CNET First Look
Panasonic SDR-H80If you need a standard-def camcorder with an extraordinarily long zoom and a large hard drive for storage, the Panasonic SDR-H80 has them.
>>[background music] Hi I'm Josh Goldman, Senior Editor for CNET reviews and this is the Panasonic SDR-H80. It's a standard definition camcorder with a 60 gig hard drive for storing up to 14 hours of its highest quality Mpeg 2 video and if that's not enough there's an SD card slot on the side for adding even more. However the H80's main attraction is the ridiculously long 70X zoom lens, which as you can imagine lets you get very close to your subject while you're very far away. Thankfully there is optical image stabilization but really there's no amount of stabilization that's going to prevent this lens from shaking when fully extended and used in your hands so you'll definitely need a tripod. Other features include full manual control over focus, shutter speed and aperture as well as Panasonics intelligent auto which will handle everything for you so you can just concentrate on recording. There's also a web mode button that limits the time on your recording so it fits within YouTube's 10 minute rule and there's included software for easy uploading to the sight. Unfortunately the video quality is typical of standard definition consumer camcorders. Video's soft with readily visible noise, digital artifacting and clipped highlights, lots of purple and green fringing around high contrast subjects and merely ok color reproduction. That said, if you still live completely in a low resolution world, the recordings are destined for video sharing websites or you simply want to capture the moment no matter how it looks, the H80 is an option and it does have that long lens. [background music] I'm Josh Goldman and that's the Panasonic SDR-H80.