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>> Hi, I'm Lori Grunin, Senior Editor with CNET, and this is the Panasonic HDC-HS250. The smaller and significantly less expensive sibling to the HS300. The HS250 also has 3 C Moss chips and a 120-gigabyte hard drive. However, it does away with a few of the extra features that some people may not consider essential, such as a manual zoom and focus ring on the lens, and an EVF. It also lacks a microphone input and a headphone jack. Other than that though it has the same set of manual features, you just access them differently. Instead of pressing a button on the lens ring, there's a button underneath the LCD that invokes the manual features. There you have the similar controls over white balance, shutter speed, and iris. Though it also uses a touch screen, one which I didn't think functioned particularly well, but you need to try it out yourself before you make any decisions. Panasonic also folded the quick menu, which is a separate menu button, into the menu operation. Like the HF300, in addition to the hard drive, the HF250 also has an SDHC card slot. Panasonic recommends a class 4 card or better to record to the card. It also has the full compliment of jacks and outputs, including component output, and mini HDMI, and a USB connector to transfer your video to your computer. Like the HF300, the HF250 has a small, a little wobbly zoom switch, since it has the same 12X zoom lens and 3 C Moss chips as it's sibling, the video quality is the same as you get with the more expensive models, making this a pretty good deal if you don't need things like the focus ring or the EDF. And the video quality is very good. It doesn't scream, look I have 3 chips in me, but it's finally good enough to be competitive with similarly priced models from Cannon and Sony. I'm Lori Grunin, and this is the Panasonic HDC-HF250.
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