CES 2013: Panasonic HC-X920 Hands on

Panasonic's new flagship consumer camcorder for 2013 looks very much like Panasonic flagship consumer camcorder for 2012. Don't be fooled by its appearance though as the Panasonic HC-X920 has three major upgrades over last year's Panasonic HC-X900.
First and foremost are the upgrades to the 3MOS sensor array. This now uses BSI (backside illuminated) sensors with superior low-light performance. The raw resolution of the sensors has also increased from 6.57 megapixels in total to 8.49 megapixels. We were shown some examples of footage shot with the camcorder, and it looked more composed with less glare at 100 lux (bright conditions) and had far less noise at 10 lux (low light) - that's compared to last years model. Of course we'll have to see what Sony has up its sleeve for 2013 before making any final conclusions though.

The lens looks to be identical to last year's at first glance, but it has a new nano surface coasting apparently, but we're not clear on what benefits this provides.

Another major upgrade to this year's model is Wi-Fi support. This allows for real-time broadcast of events via the popular Ustream service. It can even send email out to preregistered addresses to inform them the live broadcast is beginning. Great for sharing event footage with family and friends in distant locations. A smartphone app is also available for Android and iOS, which lets you see the footage from the camcorder and control the zoom and other functions.

[Source: Expert Reviews - Click here to read the full story]

Panasonic to Introduce 32 New TV Models in 2013

Panasonic just announced that it will introduce a total of 32 new HDTVs this year, including 16 plasma TVs and 16 LED TVs. The plasma TVs will range from 42-inches to 65-inches in size, and the LED TVs will be available in 32-inches to 65-inches in size. The flagship of the LED line is the Smart Viera WT Series television, which features LG’s brand new personalization options. The Plasma flagship is a new Viera VT series device, with similar features.

All of the TVs reduce power consumption by 15% from earlier models and will meet new Energy Star 6.0 certification.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Panasonic launches tweaked AG-AF105A MFT pro camcorder with 10-bit HD video

Panasonic has just launched the AG-AF105A pro camcorder, an updated version of the AG-AF105 model, and for lovers of fine color gamut, there's good news. You can now output 10-bit HD video through the live view SDI port to an external recorder, boosting the color range to a billion hues and 1024 shades of grey. That addresses one of the main gripes with the previous $6k, 8-bit camcorder: it had to live in a world of Red Scarlets and Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera MFTs, which already have deep color. The revised model also brings a new PS recording mode with 25Mbps data rate, full HD progressive modes (1080/60p, 1080/50p), higher fidelity 16 bit LPCM audio and enlarged focus assist. It'll hit shelves on November 15th in Japan (there's no mention of an international date yet) with pricing up to the dealer, so sharpen up those haggling skills if you want one.

[Source: Engadget]

Panasonic Lumix GH3 launches on December 13th, but pricing remains a mystery

Panasonic's forthcoming mirror-less multimedia wonder has been given a release date. Yep, the Lumix GH3, with its 'unlimited recording time' and magnesium alloy build, will arrive in the Land of the Rising Sun just over a month from now. While the Japanese press release doesn't specify pricing, you can expect this Lumix to arrive in body-only and two lens kit variants, one with a 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens, and another with a f/4.0 - 5.8 rig. Behind those optic options (not to mention the ability to capture 72Mbps 60p video), you'll be getting a 16-megapixel sensor, splash-proof shell and a flip-out OLED touchscreen alongside a 614K-dot viewfinder. If that leaked video sample piqued your interest, check out the full spec rundown at the source below.

[Source: Engadget]

Panasonic video reveals Lumix GH3 Micro Four Thirds camera: 16MP, magnesium alloy, 60p video

Though the GH3 has yet to be formally introduced to the world, a video has just appeared on an official Panasonic YouTube channel that has either been posted accidentally or is deliberately intended to build hype in the run-up to Photokina. It mainly shows off the GH3 in a range of picturesque shooting situations, but the clip also spills a few key specs, including the presence of a 16-megapixel sensor, a new version of Panny's Venus Engine processor, a splash- and dust-proof magnesium alloy build and high-definition filming at up to 72Mbps and 60p -- although it's not clear if it handles full 1080 at that high frame-rate. We also see a a flip-out LCD that looks much the same as the GH2's, an f/2.8 12-35mm lens attached instead of the 14-42mm or 14-140mm glass that came bundled with that predecessor, and so far only evidence of a traditional black color scheme.

[Source: Engadget]

Panasonic Lumix G5 out in Japan on September 16th with new 45-150mm telephoto lens

Panasonic announced the Lumix G5 Micro Four Thirds camera over a month ago, but since then we haven't heard anything about when it'll actually be released. Well, we have a slightly better idea today — in Japan, at least, it's coming out on September 16th. On that date you'll be able to pick it up in body-only form or as part of a kit; one includes Panasonic's tiny 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake power zoom, the other includes a standard 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom and a new 45-150mm f4.0-5.6 telephoto zoom. That lens will also be available by itself on the same date for ¥37,275 (about $475). No word yet on a Western date for either camera or lens, but why not check out our hands-on impressions of the G5 while you wait?
[Source: The Verge]

Panasonic AG-AC90 professional camcorder: three CMOS sensors in a handheld package for $2,250

While filmakers have gone gaga over huge sensor'd video cameras, there's still a need for smaller chips and pro features -- to that end, Panasonic has just announced the AG-AC90 AVCCAM. Destined for event and corporate users, it features three smallish 1/4.7-inch CMOS sensors ("3MOS" in company-speak), a 12X zoom, native 1,920 x 1,080 at 60p, 60i, 30p and 24p, and a five-axis image stabilizer. As for video quality, there's a new "premium professional" recording mode with 28 Mbps throughput at 60p, on top of 24 Mbps and 17 Mbps modes. With two memory card slots, the camcorder supports Panasonic's proprietary UHS-1 cards, and fortunately works with SDXC and SDHC to boot. It's slated to arrive in "late fall 2012," according to the company, and will ring the register at $2,250. So, if the first thing that pops into your mind is not DOF, but zebras, timecode and XLR inputs, check the PR for all those specs.

[Source: Engadget]

Panasonic preps SD cards that survive heat, water and X-rays, will probably outlast you

Much ado has been made of weather-resistant cameras, but it's all a moot point if the memory card dies, isn't it? Panasonic wants that level of survivability in its SDHC and SDXC cards, and its new UHS-I-level SDAB and SDUB lines are tested for the kind of abuse that could see the camera give up the ghost first. The cards can take the kinds of punishment that we often associate with rugged gear, such as temperatures from -13F to 185F, immersion in 3.3 feet of water for half an hour and the usual steep drops. It's beyond this that the resistance levels become truly exotic: the cards are also built to survive zaps of electricity, proximity to magnets and exposure to X-rays. If it all becomes too much to bear, the design will even fuse on the inside to prevent fire burning the card from within. Those who like what they see will only have to decide whether or not they want the SDAB range's 95MB/s read speeds and 80MB/s writes or are willing to settle for the SDUB line's respective 90MB/s and 45MB/s transfers. We have yet to see if or when the SD cards cross the Pacific after their September 8th launch in Japan, although we hope so -- with that kind of extra-tough design, our photos are more likely to endure than we will.

[Source: Engadget]

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 £30,000 Amazon Price Blunder

No sooner did Panasonic announce their new Lumix DMC-G2 a host of online retailers put the new micro four third camera up for pre-order. Seems like Amazon think they can get away with charging £30,000 for it though. No, really it is bound to be a typo or holding price, but someone might just push the button :)

Panasonic’s New 3MOS High Definition Camcorders Are Here

Continuing to push the boundaries, Panasonic, the UK’s leading brand in High Definition Camcorder (1) , is pleased to introduce three new models to its award winning portfolio of 3MOS High Definition Camcorders. With technical specifications to be proud of - including full HD recording (1920 x 1080, 50 progressive scan), an ultra wide 35mm wide-angle lens, the well renowned advanced 3MOS system, and newly developed POWER O.I.S and Face Recognition – Panasonic’s HS700, TM700 and SD700 are streets ahead of its competitors.

Recording Format... The 700 series models differ by their recording format only. The hybrid-type HS700 records data onto both its large 240-GB HDD and an SDXC, SDHC, or SD Memory Card. The twin-memory TM700 records onto its 32-GB built-in memory and an SDXC, SDHC, or SD Memory Card. The SD700 offers SDXC, SDHC or SD Memory Card recording only – allowing a slimmer and more compact design. Users can select from the three camcorder types based on their preferred media.

Advanced 3MOS System... The newly developed, high-sensitivity 3MOS system provides effective motion image pixel count of 9.15 million (3,050,000 pixels x 3). This new triple image sensor separates the light received through the lens into the three primary colours - red, green and blue - and processes each colour independently. As a result, it offers beautiful images with significantly better colour quality, detail and gradation than the 1MOS sensor system. The large-diameter F1.5 lens, newly developed Crystal Engine Pro, and the high-sensitivity sensors have improved the light collection rate, increased sensitivity, and reduced noise by one-half to provide users with bright, low-noise recording even in dim lighting. 

The new models can shoot 14.2-megapixel still images (in Still Image mode) as well as to take 13.3-megapixel still images whilst a movie image is being recorded (simultaneous recording). Even with this high pixel count, newly developed technology increases sensitivity and reduces noise by one-half to achieve bright images with minimal noise when shooting under low light conditions. This maximizes the 3MOS features of excellent colour reproduction, high resolution, and rich gradation, and lets the user capture vividly coloured images in both bright and darkly lit places. Only Panasonic incorporates 3MOS for consumer HD models.

There is a lot more to read about the new series, so please check them out at the Panasonic website.

Panasonic’s ‘Classroom of the Future’

The New Year saw Panasonic UK Systems Group unveil the ‘Classroom of the Future’  at BETT 2010, the world’s largest ICT and education technology event. Despite the snow, the Panasonic stand was a buzz of activity for the entire show, with attendees intrigued by a groundbreaking array of technology solutions aimed to help deliver a better primary, secondary and further education.

Cutting Edge Education Technologies Exhibited for the First Time

Within the Classroom of the Future there were three product debuts, including the UB-T880 elite Multitouch Interactive Whiteboard with the integrated PT-ST10E short throw projector solution, a High Definition Visual Communication System and a Gesture Recognition Technology Demonstration. 

The UB-T880 enables teachers to allow up to three students to interact with multimedia content from the integrated Easiteach software, making for a more exciting and engaging lesson.  The demonstration of the UB-T880 whipped up a frenzy of interest amongst the shows estimated twenty nine thousand visiting education professionals, perhaps for one reason because of its ability to stand up to classroom wear and tear which was demonstrated by Panasonic staff.  

Certainly UB-T880’s wondrously responsive touch sensitive interface also pulled the crowds to the Panasonic stand; “What distinguishes Panasonic from other suppliers is our insight into future technology that will be released and our willingness to listen to education professionals and offer them the best technology solutions that serve them.  This is a basic principle we applied when designing and developing the UB-T880” said Brennan Peyton, General Manager at Panasonic Systems Networks Europe. 

The Classroom of the Future

Anyone fortunate enough to visit the Panasonic stand this year will have had the chance to see how they could improve their learning establishment with the cutting edge Panasonic technology solutions on show. Demonstrations of tools such as gesture recognition, a system that recognises student’s faces and raised hands allowing teachers to profile classroom response and instantly monitor pupil attention levels was one of the highlights.  Education professionals were also interested in the systems future potential to automatically carry out pupil registrations. 

Groups of establishments could also benefit from cost and efficiency the HD Visual Communication System which enables high definition audio and visual information exchanges between two universities or schools anywhere in the world.  The system allows lectures to be broadcast via the internet in lag free, in full high definition even if they are as far apart as Ulverston and UAE, for universities seeking to add value and attract students through specialist lecturers the system could prove invaluable in minimising the total cost of hiring specialist lecturers as costs can be split between sites.  

With every possible technological need on show at the stand from Toughbook mobile computing solutions to the ever-present and ever reliable, landline phone systems, multifunction printers and projectors, Panasonic demonstrated their capability to provide every educational establishment in the country with the technology to make them top of the class.