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Panasonic HDC-SD10 High Definition Flash Memory Camcorder With 16x Optical Zoom - Black
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|Display Size||2.7 inches||2.7 inches||2.7 inches||2.7 inches||3 inches||2.7 inches|
|Video Capture Resolution||—||1080p_full_hd||1080p_full_hd||1080p_full_hd||HD (1080p)||1080p_full_hd|
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Manufacturer's DescriptionSometimes a scene is backlit or too dark, or it's difficult to get a good focus on the subject. Adjusting the settings every time is not only a hassle, it can be very tricky. That's where iA comes in.
This powerful function senses the shooting conditions and automatically makes the settings and activates functions that will deliver optimal results. With both motion and still images, iA lets you forget about bothersome settings and makes it easy to capture beautiful, well-focused images.
Locks on a subject and tracks it. Touch the LCD screen to indicate the subject, such as a person or an animal, that you want to focus on, and let AF/AE Tracking do the rest.
The camera locks on the subject and follows it around, keeping it in sharp focus and properly exposed. It keeps tracking even if the subject turns to the side. This advanced function makes it easy to get a continually clear, beautiful shot of the subject in the scene you care most about.
Face Detection Captures faces beautifully - even in dim or backlit scenes. it automatically senses the ambient lighting and adjusts the exposure accordingly, so faces are bright and easy to see.
The focus also prioritizes the faces, and skin tones are smoothed.
Faces in the center of the frame serve as the reference for adjustments, but the function can detect up to 15 faces in all.
Intelligent Scene Selector
The Intelligent Scene Selector function analyzes the shooting situation and automatically switches the camcorder to the Scene mode that will give you optimal results.
This mode is ideal for shooting wide landscapes and sweeping vistas, such as at the ocean or in the mountains. It balances the exposure over the entire frame to prevent brighter parts of the image, such as the sky, from being washed out or having blown highlights.
This mode captures faces beautifully. With Soft Skin mode, complexions are automatically enhanced to make faces attractive.
The camcorder automatically uses this mode for scenes with particularly strong contrast, such as when you're shooting a spotlit area on a darkened stage. It captures the well-lit subject perfectly and prevents washed-out areas.
In dim lighting, the camcorder automatically switches to a slower shutter speed so that images across the entire frame are bright and easy to see.
Intelligent Contrast Control
By detecting the intensity of the ambient light and adjusting the exposure accordingly, Intelligent Contrast Control prevents blown highlights and blocked shadows.
This helps render natural-looking, highly nuanced images with proper contrast.
Touch Screen Operation
Control settings are made by simply touching the LCD screen. Operation is intuitive and easy, and the large letters are easy to read. Shooting and viewing are simple and stress-free – even for beginners.
Advanced Optical Image Stabiliser
Advanced O.I.S. ensures beautiful shots even with high-power zooming.
Using the Advanced O.I.S technology, gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the lens unit shifts to continuously adjust the optical axis, so that videos are perfectly sharp and blur-free.
Just lean back and enjoy capturing videos in their full natural beauty for the most clear and amazingly beautiful videos - even when shooting long-distance zoom shots.
The known typical hand-shake effect is no longer a concern.
16x Optical Zoom
The SD10 features a 16x optical zoom. You can zoom close to catch dynamic shots of distant objects. And because the zoom is optical, there's limited image degradation.
Also, Panasonic's Advanced O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) helps prevent blurring – typically a big concern when shooting with a zoom.
This combination of optical zoom and Advanced O.I.S. gives you the ability to take fantastic zoom shots.Highlight Playback
Select the days of the recordings you want to see, and this innovative function automatically selects the most exciting scenes, arranges them, and plays them, backed by music. It decides how exciting a scene is based on zooming, panning, and scene changes, and whether there are faces and cheers. This gives you a quick, easy way to view the most exciting scenes all together. It's a great way to look back over exciting memories that you have recorded.
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Also, whoever rated this camcorder a 2 because it only took 2MP stills and not 6 like the Sanyo, remember this is a CAMCORDER, NOT a CAMERA. I don't care about the pictures it takes, I have a camera for that, the main thing being a camcorder is the video, which thankfully with all its features to help it is fantastic.
Now onto the important stuff. Well, I have to say, this is a fantastic camcorder. I chose the Panasonic SD10 over its similar sized/purpose camcorders mainly because of the 16x optical zoom which is what I need, and also mostly because unlike similar offerings including the Sony TG3 and Sanyo HD2000, the SD10 has an optical image stabiliser when filming and not a terrible electrical one, which when I saw a video of the HD2000 in action made me glad I didn't choose electrical, as for what I use it for the footage would come out no better than falling down a flight of stairs.
The Panasonic SD10 is so lightweight and easy to carry around. It is so compact that its unbelievable you can easily carry something this small with such technology in it to get great footage. It fits in my hand well when filming and can even fit in my pocket, I say it like that as my pockets aren't that loose! Although I'd advise you it would be better if you had slightly bigger pockets just to cover it better if you plan to put it in a pocket. You can easy fit it in a coat pocket or just a carry pouch or something.
Speaking of easy, the whole design and use is easy. It is very easy to use and the touch screen is easy to navigate after not much use. I barely read any of the instructions and got to grips very quick, mind you I do have a Panasonic DMC-TZ7 too so that helps, but either way, it is easy. It has a HDMI port and USB built in along with a few more common ports, so it is easy there too. Just connect it to a HD TV and watch. There is no spot for an external mic, but to be honest I don't need one, although it is worth noting.
The 16x optical zoom is very handy to have, and thanks to the optical image stabiliser, even when filming at the highest zoom, with a good hand the footage still isn't wobbly enough to the point where it becomes disturbing. Another thing I love about the filming is the 3 second pre-record function, its a fantastic idea, especially since I personaly enjoy filming concerts, it means that if you press the pre-record button on the side and something happens before you press rec, when you have stopped filming it adds the extra 3 seconds it memorized from the start using its buffer memory, so you get the clip! Great.
The video quality is also fantastic, the camcorder shoots in full 1080i HD in a number of different modes for if you don't mind using a lot of memory for the best quality, or still having good quality but taking up less memory. I use the best quality mode though, combined with a 16GB Class 6 SDHC card it works for me. Now along with the quality looking great, the sound really surprised me, it is fantastic from its Dolby Stereo speaker positioned on the top. It proved this to me from the Status Quo concert I filmed a fair few songs with it, the sound was great in my view, and if any piece of recording equipment has great sound then it gets my approval. The intelligent auto (iA) function also works very well too with good focus, along with the touch screen face detection which is hugely helpful, captures people much better. However if you don't want automatic there is a manual button/option on the side.
There are a few little issues, but in my view nothing serious, but worth a mention. Like with many a camera and camcorder, in low light there is some noticable graining, and even though it has a light for when it gets darker, don't think that will kiss it all better, as it is not the best in lower light. However even though the Status Quo videos I filmed were when it got dark at the outdoor venue, since the stage where I was focusing on was light (obviously), it came out good.
The touch screen at first takes a bit of use to hit each option correctly with your fingers, there were times when I'd touch an option and end up selecting the one next to it.
The microphone being on top is also more prone to wind, so watch out for where you film, although it does at least have a wind cut option to minimise a load of it spoiling things.
The battery also if you plan to film quite a lot does not last massively long, you get just over an hour, for me I plan to buy another battery and then you'll be sorted.
Finally, the AVCHD format at the moment is not hugely recognised, thankfully I don't really edit or want to change format, I just want to watch my stuff mostly and preserve the quality, so no biggie. Even though my computer cannot play the footage I get well at the moment, I can play it on my PS3 on my HD widescreen TV fine which suits me. The HD Writer software while not really much use to me at the moment however is easy to use, you can even easily trim and divide videos from the camcorder and the software.
Overall though, a fantastic camcorder well worth the money, I've got no regrets buying it. If you are after a great quality HD camcorder then this is a great one to get and a worthy consideration at least.
It's so small & light that you could feesibly put it in your pocket! I only used it on the automatice mode and the recordings were great outdoors. The image stablisation really works. The zoom & auto focus both work great as well. Indoors the quality suffers but I rarely use a camcorder indoors so this did not really bother me. I have also read that some are disappointed with the 2.1m still shooting mode, but again if you read the specs before you buy and are aware of it's limitations as a still camera then again no problem. I continue to use my compact for these shots, I bought this camcorder for shooting video, which it is good at.
The only gripe I have is the picking up of wind noise (even with wind cut on) which you cannot control as it has no seperate mike input.
The video quality is outstanding on my 40" Sony HD TV. I transferred the footage onto my computer using the sofware supplied no problem. I then transferred this to a DVD-R in AVCHD format (intention is to free up SD card for re-use) and played it through my Bluray player, fantastic, and I had not even been using the best recording resolution.
The software supplied does the basic necessary functions but if you want anything more then you will have to invest in a better video editing package (I am trialling Videostudio Pro at the moment -one of the few that can handle AVCHD video).
Overall I am very happy with my purchase although Panasonic could do better by bundling some more advanced video editing software, even if only allowed you to edit out some of that wind noise.
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