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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2011
A waterproof camera that is also drop-proof and dust proof. Young kids love nothing better than the pool and beach - this is the ideal low-cost camera to take into the water. Not only that but when they grab it off you, smear it with ice cream and promptly drop it, this is likely to survive! Just wash off the sticky paw prints and the sand!

The quality of the HD video is very good, 1080, 720, and 480 MP4 resolutions are available as well as some wierd Apple Mac iFrame res. So your computer should be able to handle at least some of these modes no matter how old. You can also plug it in directly to your TV if it has HDMI (mini HDMI cable required), or use it as a webcam with Skype. It also works well in low light and has a special mode for when its very dark and has an LED light much like many phone cameras.

Unlike some other reviewers I found the digital zoom very smooth - just hold down the W or T buttons, don't try to move the slider on the touch screen unless you need to zoom out fast. Don't expect the touch screen to be like an iPhone on a underwater camera for this price - it is resistive like the old Palms not capacitive like the iPhone (which would not work when wet anyway), so a slightly firmer push is required, but it works fine.

The picture is quite small while filming as you have to hold the phone upright and it is widescreen, so you only get the top half of the screen with the bottom half used for the touch controls. However during playback you can turn the screen on its side to use the full width.

Still photos are very good too for this sort of camera however there can be quite a shutter lag in low light so it won't be replacing my normal still camera.

Comes with a little tripod, wrist strap and USB cable. You'll need a class 4 or higher SD/SDHC/SDXC card as the built in memory is only good for a few seconds of HD. 16GB cards are currently the best value and will give you 2 and 3/4 hours of full HD 1080 video for less than £20.

Remember that this type of camera is more like a smartphone camera so don't expect the quality and control of a £800+ DV camera, however as a low-cost, tough, waterproof mini video camera, this is unrivalled and I'm very impressed.

*Update*: Just got back from a week's holiday with this camera, in the pool or on the beach every day - just kept it in my swimming shorts pocket - was in and out of the water/sea constantly - no leaks, still working perfectly - very pleased with the results! Super tough except for the touch-screen which now has some minor scratches due to keys, etc. Maybe some sort of case is required.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2012
I bought the TA20 soon after it was released. I got it at a great price £84.99 on amazon.I have been using this virtually non stop now for a about six weeks.It feels great, can be operated easily with one hand - IE change from camera to video to voice recorder.The zoom is a little fiddly and seems to have a mind of it's own sometimes, when you zoom in or out it does this smoothly and sometimes it jumps to in or out of zoom, i am sure with a little more practice i will perfect this though.Image quality even on a 42" plasma is outstanding in full HD, anything less and the picture quality is compromised so I would recommend getting a 32gb class 10 card and keeping it set on 1080 for video.Picture quality too should be set on the highest quality setting at all times.Pictures do look great from this too but you need a steady hand for the very best in focus shots.Sound recorder is great - really impressed with this, you have many quality levels to chose from including PCM which is my personal favourite.Try and keep the lens clean, there is no cover and even a finger smudge affects quality so do keep the lens clean at all times, infact get a decent case which you can keep this little item safe and keep a lens cleaning cloth with it at all times.

Transferring files is very easy too, open the side door on unit, press button for pop out usb port and transfer to your computer - as with flip and most camcorders now this is very easy, make sure you use the provided usb extension lead though as to prevent damage.I bought a card reader for a couple of pounds and watched the videos and pictures straight away on my blu ray usb with no converting needed.

My only negative really is the battery life, seems to go pretty quickly and it's a shame that you can't dim the screen to prolong the use of the battery.It's also a shame that the battery is built in as I could have bought a spare which i could keep charged up ready for use.The battery life is the only reason for one less star.Really happy with this though, I have no regrets buying it at all.

Overall I am happy with the TA20, I am glade i bought the waterproof version of this, especially with the unpredictable UK weather.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2011
This is a great camcorder,i could'nt wait to buy it,so i sent for it on thursday and i got it to day,i'm very happy with it,but there's 2 things that i'm dissapointed with is that the battery is built in,you can't buy additional batteries,like if the battery runs down,you can't just take it out and pop in another one,which is a pity realy.The other thing i don't like about this camera is the USB terminal that pops out,it wobbles a little when you touch it,i'd be afraid of it breaking when plugging in or out the cable,but maybe it's meant to be like that,much handier to have a USB slot rather than a flip out USB terminal,though a lot of pocket camcorders are like that,but all in all a great camera,it even has a video light if you're using it in poorly lit places!,when all is said and done,i'd recoment this camera to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2012
I was looking for a HD recorder for when I go walking and other outdoor pursuits. I have had this a few weeks now and tested on 1 walking trip is soggy Wales. I normally put my camera and alike in small dry bags, but no need for this camcorder, which meant I was ready to capture events in real time without staging. Great bit of kit for the money and would not leave home without it. Only drawback was the telephoto facility. Its operated by touch screen so when adjusting whilst recording, its impossible to keep the screen still. I just left it in one setting which resolved the problem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2011
Very nice easy to use camera. Have produced some excellent photos to date. Had to change out due to faulty unit where water got in and completely stopped it from working. amazon customer service excellent with very quick exchange unit sent the next day. taking night time shots uses the inbuilt flash/permanant light - this can dazzle as it's extremely bright if pointed at peoples eyes. The HD video shots not bad but when playing back film taken can appear a little jerky -or could be me? All in all I'd recommend this unit.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2012
OK, I hope this review proves to be useful for others thinking of buying this Handheld Camcorder. I did a lot of research before I bought one. Their are mixed reviews, all I can say is that I have been impressed..a lot. Picture quality is exceptionally good for a video camera that basically is the size of a smart phone and weighs next to nothing, 100 grams give a take a few. OK it's not a professional camera but I've got a Sony HD digital camcorder and comparing the pictures this knocks the spots off the Sony. Trouble is I never take the Sony out as it's too big, too heavy and basically I end up with it slung on my shoulder all day and film 5 mins of Video?.

This little thing fits in your pocket, from switch on it's filming in less than a second and best of all it's waterproof so when you want that extra bit of fun in the swimming pool on holiday, you have the perfect tool.

The format it records in 1080p drops straight into iTunes and can be streamed from an iPad3 to an AppleTV2 without any conversion, what a benefit that is in itself!(and yes I know Apple TV2 is 720 res but wow is it crisp. On the iPad3 with retina display is just amazing, just so sharp and I don't think this is just down to the display.)

I was sent a free Class 4 SD card and it works fine at 1080p, no stuttering or breakup in the picture on 3/4 min recordings. I've ordered a larger 16GB card just to save having to download movies to laptop whilst on hols.

Some people have said the screen is not as responsive as say an Apple iPhone. No it's not but it works fine. A slightly firmer push is required than an iPhone but not so you are nearly bending the screen in. I can honestly say It's not an issue.

So would I recommend this camera, YES, will it provide you with a low cost, easy to transport around, good quality means of recording video movies. ABSOLUTELY.

As I say, I hope this helps
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2011
I have a Panasonic photo camera that delivers excellent quality pictures. When I was shopping for a compact video camera one of the choices would be Panasonic. However I wasn't impressed with what I read about the HM-TA1. So I was looking into the Kodak series and Flip. Then I heard about the Panasonic HM-TA20 and decided to wait until it would arrive.

When I saw the specs and the price on Amazon I decided to order it. Since it arrived it hasn't left my person. i am constantly using it for shooting some video. It basically has replaced my photo camera. I am not one for painstakingly creating beautifull pictures. I just shoot from the hip ;-)

With all that said, just let me say that I am impressed with this small pocket video camera. I think that it is currently best of breed. It handles very easy and quick. The screen needs a firm pressure to make your choice in the menu. The quality of the video is excellent. I usually shoot with 720p so that I have good quality video and still can shoot a lot of it on a 16Gb memory card. I put some stuff up at youtube under my nickname droomdaad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2012
Very easy to use as a camcorder and a camera. Survived a day at the beach and a lively night in a club where it was dropped several times. Easy to upload to Mac computer. Great product would recommend. Brilliant service from Magicdiscounts too - thank you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2011
Bought this and a Kodak Zx5 before we went on holiday, tried both and found both to be lacking in Definition when played back on a 42" plasma. Although both are 1080P the playback is grainy and was disappointed. Low lighting levels were slightly better on this one but were very grainy and would not recommend using either camera at night. Build Quality is very good and liked the double door locking feature, so you couldn't accidentally expose the compartments. Screen is a good size and the menu easy to navigate and use. Liked the zoom feature as well although it isn't a smooth in and out. Overall this is a great bit of kit for having a bit of fun with, but the thing I was most disappointed in is no HDMI cable even though is one of the more expensive ones and the playback isn't what I expected.
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on 21 October 2014
DO NOT BUY

Purchased this to take on a holiday in the Caribbean, i made sure the spec was OK for the temperature and my intended use on the beach and snorkeling.

I followed all the instructions exactly, after 2 days the lens steamed up, i let it clear, but the next day it steamed up again...TOTALLY USELESS and spoiled a part of the holiday.

I contacted Panasonic for a refund as I had no faith in the product and was not willing to risk taking it on another holiday.

To say they are unhelpful is an understatement, I will keep battling until i get a full refund.

This camera is not fit for purpose.

UPDATE. Great service from Amazon who have arranged a refund, THANK YOU Amazon, Panasonic need to learn how to treat customers, Amazon have set a good example.
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