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DVD Camcorder Makers Improve Resolution

The hot-selling DVD camcorder market will see a number of higher-resolution models this year to bolster selling prices and make the models more competitive versus digital still cameras.

Canon added a third DVD camcorder lineup with the introduction of its third model, the 4.3-megapixel DC40. The DC40 features a 10x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD, high-resolution 16:9 widescreen mode and 4-megapixel still capture. The image sensor features an RGB color filter for improved quality, and the camcorder incorporates Canon’s DIGIC DV processor. The model records to three-inch DVD-R/-RW discs.

A one-touch dubbing feature lets users make copies of DVD movies using My DVD video editing software (included). A smooth zoom control feature provides a choice of three fixed zoom speeds. To further stabilize video, a level shot control indicator on the display helps users center and steady video while zooming.

For low-light recording, the DC40 offers a built-in video light and flash. The camcorder’s photo features include simultaneous photo/video capture, nine point AiAF autofocus, a 1/720 shutter speed, eight scene modes and aperture and shutter priority. Still images are recorded to miniSD cards and the camcorder is PictBridge-enabled. The DC40 ships in March for an estimated $899.

Lens-maker Cooke Optics announced an exploratory business unit to sell its high-end optics to consumer electronics and camcorder manufacturers. The move will position the company against other lens makers, like Carl Zeiss and Leica, who have forged partnerships with CE companies.

Panasonic recently announced that it will ship two 3CCD DVD camcorders in March and May. First up will be the VDR-D250 ($899.95) which features a 2.7-inch widescreen LCD, 10x optical zoom, 2.3-megapixel still recording, SD card slot and bundled video editing software.