Panasonic HDC-SD100 and HDC-HS100 camcorders are near-darkness sharpshooters

We already liked Panasonic’s HD camcorders, and now the company’s gone and topped itself. These two new models, the HDC-SD100 ($1100 ) and HDC-HS100 ($1300), are pricey but get the job done better than ever. Panasonic already wowed us with its 3-CCD models late last year, but now the big news is the imaging system inside these two compact shooters, consisting of three CMOS imagers called “3MOS,” said to be much more adept at shooting in as little as 2 lux. Hey, that ought to be good shooting even with the light of one candle.

Panasonic also says the cameras’ Leica lenses have been significantly improved, increasing contrast by 20% and resolution by 30%. Both camcorders use the AVCHD format to record their 1920x1080 HD footage, with the lower-priced HDC-SD100 recording to an up-to-32GB SDHC flash memory card, while the more-expensive HDC-HS100 gives you the option of either recording on flash memory cards or its internal 60GB hard drive. Expect to see both Stateside by September. We want.

Press Release