How do you improve upon a DVD-based camcorder that's already near the top of its class? If you're Panasonic, you jack up the optical zoom on the Leica lens from 10x to an impressive 20x, but hold on to the 3CCD setup that got your previous offering such rave reviews. Besides the longer zoom, the company's new VDR-D400 is almost exactly the same as its well-received VDR-D300, as both devices feature optical image stabilization, capture 3.1 megapixel stills to SD (and now SDHC) cards, and sport 2.7-inch LCD screens. The new model will initially be released in Japan on September 1st for about the same 120,000 yen ($1,050) that the D300 went for upon its debut.

[Via Fareastgizmos]

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Panasonic's latest 3CCD DVD camcorder gets 20x optical zoom