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6 Reviews
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I really like it, good fun but image quality not the best, 25 Jun 2009
This review is from: Panasonic HDC-HS20 High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder With 80GB Hard Disc Drive - Black (Electronics)
Initial purpose is for a 3 week trip around Africa (esp. game viewing, local cultures). Tried out this camcorder + competitors on the highstreet before purchase. Have now spent about a week getting use to it (enough time to annoy the Mrs).

Like the feel of the controls and ease of use of this camcorder over its competitors. Touch screen is great, Intelligent Auto object selection/lock is really nice, and less faffing with buttons and menus at critical times. Lens cover opens automatically when in record mode.

(The cheaper JVC is a joystick + reviews moans about the software. Sony less comfortable, less features for more money, newer Mem Sticks are pricey and not as accepted as SD).

x16 Optical Zoom + OIS is better that either competitors (important for game viewing).

Switching to manual mode to focus on a distant object past nearer objects is easy but uses the touch screen (it isn't the silver grip band around the lens which would have been nicer).

However, I now realise that the image quality is not the best. There is only a single small sensor (< 2Mpixels) so capturing in HD must use some technology will leaves some noise on images (particularly in lower light).

The low light colour mode is pretty useless. Why aren't the green ghost night vision modes included anymore?

In summary, most important thing is that it is fun to use. Pleased with my purchase.

Bundled software HD Writer is fairly basic (don't seem to be able to mix in music), but have managed to edit movie and transfer back onto camcorder HDD via a SD card.

Using a Lowepro Clips 110 bag which holds camcorder nicely but limited space for larger spare batteries. No room for recharger or leads. Good option for a day bag though.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My review of Panasonic HDC-HS20, 9 Sep 2009
By 
K. Morris "PC MAD" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic HDC-HS20 High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder With 80GB Hard Disc Drive - Black (Electronics)
Panasonic HDC-HS20 High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder With 80GB Hard Disc Drive - Black

I bought this HD Camcorder from Panasonic and so far have been very impressed. Its easy to use automatic mode takes care of most of it, although found you need to change the default settings to get the highest HD mode. Its nice and light to use, takes really clear footage and in 5.1 sound. Ideally you need a HD TV and don't forget to buy a HDMI cable, you get a component cable included but its still not as clear as a HDMI connection. It takes SD cards so this means its cheap and easy to buy. The hard drive size is very large so you can store lots of footage, I would recommend getting another battery as I only manage to get about 1 hour 20 mins in one go. I used it for a wedding, reception and evening do but it wouldn't last all this time, I was lucky enough to be able to re-charge it.

You also need to buy a good bag as it doesn't come with anything and you don't wanna drop it. Still photos aren't too bad either, although only 2.1 megapixels you can save to the Hard Drive or cards, but still decent enough for most purposes. Optical zoom isn't too bad, although could be higher as the old tape camcorders use to have 35x or sometimes 40x optical zoom, so I do miss such a good zoom. Digital zoom you get as well but again not really worth looking at as you lose some of the quality.

Ideally to get the most out of the camera you need a PC and I would recommend buying a good video editing package as the supplied software is very basic. If you just want the footage straight onto a DVD without much editing than fine, the software copes very well. But if you want to create more professional results like I do where you put in sound tracks to still photos and a good menu system with music you really need something like Pinnacle Studio or similar.

Its comes with a big manual, which is good to get as you don't always get manuals these day, however be warned it is a lot of reading and if you are like me I just skipped it and played around with the menu settings instead.

Touch screen is good, clear although a manual viewfinder would be good as well as in bright sunny light it can be difficult to see although you can increase the brightness but I expect this drains the battery more.

To sum up its a great HD camcorder, easy to use, perfect for the beginner, lightweight, great footage but on the downside you need to spend more money to get the extra's eg. (Bag to put in it, Advanced Software, HDMI Cable, Spare Battery and a SD card).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great piece of kit, 28 Jun 2010
This review is from: Panasonic HDC-HS20 High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder With 80GB Hard Disc Drive - Black (Electronics)
I know little about Camcorders - so I was completely reliant on the written spec and the brand name to guide me when I bought this for office use. It's really easy to use which is great as anyone in the office can book it for their own purposes. The pictures are great, the choice of memory really useful - still learning about the many facilities available on the camera.
2 negatives which do not affect the user rating: the life of the battery supplied is limited so have had to buy more (the OE Panasonic cost makes your nose bleed so go for good compatible), and the more serious is the format of the files which can only run on the supplied software. In a multi-user requirement such as ours this is not good - we had to buy conversion software to be able to view on the standard Microsoft offering which is available to all our users.
An excellent purchase - definitely recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great camcorder, 23 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic HDC-HS20 High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder With 80GB Hard Disc Drive - Black (Electronics)
Great camcorder, easy to use, light. Large HDD, only need extra battery if you filming longer time. I recommend to buy!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD VALUE, 7 April 2010
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This review is from: Panasonic HDC-HS20 High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder With 80GB Hard Disc Drive - Black (Electronics)
BOUGHT THIS CAMERA FROM AMAZON BACK IN AUGUST,USED IT FOR MY TRIP TO CANADA TO SEE THE WILDLIFE,BEARS, SALMON,ETC.THE CAMERA HAS AN EXCELLET ZOOM,AND IS EASY TO USE.THE MASSIVE HARD DRIVE TAKES MANY HOURS OF RECORDING,AND THE REPRODUCTION IS PRETTY GOOD FOR A HD CAMERA IN THIS PRICE RANGE,IT ALSO FITS VERY EASILY IN YOUR POCKET SO CARRYING IT AROUND IS NO PROBLEM.WOULDNT HESITATE TO RECOMEND IT.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far so good, 20 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. P. Sheldrick "Para Handy" (Northants, England) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic HDC-HS20 High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder With 80GB Hard Disc Drive - Black (Electronics)
So far so good. Very happy with the camera having used it for one month on holiday. Video quality is very good.
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