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Panasonic SX5 camcorder

Mark Peters
IFA Report
Monday 30th, July 2007
Posted by: Mark Peters

The consumer trend toward large-screen, high-image-quality TVs is still growing, and broadcasters are increasingly switching to high definition. Video products are evolving along with this trend, moving toward high-definition. As a manufacturer of industry-leading video equipment, Panasonic is responding to emerging demand in the HD video era by introducing a new 3CCD full-HD camcorder, the Panasonic SX5. The Panasonic HDC-SX5 can record full-HD video with 1920 x 1080 pixels. The new Panasonic SX5 HD camcorder features Panasonic's original 3CCD camera system and Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), which let users record clear, beautiful, blur-free images with vibrant colour.

Panasonic SX5

Panasonic SX5 camcorder - 3CCD system
Especially when viewed on a high-quality big-screen TV, the video captured by the Panasonic HDC-SX5 is simply breathtaking in quality. The Panasonic HDC-SX5 can record full-HD motion images onto both SDHC/SD Memory Cards and DVD discs. The Panasonic SX5 can record up to 180 minutes of video on an 8GB SDHC Memory Card (available from September 2007), and up to 60 minutes on a DVD-R dual-layer disc. Using both media, you can capture up to 240 minutes of full-HD recording.

Panasonic SX5 HD camcorder - Broadcast quality
The Panasonic SX5 employs the high-image-quality AVCHD format. The HD camcorder features the 3CCD camera system that has earned high acclaim in professional broadcast camcorders, and offers Panasonic's newly developed Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer). With these leading-edge imaging technologies and full 1920 x 1080-pixel definition, the Panasonic HDC-SX5 makes it easy to capture video recordings that are simply stunning when viewed on a large-screen HD TV. The Panasonic SX5 can copy recorded video from an SDHC/SD Memory Card to an 8 cm DVD disc internally with the touch of a single button; there's no need to use a PC. The recording format can be selected every time you start recording. You can also record the video on DVD disc in the standard definition (MPEG2) to play it back with your DVD recorder/player.

Panasonic SX5 digital camcorder - Full HD recording
An increasing number of consumers are choosing large-screen, high-image-quality TVs, and broadcasting companies are shifting to high definition. Full high-definition - with 1920 x 1080 pixels - will soon be a standard video recording format. While conventional recordings have 1,440 pixels in the horizontal direction, full-HD recordings have 1,920. And while conventional recordings have a total of around 1.55 million pixels, full-HD recordings have around 2.07 million - about 30% more. In fact, full-HD has the most pixels of any HD format, and thus can render images with unmatched detail and resolution. With the huge amount of image data they contain, full-HD recordings provide exceptional viewing on both high-definition TVs and conventional (standard-definition) TVs.

Panasonic SX5 video camera - Image Stabilizing System
The new Panasonic HDC-SX5 features Panasonic's new image-stabilization system. Called Advanced O.I.S., this system performs the compensation operation eight times more frequently than our previous system, thus achieving greater precision and accuracy. The system uses gyro-sensors to detect hand-shake, then shifts a lens and adjusts its optical axis to compensate. And while previous system checked and compensated for hand-shake around 500 times per second, the new Advanced O.I.S. works around 4,000 times per second. Because this is an optical system, there is no loss of quality resulting in images that are captured in all of their original beauty. Advanced O.I.S. prevents the subtle blurring that can be caused by even a slight bit of hand-shake, and it is truly necessary in an age of large-screen, high-resolution TVs, when every image imperfection is easily visible.

Panasonic HD camcorder - 3CCD Camera System
Most professional broadcast equipment uses the 3CCD camera system. This includes Panasonic's professional video cameras, which have brought breathtaking images to viewers around the world since 1992, when they were first selected as the broadcast equipment for the Olympic Games. Panasonic has downsized its professional 3CCD camera system for use in consumer models. In a 3CCD camera system, the light received through the lens is split into its three primary colour components (red, green and blue), and the signal from each is processed by one of the three CCDs. Compared with conventional 1CCD camera systems, Panasonic's 3CCD system provides more vivid, true-to-life colours, greater detail and richer gradation.

Panasonic SX5

Panasonic SX5 - Leica lens
Photographers around the world know Leica Camera AG as a maker of superb cameras and lenses. This company's advanced optical technology has been fused with Panasonic's leading-edge digital technology to create the Leica Dicomar lens. The Leica Dicomar lens provided in the Panasonic HDC-SX5 features 12 lens elements in eight groups and uses low-dispersion optical glass to reduce the blurring of colour. A special multi-coating process is applied to the 14 lens element surfaces to minimize chromatic aberration, so images are crisp, clear, and free of flare and ghosting. To match the newly developed full-HD CCD, Panasonic has further enhanced its acclaimed Crystal Engine image processor. A new noise reduction circuit combines with the new Intelligent Contrast Control circuit to boost image quality while reducing power consumption. Offering superior images and longer battery life, the HD Crystal Engine takes camcorder performance to new heights.

Panasonic SX5 - Record and Action
With many camcorders it is easy to miss capturing a critical moment, even when you think you've pressed the record button at the right time. For example, if you want to capture a goal being scored in a football match, you have to press the record button every time a player attempts to shoot. The problem, of course, is that very few shots actually result in goals, but you have to record everyone just in case. The Pre-Rec function eliminates this problem. When the Pre-Rec function is on, the camcorder continuously records three seconds of images into an internal buffer memory. Then, when you actually press the record button, the three seconds immediately prior are added at the beginning of the clip you record. This lets you capture the player in the act of kicking the ball even if you don't press the record button until after he has made the goal. The Pre-Rec function is especially helpful in capturing a sudden shooting opportunity.

Panasonic SX5

Panasonic SX5 - Contrast and Monitor
This intelligent new function continually measures the ambient light intensity and adjusts the contrast as it changes. Providing control over a wider range of lighting conditions than previous functions, Intelligent Contrast Control helps prevent a washed-out look in bright parts of an image and black-outs in shadowy part. You capture images with natural nuances and contrast. Even when you're shooting toward the light source, Intelligent Contrast Control lets you capture true-to-life pictures with outstanding depth. The Panasonic SX5 incorporates a new LCD that has 300,000 pixels and a wide 170-degree viewing angle both vertically and horizontally. The wider viewing angle is a big advantage in high-angle and low-angle shooting. It's a big advantage in playback too, allowing several people at the same time to enjoy viewing the video clip you just recorded. The brightness of the LCD can be set to either of two levels to match the ambient light condition. At the brighter setting, the LCD provides clear, easy viewing even when you're shooting outdoors on a sunny day.

Panasonic SX5 - VIERA and Dubbing
The Panasonic SX5 is compatible with Panasonic's VIERA Link. Connect the Panasonic S5 to a VIERA TV via an HDMI cable, and you can operate the camcorder using the TV remote control and following on-screen prompts. This adds extra ease and convenience to the fun of viewing the full-HD video you record. The SDHC/SD Memory Card can simply be taken from the Panasonic HDC-SX5 and slipped into the card slot of a Panasonic VIERA PZ700 to view full-HD images recorded in the AVCHD format. The Panasonic HDC-SX5 is a hybrid camcorder that can record full-HD motion images onto both SDHC/SD Memory Cards and DVD discs. It can copy data from a memory card to a disc internally, without requiring use of a PC or other equipment. This gives you a quick, easy way to copy recordings onto a DVD disc for storage and archiving. By simply connecting the Panasonic HDC-SX5 to a TV with an HDMI cable, the Panasonic SX5 can also play back the images that you copied to the DVD disc all by itself, so you can easily watch them on the TV without having to use a DVD player.

Panasonic SX5 - Software
Full-HD video clips can be easily edited with the software provided or copied onto a DVD disc. The video data can be saved in either the AVCHD or DVD-VIDEO format, depending on how it will be played back. Recordings saved in the full-HD AVCHD format are suitable for playback with a BD player, while DVD-VIDEO (standard definition) recordings can be played back with a DVD player.

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