The Panasonic AG-HMC42 is a camcorder designed to record in high definition on standard SecureDigital (SD) and SDHC memory cards. The camera is extremely portable and lightweight, weighing in at just over two pounds. While SD-based camcorders have been gaining ground in the consumer market, the AG-HMC42 has the ability to record AVCHD images at significantly higher bitrates. This enhancement makes the camera more efficient than comparable HD interframe codecs, such as HDV and XDCAM EX. Using H.264 as its compression algorithm the camera can record incredibly detailed images at a fraction of the file size. The handle is detachable and can hold an optional XLR audio system. (Note: XLR option not included).
3MOS Sensor Technology
The progressive 3MOS image sensors record full-HD images with an effective motion-picture resolution of 2.51-megapixels. This produces full-raster HD images with high resolution and superb image quality. Because each of the three separate image sensors receives one of the three primary colors of light (red, green and blue), they render more precise images and more faithful colors than the single light-receiving CMOS sensor.
With a lens that features 13 elements in 10 groups, the newly developed Leica Dicomar is ideal for full-HD recording. The new lens system uses low-dispersion glass and aspherical lenses to reduce color aberration and boost resolution. Use of a special multi-coating process dramatically reduces flare and ghosts. The result is a sharp, crisp, beautifully rendered picture with vivid colors, delicate nuances, and exceptional shading.
120x Digital Zoom
Even at the 490mm zoom setting (35mm lens equivalent), this advanced 12x optical zoom lens is free of image degradation. Additionally, the AG-HMC42 is also equipped with a digital zoom that instantly magnifies the image by any of three fixed values (2x, 5x or 10x). Use it together with the 12x optical zoom lens and you get super magnification equivalent to a 120x zoom, without the drop in light intensity that happens when using a lens extender.
Optical Image Stabilization
Because the hand-shake correction is done by actually driving the lens, there's none of the image degradation that occurs with electronic stabilization. You can capture beautiful, high-quality shots even in situations where hand-shake is typically a big problem such as when zooming, shooting indoors in dim lighting, or shooting outdoors at night.
Dynamic Range Stretch
A gamma curve and knee slope are estimated to match the contrast of each pixel, and applied in real time. When dark, bright, and intermediate shades are all contained in the same scene, this produces excellent gradation for each shade and minimizes blocked shadows and blown highlights. The images that result are enhanced by a visually wider dynamic range.
High-quality 10.6 MegaPixel Digital Stills
The new 3MOS sensors also combine with Panasonic's proprietary Quad-Density Pixel Distribution technology to achieve a resolution that is equivalent to 4 times the normal level. The AG-HMC42 captures still images with approx. 10.6-megapixel resolution (in still image mode, 3:2 aspect ratio), which approaches the level of a high-performance digital still camera. For example, you can use it to shoot both motion and still images for a website.
Cine-Like Gamma Curves
Drawing on technologies developed for the VariCam HD camcorders for digital cinema, Panasonic has equipped the AG-HMC42 with advanced gamma functions that address seven different shooting scenarios and enhance your creative abilities. This includes the cine-like gamma, which produces the characteristic warm tone of film recordings.
Exceptional AVCHD Image Quality
The AG-HMC42 features the image-enhancing PH mode that Panasonic developed exclusively for AVCCAM camcorders. It delivers a maximum AVCHD bit rate of 24 Mbps (average: 21 Mbps). Designed for professional image production, this mode lets you record 1080/25p and 720 progressive images in addition to 1080/50i from the AG-HMC42's 1920 x 1080 full-raster HD images.
Unlike with videotape, there's no need for cueing with the SDHC memory card because recording automatically begins in a blank section of memory. Nor do you have to worry about accidentally recording over important footage. You can delete unwanted clips instantly right on the spot to preserve memory capacity. Editing after shooting is smooth and easy, with no need for digitizing. The tiny SDHC Memory Card is durable, too. Its operating range is from -13-185