Panasonic has been producing quality cameras for years. The release of their HDC-SD100 has proven to be yet another quality product. With new technologies and ideas, the HDC-SD100 gives consumers flexibility combined with high definition imagery.
This particular model is a 12x optical zoom, which can be swapped out for wide angle or deeper zoom lenses. It is compact and lightweight enough for just about anyone to use (2.56 x 2.84 x 5.43-inches weighing less than a pound). The overall design allows the unit to sit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
A ring encases the lens, which allows consumers to manually adjust many different settings. The user can adjust zoom, focus, white balance, and more, simply by twisting the ring. It is not the most user-friendly addition, but it does get the job done. Also, on the front of the camera, is a jack for a microphone. This is for those consumers who do not want to depend solely on the built-in mic.
On opening the box of your new HDC-SD100 you will find an 8GB SDHC, a battery, AC adapter, component, A / V and USB cables, editing software, remote, and user guide. (User guide is highly recommended, as this is more of a professional grade camcorder.)
The use of CCD chips has been a trademark for Panasonic. They have; however, moved away from this technology. The HDC-SD100 is their first release that uses CMOS sensors rather than CCD chips. Panasonic is still making a name for themselves with the use of 3MOS, meaning they are using three CMOS sensors rather than the standard one.
Even with 3MOS, the HDC-SD100 does not produce the highest quality expected. With only 610K-pixels each, the sensors can not produce imagery as clear and crisp as other camcorders. There are; however, four different shooting modes available; HA, HG, HX, and HE, each one producing high def results.
The HDC-SD100 records at different rates for each recording mode. It can record as much as 17Mbits per second (HA) and as little as 6Mbits per second (HE). The more frames you want to capture the higher recording mode you should use.
Panasonic is the first to introduce an AVCHD with both a viewfinder and an LCD screen. It is also one of few units that does not use a hard drive. The use of only SD / SDHC memory cards makes the unit lightweight and compact.
A cold accessory shoe has been implemented at the top of the camcorder. This allows consumers to use external microphones or lights while recording important events. The addition of this feature brings the HDC-SD100 to a more professional standard. The shutter button is also located at the top of the camera for ease of use.
At the back of the camera, you will find the viewfinder, battery, and connectivity ports. These ports, however, are tucked away behind the battery. This means that you can not view your videos or stills on a TV, connect to a computer, or charge your camcorder while the battery is still lodged in place. You will have to shut down the unit prior to moving forward with any of these actions.
The HDC-SD100 can be picked up for around $ 1,100. Depending what you are looking for in a camcorder, this may or may not be the right pick for you. If you are looking for a high-end, almost professional grade, camera, then the Panasonic HDC-SD100 just might be the right pick. If you need an easy to use camcorder that is user friendly, this might not be the right model for you.