The HDC-HS900 is the top-of-the-line high definition camcorder offered by Panasonic that includes 1920 x 1080p recording with an on-board 220GB hard disc drive and the option to use SD memory cards for additional storage. It is packaged with a 35mm Leica Dicomar lens, Crystal Pro Processor and the 3MOS image sensor system. The HS900 is capable of creating 3D and 2D videos.
Early this year, Panasonic brought us their newest digital camcorder, the HDC-HSD900 with advanced recording features and one of the most user friendly interfaces allowing amateurs to create incredible video memories. The company fulfilled its promise to provide an affordable fully-packed camcorder. The HS900 offers vibrant colors and stellar recordings even in poorly lit situations, during cloudy outdoor or evening events.
The HS900 is a high horsepower camcorder with tons of benefits and only a few drawbacks. If you are shopping for a new camcorder with extraordinary capabilities, find out more by reading the rest of this article.
Comparing the Panasonic HDC-HS900 to the HDC-SD90
So what makes the HDC-HS900 camcorder different from the mid-range HDC-SD90? For one, the SD90 is a 1MOS sensor system where the HS900 has the 3MOS system. This means that the HS900 can take in much more detail for creating vivid results even in dim or night settings. The SD90 creates marvelous recordings, but there is a noticeable difference in the quality. The HS900 renders a sharper image, especially for recordings done in poor light settings. You’ll find that recordings done using the HS900 have a better quality audio due to the 5.1 channel Surround Sound and zoom mic.
Both models offer full HD 1920 x 1080p (‘p’ for progressive) recording, but the HDC-HS900 has a generous 220GB hard disc drive storage capability. The SD90 relies on recording to 16GB of internal memory and SD flash memory cards. With the HS900 you can record for longer periods without swapping in a new flash card as you would with the SD90.
Both models can capture wide-angle images with the SD90 at 28mm wide-angle and the HS900 at 35mm wide-angle. Both cameras use Intelligent Zoom for bringing images closer from a distance. The HS900 can zoom to 20x, but the SD90 can zoom to 40x. If you are willing to give up the storage capacity and the higher quality images for the stronger zoom features, then you may want to consider the SD90.
You can record in high definition 3D with either camera when you purchase the optional VW-CLT1 lens and ring.
The HDC-HS900 is a fully-loaded compact digital camcorder. The internal microphones and built-in flash are found on the front of the camera just right above the lens. Data connectors are conveniently placed at the left side of the camera and accessible by flipping open the LCD touchscreen viewer. The data slots are also covered to keep debris from getting in and fouling the ports. That makes for a cleaner look too. The battery cabinet is found right below the viewfinder and is designed so you can quickly and easily open to pop in a new battery.
The camera has a strap on the right side to help you steady the camera. The HDC-HS900 is a lightweight camera allowing you to hold it steady for long periods. Even with the battery installed is weighs under 2 lbs.
The HDC-HS900 connects to your VIERA 3D TV or other side-by-side capable TV with an HDMI mini cable. You can also connect to a Blue-ray player/viewer if you have one at home. If you recorded to an SD card, just slip it into the Image Viewer slot found on your VIERA TV.
Downloading and editing videos is a breeze using the HD Writer AE software included in the package. To edit your videos, use the USB port to connect the HS900 to your PC. Next, upload the video to Facebook or YouTube to share with the world.
When you are ready to view your 3D recording, just hook it up to your Panasonic VIERA 3D TV or another model that uses the side-by-side method. The SD90 also comes with a HDMI mini cable to connect the camcorder to a VIERA TV or compatible Blue-ray player/viewer. You can also use the VIERA Image Viewer by slipping the SD memory card from your SD90 into the VIERA TV’s Image Viewer card slot.
The camera is available in a muted black case that doesn’t show fingerprint smudges.
Panasonic designed the HDC-HS900 for those looking for the ability to create professional quality high definition videos without having to pay thousands of dollars for professional-grade camera. For the features and quality of images you get from the HS900, you would end up paying eight thousand dollars on up for a professional grade camera.
The camcorder features 3D recording in addition to 1080p recording. The ‘p’ stands for progressive which is a more advanced and preferred recording mode over ‘i’ or interlaced. Progressive recording presents the image in its entirety with the lines of pixels going across, and, up and down in an image. This brings your colors and images to life. This is a real “WOW!” factor when you share your videos.
When recording progressive high definition video, your camcorder is recording twice as much information about the scene as compared to a recording using interlaced. This also means you need more storage space for your videos. That’s where the availability of the 220GB hard disc drive comes into play. You can store hours of video to the hard drive without having to stop and swap out flash memory cards.
One of the surprising features that the HS900 offers is the 35mm Leica Dicomar lens. The Leica Dicomar lens provides improved color shading with glare suppression, less distortion of images and reduced ghosting. The 35mm wide-angle capability of the HS900 is impressive. However, if you want to take shots of wide portions of the soccer field or horse show arena, then you can opt for additional wide-angle lenses. The VW-W4607H lens takes 0.7x wide-angle shooting, and the VW-WE08H shoots 0.8x wide-angle videos.
Panasonic’s 3MOS technology is the work horse that processes the images brought through this lens. There are 3 sensors, hence 3MOS, that work together along with the Crystal Engine Pro processor in creating stunning results. The processor is the Crystal Engine Pro and it is responsible for processing huge high definition files quickly to the hard disc drive or to the SD card.
One final important feature review for the HS900 is the Hybrid O.I.S. This feature provides the biggest improvement to amateur video photography on the market. Hybrid O.I.S. stands for optical image stabilization. The Hybrid, refers to the combination of optical and electrical image stabilization working together to correct the hand-shake blurring that often occurs when you zoom in on subjects. It effectively suppresses blur by as much as 2 times more than the competition’s camcorders limited to conventional methods.
This camcorder is juiced up with zoom microphones and a Wind Noise Canceller feature. The zoom mic focuses in on the audio in conjunction with the camera’s zoom action. This allows you to clearly capture the voice of your target subject. The Wind Noise Canceller suppresses and excludes blowing noises from wind or a sudden breeze. This is a great feature on the HDC-HS900 when you are out at the beach or perhaps recording your first skydive. Another notable audio feature is the 5.1 channel Surround Sound system that captures clear and realistic sounds—a perfect complement to your full HD videos.
• The Panasonic HDC-HS900 offers professional-grade recordings without the heavy price tag of the professional level cameras.
• 1920 x 1080 progressive recording is top of the line.
• The 35mm wide-angle feature is perfect for group settings. However, having the optional wide angle lenses that allow 0.7x and 0.8x panoramic recordings is even better.
• Fast capture and lots of capacity using the 220GB hard disc drive
• Hybrid O.I.S. removes the blurs that so often plague video recordings during panning or zooming.
• 3D capable
• While pricier than other Panasonic camcorders, coming in around $1,399, this is a feature-loaded camera for the price.
• Heavier than the other cameras in this series.
• If you record exclusively to the internal hard disc drive, you can’t swap out the memory cards to your image viewer. Instead, you have to connect he camcorder to your TV or PC.
There’s no argument that the HDC-HS900 camcorder is the sweetest of the sweets when it comes to high definition recording. The camcorder is packed with features that make video recording exciting and rewarding. The sound, color and image quality presented in your recordings evoke a second and third viewing because they are absolutely astounding, professional level videos. Using the HDC-HS900, it’s easy to be temped into a new career as a professional video photographer.
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