New AVCHD camcorder
Panasonic further expands its AVCHD product line with the new AG-HMC72 camcorder, the world’s first shoulder-mount AVCHD camcorder. The HMC72 records HD images onto SD or SDHC memory cards, and utilises three 16:9 1/4-inch CCDs to record 1440 x 1080 resolution footage.
The chip set used in the new camera is the same as those in the consumer AG-HSC1U (check out its performance in our tests here and here), and is equipped with a Leica 12x wide-angle zoom lens (a 35mm equivalent of 38.5mm to 462mm). It also comes with one-push auto focus and integrated Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), which is especially handy for keeping the HD images sharp, even when looking through the viewfinder via the shoulder-mount arrangement.
Besides the viewfinder, the HMC72 also comes with a 3-inch LCD monitor which offers thumbnail display of recorded clips for easy review and deletion. The SD-card recording medium also means money saved with no need for expensive decks. One 16GB SDHC card (available as of last month) alone can hold up to 6 hours of footage in HE extended-time mode, which records at approximately 6Mbps. Other recording formats include the HN (approx. 9Mbps) and HF (approx. 13 Mbps) modes.
The camera also allows still-capture of up to 2.1 megapixels, even while recording goes on, and has two output options: HDMI and USB 2.0. Options for audio recording include two XLR Mic/Line jacks, +48V phantom power, a headphone jack and external speakers.