List of Panasonic camcorders

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This is a list of Panasonic camcorders.

Professional standard definition models[edit]

Panasonic AG-DVC30[edit]

Panasonic AG-DVX100[edit]

Main article: Panasonic AG-DVX100

The Panasonic AG-DVX100 was the first affordable digital progressive scan camcorder.

Panasonic AG-DVC7[edit]

The Panasonic AG-DVC7 is a low level professional-grade camcorder.[1]

Professional high definition models[edit]

AG-HPX500[edit]

The Panasonic AG-HPX500 is a popular, highly regarded,[2] versatile P2 HD camcorder debuted at the NAB 2007 trade show. It is notable for a number of features records on 323" progressive CCD's and utilizes a menu structure similar to the HVX200. The camera records at 1080i/p/50/60/25/30/24fps 720p/25/30/60/24fps as well as standard definition progressive and interlaced in PAL and NTSC. Variable frame rates are available for undercranking and overcranking. Sensitivity is rated at f10 at 2000lux.[3] It is related to the Panasonic Varicam.

Panasonic's cine-like gamma curves are included: Cinegama-V for video out and Cinegamma-D for film out.

AG-HVX200, AG-HVX200A[edit]

The AG-HVX200 is a fixed-lens hybrid camcorder released in December 2005 for 60 Hz market and April 2006 for 50 Hz market. The camcorder allows file-based recording onto P2 cards, as well recording onto traditional MiniDV cassettes.

The imaging section employs a 3CCD system with 1/3 inch sensors, each having about 520,000 photosites. High definition resolution is achieved by both horizontal and vertical spatial offset or pixel shifting, though the effective resolution does not exceed 600 lines either horizontally or vertically.[4]

The camcorder is capable of recording in several standard-definition and high-definition video formats. The image is always scanned progressively at 1920×1080 resolution, then is downsized to target frame size.

Recording formats:

  • DVCPRO HD: 720p (960×720), 1080i (1280×1080 for 60 Hz regions, 1440×1080 for 50 Hz regions) at 100 Mbit/s
  • DVCPRO50: 480i for 60 Hz regions, 576i for 50 Hz regions at 50 Mbit/s
  • DVCPRO: 480i for 60 Hz regions, 576i for 50 Hz regions at 25 Mbit/s
  • DV: 480i for 60 Hz regions, 576i for 50 Hz regions at 25 Mbit/s

All formats can be recorded onto P2 cards. Only standard DV video can be recorded to MiniDV tapes. In 720p mode the camcorder offers variable shooting rates for overcranking/undercranking.

The updated model, AG-HVX200A, was released in late May 2008. Among other changes, the HVX200A featured improved CCDs and an adjusted lens. These changes improved image quality in addition to providing a wider angle of view.

The camcorder is popular with independent and professional film and television companies. The BBC used the HVX to shoot all their coverage of the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, the Fox network is using P2 exclusively at all network owned-and-operated stations, Raycom has over 85 HVXs at their 21 television stations; NDTV (New Delhi TV), the largest private producer of news and entertainment in India uses several dozen HVXs and New York 1 uses the HVX for all its one-person news crews (over 25 reporters).

AG-HPX170[edit]

The AG-HPX170 can be thought of as the AG-HVX200A without a tape deck. The camcorder employs the same imaging section as the AG-HVX200A, and is similar to it in terms of physical appearance, layout of controls and functionality.

Compared to the AG-HVX200/200A, the AG-HPX170 is smaller and about 1.6 pound lighter. The lens thread size is reduced from 82mm to 72mm, and field of view is wider. The camera offers more frame rates for overcranking/undercranking. There are more focus assist options, including focus assist bar and focus assist graph. New functionality includes a waveform monitor and vectorscope. Revised neutral density filter offers three settings (1/4, 1/16, and 1/64) instead of two (1/8 and 1/64) for finer control.

The AG-HPX170 also contains an SDI (HD/SD) output terminal enabling the serial transfer of uncompressed video and audio data.

AG-HSC1[edit]

Released in 2008, this camcorder was nothing more than the consumer model HDC-SD1 rebadged and restyled for the professional market. Although it acquired a professional price tag (to reflect the removal of restrictions on the commercial licensing of the AVCHD technology), the blow was softened by the inclusion of a 40GB portable disc drive. (See HDC-SD1 for more details.)

AG-HMC150[edit]

The AG-HMC150 is an AVCCAM camcorder released in 2008. The camcorder employs the same imaging section as the AG-HVX200A and the AG-HPX170, and is very similar to these models in terms of physical appearance and functionality. The major difference is recording media (Secure Digital cards versus P2 cards) and encoding format (AVCHD versus DVCPROHD).

Video is recorded to an SDHC memory card in 720p, 1080i and 1080p formats with data rate up to 24 Mbit/s. A supplied 8GB SDHC card holds about 45 minutes of video recorded at highest quality setting. The camcorder can record up to 12 hours continuously, provided that a memory card has sufficient storage space.

The camcorder has different model numbers for different markets:

  • AG-HMC150/AG-HMC150P is the North American version, which supports only 60 Hz scanning.
  • AG-HMC151/AG-HMC151E is the European version which is switchable between 50 Hz and 60 Hz scanning rates, thus providing "world" capability out of the box.[5]
  • AG-HMC152/AG-HMC152EN is the Australian version of the camera that supports only 50 Hz scanning.[6]
  • AG-HMC153/AG-HMC153MC supports only 50 Hz scanning.
  • AG-HMC154/AG-HMC154ER supports only 50 Hz scanning.
  • AG-HMC155 is the Asian version, which supports only 60 Hz scanning.

AG-HMC40[edit]

Panasonic AG-HMC40 camcorder

The AG-HMC40 is an AVCCAM camcorder released in 2009.

The camcorder shares some components with the HDC-HS300/HDC-TM300/HDC-SD300 consumer series, in particular the 1/4.1-inch 3MOS imaging system, the 12× Leica Dicomar lens and the 2.7-inch touch-sensitive LCD screen. Video is recorded onto a Secure Digital card in 720p, 1080i and 1080p formats with data rate up to 24 Mbit/s.

The AG-HMC40 includes an automatic built-in neutral density (ND) filter. When the iris closes down from fully open position – either manually or automatically – it closes to f/2.8, then the ND filter activates to absorb light while keeping iris at f/2.8. After filter is fully engaged, the iris continues to close. Unlike Canon camcorders, which report constant aperture value when the ND filter is being engaged, the HMC40 reports virtual aperture values. That is, F2.8 means "f/2.8, no ND filter", F3.0 means "f/2.8, 1/6-stop ND", F3.2 means "f/2.8, 1/3-stop ND", etc. With the ND filter fully engaged the camera displays F6.4, which in reality means "f/2.8, 2 and 1/2-stop ND".[7] The operation of the automatic ND filter is fully transparent for a user, does not require use of an external ND filter, and allows achieving shallow depth of field.

Variants:

  • AG-HMC40/AG-HMC40P/AG-HMC40U is a North American version, which supports only 60 Hz scanning.[8]
  • AG-HMC41/AG-HMC41E is a European version, which supports only 50 Hz scanning.[9]
  • AG-HMC45 is an Asian version, which supports only 60 Hz scanning.

The 60 Hz version records in the following formats: 1080/60i, 1080/30p (over 60i), 1080/24p (native), 720/60p, 720/30p (over 60p), 720/24p (Native). The 50 Hz version records in the following formats: 1080/50i, 1080/25p (over 50i), 720/50p, 720/25p (over 50p).

Reviews:

AG-AF100[edit]

Panasonic AF-100 camcorder

The AG-AF100 was[10][11] the first professional 4/3" type video camcorder optimized for high-definition video recording.

Targeted at the video and film production communities, the AF100 delivers the shallow depth of field and wider field of view of a large imager, with the flexibility and cost advantages of use with a growing line of professional quality, industry standard micro 4/3-inch lenses, filters, and adapters. The camera offers full 1080 and 720 HD, native 1080/24p recording, variable frame rates, professional audio capabilities, and compatibility with SDHC and SDXC media.

The design of the AF100’s 4/3" type sensor affords depth of field and field of view similar to that of 35mm movie cameras in a less expensive camera body. Equipped with an interchangeable lens mount, the AF100 can utilize an array of low-cost, widely available still camera lenses as well as film-style lenses with fixed focal lengths and primes.

The AF100 incorporates a 4/3" type, 16:9 MOS imager. The camcorder records 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) in AVCHD’s highest-quality PH mode (maximum 24Mbit/s). Ready for global production standards, the camcorder is 60 Hz and 50 Hz switchable. The AF100 maximizes the potential of its high-resolution imager with built-in ND filtering and dramatically reduced video aliasing. Standard professional interfaces include HD-SDI out, HDMI, time code recording, built-in stereo microphone and USB 2.0. The AF100 features two XLR inputs with +48V Phantom Power capability, 48-kHz/16-bit two-channel digital audio recording and supports LPCM/Dolby-AC3. This newest Panasonic AVCCAM camcorder is the first to enjoy the benefits of advanced SDXC media card compatibility in addition to existing SDHC card support. (SDXC is the newest SD memory card specification that supports memory capacities above 32GB up to 2TB). With two SD slots, the AF100 can record up to 12 hours on two 64GB SDXC cards in PH mode.[12]

AG-AC130[edit]

Released Fall 2011.[13]

AG-AC160[edit]

Released Fall 2011.[13]

Consumer high definition models[edit]

HDC-DX1, HDC-SD1[edit]

Panasonic HDC-SD1 AVCHD camcorder

The HDC-DX1 and the HDC-SD1 models were the first Panasonic AVCHD camcorders, released in 2007. The HDC-DX1 recorded onto an 8 cm DVD with maximum data rate of 12 Mbit/s, the HDC-SD1 recorded onto an SDHC memory card with maximum data rate of 13 Mbit/s. The HDC-SD1 was the first consumer high definition camcorder to record to solid-state media. Both models featured the ability to record 5.1 channel Dolby Digital sound. An external microphone could be connected but this only worked in 2 channel mode.

Both models recorded interlaced video only with frame size of 1440×1080 pixels and pixel aspect ratio of 1.33, similarly to HDV 1080i camcorders. This apparently came about because the processing chips could not be made at this time which could process the full 1920×1080 video (which was available from the sensors).

The camcorders were equipped with 1/4-inch 3CCD sensor block. To date, this is the largest sensor size for a consumer high definition 3CCD camera. Other camcorders either use a single CCD system, or a CMOS system, or a 3CCD setup with smaller sensors. Relatively large sensors with low pixel density provided good light sensitivity, while pixel shifting technology allowed obtaining high resolution.

Prosumer features included threaded lens barrel for attachments, external microphone jack, manual control of aperture, shutter speed and gain, zebra for exposure control and focus assist for manual focusing.

Interestingly, although both models were sold through consumer outlets, the cameras were described by Panasonic as "Professional broadcast camera system".[14]

Although these models were discontinued when the HDC-SX5 and HDC-SD5 were released, the HDC-SD1 was re-released as the AG-HSC1 aimed squarely at the professional market. Apart from some minor restyling and a change to the colourspace (to match professional requirements), this new offering was otherwise identical to the consumer version.[15] The AG-HSC1 was however, bundled with a portable 40GB battery operated hard drive, the VW-PT2ZP which was able to import video directly from a SD card.

Reviews:

HDC-SX5, HDC-SD5, HDC-SD7[edit]

The HDC-SX5, the HDC-SD5 and the HDC-SD7 represented the second generation of Panasonic AVCHD camcorders. The HDC-SX5 was a hybrid model, which allowed recording onto either an 8-cm DVD or onto a built-in hard disk drive. The HDC-SX5 was the last Panasonic AVCHD camcorder to record onto DVD media. The HDC-SD5 and the HDC-SD7 used Secure Digital memory cards as recording media. The HDC-SD7 was the smallest high definition camcorder at the time of its release.

The HDC-SX5 and SD5 only featured standard stereo sound recording. The HDC-SD7 retained 5.1 channel sound. Neither model permitted the connection of an external microphone.

In the process of miniaturization Panasonic reduced the size of the lens and of the sensor block compared to the first generation of AVCHD camcorders. The lens thread size has been reduced from 43 mm to 37 mm, the sensor size has been reduced from 1/4-inch to 1/6-inch, but the 3CCD setup has been preserved.

Compared to the first generation, full 1920×1080 recording has been added to recording modes, and the maximum data rate has been increased from 13 Mbit/s to 17 Mbit/s.

Reviews:

HDC-SD9, HDC-HS9[edit]

The HDC-SD9 and the HDC-HS9 were the updated versions of the HDC-SD5 and the HDC-SX5, respectively. The cameras had the same lens, sensor block, and the input/output connectors as the preceding models. The location of the connectors was revised, and the menu joystick was moved from the back of the camcorder to the left side, inside the LCD cavity. The HDC-SD9 recorded onto Secure Digital memory cards, while the HDC-HS9 recorded onto a built-in hard disk drive. Starting from this series, Panasonic dropped support of DVD media in its AVCHD camcorders. 5.1 sound was recorded, but an external microphone was not an option.

The largest functional difference of the new models is the ability to record progressive video. The 50 Hz version of the camcorder can shoot 25-frame/s progressive video, recording it within an interlaced stream using the progressive segmented frame technique. The 60 Hz version is able to shoot and record native 24-frame/s progressive video.[16] However, both progressive modes can only be used in conjunction with the x.v.color mode and will exhibit too much saturation levels on displays that do not support this color mode.

Reviews:

HDC-SD100, HDC-HS100[edit]

Panasonic HDC-SD100 camcorder

The HDC-SD100 and the HDC-HS100, released in 2008, signified Panasonic's switch from CCD to CMOS technology. Traditionally for Panasonic, these camcorders used a 3-sensor setup, which was called 3MOS. As in the previous generations, the 1/6-inch sensors used pixel-shift technology, having 520,000 effective pixels each.

The HDC-SD100 recorded to a removable SDHC memory card only, while the HDC-HS100 was also capable of recording onto a built-in 60GB hard disk drive. These camcorders also feature a built-in viewfinder not present in the smaller models above.

The format of the recorded AVCHD video has been slightly revised and some editing packages (including Panasonic's own HD Writer package) will not recognise it. Panasonic supply the updated HD Writer AE which does.

Interlaced video was the main recording format for both camcorders, though there was an option of recording progressive video. The 50 Hz versions were capable of shooting 25-frame/s progressive video, recording it within interlaced stream using progressive segmented frame technique. The 60 Hz versions were able to shoot and record native 24-frame/s progressive video, which was an unusual feature for a consumer camcorder though it is only available with x.v.color.[17][18]

The camcorders offered the same frame size and quality settings as earlier models. An 8GB SDHC card (supplied only in some markets) holds up to one hour of video recorded at highest quality setting.

In these models Panasonic brought back features that had been lost from prior AVCHD models, like external microphone jack and accessory shoe. They also introduced a manual focusing ring and a headphone socket.

Reviews:

HDC-HS300, HDC-SD300, HDC-TM300[edit]

The HDC-HS300 improve the HDC-SD100/HDC-HS100 in two major aspects. Following complaints about the noise from the smaller sensors in low light, this model uses larger sensors, though not quite as large as the HDC-DX1 and SD1's sensors. They, are only slightly smaller at 1/4.1 inch (mixture of fractions and decimal by Panasonic). They have a slightly noticeable worse noise performance compared to the DX1 and SD1 but much better than the 1/6 inch 3CCD sensor camcorders. The sensors are also 3 megapixels each (previously 0.5 megapixels) and consequently using pixel shift technology is not necessary anymore to achieve high definition images. The camera features vastly improved resolution when used to take still pictures (up to 10.6 megapixels). The optical image stabiliser has been improved and now features two modes of operation for video mode and four for still photo mode.

A special Digital Cinema mode allows shooting progressive-scan video at film-like rates—25p or 24p, depending on region. Video shot in progressive mode is recorded in interlaced container by using either progressive segmented frame technique for 25p mode or 2-3 pulldown for 24p mode.[19][20]

Progressive mode is mentioned in neither the camera specification nor the operating manual.[21][22]

The HDC-HS300 features a 120GB hard disc drive for storage. The HDC-TM300 is a new departure and features a built-in 32GB of Flash memory instead of a hard disc drive (The 'TM' in the model number stands for 'Twin Memory' as this model takes FLASH memory cards as well). This model has been slightly restyled compared with its stable mate.

The HDC-SD300 records video to a SD FLASH card only. It had fairly limited distribution as it only existed as a European model (HDC-SD300EG).

The 5 microphones used to pick up the 5.1 surround sound have also been revised, and the new model features better (though nowhere near perfect) directivity of the recorded sound.

Each camcorder also features an accessory shoe. It is built in on the HDC-HS300 but is an attachable accessory on the HDC-TM300.

Reviews:

HDC-HS200, HDC-SD200[edit]

These are lower cost versions of the HDC-HS300 and HDC-TM300 respectively. The former has a smaller hard disc drive of 80 Gb, but the viewfinder and accessory shoe have been deleted. The latter does not have any built in memory, viewfinder or accessory shoe.

HDC-TM350[edit]

This is identical to the HDC-TM300 except for a larger 64 Gb built in Flash memory and being coloured grey instead of black.

This camera is a limited-edition model. In the UK, only 200 have been sold.

HDC-HS700, HDC-TM700, HDC-SD700[edit]

Panasonic's 2010 camcorders add 1080p60 or 1080p50 progressive recording mode (depending on region) by using a proprietary variation of the AVCHD format. Further information can be found here.

The lens has been revised to provide a shorter focal length, though the optical zoom range remains unchanged. The focal length is now 3.45–41.4 mm instead of the 4–48 mm of the previous model (effectively a magnification of 0.85 times). The lens gains one third of a stop in speed at the wide angle end only as a result.[23] The specification is otherwise identical to the previous model.

Pixel shifting has been reintroduced, but only to provide still pictures with up to 14.2 Megapixels of resolution.

The storage capacity of the hard disc drive in the HC-HS700 has been increased to 240GB. The inbuilt FLASH memory of the HDC-TM700 remains unchanged at 32GB. The HDC-SD700 only records to SD, SD-HC or SD-XC FLASH memory cards.

The software supplied is HD Writer AE 2.1. In Windows 7 64-bit, it must be run in Windows XP Mode and there is a warning that frames may be dropped to maintain 20 frames per second even on a very fast computer.

Reviews:

HDC-SD600[edit]

A 'lite' version of the HDC-SD700. Apart from the following variations, it is identical to the HDC-SD700.[24]

  • No electronic Viewfinder.
  • No microphone or earphone connectors.
  • Dolby digital 2.0 audio (in lieu of Dolby 5.1).
  • A 2.7 inch LCD monitor (in lieu of 3 inch).
  • No accessory shoe.
  • No manual zoom/focusing ring.

HDC-SDT750[edit]

Essentially a HDC-SD700, but supplied with a 3D lens adaptor, the VW-CLT1 and a HDMI cable (mini).[25] This model featured HYBRID OIS image stabilising system combining optical and electrical components, not available in the previous 2010 line-up. The 3D effect is somewhat less than real life because the lenses are much closer together than the interocular distance of the eyes. The camera when fitted with its 3D lens only records in side by side (SbS) format. The resolution of the image is consequently less than a full HD image.

HDC-HS900, HDC-TM900, HDC-SD900[edit]

Panasonic's 2011 camcorders succeed the previous year's HDC-xx700 series with very little change. They retain the same 3xCMOS 1/4.1 inch sensor, EVF and lens. The LCD touchscreen is slightly larger with an increase in resolution. Performance is similar, low light sensitivity a bit better. Adds support for an optional 3D lens attachment.

The hard disc drive in the HDC-HS900 is slightly reduced in size from the HDC-HS700 to 220GB. The inbuilt FLASH memory of the HDC-TM900 is unchanged at 32GB.

A 3D adaptor is available for this camcorder, the VW-CLT1 though the 3D effect is rather poor because the distance between the lenses is substantially less than the interocular distance of the eyes.

Reviews:

HC-X900, HC-X900M[edit]

Panasonic's 2012 camcorders succeed the previous year's range, once again with very little change.[26] A hard disc option has been dropped from the range. The focal length of the lens has been reduced (2.84mm to 34.1mm), effectively a magnification of 0.7 on the original lens (as of the 300 series) or approximately 0.85 from the 700 series. The same size of sensors are used, though the pixel shifting has been revised to provide a maximum still resolution of 16 Megapixels.

The LCD panel and the electronic viewfinder have a much larger pixel count. The LCD panel also features a 'glasses free' capability of viewing shot 3D footage made either with the optional 3D adaptor or simulated from 2D footage. The camera is able to output a simulated 3D picture from its HDMI port but only in side by side (SbS) format. The 3D adpator for these models is the VW-CLT2 - substantially improved and much more expensive than its predecessor, though the 3D effect is still rather less than real life (because the two lenses are closer together than the distance between the eyes). The camera records 3D from the adaptor in either full 3D or SbS mode.

Both models accept SD, SD-HC and SD-XC FLASH memory cards. In addition, the HC-X900M also features 32GB of built in FLASH memory.

Reviews:

HC-X800[edit]

A 'lite' version of the HDC-X900 model.

The HC-X800 is similar but is missing the electronic viewfinder; has a smaller LCD panel (3 inches -v- 3.5 inches); is slightly smaller; only records sound in Dolby stereo instead of Dolby Digital 5.1 and lacks an external microphone input and a headphone output. This camera also accepts the VW-CLT2 3D adaptor, though the LCD panel does not support a 3D display mode.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=170
  3. ^ AG-HPX500 User's Site
  4. ^ "Texas Shootout, part 2". 
  5. ^ "Panasonic AG-HMC151 memory-card camera recorder". 
  6. ^ "Panasonic AG-HMC150 series". 
  7. ^ "HMC40: first look". 
  8. ^ "Panasonic AG-HMC40/AG-HMC40U brochure". 
  9. ^ "Panasonic AG-HMC41/AG-HMC41E brochure". 
  10. ^ Panasonic Things for Life by Stacy Moore– April 2010 cite: “new Panasonic AF100 CineSwitch technology camera coming November 2010”[2]
  11. ^ Panasonic interview with Joe Facchini on new AF100 camera April 2010 cite: “new Panasonic AF100 CineSwitch technology camera coming November 2010”[3]
  12. ^ http://www.MartinKunert.com/extra/RentAF100LosAngelesLA.html
  13. ^ a b [4]
  14. ^ Panasonic HDC-DX1/SD1 product prochure (ref: HDCCAM07)
  15. ^ http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-Unveils-AG-HSC1U-First-AVCHD-Pro-Camcorder.htm
  16. ^ "Panasonic SD9 shoots true 24p footage". 
  17. ^ "Shoot 1080p24 with the Panasonic HDC-HS100 and HDC-SD100". 
  18. ^ "Panasonic HDC-SD100 review". by Alex Lindsay, Macworld.com. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  19. ^ The "300" does not record native 24p
  20. ^ Wonderful camera with lots of potential for the Indie filmmaker, by J. Monty
  21. ^ http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_GB/Products/Camcorders/HD+Camcorders/HDC-TM300/Specification/1973734/index.html TM300 Specification.
  22. ^ http://dlc.panasonic-europe-service.com/EUDocs/GetDoc.aspx?did=166236&fmt=PDF&lang=en&src=3 TM300 Owner's Manual
  23. ^ http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_GB/Products/Camcorders/HD+Camcorders/HDC-TM700/Specification/3422367/index.html
  24. ^ http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_GB/Products/Camcorders/HD+Camcorders/HDC-SD600/Overview/4631035/index.html
  25. ^ http://tda.panasonic-europe-service.com/docs/2z503280f8z3z2f7c8z656ez706466z25z506dbc1b64043ef0e4718d23ab279fcd60bffa90/tsn2/data/ALL/HDCSDT750EB/OI/845103/vqt3b28.pdf User manual for HDC-SDT750
  26. ^ http://tda.panasonic-europe-service.com/docs/2z50327b75z3z31ebbz656ez706466z22zef6e94166060ebe40d0ffa03083e9a7b4ed8bd56/tsn2/data/ALL/HCX900EB/OI/864067/vqt4c83.pdf Panasonic User Manual for X900 series and X00