Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Micro 4/3 shoots HD video

Wow. My Olympus E-420 camera is getting more antiquated than ever. First, there’s Olympus E-620, and now this.

The Lumix DMC-GH1 is the second camera to support the Micro Four Thirds (Micro 4/3) standard that Panasonic and Olympus are championing. And this camera is the first Micro Four Thirds camera to shoot 1080p video. The difference with Nikon D90 is that the audio for GH1 is stereo. You can record 1080p video at 24 frames per second (fps), or 720p at 60 fps. And the good thing here is that, since this camera supports Micro Four Thirds, I can do an upgrade without ditching my current Four Thirds lenses, though I have to invest in an adapter.

No release date nor introductory price were announced, though.

Panasonic press release | Hands-on by Digital Photography Review


Samsung Releases New Flash-based 1080i HD Camcorder

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. continues to improve its camcorder offerings with the addition of the HMX20C Progressive HD Flash-based camcorder.

Featuring full HD and a1080i mode with 30 frames-per-second recording capability, the HMX20C’s flash-based design makes this camcorder compact and easy-to-use. With an integrated docking station, users will find it simple to not only charge the HMX20C, but utilize the HDMI input and component connectivity to easily view home movies directly on an HDTV. Furthermore, users are able to connect the HMX20C to their laptop or PC via a USB connection and share their home movies with family and friends quickly and easily. For added value and convenience, this multifunctional HD camcorder also delivers among the best still camera functionality within a camcorder on the market – up to 8 megapixels size through pixel-rising technology.

“The HMX20C offers consumers the ability to record their precious memories in full 1920x1080i HD quality. Because this camcorder records onto flash memory, it offers quick start-up, great battery life and one of the smallest bodies in the industry,” said Sang Ryong Kim, senior vice president of Camcorder Business Team, Samsung Electronics. “The HMX20C is extremely versatile and can be used to shoot HD video footage in virtually any situation. Everyone from aspiring filmmakers to parents shooting their childrens’ first birthday can capture their memories in beautiful HD quality.”

The HMX20C’s outstanding performance is the result of a cutting-edge design coupled with innovative technologies in HD recording. The camcorder features a 6.4-megapixel CMOS with electronic image stabilization so that even action-packed scenes project come through with clarity. Featuring an HDMI-CEC (Anynet+) high-quality connection to HDTVs and other devices, consumers can easily control the camcorder through their Samsung HDTV remote while viewing movies – one more feature that strives to make life simpler.

With the unique feature of high speed capture and super slow motion playback, the HMX20C allows consumers to record fast motion at 300 frames per second for up to 10 seconds and then drastically slow down the playback of the recording. Perfect for sports fanatics looking to tape and analyze their golf-swing in slow motion, or anyone interested in getting the detail of fast-flying events that otherwise would be undetectable to the human eye, this special function opens up a new world to users.

Samsung also engineered its new HD camcorder to be significantly more powerful than previous models. The 8GB of built-in flash memory helps to ensure that nothing is lost for lack of space and users also have the option of recording onto high-capacity SDHC/MMC+ cards via the additional card slot.

In addition to ample memory and superb recording capabilities, the HMX20C also delivers among the best still pictures of any camcorder on the market. The HMX20C has a few unique features traditionally found on digital still cameras such as a pop-up strobe flash, an automatic built-in lens cap and advanced face detection to automatically bring facial features into crisp focus, delivering high-quality images.

At only 10.9 ounces, the HMX20C fits easily into the palm for quick-and-easy shooting. For further convenience, the HMX20C comes equipped with features that make it straightforward to use. Samsung’s proprietary swivel hand-grip makes it possible to record from multiple angles, including regular and low-angle shots, while the 2.7-inch wide-aspect touchscreen LCD makes editing on the fly easy. Additionally, the iCheck function lets the user know how much memory and battery life remains to ensure not a second is lost.

Finally, Samsung has designed the HMX20C to be both stylish and ergonomically correct. Its design utilizes trends seen in the fashion and car industries, resulting in a camcorder that’s as elegant as it is practical.

(Samsung press release)

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