStation 3 game system. Using NLE software, content can also be rendered in
various formats and delivered on a wide range of media.

Unlike
entry-level cameras, the HMC70 offers professional audio capabilities including
two XLR Mic/Line switchable inputs with attenuation, +48V Phantom Power, and
both Auto & Manual level with Rec level dials. This allows flexible, high
quality audio recording using a wide range of wired and wireless microphones
and mixers.

Professionals
can instantly transfer content from the HMC70 camcorder to Mac or PC computers
with an SD/SDHC card reader or by connecting the camcorder directly via its USB
2.0 interface. Other connectors that provide even greater flexibility include
HD/SD component and composite (BNCs), HDMI and RCA audio jacks.

The HMC70
will be available in April 2008 . Options will include a VW-VBG6 5,800-mAH
Battery , VW-W4307H Wide Conversion Lens, and VW-T4314H
Tele Conversion Lens.