Panasonic Full HD HDC-SD3 and HDC-DX3 Camcorders Encodes Video in H.264

Panasonic announced two new full HD consumer camcorders AVCHD (1920x1080i) in Japan. The HDC-SD3 records HD with 1920×1080i resolution records onto SD cards and the HDC-DX3 records onto 8cm DVD-RAM discs. The latest Panasonic camcorders employs MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, which allows lower encoding bit rates despite the same picture quality as that achieved by MPEG-2. Specifically, the HDC-SD3 records video in AVCHD format, which has made it easy to record full HD video on SD memory cards and other media with smaller capacity compared to small size HDDs.
Forty minutes of full HD video can be recorded in a 4 GB SDHC card at a constant bit rate (CBR) of 13 Mbps (dubbed HF mode). Video that can be recorded in the same capacity memory card extends to 60 minutes at a variable bit rate (VBR) of 9 Mbps and 1440 x 1080 resolution (HN mode) and 90 minutes at a VBR of 6 Mbps and 1440 x 1080 resolution
(HE mode).

Both new HD video cameras Panasonic HDC-SD3 and HDC-DX3 feature a 3CCD chip, 12x optical zoom, 30x digital zoom, 2.1MP still image camera, 3 inch monitor and Dolby Digital 5.1ch audio. The camcorders are expected to be available from April 25 in Japan for approximately ¥150,000 ($1260) and ¥140,000 ($1175) respectively.