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Panasonic HDC-HS20, HDC-TM20 and HDC-SD20: 20-20 visions

Panasonic's HDC-HS20, HDC-TM20 and HDC-SD20 have similar names and similar specs, but their broad range of memory options show the spectrum of high-definition camcorders

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Richard Trenholm

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You know, some manufacturers really don't make it easy on the naming front. Such is the case with the Panasonic HDC-HS20, HDC-TM20 and HDC-SD20, a trio of high-definition camcorders now available in the UK.

All three models shoot 1080i video and sport a 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD screen and a 16x optical zoom. They feature autofocus tracking and highlight playback, which allows you to skip to highlights of your footage. That is, as long as you consider zooming, panning, increases and decreases in sound level, and other tomfoolery as 'highlights'.

You also get 1.9-second quick power-on and a 5-microphone, 5.1-channel surround-sound system. A zoom mic function is included so the sound matches the picture.

Memory is the main difference between the three. The HDC-HS20, pictured above, is a hybrid model recording on to a whopping 80GB hard-disk drive or an SDHC/SD memory card. It'll cost you £620. Click through our pictures for specs and prices on each model.

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The HDC-TM20 is another hybrid model, with a slightly more modest 16GB of onboard memory and an SDHC/SD memory card slot. It'll set you back around £520.
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The HDC-SD20 uses an SDHC/SD memory card, making it compact and lightweight, and slightly more drop-proof than a hard disk, for just over £400.

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