Panasonic Announces Advanced Professional AVCHD AG-HMC151 Handheld HD Camcorder
WIESBADEN, Germany — 18 February 2008 — Panasonic announces the tapeless
AG-HMC151 handheld camera, a competitively priced addition to the company’s growing professional AVCHD product line that builds on the phenomenal success of its popular DV-based AG-DVX100.
The AG-HMC151 provides enhanced HD production capabilities for budget-conscious operators desiring professional features, extended recording capability, and the fast, simple, and highly reliable workflow offered by tapeless, solid-state recording. The
AG-HMC151 features three native 16:9 progressive 1/3-inch CCD imagers with an optical image stabilisation (O.I.S.) function to ensure stable shooting and a 28mm Leica Dicomar wide-angle zoom lens (35MM equivalent). The AG-HMC151 handheld offers 1080i and 720p recording at 13 Mbps, comparable to current HDV compression formats with bit rates of 25Mbps.An additional, higher bit rate mode is incorporated for higher-level use. The AG-HMC151 supports a full range of HD formats including 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 1080/30p, 1080/25p, 1080/24p native, 720/60p, 720/50p, 720/30p, 720/25p, and 720/24p native and is 50-Hz/59.94-Hz switchable.
The advanced handheld utilises the second-generation long GOP HD standard, AVCHD. Based on MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high-profile encoding, AVCHD provides a near doubling of bandwidth efficiency and considerably improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression used in HDV formats. Announced by Panasonic and Sony, this industry-standard format is now supported by more than 30 companies and implemented in numerous camcorders, NLE systems, and consumer HD playback devices.
The AG-HMC151 offers professional HD performance with the simplicity of a digital still camera. Because the solid-state handheld camcorder records onto SD and SDHC memory cards, users can benefit from the reliability and random access of tapeless recording and capitalise on the cost advantages, widespread availability, and growing capacity of standard SD consumer cards. With the newly announced 32-GB SDHC memory card and the camcorder’s 6-Mbps recording mode, users can record up to 12 hours of HD video and audio on a single SD card.
“The AG-HMC151 is an exceptional camera combining leading-edge tapeless operation with a professional feature set at a very attractive price,” said Carmen Mendoza, marketing general manager of Panasonic PBITS. “With the introduction of the AG-HMC151, Panasonic is making the enormous advantages of tapeless operation available to an even wider range of users.”
Additional features of the AG-HMC151 include professional XLR audio input connections and a wide range of data and signal interfaces including HDMI out, USB 2.0, component out (D terminal), composite out and RCA audio out jacks, a 3.5-inch LCD monitor to display thumbnail images for quick viewing and playback, and a time code/user bits menu. The camera also has remote jacks for focus iris and start/stop functions, a prerecord feature that allows the camera to capture footage occurring immediately before real-time recording begins, and a time/date stamp menu option for documentation purposes.
Panasonic’s AVCHD camera line brings the benefits of solid-state recording to budget-conscious professionals. As with digital still photography, recording video onto SD/SDHC cards offers a fast and simple IT-compatible workflow with ultra-reliable performance and resistance to shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, and weather. SD and SDHC memory cards are inexpensive, widely available, and can be reused repeatedly. Because AVCHD records video as digital data files, content can be transferred and stored on affordable, high-capacity hard disk drives (HDD) and optical storage media and transferred to future storage media as technology advances.
The AG-HMC151 will be available Q3 2008 at a price to be announced.