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Dennis Hissink : July 21th 2008 - 16:00 CET

Panasonic HDC-SD100

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PanasonicPanasonic HDC-SD100 : The camcorder market is moving swiftly to high definition. Superior image quality is now a must, and many consumers are also demanding higher-level features - such as image-creating capabilities that are a rank above the conventional. For these users Panasonic introduces a new full-HD 3MOS model - the Panasonic HDC-SD100 - with manual functions that give users the power to create dramatic, artistic images. The new Panasonic SD100 also features the world's first 3MOS system, newly developed by Panasonic based on 3CCD technology that is renowned for excellent colour reproduction. With its expanded light-receiving areas, the MOS sensor is also significantly improves image quality, even in low lighting.
Panasonic SD100 camcorder - 3MOS system
The new Panasonic HDC-SD100 delivers an AAA (triple A) performance in all aspects of use - image quality, functions, and operating ease. The Panasonic SD100 boasts the 3MOS system, newly developed by Panasonic based on its popular 3CCD technology. The three MOS sensors process the red, green, and blue components of incoming light separately, so colour reproduction is superb. These sensors also have about double the light-receiving area of CCD sensors, so image quality when shooting in low light is much higher.

Panasonic HDC-SD100

Panasonic HDC-SD100 - High definition and Software
The new Panasonic HDC-SD100 features manual controls that gives users the freedom to create the kind of expressive, highly customised images that are simply not possible with automatic functions. With the world's first iA (intelligent Auto) functions, the Panasonic SD100 makes it easy for users to capture beautiful, mistake-free images every time. The Panasonic HDC-SD100 makes it easier than ever to edit high-definition moving pictures on a PC. The camcorder comes packaged with HD Writer 2.6 software for Windows, and also support iMovie '08 for Apple Macintosh, which let users directly edit the high-quality full-HD moving pictures they capture with their camcorders.

Panasonic HDC SD100 video camera - SD and SDHC memory cards
The Panasonic SD100 is highly resistant to impact because it records onto SD and SDHC memory cards and thus has no moving mechanism. This plus the compact size make the Panasonic HDC-SD100 ideal for casual, walk-about shooting fun. After a day of shooting, users can simply take the SD Memory Card from the Panasonic SD100 and slip it into the card slot on a Panasonic PZ800, PZ700 or PY700 VIERA TV, or a BD50 or BD30 Blu-ray Disc Player, and enjoy easy, instant large-screen viewing of stunning HD images.

Panasonic HD camcorder - AVCHD video format and Blu-ray
The Panasonic HDC-SD100 uses the advanced AVCHD video format to record 1920 x 1080 images in breathtaking full-HD quality. The new model features Panasonic’s newly developed 3MOS system based on the company’s renowned 3CCD technology. The 3MOS system uses separate sensors to process the three different colour components of the incoming light (red, green and blue), so colour expression is superb. Each sensor also has about twice the light-receiving area of a CCD sensor, so low-light shooting performance is much improved too. Users will find it easy to capture beautiful HD images with the Panasonic SD100 and copies them to DVD discs for quick, convenient playback. A Panasonic VW-BN1 DVD Burner (optional) can be used to burn HD images onto a DVD disc in the original AVCHD format; no need to use a PC. The copied DVD discs can then be easily played with the VW-BN1 and sent via the Panasonic SD100 to a large-screen TV for viewing in high definition without use of a Blu-ray Disc player or similar device.


Panasonic HDC-SD100 digital camcorder - Acoustic presence and Focus mic
The new Panasonic HDC-SD100 boasts an outstanding 5.1-channel sound system with five microphones that capture extremely high-quality audio with a true-to-life acoustic presence. Play back SD100 recordings on a good surround sound system, and it feels as if you’re right in the scene. The camcorder features a Zoom Mic function in which the microphones' range is linked to the operation of the zoom lens. It also has a Focus Mic function that focuses on sounds from sources in the area in front of the camcorder, regardless of whether the lens is focusing on a near or distant object. The Panasonic HDC-SD100 also has jacks for connecting an external mic and headphones. These can be useful for capturing (and, in the case of the headphones, monitoring) sounds that typically are difficult for an internal mic to pick up, such as birds singing or the gentle murmur of a stream. When played on a good large-screen HDTV with a capable audio system, recordings made with the SD100 provides an image-and-sound experience that is truly spectacular.

Panasonic SD100 HD camcorder - Colour components and Imaging elements
A trio of advanced technologies - the 3MOS sensor, HD Crystal Engine and new Leica Dicomar lens - helps the SD100 delivers the superior images demanded by full-HD 1920 x 1080 recording. The Panasonic SD100 features the 3MOS sensor, newly developed by Panasonic based on its proven 3CCD technology. In a 3MOS system, light passing through the lens is split into its three primary colour components (red, green and blue), and the signal from each is processed by one of the three MOS circuits. Compared with a conventional 1MOS, Panasonic's new 3MOS system captures more vibrant, true-to-life colours, greater detail and richer gradation. Also, the MOS sensor’s light-receiving area is about double that of a CCD sensor, so sensitivity is higher. This high-precision imaging element is first in the world to shoot in lighting as low as 2 lux. It helps the Panasonic HDC-SD100 capture exceptionally clear, bright images.

Panasonic SD100

Leica Dicomar lens system - Multi coating
Photographers around the world have long known Leica Camera AG as a maker of superb cameras and lenses. In our digital era, Leica optical technology has combined with Panasonic technology to create the renowned Leica Dicomar lens. Now the lens has advanced even further. The Leica Dicomar lens system used in the Panasonic SD100 comprises 12 lenses in 9 groups, including aspherical lenses to improve resolution and contrast and an LD (low-dispersion) lens to prevent colour bleeding. Also, a special multi-coating process is applied to all lens elements to minimise chromatic aberration, so images are crisp, clear, and free of flare and ghosting. The use of a highly-refractive lens also made it possible to have both 12x zoom power and a compact body.

Panasonic HDC SD100 - HD Crystal Engine
To maximise the capabilities of the new HD-level 3MOS sensor featured in the Panasonic SD100, Panasonic further enhanced the renowned Crystal Engine image processor. The result is the HD Crystal Engine. A noise reduction circuit combines with the Intelligent Contrast Control circuit to boost image quality while reducing power consumption. The dynamic range is also about twice that in previous Panasonic models, which helps prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows and allows more natural colour expression. Offering both higher image quality and longer battery life, the HD Crystal Engine takes camcorder performance to new heights.


Panasonic Advanced Optical Image Stabilization
In Panasonic's Advanced O.I.S., gyrosensors detect hand-shake and a lens unit shifts to correctly align the optical axis, so that images are sharp and blur-free. This happens at a remarkable rate of 4,000 times per second. Now the compensation area has been almost tripled compared with previous systems, so even very significant hand-shake is corrected. Users can capture clear, sharp images even when shooting long-distance zoom shots, where hand-shake is typically a big concern. Because Panasonic’s system is optical, there is no loss of quality - images are captured in their full original beauty. Advanced O.I.S. is truly necessary in an age when large-screen, high-resolution TVs can make even minor blurring a major problem.

Panasonic HDC-SD100 intelligent operation
The Manual Ring is provided for users who want more creative freedom in their image production. In the Panasonic SD100, users can enjoy precise, responsive fingertip control over five key settings - zoom, focus, iris, shutter speed, and white balance. The On-Screen Assist function displays a guide for exposure compensation. There are different assist guides - Zebra Pattern, Brightness Level, and Histogram. These help the user determine the brightness level - and make the adjustments desired - with a precision not possible by simply looking at the image on the LCD. A world's first, the iA function offered on the Panasonic HDC-SD100 automatically activates several convenient shooting functions at once. These include Advanced O.I.S., which compensates for hand-shake to eliminate blurring; Face Detection, which adjusts the exposure so faces are captured perfectly; and Intelligent Contrast Control, which helps ensure proper contrast. Also included is the Intelligent Scene Selector, which determines the shooting conditions and automatically selects the Scene setting that will provide optimal results. For example, it can determine and choose the proper Scene setting when the user is shooting ocean or mountain landscapes, people's faces, low-light scenes (indoors or out), and scenes such as stages illuminated with spotlights where bright and dark areas both exist.

Panasonic SD100 digital HD camcorder - Face detection and Contrast control
This function automatically adjusts the exposure, contrast, skin complexion effect, and focus so that faces are captured perfectly, using the face of the person nearest the centre of the frame as a reference. Face Detection helps ensure that faces are clear, easy to see and not lost in the shadows - even in situations with backlighting or low lighting. With Face Detection, there's no need to use different correction functions in different shooting situations. Face Detection can detect up to 15 faces in a frame. This intelligent function continually measures the ambient light intensity and adjusts the contrast as it changes. Providing control over a wide range of lighting conditions, Intelligent Contrast Control helps prevent a washed-out look in bright parts of an image and black-outs in shadowy parts. Images can be captured with natural nuances and contrast. Even when shooting toward the light source, Intelligent Contrast Control captures true-to-life pictures with outstanding depth.

Panasonic digital HD camcorder - Color and Cinema
Switch the power on and the SD100 is in recording standby and ready to shoot in just 1.9 seconds. This not only makes it easier to catch spur-of-the-moment shots, it also saves battery time. Users can also choose the 0.6-sec Quick Start mode, in which the power turns on or off when you open or close the LCD. All around the world there is a steadily growing trend toward large-screen, high-image-quality televisions and high-definition (HD) broadcasting. For camcorders, the ability to record HD images will soon be considered essential. Full-HD recording, with its total of 2,070,000 pixels, provides exceptional image details. And in the Panasonic SD100, full-HD and Panasonic's advanced 3MOS system team up to let users capture their own sharp, clear images with exquisite beauty. The Digital Cinema Colour mode automatically switches the camcorder to the optimum setting for the Digital Cinema Colour mode of the VIERA plasma TV series. Colours recorded in this mode look richer than those recorded using the conventional Panasonic standard. For example, the subtle shades of red and gold in flowers, and the greens of leafy trees are remarkably true to life.

Panasonic HDC-SD100 - Playback and Surround sound system
The Intelligent Shooting Selection playback function automatically detects scenes that have serious flaws - such as images that are completely out of focus or shots of the ground taken inadvertently - and automatically skips them during playback. Viewers see only high-quality, mistake-free moving images. The Panasonic SD100 features a 5.1-channel surround sound system with 5 microphones. When their recordings are played on a 5.1-channel home cinema system, viewers are surrounded by clear, detailed sound that makes them feel as if they are right in the middle of the action. A Zoom Mic function links the microphone's action to the camera's action. When zooming in on a bird in the distance, for example, the microphones also zoom in and record the bird's chirping. There is also a Focus Mic function that picks up the sounds from sources in the area in front of the camcorder, regardless of whether the lens is focusing on a near or distant object.

Panasonic SD100 - Headphone jack and Resolution
The SD100 is equipped with jacks to connect an external mic and headphones. An external mic can be useful for capturing the types of sounds that are typically difficult to pick up with an internal mic, such as birds singing or the soft murmur of a stream. Headphones make it easier to monitor what the mic is picking up, so you can make sure that voices and other important sounds are being captured clearly. The High Speed Burst shooting function lets the camcorder snap up to 25 consecutive 2.1-MB resolution still images in a second, or up to about 72 consecutive shots in 3 seconds. This can be used to analyse a golf swing, tennis stroke or other motion. It can also be used to get good shots of subjects in fast motion. The user can fire off a number of shots without stopping, then keep the best ones and delete the rest.

Panasonic camcorder SD100 - LCD monitor and VIERA link
The SD100 incorporates an LCD that has 300,000 dots and a wide 170-degree viewing angle both vertically and horizontally. The wider viewing angle is a big advantage in high-angle and low-angle shooting. It's a big advantage in playback too, allowing several people at the same time to enjoy viewing the video clip that was just recorded. The brightness of the LCD can be set to either of two levels to match the ambient light condition. At the brighter setting, the LCD provides clear, easy viewing even when shooting outdoors on a sunny day. The SD100 is compatible with Panasonic's VIERA Link. Connect either one to a VIERA TV via an HDMI cable, and operate the camcorder using the TV remote control and following on-screen prompts. This adds extra ease and convenience to the fun of viewing full-HD videos.

Panasonic SD100 - Memory card and HD images
The SDHC/SD Memory Card can simply be taken from the SD100 and slipped into the card slot of a Panasonic PZ800, PZ700 or PY700 VIERA TV, or a BD50 or BD30 Blu-ray Disc Player, to view full-HD images recorded in the AVCHD format. Most people use their camcorders for three main purposes: to shoot, play back, and archive video recordings. They want each of these to be as easy as possible. The Panasonic SD100 is equipped with a number of functions designed to do exactly that. In the past, copying video recordings from an SDHC/SD Memory Card or a hard disk to a DVD disc was a two-step process that involved transferring the data to a PC, then copying from PC to disc. The Panasonic HDC-SD100 does away with all that, thanks to a one-touch function that makes it easy to copy video recordings onto DVD discs for easy playback and storage. Connecting the SD100 via USB cable to a VW-BN1 DVD Burner (optional) and pressing a single button is all it takes to copy recorded video clips from an SDHC/SD Memory Card or hard disk to a DVD disc (DVD-RAM/-RW/-R/-R DL) in the original AVCHD format. The copied DVD can be played by the DVD burner, so exciting, large-screen images in HD quality can be viewed by simply connecting the DVD burner to the SD100, and then connecting the SD100 to an HDTV.

Panasonic camcorder software
The new Panasonic SD100 comes packaged with software that makes it easy to edit the full-HD images recorded onto either an SD Memory Card or the hard disk drive. Using HD Writer 2.6 software together with the camcorder's Intelligent Shooting Selection Playback function, scenes determined to be seriously flawed (for example, from overly severe hand-shake or backlighting) are automatically extracted. The user can then delete them easily, without the usual troublesome operation. HD Writer 2.6 also lets the user specify which image files are uploaded to the PC, eliminating the bother and waste of time that occurs with programs that automatically upload all scenes, including the ones you don’t want. HD Writer 2.6 even remembers which image files have been uploaded to the PC, so there is no worry about uploading the same file again later. This is convenient when users have recorded large amounts of data on a memory card or hard drive and upload it over several sessions. When copying images to a DVD disc, users can select either the full-HD AVCHD format or the DVD-Video format. Use AVCHD for images that will be viewed using a Blu-ray Disc player, and DVD-Video (standard-definition) for discs that will be played on a DVD player.

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