Panasonic Introduces AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder

Panasonic has introduced a professional AVCCAM HD handheld camcorder, the AG-AC90, equipped with high-sensitivity 1/4.7-inch, full-HD 2.19 megapixel 3-MOS imagers to capture native 1920 x 1080 resolution images.

Targeted at the wedding and event, sports and corporate AV markets, the AC90 records in 1080/60p, 60i, 30p and 24p, as well as in standard definition (480/60i) in 60Hz.

Its 12X zoom lens with three independent adjustable rings for zoom, focus and iris offers a wide 29.8mm to 357.6 mm (35mm equivalent) viewing angle, and Panasonic’s exclusive Nano Surface Lens Coating reduces ghosting and flares. Key AC90 features include two SD Memory Card slots for simultaneous recording; a five-axis image stabilizer that dramatically improves stabilization for hand-held shooting; 4X pixel shifting technology for a sharper image; and an intelligent Auto (iA) Zoom 25X super-resolution function for automatic adjustments of edge, gradation and detail.

The AC90 debuts a premium professional AVCCAM HD recording mode, the PS mode (28 Mbps, 60p only), and also records video in the PH mode (average 21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), the HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), and the extended recording HE mode (approx. 6 Mbps).

The AC90 is compatible with Panasonic’s ultra high-speed UHS-1 Memory Card series (in addition to providing SDXC and SDHC card support), with transfer rates of 90MBs, four-and-a-half times as fast as the previous generation of SDHC media. The two slots can also be utilized for simultaneous back-up recording.

The AC90 includes such desirable professional features as time code/UB recording; time/date stamp, and two wired remote control terminals (for zoom, focus, iris, REC start/stop controls). Standard professional interfaces include an HDMI output, USB 2.0 (mini B-type), Multi-AV output, and a built-in stereo microphone. The camcorder features two locking XLR inputs with switches for mic/line, two RCA audio outputs, and records two channels of Dolby Digital.

For editing or playback, professionals can transfer content by inserting the SD Memory Card into Mac or PC computers or by connecting the camera directly via its USB 2.0 interface. Panasonic’s AVCCAM Importer software, a QuickTime plug-in component that eliminates the need to convert AVCHD files to ProRES422 files before editing in Final Cut Pro, is available as a free download from the company’s web site.

For easy HD viewing, the camcorders are equipped with a widescreen LCOS color viewfinder and a widescreen, 1.15-million pixel 3.5-inch LCD color monitor. The LCD monitor rotates 270 degrees for easy low-angle, high-angle and self-interview shooting.