October 12, 2011
Filming underwater has always been a challenge, especially for amateurs. The Panasonic HM-TA20 camcorder offers a new device that is set to make things a lot easier, especially for those who love fun and simplicity. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and can shoot 1080p videos and 8mp still images. It can be taken to a maximum depth of 3m, fantastic for those shallow dives where you just want to see what is down there.
The Panasonic HM-TA20 can also serve as a digital voice recorder, as well as containing some other useful features. Users of this device should be satisfied with it, so much so that for fun days out, the only other essential piece of technology that they will need to have in their bag is a mobile phone, from a site like O2. Of course, the camcorder will be the only device that will accompany you under the water, enabling you to capture your experience.
With regards to its appearance, you can choose between either a bright orange or blue body, which highlights that this device is all about having fun. Each compartment of the camera has been protected with thick, watertight rubber seals and it is well-made and sturdy. The simplicity of this camcorder lies in its single large recording button, meaning that you will not have to fiddle around with lots of complicated settings when you are underwater.
The touch-screen is bright, even under the water and includes the virtual buttons of Play, Menu and Mode. As well as being waterproof, it is also shockproof and dust-proof. The specifications suffer in the face of its underwater ability, however this does not necessarily have to be a negative thing. While under the water, if you are an amateur you will not have much flexibility or time to change specifications and settings, so Panasonic has understandably gone for simplicity in this case, catering it to a certain market.
August 16, 2010
Electronics giant Panasonic wasted no time in getting on the 3D bandwagon with the release of the HDC-SDT750. It is touted as the world’s first 3D consumer camcorder. However to fully enjoy the benefits if 3D you will need to have a compatible 3D HDTV, 3D glasses and HDMI ver 1.4 cables.
The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 is actually a 700 series model with a “3D conversion lens” attached to the front. Nevertheless, this up-scaled 3D camcorder comes with the highly sensitive 3MOS system and the renowned Leica Dicomar Lens that produces top quality videos even in low light conditions. With the large 3D lens attached you get true-to-life 3D video content. When the 3D lens is detached you get a fully functional 2D camcorder that captures full HD 1080/60p video.
Features wise the SDT750 is almost identical to the 700 series camcorders with a few improvements like the HYBRID O.I.S image stabilization and an improved noise-reduction algorithm for better quality clips in low light. The useful manual control ring is retained, so is the Intelligent Auto (iA) mode that makes the Panasonic camcorders extremely easy to master. The manual ring provides convenient, fingertip control of the focus, zoom, exposure, shutter speed and white balance settings.
The SDT750 will be released sometime in October 2010 at a list price of $1399.95. You can read the full Panasonic HDC-SDT750 review here as soon as it is released.
May 10, 2010
Panasonic introduced improvements and new features in their new top of the line 700 series camcorders. The new Panasonic HDC-TM700 and Panasonic HDC-HS700 come with the high performance Leica Dicomar Lens and expensive 3MOS sensor. Facial recognition is much improved. Intelligent Zoom which is an enhanced digital zoom that uses Intelligent Resolution Technology which Panasonic claims will improve the image quality even when digital zoom kicks in. Here’s how Matt Frazer, Panasonic’s technical rep explains it:
The HDC-TM700 lists at just below $1000 records on built-in 32GB internal memory. Video can also be stored on optional SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. It is very light and weighs in at just 380g with battery. Very portable indeed. The low-light performance of the camera is promising, at least when viewed through the 3.0 inch LCD display.
The HDC-HS700 (MSRP $1399) has a built in 240GB HDD, good enough to capture video at the highest resolution for 1.5 hours. The 5.1 channel surround sound built-in microphones is something new too.
Both these camcorders also feature the improved Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) which reduces the effects of shaky hands. It is very effective even at high zoom settings. The system uses gyro sensors to detect even tiny amounts of hand-shake, then shifts the lens and adjusts the optical axis to compensate.
These high end camcorders are certainly impressive and in terms of performance they come pretty close to prosumer models.
February 2, 2010
New Models Offer Advanced Optics and Simplified Post-Shooting Solutions
Providing consumers with innovative products designed to enhance their on-the-go experiences, Sony is introducing 13 hard disk drive and flash memory-based camcorders with breakthrough technologies in both high definition and standard definition options.
Designed to fit any budget, Sony’s Handycam® camcorder portfolio delivers the most innovative, stylish and high-quality imaging solutions.
“Our new camcorder lineup is one-of-a-kind and truly offers something for everyone who wants to capture important moments,” said Andy Bubala, director of the camcorder business at Sony Electronics. “For consumers looking for compact designs along with best-in-class features, this lineup creates a new standard.”
Offering a refined level of optical performance, Sony continues to introduce technology that sets Handycam camcorders apart from the competition.
Sony is now expanding its back-illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS sensor to all HD models. The sensor, which offers higher sensitivity and reduced image noise to provide stunning low light performance in twilight or candlelit scenes, now employs a new algorithm to realize 2x faster “Quick AF” compared to previous Handycam camcorders.
Some of the new camcorders in the lineup also include a wide angle G lens that captures approximately 2x larger shooting area than previous models, enabling users to make sure nobody is left out of the picture indoors or to capture more of the scenery outdoors. The lens fuses advanced optics with low dispersion aspheric glass elements for accurate color reproduction and sharp, detailed images while a six-blade aperture produces circular “bokeh” defocus effects for creative shooting possibilities.
Sony also improves Optical Steady Shot™ image stabilization with Active Mode by expanding the 3-Way Shake Canceling feature across the full zoom range, from wide to telephoto end. This reduces the effects of hand shake in three directions – vertical and horizontal shake corrected by optical image stabilization and the third, by way of electronic image stabilization, corrects lateral-roll shake. This advanced stabilization system results in dramatically smoother video footage.
Sony is leveraging its high-speed BIONZ® imaging processor to create new features like Golf Shot and Intelligent Auto (iAuto). Only found in Handycam camcorders, the Golf Shot function makes it easier than ever to check your swing, frame by frame, as the camcorder renders two seconds of motion into a sequence of up to 22 still images. Just press the record button and the entire sequence is grabbed at an incredible 240 frames per second. Results can be viewed as a slow motion video or a multi-frame composite image.
The iAuto feature eliminates the guesswork from selecting optimal camcorder settings for different environments by detecting the camcorder’s surroundings and continually optimizing settings in real-time for up to 90 unique scenes.
The following smart features will also be expanded to more models in the lineup:
* Face Touch: select a person to be prioritized (for focus, color, exposure and Smile Shutter™ technology) just by touching a detected face on the screen and the camcorder will remember them — even if they leave the scene — for the entire recording session. Smile Shutter technology, another function of Face Detection mode, captures candid smiling photos simultaneously while video is being recorded.
* Embedded GPS: track destinations on a map with built-in GPS antenna and NAVTEQ® digital maps for video and photo geo-tagging. Geo-tagged content is marked by a virtual push pin at each shot location and can be viewed on the camcorder map index display on the LCD. It also indicates current map location and automatically adjusts the clock to the proper time zone (map detail will vary).
* Highlight Playback: let the camcorder quickly generate a video slideshow by adding theme transitions and background music to your footage.
* 60p Output: automatically up-converts content to 60 progressive frames per second when connected via HDMI cable (sold separately) to a compatible high-definition television.
* New User Interface: adds scroll search for all menu items, as well as a customizable shortcut menu.
As the leader in the high-definition camcorder category, Sony offers superior technology in its HD models, even at entry level. Now all new HD Handycam models will feature the “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, iAuto, Face Touch, Highlight Playback, 60p output, and the new user interface, in addition to capturing content in full1920 x 1080 high-definition video recording at up to 24Mbps, the highest bit-rate offered by the AVCHD format.
Sony will offer attractive entry-level HD camcorder options in both hard drive (HDR-XR150) and flash memory (HDR-CX150 and HDR-CX110) formats. The HDR-XR150 features a 120GB hard drive for up to 50 hours of HD video (LP mode), while the HDR-CX150 has 16GB of embedded flash memory for up to six hours of HD video (LP mode), and the HDR-CX110 allows for customizable capacity with the purchase of a memory card.
These camcorders are packed with features including:
* Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® 25X optical zoom lens
* 3.1-megapixel still photos
* Steady Shot® image stabilization with Active Mode
* 2.7” (measured diagonally) Clear Photo LCD™ screen (230K resolution)
The HDR-XR150, HDR-CX150, and HDR-CX110 will be available in late January for about $700, $550, and $500, respectively. The HDR-CX150 will be offered in black and red and the HDR-CX110 will come in black, blue, and red.
Sony will also offer the HDR-XR350V, with a 160GB hard drive; HDR-CX350V, with 32GB of flash memory; and HDR-CX300, with 16GB of flash memory. These HD camcorders have the following step-up features:
* Wide angle G lens (29.8mm for video and 27.4mm for still images)
* Optical Steady Shot™ image stabilization with Active Mode from Wide to Telephoto
* Golf Shot
* 12X optical zoom
* 7-megapixel still photos
* Embedded GPS (except HDR-CX300)
Representing Sony’s top-of-the-line camcorders, Sony will offer the HDR-XR550V, with a 240GB hard drive for up to 101 hours of HD video (LP mode); and the HDR-CX550V, with 64 GB of embedded flash memory for up to 26 hours of HD video (LP mode). These camcorders add the following features:
* Wide angle G lens (29.8mm for video and 26.3mm for still images)
* 12-megapixel still photos
* Assignable dial for manual control (Iris/Shutter/Exposure/WB/Focus)
* Color Electronic View Finder
* 3.5” (measured diagonally) LCD display with TruBlack™ technology (921K resolution)
* Dedicated microphone/headphone inputs
The HDR-XR550V, HDR-CX550V, HDR-XR350V, HDR-CX350V and HDR-CX300 will be available in late February for about $1400, $1300, $1000, $900, and $800, respectively. All of these camcorders and their accessories will be available at Sony Style® retail stores, online through www.sonystyle.com and at authorized dealers nationwide.
STANDARD DEFINITION MODELS
Sony is updating its standard-definition lineup with five new models offering up to 120GB of capacity, including two hard disk drive models (120GB DCR-SR88 and 80GB DCR-SR68) and three flash memory models (16GB DCR-SX83, 16GB DCR-SX63 and 4GB DCR-SX44). The high-performance DCR-SX83 features an “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, Face Touch, Steady Shot® image stabilization with Active Mode, iAuto, and 3-megapixel still photo capability. The other models feature:
* 60x optical zoom
* Face Detection with Smile Shutter technology
* On-board video light
* 2.7” (measured diagonally) LCD touch panel wide screen (230K resolution)
The DCR-SR88, DCR-SX83, DCR-SR68, DCR-SX63 and DCR-SX44 camcorders will be available in late January and cost about $400, $400, $350, $300 and $270, respectively. The DCR-SR68 and DCR-SX44 models will be offered in blue, red, and silver. These camcorders and their accessories will be available at Sony Style® retail stores, online through www.sonystyle.com and at authorized dealers nationwide.
BETTER STORAGE AND Post-Shooting OPTIONS
In addition to the hard disk drive or built-in flash memory, all of Sony’s new camcorders can record video and still images directly to Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media, Secure Digital (SD), or SDHC media card (all sold separately).
Also featured on all HD and SD models, the Direct Copy feature lets you copy footage directly from Handycam camcorders to any brand of external hard disk drive (USB2.0; under2TB, FAT32) via a USB cable (VMC-UAM1; sold separately), when connected to AC power, for PC-free back-up and archiving. Video stored on the external HDD can be played back through the camcorder for viewing on a compatible HD television. The Handycam camcorders are also compatible with Sony’s VRD-MC10 and VRD-MC6 Multi-Function DVD Recorder, as well as the VRD-P1 DVDirect® Express DVD writer, offering quick and easy ways to transfer home videos directly to DVD without a computer
Each HD model in the Handycam camcorder lineup has the ability to down-convert from AVCHD™ to MPEG2. Just touch a button and burn your memories onto affordable DVD media for archiving, sharing, or enjoying HD video on your Blu-ray Disc™ player or MPEG2 footage on a DVD player.
Handycam camcorders are compatible with both PC and Mac® computers. Mac users can transfer AVCHD content and edit video clips in HD quality using iMovie® software (sold separately). For PC users, the included Picture Motion Browser (“PMB”) software allows viewing, editing, organizing and uploading images to many major video and photo sharing Web sites.
This spring, Sony will launch a new content-sharing service and a new integration with Facebook®. The new Sony service will allow users to easily share their photos and videos privately with friends and family, while the Facebook integration will complement the existing sharing capability with such sites as YouTube™ and Picasa™ Web Albums. These features will be available as a downloadable update to the “PMB” software application bundled with Handycam camcorders.
Source : Sony Electronics Press Release
December 25, 2009
JVC recently announced release of the new JVC Everio GZ-HD620, a high definition video camcorder with a 1/4.1-inch, 3.32MP CMOS sensor and an awesome 30x optical zoom. The camcorder features a body that weighs only 270 grams. It comes with a large 120GB internal hard drive. The GZ-HD620 announcement follows closely on the heels of 3 new standard definition camcorders announced by JVC last week: the GZ-MG980, GZ-MS230, and GZ-MS210.
JVC is touting the HD620 as the smallest and lightest high definition camcorder with a built-in hard drive. Weighing just 270g and measuring 53 x 63 x 115mm, the HD620 may, in fact, fit that bill. The new compact form factor seems to be the biggest upgrade over last year’s GZ-HD320, though the 2010 model also boasts an impressive 30x optical zoom. The AVCHD codec, 24Mbps bitrate, digital image stabilization, Konica Minolta lens, and CMOS sensor all appear to be unchanged from the 2009 HD Everio lineup.
The HD620 and all three standard definition camcorders announced last week are so far only announced for the Japanese market, and have not yet been priced. We expect to find out whether these models will be available stateside during the Consumer Electronics Show at the beginning of January.
For full details, see the full product page on the JVC site.
November 21, 2009
The Canon HF S10 Camcorder is a high quality, all-in-one camcorder. Featuring Full HD resolution AVCHD recording at 24Mbps, the HF S10 can capture still photos at an amazing 6 megapixels while simultaneously recording video, or even 8 megapixels in still mode.
The Canon HF S10 uses a large 1/2.6-inch, 8.59 megapixel CMOS sensor along with Canon’s DIGIC DV III image processor to create a sharp, accurate picture. You can use Canon’s face detection feature to make sure you get the right objects in focus when you are shooting, and optical image stabilization will make sure the picture stays steady.
Videos and stills on the Canon VIXIA HF S10 can be recorded to either a 32GB internal flash drive or a removable SDHC card.
The Canon HF S10 also features 24p mode, for movie-like look, and 30p mode, perfect for recording video for viewing on a computer monitor. Instant AF is included for fast focus in almost any situation. It also features a 2.7 inch widescreen LCD.
If you are into experimenting with video editing, you will love the addition of an external microphone jack with audio level control on the HF S10. Optionally you can use the mini shoe terminal on the top of the camcorder with a specially made Canon external microphone. The HF S10 even includes a headphone jack for monitoring.
On the whole this looks like an extremely feature packed camcorder, and definitely one to consider if you are looking for a high end HD camcorder.
November 21, 2009
This year’s line-up for Canon flash-memory camcorders is out. Branded Legria (after the Spanish word Algeria or “joy”), there are seven new camcorders.
They comprise the HD CMOS and HD Video Lens series (HF S10 and HF S100), the middle range (also high-definition but with lower specs) HF20 and HF200 and the standard-definition camcorders FS22, FS21 and FS200.
Legria brings two new features to Canon camcorders: Pre-Record and Video Snapshot.
The Pre-Record function records 3sec of footage even before users start filming, helping them to avoid missing unexpected scenes.
Video Snapshot allows users to combine various 4sec clips into a video montage or music video (with 10 pre-loaded background music tracks to choose from).
Some of these camcorders (HF S 10, HF20, FS22) have built-in memory of 32GB plus removable memory, while others (HF S 100, HF200, FS200) have purely removable memory. FS21 has 16GB of built-in memory along with removable memory.