The highlight of Panasonic's camcorder announcements are a couple of feature-packed 4K/UHD models.
A new prosumer run-and-gun-style camcorder has tons of entry-level pro features -- it's just missing the three sensors.
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.
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.
As rugged minicamcorders go, the Panasonic HM-TA20 is very good and definitely deserves consideration.
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.
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 Panasonic SDR-H80 has the zoom power of a telescope and a lot of storage in a compact body, but the video results are not nearly as thrilling.
The Panasonic HM-TA1 minicamcorder offers above-average HD video recording in a small package, but is otherwise pretty lame.
The Panasonic SDR-H85 standard-definition camcorder is worth considering for its manual controls and powerful zoom lens in a very compact body--not video quality.