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CNET First Look
Panasonic HM-TA20As rugged minicamcorders go, the Panasonic HM-TA20 is very good and definitely deserves consideration.
Hey, I'm Josh Goldman, senior editor with CNET, and this is the Panasonic HM-TA20. This is Panasonic's second generation of its mini camcorders and frankly the first generation wasn't impressive. So, I actually didn't expect much this time around. Panasonic came back strong though at least with this model offering up a nice design, good features, and good full HD video. In fact, what you'll probably notice first about this is the design. It's a bit bulkier than your typical mini cam corder, but that's because it's water proof, dust proof and shock proof. There are double locks on the doors covering the HDMI port and headphone jack, and pop out USB connectors covered up well too. All the doors have good seals on them, so you won't get any water in there and can definitely handle some rough treatment. On the hand, the large 3-inch touchscreen display and the lens on the back are susceptible to scratching. Controls are very straightforward and the touchscreen is responsive, so use is no problem. You only get this portion up at the top here though for framing your shots, but you get the full screen for playback where you can also do things like tag clips for online sharing or do a quick trim or grab still from the video. Video quality is on par with full HD pocket video cameras. It's best suited for small sizes on computer screens rather than viewed on large HD TVs, but in general it's better than you'll get with your average smartphone, something you probably don't want to get with. I'm Josh Goldman and that's the Panasonic HM-TA20.