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Panasonic has unveiled two new camcorders that offer 78x Enhanced Optical Zoom, wide-angle 33mm lens, as well as Advanced Optical Image Stabiliser (O.I.S) with new Active Mode. The company has also launched two new camcorders with 25x zoom.

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The SDR-H85 is a hybrid camcorder which records large volumes of data onto an 80-GB hard disk drive or an SDXC, SDHC, or SD Memory Card, making it ideal for long events or when travelling on extended trips. The SDR-S50 is a Memory Card camcorder which records to SDXC, SDHC, or SD format cards, and has no drive mechanism allowing greater durability and compact size.
 
The SDR-S50 is available in black, red and blue. The SDR-H85 is available in black.
 
Glenn Zanoni, Product Marketing Manager, Camcorder, Panasonic Australia, said: “These new models offer brilliant results in a take-anywhere compact, lightweight body. Equipped with ultra-telephoto 78x optical zoom and wide-angle capabilities, these camcorders will dramatically expand your recording opportunities. And, with Optical Image Stabiliser featuring the new Active Mode, your results will be smooth and clear, even when on the go.”
 
“Panasonic’s advanced Intelligent Auto (iA) technology, now including the added benefit of AF/AE tracking, makes video capture even easier, and ensures you always get great results, whatever the shooting conditions,” continued Zanoni.
 

 

The expanded shooting range from 33mm wide-angle to an Enhanced Optical 78x zoom allows the user to capture beautiful images of sweeping landscapes and pull in distant subjects for truly dynamic close-ups. A new Active Mode has also been added to Panasonic’s original hand-shake correction function, Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser). It effectively suppresses the hand-shake that commonly occurs with zooming and also suppresses the larger-scale hand-shake that happens when shooting while walking. This results in smooth motion images under a variety of shooting conditions.
 
With a new AF/AE Tracking feature added to the popular iA function, Panasonic makes it even easier than ever before for anyone to capture beautiful images. The user simply “locks on” to a subject at the center of the screen by pressing the AF/AE button. The new tracking function then automatically follows the subject even if it moves or turns to one side. This ensures that the subject is always recorded with optimal focus and exposure settings.
 
The new Wind Noise Cancelling feature automatically detects and suppresses wind noise, to maintain natural sounds with lifelike ambience.
 
Pricing and Availability
 
SDR-H85 – 80-GB HDD Hybrid: $649.00 (Feb 2010)
SDR-S50  – SDXC/SDHC/SD Card: $449.00 (Feb 2010)

 

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The HDC-SD60  has a 25x optical zoom feature, promises Full HD video, and comes with other clever video capture technologies; the wide-angle lens is ideal for capturing a variety of different scenes, such as self-portraits, indoor groups and outdoor landscapes; while POWER O.I.S delivers the ultimate advancements in blur-free shooting. In addition, its new ‘Wind Noise Cancelling’ technology detects and suppresses wind noise, for outstanding sound recording.

With Panasonic’s new Intelligent Zoom feature, the new FHD camcorders’ high 25x optical zoom can extend to 35x without deterioration in video quality. Intelligent Zoom corrects image degradation in ordinary digital zooming to deliver stunningly clear FHD recording, even with the zoom fully extended.
 
Both new models feature Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto (iA) functionality, now with the addition of Face Recognition to the FHD range, a feature that lets the user register up to six faces which the camcorder will automatically recognise and prioritise both focus and exposure, to ensure your favourite people are always captured perfectly. In addition, the focus continues to track the subject as the person moves anywhere within the LCD frame, making it easy to focus on a specified person in a group.
 

 

Other iA features include: AF/AE Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Contrast Control, Face Detection and POWER O.I.S. New to the 2010 range of HD camcorders, POWER O.I.S. represents an enhancement of approximately five times the corrective power of previous versions and helps suppress blurring from low-frequency vibration, such as slow swaying movements.  Also, these models feature a new Active Mode in POWER O.I.S. which minimises motion blurring while the operator is moving and walking. 
 
All Panasonic 2010 camcorders record content to SDHC/SD Memory Cards and the new SDXC Memory Cards, including Panasonic’s newly announced 64-GB4 SDXC Memory Card – to enable high capacity content storage and fast data transfer speeds.  The hybrid  HDC-HS60 camcorder can also record data onto its large 120-GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and can copy recorded video from a card to the HDD, or vice versa, with a simple one-touch operation. 
 
For added ease and convenience, the new camcorders feature a wide 2.7-inch LCD with touch-screen functionality.
 
HDC-SD60 – SD Card memory – $849.00 (March 2010)
HDC-HS60 – 120GB HDD – $1,199.00 (March 2010)

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