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Panasonic Presents The Video Selfie

NEWARK, N.J. – Panasonic had demonstrated its ability to add a new dimension to the traditional camcorder market by introducing a model that helps videographers create the video equivalent of a selfie.

The company that gave us the Palmcorder showed the new W850 ($800 estimated street retail) FullHD Twin Camera as the flagship of the 2014 camcorder line.

The line includes a total of five new models — the W850, V750, V550, V250 and V130 — the first four of which include a new baby monitor feature that enables monitoring a sleeping baby in another room through a connection to a smartphone.

The highlighted HC-W850, which will ship to retailers at the end of March, has a Twin Camera function that enables shooting picture-in-picture video with a sub-camera located on the side of the LCD screen. The Twin Camera captures two scenes at once, including a close-up shot and landscape shot in the same direction, front and side shots, or shots of the subject and person.

The W850, V750, V550 and V250 models also include built-in Wi-Fi with one-touch connectivity to a smartphone or tablet via NFC technology.

Models W850 and V750 add new lenses, sensors and engines that Panasonic said significantly improve image quality, including the world’s first four-drive lens system that uses a four-group lens system controlled by individual motors, enabling high-resolution and high-magnification zoom operation within a compact body size.

A BSI sensor in those models produces an effective pixel count of 6.03 megapixels to boost sensitivity by approximately 1.3 times. A new Crystal Engine Pro+ system ups processing speeds by about 1.5 times, while new enhanced noise reduction cuts image noise by about 20 percent.

Panasonic also announced a Remote Pan Tilt Cradle accessory (sold separately) that, when connected to a camcorder, detects and tracks a moving subject within a 180-degree horizontal movement range and 15-degree vertical range.

Other features in the HC-W850 Twin Camera include an advanced level shot function and five-axis hybrid optical image stabilizer (OIS)+.

The HC-V750 ($600 estimated street retail) also has these functions as well as FullHD slow-motion capture.

The HC-V550 ($400) features a 50x optical zoom, 90x intelligent zoom, advanced level shot function and five-axis hybrid OIS+.

The HC-V250 ($300) offers a 50x optical, 90x intelligent zoom lens and compact design.

The HC-V130 ($180) has FullHD video resolution, 38x optical zoom, 75x digital zoom lens and a BSI sensor.