Panasonic unveiled three new flagship camcorders today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas: the HDC-TM900, HDC-HS900, and HDC-SD800. All three can record Full HD video, offer 1080/60p recording, and have the capability of recording 3D content when using Panasonic's optional 3D conversion lens (VW-CLT1).
Panasonic introduced the world to consumer 3D recording last year with the HDC-SDT750. This year, the option is found on many of Panasonic's HD camcorders—but you must purchase the 3D conversion lens (model VW-CLT1) separately. In turn, this makes the new flagship series from Panasonic more versatile. You don't have to spend the extra cash on the conversion lens if you have no desire to record 3D content.
The HDC-TM900, HDC-HS900, and HDC-SD800 each feature Panasonic's 3MOS image sensor system that incorporates three 1/4.1-inch CMOS sensors (for a total pixel count of 9.15 megapixels). This sensor array is unchanged from what Panasonic offered last year on the HDC-TM700 and HDC-HS700, but the new camcorders do have an improved processor called Crystal Engine PRO. Panasonic claims this new processor reduces noise by 45% (compared to Panasonic's conventional models), and should produce better images in low-light conditions.
The HDC-SD800 seems to be the odd man out with a few features. It lacks the 3.5-inch LCD and manual lens ring that you get on the TM900 and HS900 models (the LCD on the SD800 is just 3 inches). All three models include Panasonic's new "Touch Zoom" and "Touch Shutter" features that allow you to control zoom and take photographs using the touchscreen interface.
The HDC-TM900 includes 32GB of internal memory, while the HDC-HS900 has a 220GB internal hard drive. The SD800 has no built-in storage media, but it can record to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards (as can the other two camcorders). All three of the camcorders include Panasonic's Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer, Intelligent Auto controls, and a 12x optical zoom lens.
Panasonic has yet to announce pricing or availability for the HDC-TM900, HDC-HS900, and HDC-SD800.