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Panasonic HDC-HS300

Broke in my latest toy in the chase arsenal last Friday on our TX chase. I picked up a new Panasonic HDC-HS300 from Crutchfield. This unit was released on April 15 and I had waited on this release since January when it was announced. Once it was released, all the pre-ordering and such depleted the stock at the standard spots I like to buy from. Not until last week did I find a solution. Scott Bennett mentioned I should check out Crutchfield and sure enough, the units weren't listed on the website yet but they had a fresh shipment of 20 cams ready to be purchased and shipped out.
This unit is one of a new breed of HD prosumer cameras that uses "3MOS" technology. You get the quality of three sensors but the efficiency of CMOS. It's a great marriage as far as I have been able to tell so far.
Friday was the break-in day and while there really wasn't much to shoot, I did manage to get enough video to play with and edit down. This is a feat within itself as HD video in native format being edited on a machine with plenty of processing power and gobs of RAM was still chugging along as it rendered 17 minutes worth of video in just over 2 hours... I'm used to a little more instant gratification than that and certainly the days of editing on the fly from the road are over.
Back to the features: the camera boasts a 120gb hard drive and will also record directly to an SD card which supposedly greatly increases battery life. In addition, this unit has a fully functional focus ring that can also be used to control other functions such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance and zoom. You can't beat being able to reach out to a ring and take control of the camera. Oh, and for you infinity freaks, it has infinity!
Anyway, it's a little early for me to put a 100% stamp of approval on it but I can say it did well in low light, it produced very vivid colors and did an amazing job of shooting stills to the SD card while filming the storm. This is a HUGE help with supplementing the pics I take with the DSLR.
One drawback is TINY battery life of a little over an hour with the LCD viewer open. I have purchased two high cap batteries so this wont be a problem for long. I suggest anyone this camera do the same.
More info HERE.

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