Compact Camcorders With Powerful Zoom

Panasonic claims its latest foray into the camcorder space offers up powerful zoom functions for fledgling users

Panasonic SDR-S50 SD Memory Card camcorder and SDR-H85 80-GB HDD/SD Card hybrid camcorder are designed for new camcorder users who are looking for good image quality, ease of use and compactness in a feature-rich package, says Panasonic.

Both models offer a powerful 78x Enhanced Optical Zoom lens and wide-angle 33mm lens – suitable for landscapes – as well as Advanced Optical Image Stabiliser (O.I.S) with new Active Mode. Easy-to-use features include Panasonic’s renowned Intelligent Auto (iA) now with a new AF/AE Tracking function to lock on to a subject for beautifully crisp, clear recording.

The lightweight and robust design of both units is said to offer trouble-free portability and their flexible recording formats provide added convenience for users who want to shoot, share and store video anytime, anywhere.

The SDR-H85 is a hybrid camcorder which records large volumes of data onto an 80-GB hard disk drive or an SDXC, SDHC, or SD Memory Card, meaning it is designed for long events or when travelling on extended trips. The SDR-S50 is a Memory Card camcorder, which records to SDXC, SDHC, or SD format cards, has no drive mechanism, allowing greater durability and compact size, claims Panasonic.

The SDR-S50 is available in a range of colours – black, red and blue. The SDR-H85 is available in black.

The expanded shooting range from 33mm wide-angle to an Enhanced Optical 78x zoom allows the user to capture images of sweeping landscapes and pull in distant subjects for dynamic close-ups. A new Active Mode has also been added to Panasonic’s original hand-shake correction function, Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser). It effectively suppresses the hand-shake that commonly occurs with zooming and also suppresses the larger-scale hand-shake that happens when shooting while walking. This results in smooth motion images under a variety of shooting conditions.

With a new AF/AE Tracking feature added to the popular iA function, Panasonic makes it even easier than ever before for anyone to capture beautiful images. The user simply “locks on” to a subject at the center of the screen by pressing the AF/AE button. The new tracking function then automatically follows the subject even if it moves or turns to one side. This ensures that the subject is always recorded with optimal focus and exposure settings.

The new Wind Noise Cancelling feature automatically detects and suppresses wind noise, to maintain natural sounds with lifelike ambience.

SDR-H85 80-GB HDD Hybrid $649
SDR-S50 SDXC/SDHC/SD Card $449