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Panasonic's VDR-M20 DVD camcorder. Courtesy of Panasonic, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Panasonic: New DVD camcorder!
(Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 23:38 EDT)

VDR-M20 features megapixel still images, DVD-RAM / DVD-R storage...

Panasonic, the consumer electronics brand of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., has today announced its upcoming VDR-M20 digital camera, a $999.95 model with a megapixel imager that will ship in September. The VDR-M20 can record both megapixel still images and video to 8cm DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs. Other features include USB connectivity, a color viewfinder, 2.5" color LCD display, digital electronic image stabilization, 12x optical zoom lens, a rather overpowered 20x digital zoom (240x with the optical zoom lens), and a selection of S-Video, composite video and audio jacks.

Panasonic's VDR-M20 DVD camcorder, shown alongside the remote controller. Courtesy of Panasonic, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.

Source: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.

Original Source Press Release:


NEW YORK, NY (June 25, 2002) - Continuing to expand the exciting world of DVD entertainment, and asserting its leadership position in recordable DVD products, Panasonic introduces the new VDR-M20 DVD camcorder. The VDR-20 records high- quality digital video and still images onto removable 8cm DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs. The DVD video recording technology used in this new unit complies with the DVD-RAM and DVD-R recording formats standardized by the DVD Forum.

The VDR-M20 DVD camcorder is planned for September introduction, with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $999.95*.

The VDR-M20 offers all the benefits of the DVD-RAM format: exceptional digital picture quality for both moving and still images, huge storage capability, rewritability up to 100,000 times, and virtually no degradation of picture quality even when played back thousands of times.

Recorded video and still images can be played back on a variety of Panasonic MPEG2-conforming devices, including Panasonic's new DMR-E30 DVD video recorder and DMR-HS2 combination DVD recorder/hard disk recorder, Panasonic DVD-RAM compatible DVD decks and portable players; as well as a PC or laptop computer equipped with DVD-RAM playback capability*. The camcorder can also be easily connected directly to a television or monitor.

The VDR-M20 can also record onto DVD-R discs. DVD-R media is recognized as being widely compatible with most existing DVD players and DVD-ROM drives.

"The VDR-M20 DVD camcorder rounds out Panasonic's extensive product line of recordable DVD products," said Rusty Osterstock, Vice President of Panasonic's

Optical Group. "The industry-standard DVD-RAM and DVD-R recordable formats offer consumers great compatibility and interchangeability of digital media."

Panasonic incorporates its innovative Hybrid VBR (variable bit rate) technology to achieve high-quality MPEG-2 video recording.

A built-in 1.1 megapixel CCD array renders an effective resolution of 720,000-pixels for video and approximately one million pixels for still images. The still-shot feature can capture up to 1,998 JPEG images on a single disc.

The VDR-M20 makes disc navigation and editing extremely simple. Users will be able to instantly access favorite recorded scenes without searching, fast-forwarding or rewinding. Initial images of video scenes are indexed and displayed as thumbnails, making it fast and easy to search and preview material. When beginning a new recording, the camcorder automatically finds blank space on the disc, so there's no danger of accidentally recording over previously recorded scenes. Users can also select from multiple playback options: select one or multiple images for selective playback; repeat a range of images; flip through still images every 3 seconds; skip over images. Editing features include delete, rearrange, fade in/out, wipe, monotone effect, divide and splice.

A built-in USB port facilitates downloading captured stills and video directly to a PC.

Other features include a color viewfinder, large 2.5" color LCD monitor, digital electronic image stabilization, 12x optical zoom and an incredible 240x digital zoom,** S-Video jack, composite video jack and audio jacks.

Panasonic also markets recordable media, including 9.4 GB double-sided and 4.7 GB single-sided DVD-RAM discs and 4.7 GB DVD-R discs.

Panasonic camcorders are marketed in the United States by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. The company is a division of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (NYSE:MC) of Japan, one of the world's largest producers of innovative electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. Media can access press releases via the Panasonic Pressroom web site, www.panasonic.com/pressroom, or through New Directions Public Relations' toll-free fax-back system at 888-734-7490.

* To play back a DVD-RAM disc on a PC or laptop computer, playback device must have either a 4.7GB DVD-RAM drive or compatible DVD-ROM drive capable of reading 4.7GB DVD-RAM discs, and must have Video Recording Format support installed.

Operating systems currently supported are Windows 95 and higher and Mac OS 7.5 and higher.

**As digital magnification increases, resolution decreases.

Manufacturer's suggested retail price. All prices are in U.S. dollars.

Specifications are subject to change without notice.

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