Panasonic's AG-HMC40 does 1080p24 on something of a budget

Panasonic's latest camcorders have been well-liked by the masses, but haven't quite had enough features to appease those consumers with higher expectations -- or professionals on limited budgets. To captivate the eyes and ears of that prosumer market the company has announced the AG-HMC40, a 2.2 pound semi-pro cam that will do 1080i or 720p at 60 frames-per-second, but more important for many can manage a cinematic 1080p at 24 frames-per-second, all written to SDHC cards. With 10.6 megapixel stills and a 12x optical zoom on tap it sounds like a very well-rounded offering, and, while $3,195 may not fit into every budget, it should do well for modestly funded aspiring filmmakers when it ships in August -- just in time for capturing some back-to-school teen angst drama.