Panasonic HDC-SD9
4.4Overall Score
Price (RRP): $1,869 Manufacturer: Panasonic

Reviewer: Byer Gair

World’s smallest and lightest 3CCD full High Def camcorder! You’d better believe it.

Barely a handful, its triple CCD sensor promises optimum picture quality, an optically stabilised Leica Dicomar 10x zoom lens, a stunning 5.1 channel sound recording system and a 6.9 cm swing out/down/around LCD screen.

The review unit was supplied with a tiny 8 GB SDHC card ($199), the camcorder’s recording media; this allows me to shoot an hour of the highest quality 1920x1080p video – or, by selecting the third of four quality levels, four hours.

Operation

It’s hard to imagine a more user-friendly and capable picture maker, an ideal companion for any extended travel – provided you pack enough memory cards. Downloading your video efforts on the road would, I admit, be a bit of a challenge – the AVCHD is not yet a globally universal format – but a dedicated burner (VW-BN1E: $329) is available so you could make DVD copies away from home.

Spoilt for choice, you can shoot HD video and 1920×1080 pixel stills simultaneously; a burst function lets you shoot 72 1920×1080 pixel pictures at a rate of 25 fps – an amazing feat.

Newbies to high definition video will be grateful for an ‘intelligent’ shooting guide that offers a viewfinder warning when you pan too quickly, the camera is swinging in the user’s hand, the subject’s out of focus, backlit or light too low.