Panasonic shows off funky new HD camcorders

Panasonic's HDC-HS9 lays down 1080p HD TV to either a hard drive or an SD card

Panasonic has announced two new camcorders that update some older models and add a few features that might make them worth considering if you're looking to make your next big purchase. Both camcorders - the HDC-HS9 and SD9 - are capable of recording AVCHD video at a resolution of 1080p and sport 3CCD sensors and optical image stabilisation to boot.

Both camcorders feature onboard software that detects faces automatically, which could make a significant impact on the quality of video. The software also analyses the faces for shooting problems and even suggests corrections like better lighting to get the most out of your video.

Differences to consider

The HS9 is a dual-format camera, which means it's able to store video on either its 60GB built-in hard drive, or on SD/SDHC cards of up to 16GB in size. According to Panasonic, the hard drive should allow for about 23 hours of 1080p video, but can record up to 29 hours at lower resolutions. The company said the HS9 will be available in March for $1,100 (£550).

The SD9 is claimed to be the "world's smallest and lightest" HD camcorder made for SD/SDHC cards. Panasonic refused to say what the largest capacity card the camera will accept is and remained tight-lipped about many of its features. But the company did say it will announce more details as we get closer to its March launch, priced $800 (£400).