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Panasonic AGHMC70PJU AVCHD 3CCD Flash Memory Professional Camcorder with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
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  • Shoulder-mount camcorder featuring AVCHD High Profile video codec
  • Includes 12X 38.5mm to 462mm (35mm equivalent) Leica Dicomar wide-angle zoom lens
  • Features Optical Image Stabilization-Helps ensure stable image recording for ideal HD capture
  • 1/4-inch 3-CCD progressive image system with excellent sensitivity
  • Records onto standard SD/SDHC cards to assure a fast tapeless production workflow

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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

The Panasonic AG-HMC70 Professional 3-CCD AVCHD Shoulder-Mount Camcorder provides entry-level professionals with an easy-to-use, high quality, solid-state HD recording solution. As the first shoulder-mount camcorder in Panasonic's professional AVCHD line-up, the HMC70 utilizes the new AVCHD High Profile video codec, which offers similar image quality to HDV 1080i at about half the bandwidth. This second-generation, affordable HD format offers longer recording times and half the storage requirement of older systems. As easy to use as a digital camera, the HMC70 records onto standard SD/SDHC cards to assure a fast tapeless production workflow. It gives you fast access to content without fast forward or rewinding, and footage is immediately available to editing systems without the ingest delay and additional cost of a playback deck. On a 16GB SDHC memory card, the HMC70 can record over 2.6 hours at 13Mbps, the HMC70's highest quality mode, or up to 6 hours at 6Mbps on the camera's extended recording mode. Professional audio connection including two locking XLR inputs with switches for mic/line, +48V Phantom Power, Auto/Manual level, mic attenuation, and front/rear assignment HD component (Y/Pb/Pr BNC) connection to send live widescreen video to a projector or flat screen display Supported by leading NLE software that allows content to be edited and rendered to almost any format or media Weight - 6 pounds

From the Manufacturer

From the Manufacturer

The AG-HMC70 camcorder uses the AVCHD format and memory card media to offer high reliability, superb mobility, and advanced IT functions at low cost to meet diverse needs in video production. Equipped with a 12x zoom lens and progressive 3CCD, this camcorder uses the AVCHD format (H.264 compatible) to record up to 360 minutes of high-quality High Definition (HD) video onto a low-cost SD/SDHC card. Because the AG-HMC70's solid-state recording system uses no tape or moving parts, it starts operating immediately, provides silent operation and offers excellent reliability against vibration, impacts and temperature changes. The powerful features ensure easy, powerful HD recording. With Shoulder stability, a full size Zoom Rocker control, and a Headphone output with Volume control, the AG-HMC70 has professional features that help you shoot like a Pro. A recessed trigger and zoom control on the oversized handle enable accurate framing even at low angles or when using a tripod. Two XLR locking audio input terminals (phantom mic supported) and four BNC's for component/composite video output equip the AG-HMC70 for video recording and production use.

Panasonic AG-HMC70 Highlights

Panasonic AG-HMC70 Highlights
Leica Dicomar Lens with Wide-Angle and 12x Zoom Range The glass-molded, ultra high refractive index, aspherical lens enables wide-angle shots with a wide end of 38.5mm (35mm conversion) from a compact unit. So even with 12x optical zoom*, you can shoot with superb HD image quality. Featuring 13 individual lens elements arranged in 10 groups, the Leica Dicomar lens is specifically designed for HD shooting. The lens elements are made of low dispersion glass to assure low chromatic aberration and high resolution. A total of 21 multicoated lens surfaces minimize flare and ghosting.

Optical Image Stabilizer Compensates for Hand-Shake The AG-HMC70's advanced Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) compensates for hand shaking that occurs as you shoot. Gyro sensors detect hand-shake and send signals to a linear motor, which adjusts the lens to compensate. Because this process takes place prior to the CCD image capture (rather than in the downstream electronic processing), it virtually eliminates any effect of hand-shake on resolution and screen angle. The OIS can also be helpful when zooming or shooting in dim lighting. It's perfect for those Run & Gun applications.

Panasonic AG-HMC70 Highlights
1/4-inch Progressive CCD Faithfully Reproduces Colors To assure high sensitivity, Panasonic developed a 1/4-inch progressive CCD. Enlarging the area of each CCD pixel enables high-sensitivity shots in light as low as 6 lux. This lets you shoot dark scenes with minimal noise.

High-Precision Progressive Scan In the AG-HMC70's camera section, the progressive CCD creates native progressive images with outstanding vertical resolution. Progressive interlace conversion is then used to provide image quality that is higher than you get with conventional electronic interpolation of interlaced signals. Progressive 3D noise reduction also dramatically reduces noise and afterimages.

Outstanding Reliability and Mobility Professional Tuning for Superb Color Reproduction Color reproduction with features like color matrix, chroma gain and gamma curve creates the same look as that achieved by other Panasonic professional models. These features combine to produce the lifelike images that professionals demand.
Panasonic AG-HMC70 Highlights

Auto/Manual Selector Auto mode provides quick and easy shooting, while manual mode lets you adjust the white balance, brightness (IRIS and gain up to +18 dB) and shutter speed (1/60 to 1/8000 second). Manual focusing is also possible by setting the selector to the Focus position.

Focus Assist In manual focus mode, the MF Assist function enlarges the image at the center of the frame for easier focusing. The AG-HMC70 also has a one-push auto function. Simply press the Push Auto button to temporarily activate the AF system for quick focusing.

Guidelines (Markers) The LCD and viewfinder can display three types (horizontal, grid, 4:3) of guidelines. The horizontal and grid guidelines enable easy confirmation of camera tilt for stable framing. The 4:3 guidelines let you check images as they will display in Standard Definition (SD) format.

Other Shooting Functions:
  • 2.1-megapixel still image recording lets you take stills while shooting video
  • Two-step selection of maximum 30x or 700x digital zoom
  • Black fade or white fade selectable for fade-in/out
  • Zebra pattern (white washout warning) on the LCD monitor and viewfinder
  • Five scene modes (Sports, Portrait, Low Light, Spot Light and Surf & Snow) speed up shooting under various situations.
Small, Lightweight and Reliable SD/SDHC Card The AG-HMC70 records onto an SD/SDHC card. Because there is no motor to drive the recording media, the AG-HMC70 starts recording immediately with no need for cueing. The SD/SDHC card also resists the effects of dust particles, temperature changes, and impacts, and is equally unaffected by condensation, dropout, and head clogging. This solid-state recording media contributes to the AG-HMC70's silent operation, compact size, and light weight.

AVCHD Format for High-Quality, Efficient HD Recording The AG-HMC70 uses the AVCHD format for 8-bit 4:2:0 digital component recording of high-resolution 1080i (1440 x 1080) HD video. It complies with the latest H.264 motion image compression standard, which forms the basis of the AVC-Intra codec used by P2 HD broadcast systems, and employs the High Profile standard to improve compression efficiency. Featuring twice the compression efficiency of HDV (MPEG-2), the AG-HMC70 achieves extended HD recording.

Learn about AVCCAM -- Panasonic's Broadcast professional implementation of AVCHD

Up to 360 Minutes of HD Recording The high compression efficiency of the AVCHD format makes it possible to record up to 360 minutes of HD video onto a single SDHC card (when recording in HE mode using a 16 GB SDHC card).
Panasonic AG-HMC70 Highlights

Fast Scene Searches with Thumbnail View Image data is recorded as a file for each scene. Thumbnail images and file information are automatically attached to each file to enable smooth, easy confirmation and deletion of files displayed on the LCD monitor.

AVCHD Files Transfer Directly to IT Systems Unlike tape, AVCHD files require no digitizing and can be directly accessed by a PC (Windows/Macintosh). This makes it easier to use motion images in new IT applications, like content production, Internet distribution and source material archiving.

Professional Design and Interfaces Shoulder-Mount Design The AG-HMC70 is compact and lightweight, yet features a large shoulder pad, hand grip and viewfinder for the same kind of shoulder-mounted operation as a broadcast camera. The 3-point system keeps shooting stable even when zooming and panning.

Professional-Level Audio with XLR Line/Mic In The AG-HMC70 comes equipped with a built-in stereo microphone and with XLR-type audio input terminals (2 channels, mic/line switchable, +48V compatible) on the rear panel. You can switch audio channels 1 and 2 separately to either line or front mic input, which is especially useful when recording interviews or narration.

Pro-Type Analog A/V Outputs A host of outputs, including component HD/SD video output (BNC x 3), composite SD video output (BNC), and audio output (RCA x 2 channels), let you connect to an external monitor for viewing, video equipment for dubbing, and various other devices.

Large Viewfinder The AG-HMC70 viewfinder is as large as those offered on many broadcast cameras. A slide mechanism lets you shift the viewfinder to the left or right for maximum comfort. You can also use the viewfinder and LCD monitor at the same time.

Recessed Trigger and Zoom Control on Upper Handle Grip In addition to the lens grip, the upper part of the handle grip contains both the Rec Start/Stop button and a lens zoom control. This design assures easy shooting even at low angles or when using a tripod. The zoom speed can be set to any of three speed levels.

HDMI Digital HD Output Terminal The AG-HMC70 is equipped with a next-generation HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) output terminal. It connects to HDMI-compatible systems to allow direct digital transferring of high-quality HD video and audio signals.

PC Connection via USB 2.0 The standard USB terminal (typeB) allows the AG-HMC70 to connect to a PC in device mode. This lets a Windows PC installed with the provided HD Writer Version 2.5 software to upload, copy, and write HD video files, as well as transfer them to AVCHD-compatible editing software for HD production.

Other Professional Specifications
  • Tally lamps on the front and rear
  • Large-capacity (5800 mAh) battery pack optional
  • Color bar signal output
System Applications Uploading to a PC and Writing to DVDs (Using Provided PC Software: HD Writer 2.5E for HDC) The HD Writer 2.5E software for Windows PCs that comes standard with the AG-HMC70 lets you play video files; upload them to a PC; divide, delete and merge scenes; and write files to an SD/SDHC card or DVD. This software also has an AVCHD-to-MPEG-2 conversion function for producing standard-definition DVD-Video.
Panasonic AG-HMC70 Highlights

AVCHD Nonlinear Editing The AG-HMC70 can be connected to an AVCHD nonlinear editing system by means of the USB interface or an SDHC card reader. This reduces production time by allowing high-speed data transfers without the need for digitizing.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 21.7 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches
Item Weight 5 pounds
Shipping Weight 12.8 pounds
Item model number AGHMC70PJU
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #35,839 in Camera & Photo
#2,151 in Camera & Photo > Camcorders
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at June 17, 2003

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephen Stough on June 17, 2009
As the retired chief technology officer for a Fortune 100 company that developed their own digital cine camera, my fundamental interest was in image quality. This 3-CCD, 1440 x 1080i anamorphic 16:9 format camera produces outstanding image quality -- closer to the theoretical limits of performance of 1/4 inch sensors than anything in its price range.

The complex optics (zoom with a telecentric focal length converter ahead of the prism assembly) should be expected to reduce the available contrast ratio because it has so many glass surfaces. Without the sophisticated equipment to measure MTF (modulation transfer function) at home, I measured effective resolution instead, which was 576 lp/pw vs. the theoretical limit of 719 lp/pw in the horizontal axis. This is an indication that all the glass surfaces are, indeed, causing a significant loss of contrast ratio.

Even so, the camera performs very well in almost all respects. Panchromatic dynamic range excedes 6 stops (I cannot reliably measure more than that) vs. a theoretical limit at room temperature of around 9 f-stops given the 4.4 um pixel size (horizontal axis). Color saturation falls off sharply with non-optimum exposure. It measured out at ASA 100 with 0 dB of gain.

It has two XLR inputs.

So far, it warrants about four stars.

Now for the bad part: User features are poor. Perhaps they are adequate for ENG work and action footage, but nowhere near adequate for professional photography. This is like a kiddie toy wrapped around a very high quality lens + sensor package. This mystifies me: Putting a Trabant or Yugo body around a Mercedes engine.
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i am one of those few people who own both hmc70 and hmc150.while my hmc150 is top notch product,i cant criticize my hmc70 if i look at the fact that it cost 1/3 of what hmc150 did to me.
hmc70 is consumer camera fitted into big body,but........this consumer camera will put lots of other professional camera to shame.
if u are looking for hd quality under two grand look no further.i bought this camera when it was on sale 3 weeks ago.price went up since then.
pros: great picture(under good light though),sound is good even with in built mic,very reasonably priced for 3ccd ,2 cold shoe,volume indicator ,decent view finder,great professional look for this price,and above all no more tape(sdhc recording is really a revolution in professional video business)
1.this camera has 3ccd(1/4) which you cant find in other canera at this price range(i always thought panasonic give more value to your money than sony,jvc let alone canon -canon dont have technology to make ccd so it use pana ccds thats why it is always expensive)
2.these 3ccd produce very good and almost clean picture even when u record at full 13mb/sec settings(you need good amount of light though- buy one on camera light , 100 watt at least.)
3.recording on sdhc card has changed equations forever,u will not look back to mini dv sony or jvc cameras.
dumping whole movie in to your computer is similar to dumping photos from still camera.
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Verified Purchase
OK, I am not a professional videographer, but I know what looks good on a nice television or screen. I tried the smaller HD camcorders (Canon HF 10, and Sony HDR-SR11), and they have excellent video quality if you do not move the camera. I mean don't follow your kids around the yard or try to video a bird in flight or pretty much anything moving. What happens is that you get a kind of ghosting in the video, so the High Def picture I was shooting for looked very pixellated and low quality. I decided to try a prosumer type video camera, and this one was the least expensive HD available at the time. Once it arrived at my house I used it to video several different scenes that gave me difficulty with the hand-helds. The quality of the video was astounding. I could get the same quality during moving shots that I could get with the static shots using the hand-helds. Great I thought I solved the problem of pixellated video in HD. However, there was one small problem. This Camera is Ginormous (Gigantic+enormous) Considerably larger than the old VHS style camcorders. I love the video quality, but it is too big to carry to Disney World or a soccer game or pretty much anywhere that you are not set up to shoot video. The flash memory is excellent, and I have not noticed a huge difference in the picture quality of this camera utilizing flash memory and my current Sony HDR-FX7 utilizing tape.
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Decided to look for an inexpensive shoulder mounted high definition camcorder: there are currently, as Feb. 2009 two models available. The Sony HVR-HD1000 and the Pansonic AG-HMC70 (HMC70P, HMC70PJ are NTSC models, PAL models use different numbers). After checking out online reviews by Digital Content Producer and VideoMaker, I decided to go with the Panasonic camcorder.

The shoulder models both use "professional" versions of consumer handheld cameras. So don't think that for 2 grand you are buying a camcorder that can compare to the more expensive models. The Sony records HDV compression to Mini-dv tapes V.S. the Panasonic recording in AVCHD (13Mbps highest option) to SDHC memory cards. While the HD video quality is sharper with the Sony, the Panasonic AVCHD still looks good without the blocky artifacts you sometimes see when recording motion in HDV compression. The biggest reason for me going with the HMC70 was that it had XLR inputs (use external mic instead of camera's mic), while the Sony only had mini-jack for mic input. I also wanted to use memory cards instead of tapes.

Check out online reviews for yourself before buying either camcorder.
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