Panasonic Canada Introduces Two New HD Camcorders


    World's Smallest Palm-Style 3CCD Full HD Camcorder Uses SD Memory Card
    Hybrid

    HD Camcorder Records on to SD Memory Cards and DVD Discs

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 30 /CNW/ - Panasonic Canada today announced two new
High Definition (HD) video camcorders that match the growing consumer demand
for large-screen TVs and the continued evolution toward High Definition video.
The new HDC-SD5 and HDC-SX5 camcorders employ cutting-edge imaging technology
to capture video recordings that are breathtakingly clear and vibrant,
especially when viewed on a high-quality, large screen TV.
    Both the HDC-SD5 and HDC-SX5 use the AVCHD format to record full-HD video
with 1920 x 1080 pixel(1) resolution. They both employ Panasonic's original
3CCD camera system - a professional broadcast feature - which renders vivid,
true-to-life colours, outstanding detail and rich gradation. Both camcorders
also feature Panasonic's new Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer),
minimizing the effect of hand shake. This technology helps produce crisp,
clear images, most noticeable on large-screen, high resolution TVs where image
imperfections are easily visible.
    The HDC-SD5, which records video onto SDHC/SD Memory Cards, debuts as the
world's smallest palm-style 3CCD full-HD camcorder(2). It is even smaller than
its predecessor model, HDC-SD1, giving the SD5 superb portability. The SD5
also features a new USB Host function that significantly improves data storage
and playback ease. With an optional newly released DVD burner, model VW-BN1,
users can copy or play back video recordings in the original AVCHD format to
deliver the ultimate High Definition viewing experience on a large-screen TV.
    The HDC-SX5 can record full-HD motion images onto both SDHC/SD Memory
Cards and DVD discs. It can record up to 180 minutes(3) of video on an 8GB(4)
SDHC Memory Card (available September 2007), and up to 60 minutes(3) on a
3-inch DVD-R dual-layer disc. The combined media captures up to 240 minutes of
full-HD recording. The SX5 can also copy recorded video from an SDHC/SD Memory
Card to a 3-inch DVD disc internally with the touch of a single button,
without connecting to a PC. Video can also be recorded on a DVD disc in
standard definition (MPEG2) format for playback on a DVD recorder/player.
    "Panasonic's first generation of HD camcorders with the AVCHD format made
history in the diffusion of HD, but these new models make living in HD a
reality for even more people," said Doug Borbath, Senior Product Manager,
Panasonic Imaging Group. "Recording full HD is easy and convenient with these
compact models, so everyday events can be recorded and enjoyed in HD. It's as
simple as putting an SD Memory Card into a Plasma TV or sliding a mini DVD
into a Blu-ray Disc player."
    Both HD camcorders will be available in September with a manufacturer's
suggested price of $1,199.99 for the HDC-SD5 and $1,099.99 for the HDC-SX5.
The MSP of the VW-BN1 DVD burner will be $249.99.

    New Features and Functions

    1920 x 1080 Full-HD Recording (New)

    While conventional HD recordings have 1,440 pixels in the horizontal
direction, full-HD recordings have 1,920. And while conventional recordings
have a total of around 1.55 million pixels, full-HD recordings have around
2.07 million - about 30% more. In fact, full-HD has the most pixels of any HD
format, and thus can render images with unmatched detail and resolution.

    Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) (New)

    Both the SD5 and SX5 feature Panasonic's new and improved
image-stabilization system. The system uses gyro-sensors to detect hand-shake,
then shifts a lens and adjusts its optical axis to compensate. This system
performs the compensation operation eight times more frequently than
Panasonic's previous system, thus achieving even greater precision and
accuracy. Because this is an optical system, there is virtually no loss of
quality, resulting in images that are captured in all their original beauty.
Advanced O.I.S. reduces the subtle blurring that can be caused by even a
slight bit of hand-shake, and it is truly necessary in an age of large-screen,
high-resolution TVs, when every image imperfection is easily visible.

    3CCD Camera System

    Panasonic has downsized its professional 3CCD camera system for use in
consumer models. In a 3CCD camera system, the light received through the lens
is split into its three primary colour components (red, green and blue), and
the signal from each is processed by one of the three CCDs. This system, in
which three separate CCDs capture and process the light information received
through the lens, helps to reproduce high-resolution HD images with
magnificent colour.

    Leica Dicomar Lens

    Photographers around the world know Leica Camera AG as a maker of superb
cameras and lenses. This company's advanced optical technology has been fused
with Panasonic's leading-edge digital technology to create the Leica Dicomar
lens. The Leica Dicomar lens provided in the HDC-SD5/HDC-SX5 features 12 lens
elements in eight groups and uses low-dispersion optical glass to reduce the
blurring of colour. A special multi-coating process is applied to the 14 lens
element surfaces to minimize chromatic aberration, so images are crisp, clear,
and free of flare and ghosting.

    Pre-Rec (New)

    With many camcorders it is easy to miss capturing a critical moment, such
as a goal being scored. The Pre-Rec function eliminates this problem. When
this feature is activated, the camcorder continuously records three seconds of
images onto an internal buffer memory. Then when the record button is pressed,
the three seconds immediately prior are added at the beginning of the recorded
clip.

    Intelligent Contrast Control (New)

    This intelligent new function continually measures the ambient light
intensity and adjusts the contrast as it changes. Providing control over a
wider range of lighting conditions than previous functions, Intelligent
Contrast Control helps prevent a washed-out look in bright parts of an image
and black-outs in shadowy areas. Images are captured with natural nuances,
contrast and depth, even when shooting toward the light source.

    HD Advanced Pure Colour Engine (New)

    To match the newly developed full-HD CCD, Panasonic has further enhanced
its acclaimed Advanced Pure Colour Engine image processor. A new noise
reduction circuit combines with the new Intelligent Contrast Control circuit
to boost image quality while reducing power consumption. Offering superior
images and longer battery life, the HD Advanced Pure Colour Engine takes
camcorder performance to new heights.

    Wide Viewing Angle LCD Monitor (New)

    The SD5 and SX5 incorporate a new LCD that has 300,000 pixels and a wide
170-degree viewing angle both vertically and horizontally. The wider viewing
angle is a big advantage in high-angle and low-angle shooting. It's a big
benefit in playback too, allowing several people at the same time to enjoy
viewing a video clip.

    Power LCD Extra (New)

    The brightness of the LCD can be set to either of two levels to match the
ambient light condition. At the brighter setting, the LCD provides clear, easy
viewing even when shooting outdoors on a sunny day.

    Playback EZ Sync(TM)

    The SD5 and SX5 are compatible with Panasonic's EZ Sync(TM). Simply
connect the SD5 or SX5 to a Panasonic VIERA TV via an HDMI cable and follow
on-screen prompts to operate the camcorder using the TV remote control. This
adds extra ease and convenience to the fun of viewing the full-HD video.

    Direct Viewing with SD Card Slot

    The SDHC/SD Memory Card can simply be taken from the SD5 or SX5 and
slipped into the card slot of select Panasonic VIERA Plasma TV models to view
full-HD images recorded in the AVCHD format. Images saved as JPEGs can be
viewed using the SD Memory card slot in select Panasonic models as well.

    Archiving with USB Host Function - SD5 (New)

    Simply connect the SD5 via USB cable to Panasonic's optional DVD burner
VW-BN1 (released at the same time) and press a single button to copy recorded
video clips from an SDHC/SD Memory Card to a DVD disc in the original AVCHD
format. The copied DVD can be played by the DVD burner, so it is possible to
view exciting, large-screen images in HD quality by simply connecting the DVD
burner to the HDC-SD5 and the SD5 to an HDTV.

    One Button Dubbing - SX5 (New)

    The SX5 is a hybrid camcorder that can record full-HD motion images onto
both SDHC/SD Memory Cards and DVD discs. It can copy data from a memory card
to a disc internally, without requiring use of a PC or other equipment. This
provides a quick, easy way to copy recordings onto a DVD disc for storage and
archiving. By simply connecting the SX5 to a TV with an optional HDMI (High
Definition Multimedia Interface) cable, the SX5 can also play back the images
copied to the DVD disc. The result is easy viewing on a TV without having to
use a DVD player.

    Editing Software "HD Writer 2.0" - SD5/SX5 (New)

    Full-HD video clips can be easily edited with the software provided or
copied onto a DVD disc. The video data can be saved in either the AVCHD or
DVD-VIDEO format, depending on how it will be played back. Recordings saved in
the full-HD AVCHD format are suitable for playback with a Blu-ray Disc player,
while DVD-VIDEO (standard definition) recordings can be played back with a DVD
player.

    Panasonic imaging products are marketed in Canada by Panasonic Canada
Inc. (PCI). PCI is a principal Canadian subsidiary of Matsushita Electric
Industrial Co., Ltd., (MEI) of Japan, one of the world's largest producers of
electronic and electric products for consumer, business, and industrial use.
All prices are in Canadian dollars. Consumers seeking more information on the
company's products can call Panasonic's Customer Care Centre at 1-800-561-5505
or access Panasonic's home page at www.panasonic.ca.(1) In HG mode. 'Full-HD video with 1920 x 1080 pixels' in Panasonic
        home-use camcorders refers to video recordings with 1,920 pixels in
        the horizontal direction and 1,080 pixels in the vertical direction.

    (2) As of July 30, 2007.

    (3) In HE mode.

    (4) Usable capacity will be less.Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH, and
    Dicomar is a registered trademark of Leica Camera AG

    HDMI, the HDMI logo and High Definition Multimedia Interface are
    trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.




For further information: Nicole Paara, Environics Communications, (416)
969-2831, npaara@environicspr.com; Frances Manlucu, Environics Communications,
(416) 969-2715, fmanlucu@environicspr.com