Panasonic HM-TA20 rugged minicamcorder review: Pricey, but good

Your smartphone might shoot HD video, but this minicamcorder can go where most phones can't: 10 feet under water.


Panasonic's first attempt at a minicamcoder, the TA1, was a mess. The video quality was OK, but it offered no advantages over competing models; had mediocre editing and sharing software; and felt cheap considering its near $170 price. That's not the case with the Panasonic HM-TA20.

A waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof update to the TA1, the TA20 fixes much of what was wrong with the first-gen model. Mainly it's just a better design with more-useful features and easier operation due in part to a large touch screen. The embedded software is still a bit lacking compared with what competitors like Kodak include, but it's no longer the worst I've seen. You're paying extra for the durability (list price is $199.99), too, so if you don't need it there's a nonrugged version, the TA2, available for about $30 less.

Read the full review.

About the author

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments