Channel 5

Panasonic HDC-SD80

Wednesday 15 June 2011


Rating of 4

The basics

With the latest camera phones capable of shooting 1080p video, manufacturers of camcorders are having to try harder than ever to sell their products. The Panasonic HDC-SD80 sits at the affordable end of the market, offering loads of features at a price of just over £300.

The good

The Panasonic HDC-SD80 is a compact camcorder that's capable of shooting full high-definition movies. It can record four different HD formats, providing a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It records movies onto a SD memory card, with 64GB SDXC cards also compatible. The Panasonic HDC-SD80 has one big advantage over even the best smartphone when it comes to video quality – and that's low light performance. Even in the darkest of conditions, the larger sensor keeps picture quality at a decent level. There are plenty of features on the Panasonic HDC-SD80, including an impressive 37x optical zoom, which always lets you get up close to the action. Unfortunately, it also comes at the cost of resolution, which gets lower the closer you zoom in. The big screen rotates, so you'll be able to keep an eye on what you're shooting, and it's also a touch sensitive panel, making it easy to control the Panasonic HDC-SD80 at all times.

The bad

The Panasonic HDC-SD80 is a decent camcorder, offering good image quality, but at this price it doesn't really offer any stand out features. It's difficult to criticise, as it's a good all-rounder, but it could be a bit cheaper.

The bottom line

Overall, we like the Panasonic HDC-SD80. Although there are more affordable options on the market, it's a very capable device, and the decent touchscreen, big zoom and ability to shoot Full HD video make it an attractive option.
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Panasonic HDC-SD80 is tagged with Panasonic HDC-SD80, Panasonic and HD camcorder. Select a tag (Panasonic HDC-SD80, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (1)

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I dont understand how resolution can deteriorate using 'optical' zoom ? Surely only 'digital' zoom can deteriorate as optical zoom is through lens manipulation. Also what has happened to Panasonic's 3ccd technology, it this not on this model tested ?

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