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Panasonic's latest pro AVCHD camcorder

Panasonic's 3MOS sensor system and a smaller, lighter design highlight its latest pro AVCHD model.


Adding to its SD-card-based AVCCAM series--not to be confused with its P2-card-based and seriously more expensive P2HD series, which includes the AG-HVX200A--the AG-HMC40 joins the AG-HMC150 and its shoulder-mount cousin, the HMC70 in the ranks of Panasonic's pro AVCHD camcorders.

Smaller and lighter than either of its line mates, with a much simpler design, the HMC40 is also the first in its line to includes a trio of full HD resolution 1/4.1-inch 3MOS sensors rather than CCDs. It incorporates a 12X zoom lens of as-yet unknown (to me) focal-length range and can shoot 10.6-megapixel stills (obviously interpolated, since none of the sensors are that high resolution).

Like its brethren, the HMC40 will support up to 21-megabits-per-second recording in a range of HD formats, including 1080 and 720 at 60i, 30p, and 24p frame rates. Pro connections include a removable XLR mic input. Interestingly, the camcorder also has consumer-type features like a touch screen, face-detection AF, and prerecord.

The AG-HMC40 is slated to ship in August for $3,195.