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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old June 19th, 2008, 01:01 AM   #1
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NEW Panasonic HDC-HS100

June 17, 2008 – The HDC-HS100 ($1099.95 MSRP) and HDC-SD100 ($1299.95 MSRP) are upgrades, but not replacements, for the HDC-HS9 and DC-SD9. They retain a relatively small size, but add a FULL-SIZE MULTI-FUNCTION RING to the front, and a viewfinder in the back. They feature a three-CMOS imaging system, which is reported to increase sensitivity in low light. Both are expected to become available in September 2008.

The HDC-SD100 records full 1920 x 1080 video in the AVCHD format to SD and SDHC memory cards.

In addition to the 3-CMOS array, they include a new Leica Dicomar lens system, with 12 lenses in 9 groups. Panasonic reports that this adds a 30% increase in resolution and 20% increase in contrast. The aspheric lens has an aperture range of F/1.8 – 2.8. The optical zoom has also been increased from 10x to 12x.

The new CMOS chips in the HDC-SD100 and HDC-HS100 measure 1/6-inch and have gross pixel count of 560,000 (effective pixel count of 520,00).

To round out the imaging system overhaul, the new camcorders are also equipped with the new HD Crystal Engine II processor, with an improved input level of 300%, which improves the ability to prevent blowouts while still retaining detail in the shadows.

The full-sized ring around the lens that controls zoom, focus, white balance, shutter speed, and iris. The functions are selected via a set of BUTTONS on the left side of the body. Further pro-like features include a live histogram, zebra patterns, and brightness level. The accessory shoe on top is cold, but a microphone jack and headphone jack have been added.

Panasonic has carried over the iA automatic scene mode detection system from its digital still camera line. When activated, the camcorders are supposed to making shooting easier by auto-engaging the Face recognition, Scenery, Spotlight, Low light, and iA Normal modes based on the information in the shot.

The optical image stabilization system, or Advanced OIS, has also been upgraded. The figures Panasonic provided indicated that the previous system was capable of a 75% correction for handheld shake when extended to its full 10x zoom. The HDC-HS100 and HDC-SD100 are reported to increase that correction to 95%.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #2
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Here’s a thread that’s already discussing it.
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=124014
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Old June 27th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #3
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lower noise...

If Panasonic can deliver on a lower noise level, I would be very interested, despite a soft picture.. I'm a control freak, at least I like to have the manual controls there, even if I don't use them all of the time.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 11:39 PM   #4
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If Panasonic can deliver on a lower noise level, I would be very interested, despite a soft picture.. I'm a control freak, at least I like to have the manual controls there, even if I don't use them all of the time.
It will be interesting to see what the trade-offs end up being with these new cameras. The resolution of the current SD9 is a little less than the competition, but after trying it out, I'm not sure I'd call it soft, at least not in good light. In reviews, the SD9 measures out at around 600 lines per picture height, and the Canons and Sonys are typically more like 650 or so, so there is a measurable difference.

OTOH, these cameras will clearly come with a more complete and easier to use set of creative controls, and for some people that could weigh more heavily than the difference between 600 and 650 lines of resolution.

Another nice thing will be the combination of a viewfinder on a small, light-weight camera with no hard disk. Because I want a camera with no hard disk, I was pretty much deciding on an HF100, but I wasn't looking forward to having only the LCD outdoors in bright light where I do most of my shooting. It's good to see viewfinders aren't completely going away on high-end consumer cams, though it would have been nice if Sony had put one on the CX12.

Hopefully, there is at least some truth to Panasonic's claims of the new CMOS sensors improving the low light performance by 2X. I guess we'll find out in the coming weeks.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #5
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sharpness...

Do any of the current panasonic cams have a sharpness setting? If so, the new ones would likely have a settting also.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 02:07 PM   #6
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Do any of the current panasonic cams have a sharpness setting? If so, the new ones would likely have a settting also.
I know the SD9 does not, so the HS9 probably does not either. This would be nice for them to add, as one of the things I didn't like about the SD9 was it tended to over-sharpen a bit.

P.S., I assume you're asking about Pana's consumer-level cams. I'm not sure about their bigger cams, they may have it.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #7
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correct..

You're correct, I was refering to the consumer models. Well, it looks like these new ones will probably not have this feature, unfortunately. My HC1 had this, but it was more expensive at the time.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 01:52 AM   #8
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You're correct, I was refering to the consumer models. Well, it looks like these new ones will probably not have this feature, unfortunately. My HC1 had this, but it was more expensive at the time.
In order to get the 960x540 image to 1920x1080 a great deal of sharpening is required.
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 11:52 AM   #9
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??...

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In order to get the 960x540 image to 1920x1080 a great deal of sharpening is required.
Isn't this the same count as the HVX200, but at half the sensor size? And the light sensitivity would be almost halved also?

These camera's indeed would have to be a tech wonder, to produce an acceptable PQ, for me, anyway.

Maybe the new MOS sensor, & the new lens & DSP will make a believer out of me. :)
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Old July 4th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #10
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Isn't this the same count as the HVX200, but at half the sensor size? And the light sensitivity would be almost halved also?

These camera's indeed would have to be a tech wonder, to produce an acceptable PQ, for me, anyway.
This new Pana did NOT get a good review. Still quality --> "critics noted that still shots were marginally better than awful." WOW, that good. :)

Panasonic may be making a good profit, but they seem intent on putting themselves out of the HD business. As someone said of an upconverting DVD player, there's no way to turn SD into HD. If there were -- why invent HD? If 960x540 is HD, then what is 1920x1080? Ultra HD?

The fact some can't tell the difference between a DVD and a BD doesn't mean there isn't a difference. By the way there is a site with static rez pictures of the EX1 and the HVX. The HVX measures about what a bottom of the line consumer HD camcorder measures: around 600 TVL. The EX1 has a H. rez. of 1000 TVL.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; July 4th, 2008 at 03:07 AM.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #11
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This new Pana did NOT get a good review. Still quality --> "critics noted that still shots were marginally better than awful." WOW, that good. :)
Steve, can you point to the review of this camera? I'd be curious to see it.

Were there any tests of video performance in normal and low-light?
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:24 AM   #12
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Hvx...

I'm pretty sure he's refering to the HVX200... as I'm looking high & low for a HD100 or HD100 reviews, with no success.

He probably has resources that the average joe doesn't, if he is talking about the new HDC's.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure he's refering to the HVX200... as I'm looking high & low for a HD100 or HD100 reviews, with no success.

He probably has resources that the average joe doesn't, if he is talking about the new HDC's.
After googling around a bit more for the quote "critics noted ...", it seems to originate in a blurb on engadget.com about the SD9, not the SD100. It could be that the same exact quote appears somewhere regarding the SD100, but I didn't find it.

In any case, I think expecting high quality stills from a 3-chip camcorder that uses pixel shifting is not realistic due to the lower native resolution of the sensors. At best, you'll get stills of the same resolution as the video -- around 2MP, which isn't much these days. Stills from a camcorder aren't particularly important for me, but for those who want high quality stills, right now the Sony SR's seem to be the king of the hill in that aspect with their high resolution sensor.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 01:00 PM   #14
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update...

Just to update this thread.. in another thread, it mentions a seminar at Birns&Sawyer, about these new Pana cams.

Seems these are destined to be used for youtube type videos, as the seminar is headed
"AVCHD: you shoot, you edit, youtube".
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 04:16 AM   #15
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I see that the HDC-SD100K is available at BH's website. I am considering this camera for entry level work so I can build up into more advanced work. I would love to go with a DVX, but I am liking the fact I can manage the clips by dragging and dropping the files onto the computer.

Anyway, is there anymore word or info/review of this camera?
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