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February 14, 2011

Panasonic reveals new camcorder sticks and such (absorbing Sanyo butterfly-wings?)

Panasonic has revealed a new series of camcorder sticks and camera-video hybrids and it looks like they have "absorbed" some of the "butterfly wing" (flip out LCD) technology from their recent purchase of Sanyo! These are headlined by the waterproof WA-10 and non-waterproof DC-1 with "butterfly wing" with 16 and 14 megapixels respectively. Panasonic also needs a spanking for creating more zoom confusion by coming up with more "creative" names for digital zoom swap derivatives. The new models also include the waterproof TA-20 and regular TA-2 camcorder sticks.

More details on the new Panasonics
+ CNet Asia
+ Photo Review
+ Quesabesde
+ Photography Blog (WA10) and also hands-on
+ dpreview

Existential questions?
The initial success of pre-Cisco Flips lured a number of consumer electronics manufacturers into the field and the ensuing barrage of new models from various consumer electronics manufacturers has crowded the camcorder stick market and has driven prices down down down down down. For example, Panasonic's previous model, the TA-1 goes for $89. Kodak has a new model that started at $50 out of the box. Samsung's model is in the $70s.

With so many models and ever-so-dropping prices, one has to wonder whether this market segment can be sustained in its current form. Can all these manufacturers continue to do this? Especially since the camcorder sticks are getting co-squeezed by price and competition from digital cameras, camcorders, smartphones, and smaller gadgets/tablets with cameras.

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