The Good Compact and lightweight; saturated colors.
The Bad Moderate to low-light videos look cloudy; some awkward design choices; smallish LCD with terrible color reproduction; awful bundled software.
The Bottom Line Despite its trio of CCDs, the video quality and performance of the Panasonic HDC-SD9 are a bit too inconsistent.
Editor's note 5/6/08: I've revised the bottom line and software comments after revisiting the issue of video-editing problems. These do not affect the ratings, since I did not factor software problems into the original ratings.
With its eye-catching, compact body and relatively low price, the Panasonic HDC-SD9 seems to be quite an attractive buy for a flash-based AVCHD camcorder. At 11.7 ounces with battery and SD card and only 3.6 inches long, it's certainly one of the smallest and lightest full-size camcorders we've ever tested, and is pretty comfortable to shoot. The zoom switch feels responsive, and all the controls seem logically placed and fluid to operate. Many of the buttons, especially the face detection and Pre-rec (for 3-second pre-recording) are a tad small, but that's to be expected on a device this size.
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