Panasonic takes on Flip with the HM-TA1

Panasonic has joined the mini-cam market with the launch of the HM-TA1 pocket camcorder model.

The device records at Full HD resolution onto an SD card while you watch all the action unfold on a 2-inch LCD screen. Rather than take the one button Flip approach, there's a little more in the way of menus and controls, but the principal is essentially the same - wide lens, quick shooting and digital zoom only.

The HM-TA1 measures 53 x 17.8 x 104mm and weighs in at 113.8g. It also has the trademark build in USB connector that one can slide out across the bottom of the device for uploading footage.

If you'd rather not record at 1080p, there are three other lower resolution settings to choose from including one specifically for iFrame size as used with the Mac iMovie video editing software.

What the HM-TA1 has that the rest of the field don't is an LED light that you can switch on for low light shooting and compatibility with Skype, so that you can use it as a webcam when connected by USB into your laptop. It also features one touch uploads to YouTube.

The device will be on the shelf in the autumn at a typically competitive price - read £100-£150 - and it comes with a silicon protective skin which is not only washable but also can be customised by a number of different designs that will be available to selected countries across Europe.



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