Channel 5

Panasonic HM-TA1

Monday 31 January 2011

G-Rating

Rating of 5

The basics

Since the dawn of the Flip, the race has been on to offer a flash camcorder that can do it all for next to nothing. And the Panasonic HM-TA1 is perhaps the best example of offering killer tech at a knock down price. Available for as little as £80, it comes with Full 1080p HD recording smarts, a built-in USB plug and a smart UI that’s perfect for camcorder newbies.

The good

Aside from the cracking price, the TA1 really comes into its own when recording HD clips. Shots might not measure up to more expensive rivals, but if you want simple holiday movies shot in a decent quality, then the TA1 is fine. Images are every bit as good as the Flip Ultra HD and like that cam, you can shove it straight into your PC via USB, with no cables in sight. You can upload direct to Facebook and YouTube and even edit clips on the fly, using a suite that’s surprisingly intuitive.

The bad

The 30fps frame rate is hardly first class and does mean you don’t quite get the smooth images of pricier models. There’s also the occasional nasty bit of image noise too, which can be pesky if you’re looking to use the TA1 for extended shots and longer-form projects. The 30fps frame rate is hardly first class and does mean you don’t quite get the smooth images of pricier models. There’s also the occasional nasty bit of image noise too, which can be pesky if you’re looking to use the TA1 for extended shots and longer-form projects.

The bottom line

For such a low price, it seems churlish to complain too much about the TA1’s high-definition limitations. This is a camcorder built for those who want to take quick home movies and share them with the world, and in that respect, you won’t find anything better at this price point.
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Panasonic HM-TA1 is tagged with camcorder, Panasonic and HM-TA1. Select a tag (camcorder, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (1)

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Anonymous

I bought the panasonic ta1 because it was so cheap on a well known online bookstore and I wasn't expecting too much. I was pleasantly surprised. I love it. As a result I have given my much more expensive sony SR37E 60gbHD camcorder to my daughter. The picture quality and sound quality are great. The best bit is by using a micro sd card in a full size adapter I can transfer the clips directly to my Samsung Galaxy Tab and they play without modification. The main two complaints, no hdmi socket and you need to charge it from a computer usb socket, a mains adapter will not work. This means I still have to take my laptop on trips with me even though with the galaxy tab I don't need it.

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