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Panasonic pops five minicamcorders into U.S.

The new HX-WA10, the HX-DC10, the HX-DC1, the HM-TA2, and the HM-TA20 first appeared in February, but not for the U.S. That changes in June.


Last year Panasonic started up a mini-camcorder line with one device, the HM-TA1. It wasn't very good, but Panasonic decided to press on, announcing three dual-camera pistol-grip models (HX-WA10, HX-DC10 and HX-DC1) and HM-TA20 and HM-TA2 candy-bar-style models.

For the HX-series models, they look like the continuation of Sanyo's dual-camera Xacti line (Panasonic announced total acquisition of Sanyo in December 2010). The WA10 is the highest-end dual-camera model (they have separate video and photo capture buttons) and features waterproofing good down to 10 feet for up to an hour; a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor; 16-megapixel photo capture and full HD movie recording; a 2.6-inch LCD; and a 5x optical zoom.

The DC10 and DC1 are practically the same as the WA10, but not waterproof. However, they have larger, 3-inch LCDs and the DC1 takes 14-megapixel photos instead of 16. There's more pictures and feature info on Panasonic's global site.


For those who want a smaller, tougher pocket video camera, check out the HM-TA20. It's waterproof to 10 feet, too, but is shockproof up to about a 5-foot drop and dustproof. Other features include a 3-inch touch-screen LCD, full HD MPEG-4 video capture, and electronic image stabilization. There's also a Night View mode for shooting in low light, a built-in USB connector and embedded software for sharing straight from the device, and it can be used as a Webcam.

The TA2 is the same as the TA20, but not rugged and available in more colors. By the way, all five models have Mini-HDMI ports for connecting to an HDTV or monitor. Again, you can get a better look at these devices on Panasonic's site.

Panasonic didn't announce pricing, but they'll be available in June.