Panasonic Australia recently announced two new compact and convenient entry-level Full High Definition 1920 x 1080 AVCHD1 camcorders for the Australian market – designed for those who seek both simplicity and quality when recording video.

The HDC-HS20 is a hybrid SD/HDD model capable of recording onto its internal 80-GB hard disk or an SDHC/SD Memory Card (optional). The HDC-SD20 uses the SDHC/SD Memory Card as a recording media and is compact and lightweight.

Featuring a newly-developed Leica Dicomar lens with a 16x optical zoom, these models give users a larger zoom range in Full HD image quality. The Advanced Optical Image Stabiliser (O.I.S) operates at an incredible rate of 4,000 times per second to correct the effect of hand shake, so even at full zoom, images are sharp and blur-free.

These camcorders boast Intelligent Auto (iA) with new functionality for video capture – AF Tracking – which makes it simple to record perfectly focused and exposed video, with just the touch of a fingertip on the LCD.

For added ease and convenience, the new camcorders feature a wide 2.7-inch LCD with touchscreen functionality. Low light recording is assisted with a LED Video light, for greater flexibility when recording at night or indoors.

Uploading videos to social networking website, YouTube2, to share with family and friends is simple and fast, thanks to the user-friendly software.

Features

SD/HDD Hybrid Recording – HS20: The HS20 is a hybrid camcorder with an 80-GB HDD for over 33 hours of recording (in HE mode). When combined with a 32-GB SDHC Memory Card (optional), the camcorder provides an additional recording time of 12 hours. The camcorder can transfer recorded video images from the SDHC/SD Memory Card to the hard disk, or vice versa, with easy operation.

SDHC/SD Memory Card Recording – SD20: The SD20 is highly resistant to knocks and bumps because it records onto SD and SDHC Memory Cards and so has no drive mechanism. This high level of durability, combined with the compact size and lightweight body (weighing a tiny 267g) makes the SD20 ideal for travel or simply shooting on the go.

Touchscreen operation: The HS20 and SD20 both feature a 2.7 inch wide touch-screen LCD. This new feature allows easy fingertip control of icons displayed on the LCD, so users can operate functions intuitively without looking away from the subject on the LCD.

Intelligent Auto (iA) with new AF Tracking feature: The newest iA mode is the AF Tracking function, which incorporates the new touch-screen LCD for accurate focus selection anywhere in the frame. By simply touching the subject on the camcorder’s LCD, the focus locks on the selected subject and the exposure is correctly adjusted. AF Tracking keeps the subject in focus even if they move or turn away from the camcorder. This records the subject with the optimal auto focus and auto exposure settings for beautiful results.

Face Detection: which senses the ambient lighting and adjusts the exposure accordingly so faces are bright and easy to see. Up to 15 faces can be detected.

Intelligent Contrast Control: detects the intensity of the ambient light and adjusts the exposure accordingly to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. This ensures that exposure is well-balanced across a single image and detail maintained.

Scene Detection for motion images: The iA automatically selects the most suitable settings from Portrait, Scenery, Low-light and Spotlight.
Scene Detection for still images: The iA automatically selects the most suitable settings from Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Portrait and Night Scenery.
Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) for capturing clear, sharp images even when shooting long-distance zoom shots, when hand-shake is typically a concern.

Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser): Panasonic’s Advanced O.I.S. works by gyro sensors detecting hand-shake while a lens unit shifts to correctly align the optical axis, so that images are sharp and blur-free. Because Panasonic’s system is optical there is no loss of quality.