Panasonic Solutions Company has announced the versatile AG-HMC80
professional AVCCAM HD shoulder-mount camcorder, the first in
the company’s series of low-cost AVCHD camcorders to feature
solid state DV as well as HD recording capabilities, making it
ideal for customers who desire both formats.
With a high-resolution 3-megapixel imager, multiple AVCCAM
recording formats, DV support, and enhanced professional
functions, the HMC80 delivers the full benefits of AVCCAM for
schools, event videographers, government facilities, web
designers and corporate users who prefer to work with a
shoulder-mount camera and need flexible connectivity and format
support. The camera, utilizing a professional 3-chip imager, can
also take 10.6-megapixel still images and store them as standard
JPEGs on the solid state card. AVCHD recordings and stills can
be directly played back from the SD card on a wide range of
low-cost players including Panasonic Blu-ray players, laptop PCs
and advanced game consoles.
“With DV recording, the HMC80 affords users the flexibility to
utilize either HD or SD formats in an affordable, reliable
solid-state workflow,” said Jan Crittenden Livingston, Product
Line Business Manager, Media & Production Services, Panasonic
Solutions Company. “The new camcorder offers the image
performance of our HMC40, plus added professional features, such
as a manual focus ring, that boost its appeal for use in
professional production applications.”
The camcorder’s full HD resolution 3-megapixel 3MOS imager
produces stunning 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720 AVCHD video with
high sensitivity. Because the AVCHD format-based camcorder uses
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high profile encoding – which provides a
doubling of bandwidth efficiency and improved video performance
over the older MPEG-2 compression based formats (e.g. HDV) –
recordings look clean and crisp, even during fast motion,
without image degradation or dropouts.
The HMC80 records video in all four professional AVCCAM HD
recording modes, including the highest-quality PH mode (average
21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), the HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), the HG mode
(approx.13 Mbps) and the extended recording HE mode (approx. 6
At 60Hz, the camcorder supports the following HD formats in PH
mode: 1080/60i, 1080/30p, 1080/24pN, 720/60p, 720/30p, 720/24pN;
in HA, HG and HE modes, it records in 1080/60i. In standard
definition DV, the camcorder records 480/60i, 480/30p, 480/24p.
The HMC80 records standard-definition DV directly onto SD cards
in the AVI Type 2 file format and offers squeeze, letter box and
side crop options.
Using just one 32GB SDHC memory card, a user can record three
hours of full resolution 1920x1080 video and audio in PH mode,
four hours at HA mode and 5.3 hours at HG mode. In the HE mode,
the camera can record up to 12 hours of 1440 x 1080 HD content
on a 32GB SDHC card. Up to 2 hours of DV content can be recorded
on a single 32GB SDHC card.
For the first time in an AVCCAM shoulder-mount, the HMC80
includes such high-end professional features as a
user-assignable manual focus ring functions (Focus/Iris/Zoom)
for added control; time code/UB recording; time/date stamp; and
two wired remote control terminals (for zoom, focus, iris, REC
start/stop controls). The camcorder’s lens system captures super
sharp images at up to 12X optical zoom and features a 40.8mm
(35mm lens equivalent) wide-angle setting. It also offers users
useful functions including Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) for
smooth stable shooting, Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS), which helps
compensate for wide variations in lighting, and a Cine-Like
Gamma mode that gives recordings a more film-like look.
The HMC80 comes standard with HDMI output (AVCHD only), USB 2.0
(mini B-type devices), composite output (BNC x 1), analog
component (BNC x 3), IEEE 1394 output (DV only), and a built-in
stereo microphone as well as a 3.5 mm external mic-in jack. The
camcorder features two locking XLR inputs with switches for mic/line,
and +48V Phantom Power capability.
The camera offers useful solid-state recording functions
including pre-record, interval recording, shot marker and
metadata capture. Additional features include waveform monitor
display, focus assists such as focus bar display and enlarged
display, auto focus with face detection, white balance, mode
display, zebra display, color bar, tally lamps, slow smooth zoom
and soft landing, slow shutter and synchro-scan shutter
functions, and three programmable user buttons. A wireless
remote is also included.
For editing or playback, professionals can transfer content by
inserting the SD Card into Mac or PC computers or by connecting
the camera directly via its USB 2.0 interface.