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CNET editors choose the best GoPro models, action cameras, and camcorders of 2014.
The Panasonic SDR-S50 standard-definition camcorder is worth considering for its manual controls and powerful zoom lens in a very compact body--not video quality.
The Panasonic SDR-T50 standard-definition camcorder is worth considering for its manual controls and powerful zoom lens in a very compact body--not video quality.
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.
While compact and convenient, Panasonic's SD-based SDR-S150 camcorder doesn't make the quality cut.
The Panasonic SDR-SW20's only saving grace is its water-, shock-, and dust-proof body (and even those have limitations). Otherwise, there's no reason to buy this pocket camcorder.
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.
Combining the simplicity of SD recording, a roomy 30GB hard drive, a long zoom, and pleasing image quality, the SDR-H18 is a good choice for a standard-definition, hard-drive camcorder.
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 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 top-of-the-line recorder boasts eye-popping recording quality, but its programming guide may pose a setup challenge with some cable systems.