Thursday, June 19, 2008

Panasonic's Two Latest Video Cameras Offer Manual and Intelligent Control

Panasonic has introduced a new pair of tapeless HD video cams, the HDC-SD100 and HDC-HS100. They promise more control, higher fidelity HD images, improved low-light shooting capabilities, intelligent exposure control (iA), and use Panasonic’s latest sensor, the 3MOS.

Full manual control over the exposure, color balance, and focus is a rare addition. This simple pleasure, for those of us that prefer to set their own camera setting, is great brain exercise, and often yields better results than those images capture by the ‘intelligent system’.

Panasonic HDC-SD100While some situations call for finessing the controls, other times you have to grab and shoot. This is where you can appreciate the quick reacting intelligent system. When that, ‘have to grab’ shot comes your way you’ll always be ready thanks to these pannys choice of recording media. The HDC-SD100 uses SD cards only, where the HDC-HS100 has both and SD cart slot and a 60GB Hard Drive.

Some manufactures have been outfitting their latest models with HD picture quality, then turning around and sacrificing the picture quality for...

compression. Sure they can boast crazy long record times, but really, do we need the camcorder running all weekend long. Vacation spots have SD cards for sale. I’d rather have the image be outstanding and get a few less hours of record time, than have all the record time in the world but only produce so so images. There is no such nonsense over at Panasonic.

Panasonic employs an optically refined Leica Dicomar lens to complement their new 3MOS sensor's abilities. Based on their 3CCD design, but with double the sensor area, the 3MOS sensor collects more light and records that light with more clarity, more precise color reproduction, and better contrast.

An improvement in the dynamic range of the sensor means it can see more in the shadows and highlights than any sensor previously used. Also, the 3MOS sensor uses less power and works brilliantly in low light. The 2 lux rating is the lowest I’ve seen. But then, most press releases don’t give a lux rating at all... pretty old school panny.