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Panasonic Bows New Camcorder

In another example of how vendors looking to capitalize on the demand for lower-cost camcorders, Panasonic Solutions Company has launched its AG-AC7PJ, a low-cost professional AVCHD shoulder-mount camcorder that is targeted to entry-level professional with a suggested list price of just $1,300.

The camera, which is capable of handling multiple recording formats, weighs just under four pounds and records on SDHC/SDXC media.

The camera comes with a large grip and zoom lever; a wide-diameter, manual focus ring; a high-resolution 3.32-megapixel one-quarter inch MOS imager; a wide-angle 38.5.8mm lens (35mm equivalent); and an "Intelligent Zoom" function for telephoto shots at up to 23x magnification.

The Intelligent Zoom mode utilizes hybrid Image stabilization that combines both optical and electronic stabilization of the image.

The AC7PJ uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 encoding - which doubles the bandwidth efficiency over the older MPEG-2 compression based formats-and supports six recording modes, including, in 1080i HD at approximately 17 Mbps.