Improved underwater protection
Despite its low light limitations, it's hard not to like the Panasonic SDR-SW21. We were already impressed by its predecessor, and the new model has noticeably improved underwater protection, better looks, and slightly superior image quality. However, the most significant downside is the price. Consumer electronics have been getting more expensive across the board, thanks to the economic situation, but at over £100 more than its predecessor, the SW21 is close to HD camcorder territory.
Durable body, good feature set
You should really only consider the SDR-SW21 if you're constantly subjecting yourself (and gadgets) to water or small falls. Its standard definition video quality is fine enough, and its optical zoom holds up better than most in the shake department, but the cumbersome design makes the SW21 harder to use than it should be.
It's tough to be a standard-definition camcorder these days, let alone an underwater model. Despite the hefty HD competition out there, we feel that the Panasonic SDR-SW21 etched its name as a reliable all around rugged cam that will suit the needs of many consumers looking for something to toss in their beach bag. Plus, Panasonic is one of the few manufacturers to actually offer a waterproof camcorder aside from Sanyo.
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