Panasonic Unveils AG-HMC40, Low Cost AVCCAM Handheld With 10.6 Megapixel Still Photo Capability
* 3-Megapixel ¼” 3-MOS Imagers with Full HD Resolution 1080 and 720 Recording *
LAS VEGAS, NV .– Here at NAB, Panasonic has expanded its professional AVCCAM line with the introduction of a more compact, lighter handheld camcorder – the AG-HMC40. Weighing less than 2.2 pounds, the new AVCCAM camcorder is packed with an impressive range of professional features including full HD 3MOS imagers, high-resolution 10.6-megapixal still photo capture, 12X optical zoom and high-quality, solid-state AVCHD recording on widely-available SD cards.
The HMC40 is an AVCHD format based camcorder that uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high profile encoding, which provides a near doubling of bandwidth efficiency and improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression formats (e.g. HDV, DVD etc.). AVCHD high definition recordings look clean and crisp, even during fast motion, reducing the image degradation or dropout associated with older HDV recordings.
The HMC40 features a full resolution 2-megapixel, 1/4.1-inch 3MOS imager that produces stunning 1920x1080 HD images with high sensitivity. The camera captures still images with 10.6-megapixel resolution directly onto the SD card as a JPEG image. The handheld offers a 12X optical zoom (includes 2X, 5X, 10X) and professional image functions like Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) that helps compensate for wide variations in lighting, and a Cine-Like Gamma mode which gives recordings a more film-like aesthetic.
The HD camcorder records in all four professional AVCCAM recording modes, including the high-quality PH mode (average 21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), the HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), the HG mode (approx.13 Mbps) and the extended recording HE mode (approx. 6 Mbps). It supports 1080/59.94i (in all modes) and 1080/29.97p, 1080/23.98p native, 720/59.94p, 720/20.97p, and 720/23.98p native (in PH mode only).
Using just one 32GB SDHC memory card, a user can record three hours of full resolution 1920x1080 video and audio in PH mode, four hours at HA mode and 5.3 hours at HG mode. In the HE mode, the camera can record up to 12 hours of 1440x1080 HD content – all on a single 32GB SDHC card.
The HMC40 comes standard with HDMI output, USB 2.0 (mini B-type devices), composite output (AV multi/ch1, ch2), analog component (mini-D), detachable XLR audio input and audio REC level adjustment dials. Users also have the choice of expanding the camera’s audio capability with 2-channel input, mic/line switchable and +48V options that are available for purchase separately. The camera’s 2.7-inch LCD monitor offers simple touch-panel operation and access to various solid-state recording functions such as pre-record, interval recording, shot marker and metadata capture.
In addition, this lightweight handheld offers invaluable professional features including waveform monitor display, focus assists such as focus bar display and enlarged display, time date stamp, user assignable focus ring, auto focus with face detection, zebra display, synchro-scan shutter function, three programmable user buttons, time code/UB recording, remote control terminal (for zoom, focus, aperture, REC start/stop controls).
AVCCAM content recorded on the SD card can be played back directly on a growing number of low cost consumer devices including solid-state HD players, Blu-ray players, game machines, laptop computers, and widescreen plasma displays with SD card slots. For editing or playback, professionals can transfer content from the SD Card to Mac or PC computers or by connecting the camera directly via its USB 2.0 interface.
AVCHD is supported by a wide range of editing options including Apple Final Cut Pro 6.0.5, Adobe Premier Pro CS4, EDIUS Pro 5 and EDIUS Neo 2. In addition, a free transcoder, available for download at www.panasonic.com/avccam, will convert AVCHD files to DVCPRO HD P2 and downconverted DV files for use with most existing professional editing packages.
Panasonic’s AVCCAM series brings the benefits of solid-state HD recording to budget-conscious professionals with a range of affordable camera and recorder products. In addition to HMC40, the AVCCAM line includes the popular AG-HMC150 handheld, the shoulder-mount AG-HMC70 and the new AG-HMR10 AVCCAM recorder and AG-HCK10 camera head. AVCCAM products record stunning professional AVCHD video onto inexpensive, reusable SD/SDHC cards, like digital still photography. As AVCHD files are digital, they can be transferred and stored on affordable, high-capacity hard disk drives (HDD) or optical storage media and transferred to future storage media as technology advances.
The HMC40 will be available in August at a suggested list price of $3,195.
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