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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Camcorders

Shock proof and hybrid camcorders star in Panasonic's 2008 line-up

The rain held off for Panasonic's launch event at the Great Barrier Reef but there was a deluge of another kind: nine new camcorders from Panasonic.

The rain held off for Panasonic's launch event at the Great Barrier Reef but there was a deluge of another kind: nine new camcorders from Panasonic.

High definition
Panasonic seem to have adopted a policy of renewing its high definition camcorder line-up every half year. Again there's an SD card model and a hybrid, although this time the hybrid is of the hard-disk/SD card type not DVD/SD card.

We've bemoaned the fact that manufacturers have, thus far, bundled a maximum of 4GB worth of memory with their memory card-based camcorders. Panasonic has now heeded our calls, shipping the new SD9 with a 32GB SDHC card -- almost as much as entry-level high definition hard-disk camcorders. This gives us hope that one day soon all manufacturers will heed our calls to bundle an HDMI cable with their cameras.

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HDC-HS9

HDC-SD9 Price AU$1,999 AU$1,869* On sale Late February Early March Sensor 3CCD 3CCD Max shooting rate 1920 x 1080p at 25fps 1920 x 1080p at 25fps Optical zoom 10x 10x Image stabilisation Optical Optical Recording medium SD/SDHC card and hard-disk SD/SDHC card Included media 60GB hard-disk 32GB SDHC card Dimensions (WxDxH) (not supplied) 65 x 67 x 126mm

*There's also a kit for the SD9, priced at AU$2,299, which includes a portable DVD burner, Pinnacle video editing software and a mini-HDMI cable.

Standard definition: hard-disk and SD card
There are five new standard-def cameras which record onto SD card -- two of which are SD card only, the other three have built-in hard-disks. The hero model of the new range is the shockproof, waterproof and dustproof SW20, which we're looking forward to putting through its paces.

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SDR-SW20

SDR-S7

SDR-H280

SDR-H60

SDR-H40 Price AU$769 AU$549 AU$1209 AU$989 AU$879 On sale March April February April February Media SD card SD card Hard-disk and SD card Hard-disk and SD card Hard-disk and SD card Included media 4GB SDHC card 4GB SDHC card 30GB hard-disk 60GB hard-disk 40GB hard-disk Sensor CCD CCD 3CCD CCD CCD Optical zoom 10x 10x 10x 50x 42x Leica Dicomar lens No No Yes No No Image stabilisation None None Optical Optical Optical Water-proof to 1.5m n/a n/a n/a n/a Shock-proof from 1.2m n/a n/a n/a n/a Quick startup time 0.6s 0.6s (not supplied) 2.1s 2.1s Dimensions (WxDxH) 33.8 x 115.4 x 63.4mm 41 x 102 x 59mm (not supplied) (not supplied) (not supplied) Weight 224g 165g (not supplied) (not supplied) (not supplied)

Standard definition: tape and DVD disc
In addition, Panasonic has announced a new miniDV and a new DVD standard-def camcorder. Both will be available any day now.

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VDR-D50

NV-GS330 Price AU$659 AU$989 On sale February February Media Mini-DVD disc MiniDV Sensor CCD 3CCD Optical zoom 42x not supplied Leica Dicomar lens No Yes Image stabilisation Optical Optical Quick startup time n/a 1.7s