Panasonic SV-AV10 Multifunction digital camera

Panasonic's SV-AV10 squeezes masses of functionality into its tiny shell. This digital camera measures 27x88x50mm and weighs 98g, but it can capture still and moving images and voice recordings, as well as acting as an MP3 player.

With its flip-out 2in LCD screen, the SV-AV10 resembles a miniature camcorder. This is at the expense of a viewfinder, though, which could tax battery life. It can capture MPEG-4 movies with audio at a resolution of 320x240, which is good enough for use on the Web, although on the 8MB SD (Secure Digital) card you can only store two minutes of footage at top quality. Still images have a maximum resolution of 640x480, but you can store up to 190 images in the low-resolution Economy mode.

A USB SD card reader is supplied, plus Movie Stage software to view video and still images and Media Manager to capture and transfer music files. It's all easy to use and it worked seamlessly to download our MP3 files. The player also supports MPEG-2 AAC files, and comes bundled with a set of headphones.

Using the SV-AV10 is easy, as its small size means there are few buttons to get the hang of. However, everything is handled via the onscreen menu, including flash or flipping the picture when you rotate the LCD, which is a bit of a nuisance. Another drawback is the inability to output images to a TV: they have to be viewed on the LCD or a PC.

In brief: Panasonic SV-AV10

If you want top-quality images, look elsewhere - and you will need to buy a bigger storage card, which pushes up the cost. However, for fit-in-your-pocket functionality, the Panasonic SV-AV10 is a real winner.

Price: $1099.

Phone: (02) 9986 7400.


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Ursula Seymour

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