Panasonic HDC-SD200 – The Review

Panasonic HDC-SD200

There is a worldwide trend amongst manufacturers to move towards large-screen, high-image-quality televisions and HD broadcasting. So camcorders’ manufacturers transitioning to HD quality, Panasonic expands a line of high quality HD camcorders to include the HDC-SD200. Panasonic HDC-SD200is up-to-date affordable HD camcorders which is consistent with its long-time position of Panasonic.

When it comes to making movies, good just isn’t good enough. The same is true of HD camcorders. That’s why Panasonic has come out with the HDC-SD200 which delivers full HD camcorders and more,

Panasonic’s HDC-SD200 is a great way to film all of life’s best moments in high quality, whether you’re shooting from close-up or far away. Image sharpness and exposure are optimised with the help of the high-performance, automatic settings, while the Intelligent Auto mode, face detection

KEY FEATURES

Leica 1 2x optical zoom Full HD 1920×1 080 SD/SDHC flash memory only 5.1 surround sound audio recording

1 0.6-megapixel stills Optical Image Stabilizer Intelligent Auto Face Detection with tracking

Panasonic HDC-SD2OO

The new flash-based SD200 offers much that the H5300 does, but with a more pocket-friendly price tag

The new Panasonic SD200 is a new full HD camcorder ~ New SD200 full HD camcorders }, with a similar specification to the more professional HS300 mode Lacking microphone inputs and headphone output sockets, the flash memory-based SD200 can almost be described as an H5300 ‘lite’ model SD200 is seen as the ‘lite’ model, it has similar specs as the pro HS300 but lacking microphone inputs and headphone output sockets. By using purely SD/SDHL cards, the cost of the 50200 is significantly lower than the flagship HS300 with its dual (hybrid) recording media (HOD and SD/SDHL cards). SD2OO comes with high quality Leica branded 12 x optical zoom, optical image stabilisation and Panasonic’s new three MOS sensor arrangement. Full 1920×1080 HD video, plus the ability for 10-megapixel still images too. The SD200 also carries Panasonic’s excellent Intelligent Auto (iA) function, which actually does take the strain out of the whole shooting experience

The (iA) function, activated by the press of a button, optimizes exposure, scene modes, focus and contrast for the scene being recorded, silently and without any clues that it’s happening. Nice one Panasonic. SD200 also give the user face detection, just by touching the the a chosen face on the flip -out 2.7in screen means SD200 has the ability to track the face.. Once chosen, the camcorder automatically tracks the face in frame, optimizing the overall image quality whilst doing so. On paper then, this new SD 200 should produce very similar results to the c.E1 000 H5300 model or at least come very close, Where the cost-savings are evident on the SD200 are with the lack of an accessory shoe for an external microphone or video light. Missing too are the microphone input and headphone output sockets – meaning that you have to live with the on-board 5,1 surround microphone, which is not ideal, but okay for general use }

If you wish to film flower openings, rolling clouds or high speed traffic trails, then SD200 which can be programmed to shoot at preset intervals of between 1 and 120 seconds, The 1 0.6-megapixel stills capability makes the SD200 a serious contender in the new ‘dual’ or hybrid camera technology arena, though the small sensor size may limit it’s overall capabilities, especially in low light..

Handling & Ease of Use

The SD200 feels very much like its bigger brother, with a generous body size that fits neatly in the right hand. The size helps a little with keeping the SD200 stable, but the camcorder still feels a little ‘plastic’ generally. It’s a small point and to most users, probably nothing to concern over. The layout of the Panasonic is very straightforward to navigate. The mode selector dial on the rear right of the unit is simple and concise in operation. The menu system is easy to navigate, using the touch screen display, and accessing the SD card media for viewing or erasing material was straight forward, with the main delete button safely featuring as part of the button array around the edge of the flip-out screen. The zoom controls worked smoothly as would be expected, and the iA button is a real bonus at times, overriding the camcorder’s settings to produce a ‘more pleasing’ result.

More detail

Discreetly hidden output connectors

The output socket connectors for H0MI, AV and USB cables are hidden behind the screen rebate, under a subtly hidden sliding door, simplifying the styling of the SD200.

The PRO-REC button keep 3 second clip in the camcorder’s buffer, which instantly added to the ft of a recording as soon as press the Play button – more missed shots

Performance Capability

The SD200 hosts a worthful range of top quality features, and combined with the 9.15 – Megapixel sensor promises plenty too.

As expected the performance of the Panasonic SD200 didn’t disappoint. The video was high quality, with good contrast and colours – again, exactly as you’d expect from a camcorder at this price, The Leica lens produced superb, clear images, whilst the 700x zoom/digital zoom capability was impressive too, if a little OTT! Using the Intelligent Auto feature was a breeze – a simple button press made sure the images were top notch without the camcorder making us mindful it was genuinely doing anything drastic to the settings, The PRE-RC function worked very well too, meaning we never missed the beginning of any sequence – the SD200 kept three seconds ‘in reserve’ at all times as it promised, Though the HD video was superb quality, to get the best results to edit with you may need to convert the SD200’s ‘native’ video to another format (for PC-based ) editing via the supplied bundle, which can be bit of a faft. Luckily, for most of us, outputting straight to DVD is a simple push button affair. Different users can personalise their own play lists from recorded clips for output too. You’re either a fan touch screens or not, but practice to say, the 27-i out screen on the SD200 is great to use, and very positive., only it does get covered in finger mark the inescapable downside with all such LCDs.

The built-in microphone can be set for 5.1 surround, and to zoom with the lens or for standard stereo recording, but it struggled somewhat at times, emphasising the need for an external, more professional unit to be used for best quality, more realistic sound, The high quality 3M0s sensor array produced excellent 10-megapixel stills too, needing little in the way of contrast or colour adjustment afterwards.

Overrall Verdict on the Panasonic SD600, Point and shoot simplicity meets the impact and performance of 1920×1080, 50p full HD recording and it’s a good meeting


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