The world of photography has advanced more in the last two decades than it did in the previous 100 plus years. And almost all of the current advances would not have been possible without specific areas of electronics and science being pushed from other industries. Micro electronic circuits and micro computer circuits in particular have allowed an almost unlimited series of upgrades and whole new practices in the world of still and moving photography to come to the consumer market.
Looking at your Panasonic camcorders of 2011 and you can see the trickle down effect of the research and development done first in the name of space science, medicine and industrial sized information management systems. Solid State memory in sizes that rival hard disk drives came from the Space program that needed massive amounts of data to be stored on something less sensitive to the G forces and other parameters found in space travel and shuttle flights.
Huge programs managing thousands of input parameters had far reaching goals that once fulfilled were adopted and made to manage the numerous parameters of talking a good picture and have them automatically assemble in the time it takes to push the shutter button. And we owe no small debt to the medical surgical research that spawned new paths in miniature precision optics and their control that we now enjoy in our Panasonic camcorders.