Narrow your search
If you're interested in the inverter tech angle, you may be disappointed. But if you don't expect to get artisanal omelets from a microwave, it's still a solid choice for a large, midprice countertop model.
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.
If you don't need an extralarge screen and a lot of extra bells and whistles, the Toshiba SD-P71S is a solid portable DVD player.
Pricing not available
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.