updated 10:00 am EDT, Mon July 30, 2007
Panasonic SD5 and SX5
Panasonic on Monday revealed that it would bring two of its latest HDC cameras to North America. Both the SD5 and SX5 are based on new 3CCD designs that can produce a 1080i widescreen HD picture. The Crystal Engine onboard processing has been upgraded at the same time and ups contrast and lowers noise across most shots while still extending battery life. An advanced optical image stabilizer also helps steady shots, Panasonic says. Owners can also take advantage of a new pre-record mode that continuously records 3-second short clips and tacks the most recent clip to the front of a deliberately recorded video to capture sports or other impromptu scenes where the user is likely to press the record button later than necessary.
Either camera records in the recent, highly efficient AVCHD format and will capture as much as three hours of video at full resolution on an 8GB SDHC card; the SX5 adds in a DVD burner for recording up to an hour of separate video on a disc playable on computers and supporting HD players. Videos can also be transcoded on the SX5 or on a PC to standard 480p for DVD players, Panasonic notes.
Panasonic places a premium on size over features and will price the dual-format SX5 lower than the smaller, thinner SD5, selling both cameras for $900 and $1,000 each. The two cameras will ship to Canada, Europe, and the US in September.