Generally excellent video quality and a straightforward.
Panasonic's trio of prosumer camcorders, the hard-disk-based HDC-HS900 and flash-based TM900 and SD800, deliver generally excellent video quality and provide the full set of manual controls and features advanced users want. But you have to be willing to baby the white balance a bit. The TM900 is my top pick of the three for its EVF, but if you're on a tight budget the SD800 should suit just fine.
Excellent color and noise results with great motion and sharpness in 60p.
The HDC-TM900 (MSRP $1099) is a great camcorder, that much is clear. It captured excellent video in a variety of record modes, and its performance recording 1080/60p HD video was as good as it gets. It has a ton of controls, a solid body design, and its 3D recording option (with the purchase of an optional conversion lens) makes it a cutting-edge product.
Despite all this, we are still disappointed with the TM900.
Great image quality in most conditions.
Panasonic's HDC-TM900 offers no revolutionary new features, now that 3D shooting has already started its journey to ubiquity. But like its predecessors it blends excellent enthusiast features, headlined by the lens ring, with supreme image quality. There's also no significant premium being charged for this new model compared to the outgoing TM700, if you can still find it. So the TM900 takes over from its predecessor as our videomaking enthusiast camcorder of choice.
Camera is very light, easy to handle
The Panasonic HDC-SD90 is a mid-cost camcorder. This camcorder's iA (Intelligent Auto) feature selects the most suitable shooting mode at the press of a button. This feature includes Face Recognition, which finds the faces of registered people (up to six faces can be registered) and optimizes the focus and exposure for them.
Great video performance
The 3D compatibility may be the biggest headline for the HDC-SD90, but at its core this is essentially a very well featured midrange HD camcorder. If your budget can't quite stretch to a high-end model, this model would make a very acceptable compromise. With more enthusiast features than similarly priced competitors, and equal or better image quality, the HDC-SD90 gives you plenty for your money, with the added bonus of 3D if you're feeling a bit more flush.
Well built and has good ergonomics with an intuitive touchscreen control.
The Panasonic HDC-SD90 is well built and has good ergonomics with an intuitive touchscreen control. It has a bright lens plus decent lens reach and feature set but is relatively expensive and clad in a plastic-y high gloss case.
Overall, the SD90 is a splendid camcorder for the sub-£500 price bracket and offers lots to get excited about, even before you consider its 3D capabilities. Apart from its slick chassis and comfortable design, its versatility is a key selling point and one that allows for plenty of creative input. This makes it a good choice for budding filmmakers who don't have a lot of cash to spare or those that want some high-quality home movies.
It is a great 2D camera
The key to producing a decent 3D camcorder is to make sure that, first and foremost, it is a great 2D camera. Panasonic managed this admirably with its first 3Dcorder the high-end HDC-SDT750 - but now it has brought the technology to the mid-range and a more beginner-friendly user base, with the HDC-SD90.
Full screen recording, in-camera tagging
The Bloggie Touch is by far Sony's best effort in the pocket camcorder market to date. The autofocus lens may frustrate a bit indoors, and holding the camcorder horizontally may take some Flip fans some getting used to. But the video quality is excellent and the use of the full 3-inch touchscreen really makes it easy to capture your movies.
Well designed touch-screen interface
A functional trio of camcorders, the Panasonic HDC-SD80, TM80, and HS80 are notable for their manual exposure controls, unusual for their price class, and well designed touch-screen interface but otherwise you can find better options. Of the three, the SD80 is the best choice simply on price.
Decent low-light performance
The HDC-SD80 is not quite Panasonic's budget model, but it's close. The small 1/5.8in CMOS sensor still delivers decent colour performance, although detail is down on higher-end members of the range, such as the HDC-SD90. You still get Panasonic's characteristically good level of manual control, and the touch-screen LCD allows a range of touch-operated functions.
A good range of automatic features
Sitting price-wise, as it does, at the intersection of more fully featured prosumer models and the really cheap entry-level camcorder range, the SD80 offers a fair balance of quality and features that should enable amateur videographers to improve their shooting skills without overloading them with features that they won't use or grasp fully.
Full HD resolution
The pocket Internet camcorder phenomenon felt like a passing fad when it first arrived, and there's no doubt it will be consumed by smartphones sooner or later. But, for now, the devices are developing, and gaining new features to improve the quality of point-and-shoot instant Internet upload videomaking. With its touch-exposure, image stabilisation and Full HD resolution, the JVC PICSIO GC-FM2 is currently the most fully featured pocket Internet camcorder on the market.
Easy to use
The impression given by the JVC GC-FM2 is that this is a product that has been engineered to hit a certain budget price point, and look a certain way, rather than innovate in its own right. But so what? It's fun despite its limitations of noisy video and blurry stills, and will be a hit with kids as well as adults. Incidentally, for extreme sports fans, a waterproofed version in the GC-WP10 is currently available at a suggested retail price of £229.99.
very good bang for the buck
I didn't test out the sharing options although it seems to have a wealth of them. Also, in non U.S. territories, there is also a package sold with a panaramic 360 degree view add on device. The manual talks about it. As far as I can tell, this device is not sold seperately anywhere yet, and the combo package is not offered natively in the U.S.
Still picture quality is not as good as the original Bloggie Touch
The Sony Bloggie 3D (MHS-FS3) is a portable digital video recorder built with a minimalist design that can comfortably fit in a pocket. This is related to the Sony Bloggie Duo (MHS-FS2), but uses two sensors to record 3D content and only has the one screen.
Compact, lightweight, simple to use
We're still not fans of Flip-type cameras. We feel you're compromising too much on the picture and video side of the equation, especially compared to the cheaper, competing Sony WX9 digicam, for example. And the 3D portion of the Bloggie 3D isn't ready for prime time. Yeah, we know all about the pluses of quick image uploads, but if that's your game, just use your cellphone. If you care even a teensy bit about quality, there are tons of other options.
Glasses-free 3D display with good quality 3D.
The Sony Bloggie 3D pocket camcorder can't offer the same quality as a 'real' 3D camcorder like the Sony HDR-TD10, but it adds a nice touch to your videos without breaking the bank. It's one of the most innovative of the current crop of pocket camcorders.
Menus are well laid out and easy to navigate
The Handycam HDR-CX130 is an HD camcorder released by Sony, forming one half of the HD lineup. The other half is the higher-end HDR-XR160 model, and while both camcorders share the same improved "Exmor R" CMOS sensor and high zoom capabilities, the HDR-CX130 functions on flash memory while the HDR160 records to an internal hard drive. Improved and more sensitive than before, the HDR-CX130's "Exmor R" CMOS sensor promises better footage in dim lighting conditions, such as indoors or at night.
Optical image stabilisation
The Panasonic SDR-S50 is a relatively commendable camcorder. At 250, there are a number of decent competitors which are cheaper, such as our current favourite at this level, JVC's GZ-MS120. But the SDR-S50 is sure to drop in price, and it has the edge over other models in its class on features. So if your budget can't stretch to HD, but you still want a well specified camcorder, this is definitely one to consider.
Its advanced OIS (optical image stabiliser), activated using a dedicated hardware button, makes a real difference zooming over this sort of distance.
If you want a good value camcorder that can also take the occasional photo on the fly, the Panasonic fits the bill. The Panasonic SDR-S50 lacks HD capture capabilities, but its low price tag, fantastic zoom, great build quality and the wider angle lens will be enough to convince many users.
Extraordinarily long 70x optical zoom
The Panasonic SDR-S50 has one standout feature: its 70x optical zoom, which experts say is valuable if you plan to shoot school plays from the back row or football games from the nosebleed seats. A CNET tester proves the point by shooting a video of the moon, which fills the SDR-S50's frame and shows the craters clearly.
Though more expensive than its projector-less siblings, if you're one of those folks who like to share their holiday videos and school graduations with everyone (and if you have the bad habit of leaving all your videos in the camcorder) the built-in projector provides a nifty way to do so, and using it is easier than hooking up to strange TVs. But if you don't think you're going to use it that way, you're better off saving money and opting for the CX130, or spending it on a better camcorder.
© 2007-14 ReviewGist.com. All Rights Reserved.