CNET First Look
Panasonic SDR-T50 and HDC-TM55The Panasonic SDR-T50 and HDC-TM55 are two flash-based camcorders with impressive optical intelligent zooms.
[ Background music ] >> Brian Cooley: It wasn't too long ago we were saying that cameras that use tape are going away, that's happened. Now even cameras that use hard drives seem a little bit antiquated. We're here at CES 2010. I'm Brian Cooley and couple of new Panasonic camcorders that are forth coming. One is standard def, one is high def but what they have in common is both are memory based, so flash based. They each have memory built in and an expansion slot for you to put an SDXC card in, SDXC is the latest form of SD, the most high performance type and what these do of course is record to that internal memory or the card itself but in different ways as I mentioned one of these is standard def, that's this guy right here this is the SRT50, the SD tells you it's standard def. The form factor is pretty straight forward although it's small you can see how small that guy is in my hand, it's a very pocketable camcorder and again no tapes, and no heavy hard drive. The part that I can't get across in the video to you is how light these are because there's no heavy either tape drive or hard drive mechanism making them dense, they almost feel like they're missing something but that's the nature of flash technology. You'll get 3 hours and 20 minutes out of this standard guy on the internal 4 gig and then you can ram it up from there with your own card to keep putting more time on it. Now let's get a look at the high def version, that's this HDCTM55. Looks very similar in its actual form factor so that's not interesting but it has 1080 P, full high def as it says right here on the side and both of these have extreme levels of zoom. This guy here has got 35X of actual optical zoom or what they call intelligent optical zoom and you go up to something like 78X on the standard def guy so again this is not a bunch of digital which looks like crap, it's optical or enhanced optical so it should look really solid and of course there's image stabilization in there as well. These are also devices that have a tracking auto focus so once you get on a subject and you pan or move with it it should stay locked on that subject and not lose focus because it moves in or out of a certain plain and this high def one here also has facial recognition so it can home in on a face, hit focus to it, exposure to it and realize that's what you're shooting is that person and not you know seize on that tree behind him which may throw the whole picture off. These guys here are not yet announced in terms of price but they are coming out in the spring and should be pretty mainstream products from Panasonic. Again the SDRT50 and the high def model the HDCTM55 here at CES 2010.