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Posted on Monday, July 20, 2009

 * Compact, 3-Megapixel AVCCAM Handheld Ships in August for $2,295*

SECAUCUS, NJ (July 20, 2009) – Initially previewed at NAB for $3,199. Panasonic announced today that they will begin to ship the professional AG-HMC40 AVCCAM handheld camcorder in August at a significantly lower price, which will widen its appeal to a much larger customer base. The dual-use AVCCAM camcorder, which elegantly combines full HD AVCHD video recording and high-resolution 10.6-megapixel still photo capture, will be available at the suggested list price of $2,295.
Panasonic also announced that shipments of the new HMC40 camcorder will come initially (from August 2009 through March 2010) bundled with free EDIUS Neo 2 video editing software (Retail Value: $199).
Compact and lightweight at 2.16-pounds, the HMC40 is a versatile HD camcorder with high-quality AVCHD recordings, high-resolution still photo capture, and professional audio capabilities for a wide range of applications and markets including schools, government agencies, event videographers, web designers and more. 
The camcorder’s full HD resolution 3-megapixel3MOS imager produces stunning 1920x1080 or 1280 x 720 AVCHD video with high sensitivity. When used for digital still photography, the camera captures pristine still images with 10.6-megapixel resolution directly onto the SD card as a JPEG image file.
For video recording, the AVCHD format based camcorder uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high profile encoding, which provides a near doubling of bandwidth efficiency and improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression based formats (e.g. HDV). AVCHD high definition recordings look clean and crisp, even during fast motion, reducing the image degradation or dropouts associated with older HDV recordings and can play directly from the low cost SDHC memory card on a growing number of affordable consumer devices including most Panasonic Blu-ray players.
The HMC40 records video in all four professional AVCCAM recording modes, including the highest-quality PH mode (average 21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), the HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), the HG mode (approx.13 Mbps) and the extended recording HE mode (approx. 6 Mbps). It supports 1080/59.94i (in all modes) and 1080/29.97p, 1080/23.98p native, 720/59.94p, 720/20.97p, and 720/23.98p native (in PH mode only).
Using just one 32GB SDHC memory card, a user can record three hours of full resolution 1920x1080 video and audio in PH mode, four hours at HA mode and 5.3 hours at HG mode. In the HE mode, the camera can record up to 12 hours of 1440 x 1080 HD content – all on a single 32GB SDHC card.
The camcorder’s advanced Leica Dicomar lens system captures super sharp images at up to 12X optical zoom as well as an additional 10x digital zoom. It features a 40.8mm (35mm lens equivalent) wide-angle setting, and an advanced Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) feature to ensure stable, smooth and precise shooting. The camera also provides users with professional image functions like Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) that helps compensate for wide variations in lighting, and a Cine-Like Gamma mode that gives recordings a more film-like aesthetic look.
The HMC40 comes standard with HDMI output, USB 2.0 (mini B-type devices), composite output (AV multi/ch1, ch2), analog component (mini-D), and a built-in stereo microphone as well as a 3.5 mm ext mic-in jack. To enhance its professional audio capabilities, users can add on the optional AG-MYA30G XLR adapter. Featuring two XLR audio input terminals (mic/line switchable) and audio record level controls and +48V capability, the adapter provides professional XLR terminals for mic/line recording or the ability to accept the audio output from microphone and PA systems in studios and auditoriums.
The camera’s 2.7-inch LCD monitor offers simple touch-panel operation and access to various solid-state recording functions such as nine different recording modes, pre-record, interval recording, shot marker and metadata capture. Additional features include time/date stamp, waveform monitor display, focus assists such as focus bar display and enlarged display, user assignable focus ring (Focus/Iris/Zoom), auto focus with face detection, white balance, mode display, zebra display, center marker, color bar, tally lamps, slow smooth zoom & soft landing, slow shutter and synchro-scan shutter functions, three programmable user buttons (13 different choices), time code/UB recording, and two wired remote control terminals (for zoom, focus, aperture, REC start/stop controls).  A wireless remote is also included.
AVCCAM content recorded on the SD card can be played back directly and randomly accessed on a growing number of low-cost consumer devices including solid-state HD players, Blu-ray players, game machines, laptop computers, and widescreen plasma displays with SD card slots. For editing or playback, professionals can transfer content by inserting the SD Card into Mac or PC computers or by connecting the camera directly via its USB 2.0 interface.
The HMC40 will be available at the end of August, with the free Edius Neo 2 non-linear editing software package (for Windows PC only),at a suggested list price of $2,295. The optional AG-MYA30G XLR adapter will be available in August at a suggested list price of $300. Panasonic supports the HMC40 with a three-year limited warranty (one year plus two extra years upon registration).