CES 2009: 70x optical zoom on Panasonic camcorders is impressive

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What do people want from a camera? A nice colour, great hardware and good editing software? No, it seems the ability to zoom in on their teeth to an uncomfortable degree is what gets people really hot. Still,a 70x zoom is extraordinary.

Seriously that one fact basically overshadows every other thing Panasonic have said about their three new camcorders. Think about it, you’ll basically be able to zoom in on a piece of spaghetti someone is eating and capture every last drop of grease dripping from it. Nice.

OK, now you’ve recovered from the above information, I have another shock for you. These 70x optical zoom cameras are REASONABLY priced. Mind blowing huh? The models in this range are called the SDR-H80, SDR-H90, and SDR-S26 and will be available from April.Two of them are Hard Drive camcorders that have either 60 or 89GB (expandable by a further 32GB via a card). The H89 will retail for $450, and comes in four colours, black, silver, red and blue

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If you’d rather save your pennies the SDR-S26 is an SD card only camcorder, available in an attractive baby blue (see above) black, red and champagne. It will set you back a mere $330, and means that aspiring film makers don’t need to splash out on pricier models.

All camcorders come with bundled Video Cam Suite software and also include a one button YouTube uploader. I’m not sure we need a 70x zoom, but hey, you don’t ask you don’t get right?


Zara Rabinowicz