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Panasonic SDR H80 HD Camcorder

 
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60GB Standard Definition Camcorder

Panasonic’s SDR-H80 60GB Standard Definition Camcorder is an entry-level option for the budget-minded. This lightweight camera features hybrid recording to both the 60GB hard disk drive and to removable SD/SDHC memory cards, while the included VideoCam software ensures easy uploading to YouTube.

If you’re intimidated by menus and numerous functions, the Intelligent Auto (iA) mode keeps things simple. iA mode automatically adjusts the H80's settings depending on the scene, allowing features like Face Detection and Scene Detection to take over, making sure you get the best shot possible.

The SDR-H80 also boasts Panasonic’s Optical 70x Ultra Zoom lens for zooming in on far off subjects with little to no loss in image quality. Advanced O.I.S., another useful tool, corrects for blur caused by motion and hand shake

Product Features

  • 1CCD camera system
  • Records to 60 GB built-in Hard Disk Drive or SD memory cards
  • 70x optical zoom; 100x digital zoom
  • Intelligent Auto Mode automatically selects Face Detection, Scene Selector, Optical Image Stabilizer and Intelligent Contrast Control
  • 2.7-inch widescreen touch-panel LCD

Product Specifications

Storage Media 60 GB HDD, SD/SDHC Memory Card
Image Sensor

Total: 1/8”CCD

Effective: 0.38 megapixels [16:9], 0.29 megapixels [4:3] [Motion Image]
0.38 megapixels [16:9], 0.29 megapixels [4:3] [Still Image]

Image Stabilizer Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization)
Lens Panasonic
Still Picture Recording 0.2 M [640 x 360] [16:9], 0.3 M [640 x 480] [4:3]
Optical Zoom 70x
Dimensions 2.64” (H)x 2.09”(W) x 4.21”(D)
Weight Approx. 0.66 lbs

Warranty Terms - Parts

1 year

Warranty Terms - Labor

90 days

Digital Still Resolution

0.3MP

Vista Compatible

Yes

LCD Screen Size

2.7”

Digital Zoom

3500x

Night recording

Yes

Lines of Resolution

500

Number of CCDs

1

Audio Recording

Dolby digital stereo

Recording Speeds

XP, SP, LP

Speaker

Yes

Flash Memory

Card not included

Compatible Memory Formats

Secure Digital (SD)

PC software

VideoCam Suite 2.0

Connectivity

USB 2.0

PC Cable

Yes

Rechargeable Battery

Yes

AC Adapter

Yes

Panasonic SDR H80’s Review

by techradar.com

03/17/09

It’s getting a lot tougher for manufacturers to create a point of difference in a compact market stuffed full of neat, palm-sized shooters that boast days of recording time.

Hard disks are very much the order of the day in camcorder land, and if you’re sporting anything less than a 40GB HDD you going to look seriously lacking.

That’s why Panasonic has introduced the new SDR-H80: the HDD cam that goes that little bit further. As well as the capacious 60GB internal drive, shooting up to 14 hours of video in the top quality setting, you can also arm this cam with an SD card – sold separately – to increase recording time, and the frills don’t end there.

The H80 also offers the largest optical zoom on a consumer cam and in a bid to unleash the imaginations of the masses, there’s also a straight to YouTube function for budding filmmakers.

Compact and slimline, the H80 sits comfortably in the palm with perhaps just one rather ugly caveat – the protruding battery at the back end. Although this doesn’t hinder what is a very straightforward point and shoot experience, it detracts from the stylish finish

The body of the cam has been stripped right down with the sturdy zoom and record button the only controls to concentrate on, both sitting neatly under the natural finger and thumb position.

Along the left flank there’s also a Web mode setting, which is the first indication that this cam is capable of a little bit more than your average pocket shooter. Hit this and a 10-minute counter will begin – the maximum length of clips for You Tube – and when you export footage to the MovieCam Suite software provided Web enabled clips will be ready to share online via a You Tube account.

Finally, the 2.7 in LCD panel opens up to reveal the SD card slot, access to the auto and manual settings – where you can decide just how much of the work you want the camcorder to do for you - and, on the frame of the screen, the menu button and function toggle.

It’s no surprise Panasonic has been talking up the H80’s 70x optical zoom: it’s fantastic. Even at full magnification there’s barely a hint of a wobble, and it’s possible to achieve steady, gradual close-ups, even shooting handheld.

For a lightweight cam like the H80 this is a remarkable achievement. Combined with responsive auto correction, particularly the focus, there’s a raft of tricks onboard to ensure you can capture excellent movies with the minimum of fiddling around with the settings.

There are flaws however, principally with the low-light performance. The H80 avoids filling the frame with grain, but colour performance is suspect, looking washed out and blotchy, and edges become overly soft.

Overall though, when good light is available the H80 can suck it up and produce some sparkling footage, and while the YouTube function is little more than a gimmick, this cam still offers enough to make it stand out from the crowd.

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