With capable, speedy performance, and a friendly but powerful interface, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 is a good choice for people looking to upgrade from a point-and-shoot.
CNET editors choose the best GoPro models, action cameras and camcorders of 2015.
Panasonic's trio of prosumer camcorders, the hard-disk-based HDC-HS900 and flash-based TM900 and SD800, deliver generally excellent video quality and provide the full set of manual controls and features advanced users want. But you have to be willing to baby the white balance a bit. The TM900 is my top pick of the three for its EVF, but if you're on a tight budget the SD800 should suit just fine.
The Contour GPS sports camera is the sweet spot in Contour's sports camera lineup, offering most of the features that most owners will find useful, and at an affordable price.
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.
The flash-based Panasonic HDC-TM700 and its hard-disk sibling, the HDC-HS700, stand out for their low-light video quality and broad set of manual controls. However, while the TM700 is very attractively priced for its class, the HS700 is not, and not worth the price premium unless you absolutely need the hard disk.
The four sibling models--the JVC Everio GZ-HM300, HM320, HM340, and HD500--deliver subpar video for even their dirt-cheap prices.
Sony gains ground against the minicamcorder competition with the Bloggie MHS-PM5, but its software and overall video quality keep it from moving ahead.
A very good prosumer HD camcorder, the Panasonic HDC-TM300 nevertheless has an annoying touch-screen interface.
If you're not on the wireless bandwagon, you don't have to forgo a home network or pay to have a network professionally installed. With the Panasonic HD-PLC power-line Ethernet adapters, you can have a wired home network up and running in minutes.