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Panasonic Intros High End AVCHD Camcorder

Secaucus, N.J. — Panasonic said today it will ship an AVCHD-based high definition camcorder for the professional market in March.

The $2,099-suggested AG-HSC1U is a 3-CCD model that records 1080i high definition video to SD memory cards.

The camcorder can store up to 88 minutes of video on a high speed 4GB SDHC card or 41 minutes in the highest quality mode. The unit will be bundled with a 4GB SDHC card and an accessory 40GB hard drive with a built-in SD card reader for transferring images when the memory card fills up.

It features a image stabilized Leica Dicomar lens, 3-inch wide screen rotating LCD and a five microphone system for recording 5.1 channel surround sound. It offers the company’s “zoom mic” function which can isolate sound in the front channel as the camcorder zooms in on a subject.

The HSC1U can snap 2-megapixel still images during video recording and offers and HDMI output.

It will include the HD Writer 1.0 software for editing and burning HD video onto DVD-R discs for playback on Sony and Panasonic Blu-ray disc players and the PlayStation 3. According to Panasonic, “more sophisticated” editing software from third party non linear editing companies will be available in the spring.