Panasonic's HDC-TM40, TM41 and SD40 are some of the cheapest camcorders you can buy with a zoom lens and manual controls. If you care about video quality, spend a little more money on another model; if you don't, buy the cheapest one of these you can find, adjusting for the cost of memory for the SD40.
A functional trio of camcorders, the Panasonic HDC-SD80, TM80, and HS80 are notable for their manual exposure controls, unusual for their price class, and well designed touch-screen interface but otherwise you can find better options. Of the three, the SD80 is the best choice simply on price.
Panasonic's quartet of entry-level HD camcorders--the HDC-HS60, TM60, TM55, and SD60--delivers a nice manual feature set and good performance, as well as solid video quality for their class. As long as you don't pay list price, the SD60 is a great value, and if possible, avoid paying the unnecessary price premium for the hard drive in the HS60.
Though it has a nice feature set for the price, the Panasonic HDC-SD100 doesn't deliver the quality of video you expect from an HD camcorder in its price segment.
Despite its trio of CCDs, the video quality and performance of the Panasonic HDC-SD9 are a bit too inconsistent.
A solid SD-based camcorder, the Panasonic HDC-SD1 nevertheless suffers from a few performance issues and an annoying design.