Panasonic HM-TA1 Pocket Video Camera

The Panasonic HM-TA1 is a pocket-sized video camera that is capable of shooting 1080p HD video in MP4 format, and is looking to take a bite out of the Flip camera‘s market.  It can also capture 8MP still images.  The TA1 records to SD memory cards and is compatible with the new SDXC format.

The Panasonic HM-TA1 should be available in  purple, gray and red in August 2010 at an initial retail price of $169.95. Check availability on Amazon.com.

More details in the press release below.

Panasonic HM-TA1 Press Release

SECAUCUS, N.J., July 27 /PRNewswire/ — Panasonic today introduced the Panasonic HM-TA1, a new Full High Definition (HD), 1920 x 1080 pixels-capable mobile video camera with pocket-sized dimensions for ultimate portability and ideal for on-the-go shooting opportunities. With an easy-to-use design intended for intuitive operation, the TA1 features an integrated USB terminal and software that allows for easy PC connection and uploading videos to online sharing sites such as YouTube™ and Facebook®. The TA1 also supports the Apple© iFrame video format (960 x 540/30p), which is optimal for Mac® users to import quickly and maintain small file sizes.  When using iMovie®, the iFrame video data in the video camera is the same format as the one that is used to edit.

Beyond its HD video-capturing capabilities, the TA1 can also double as a Web camera and microphone, working with IP-based video chat programs, such as Skype*, by simply connecting the video camera to a computer via an included USB port. Thanks to integrated software, using the TA1 with video chatting services is seamless – an easy way to enjoy face-to-face communication with long-distance family or friends.

“The new Panasonic TA1 is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, extremely easy and intuitive to use, and yet it is still powerful enough to shoot full-HD video and high-quality photos,” said Chris Rice, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Designed to integrate easily with popular online social networks to quickly share videos, the TA1 can also be used as a Web camera, allowing users to make video chat calls – making this extremely portable video camera a truly versatile gadget.”

Measuring a mere 2.09 inch (w) x 0.70 inch (d) x 4.09 inch (h), and weighing just 0.25lb (with battery and SD card), the Panasonic TA1 is a compact and lightweight HD mobile video camera that records high-quality videos and photos. Complete with a wrist strap, making it ideal for carrying, the TA1 is perfect for shooting spontaneous videos and snapping photos. With an easy-to-use design, the TA1’s single-function buttons include: Power, Play, Record, Still Photo, LED Light (on/off) and Delete.  In addition, there is a center keypad for selecting additional settings.

The Panasonic TA1 can record still photos with up to eight Megapixels.  This high-resolution capability helps ensure clear, vivid images with sharp details and all data records to an SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card. The TA1 can also cut still images out of a video clip during editing. There is no need to connect any other device or to load the video into a PC for editing. To cut out and save a still image, simply press the Still Picture button when the desired image appears on the TA1’s 2.0″ LCD monitor. A unique feature for mobile video cameras, the Panasonic TA1 includes a built-in LED light**, which comes in handy when shooting in dimly-lit situations, such as indoors.

The TA1 has an integrated USB terminal with pre-loaded software that allows recorded video clips and still images to be easily loaded into a PC, edited, and then uploaded to popular sharing websites. When the TA1 is connected to the PC’s USB slot, its built-in software, HD Writer PE 1.0, automatically launches, enabling one-touch loading of data into the PC for editing.  The TA1 records MPEG-4 AVC file format (MP4), which offers excellent PC compatibility and is ideal for viewing clear, high-resolution images on a PC or distributing them over a network.

Other features of the Panasonic HM-TA1 include:

  • E.I.S. (Electrical Image Stabilization) to minimize hand-shake issues.
  • Digital zoom up to 4x, helping to expand the user’s shooting range.
  • Color effects enabling creative shooting, including Sepia, Monochrome, and Soft Skin. Sepia mode adds warmth to the captured images; Soft Skin produces realistic skin tones; and Monochrome mode transforms the appearance to create a cool ambience.
  • USB-capable charging by connected the TA1’s USB cord to a PC***, eliminating the need to carry a separate cord or charger.

The Panasonic HM-TA1 will be available in three different color options, purple, dark grey and red in August 2010 with a suggested retail price of $169.95.

*The use of a high-performance CPU is recommended for video conferencing with high-quality images.

** The LED light does not go on when operating as a Web camera.

*** Do not use any USB extension cord other than the supplied one (Operation is not guaranteed with any other USB extension cord.).

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