If you’re looking to start your own production company, or just looking to get a little more serious with your home videos, Panasonic has just announced a new camcorder that may be right up your alley. The Panasonic AG-HMC40 blurs the line between professional camcorders and consumer models, and offers quite the punch for a reasonable $3,200 price tag.
As most professional camcorders today, the Panasonic AG-HMC40 records high-definition video. The camcorder is capable of recording both 1080i and 720p video at 60fps and 1080p at 24fps. High-definition video has become for the most part a standard on most higher end camcorders over the past few years, but this model definitely gives you the option of shooting in whatever high-definition format you want, which is a pretty nice feature to have.
One feature the HMC40 has that most other professional camcorder don’t is the ability to take pictures. The camcorder has a built-in digital camera with the ability to take 10.6-megapixel still photos. The digital camera has a 3MOS sensor and has a 12x optical zoom, a pretty high number for most non-SLR type cameras.
Other features on the camera include a 2.7-inch LCD screen, detachable XLR audio input, and HDMI output, USB 2.0 slot, and the ability to save photos and videos to a SDHC card. From a video standpoint the camera also offers face detection, zebra display for knowing when your scene is too bright, and synchronized shuttering operation.
It’s impressive how far consumer camcorders have come over the past few years. While this camera is technically a “consumer” camera it offers most of the features (and some better ones) that camcorders dubbed “professional” offered just a few years ago. While $3,200 is a pretty steep price for your average camcorder buyer, it’s pretty reasonable for someone looking to do some semi-professional work with their camcorder.
What do you think about this camcorder? Could you see yourself buying one?