- Captures and stores video of exceptional quality, 5.1 channel audio
- Compression format means you can't edit video yet, limited included software
The current editing limitations are significant, but once the software catches up, the Panasonic HDC-SD1 will be an excellent camcorder.
Price$ 2,419.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic HDC-SD1 is a camcorder that can capture outstanding footage, but you can't edit the video just yet.
We were originally skeptical about a camcorder that records high-definition video onto an SD Card. What kind of compression is going on behind the scenes to make it fit? However, our doubts soon faded, as the HDC-SD1 captures and stores video of exceptional quality. Unfortunately, for the moment, the compression format it uses introduces a different problem: an inability to edit your video.
At its best quality setting, the HDC-SD1 records 40 minutes of 1080i video to an included 4GB SD Card. This camcorder uses the AVCHD format developed by Panasonic and Sony. When we tested the HDC-SD1, no video editing software supported the format, but Sony says it will offer a free update in the near future to allow its Vegas video editor to import such files. Users of the HDC-SD1 also need a very powerful computer to edit the video once the applications to do so are available, as well as an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray drive if they want to export it from a computer in HD. Forget about using the software included with the camcorder. Athough users can use it to export standard-definition video to a DVD, it's nearly useless beyond that. You are unable to use it to watch your footage in full-screen on a computer.
Since the camcorder has component outputs and an HDMI port, however, you can play back the unedited footage in high-definition on an HDTV. Video we captured in well-lit settings looked gorgeous, and even video taken in relatively dim, indoor rooms looked surprisingly good. Importantly, it was much better than footage from the standard-definition camcorders we've reviewed. The HDC-SD1's microphone captures 5.1-channel audio, too. We weren't able to test it with a surround-sound system, but it sounded quite good through standard television speakers.
Panasonic says the HDC-SD1 is the smallest HD camcorder yet, and it's certainly far more compact than many standard-definition models, despite its larger-than-average, 3in LCD. The tube-shaped body measures roughly 2.5in in diameter and 5.5in long, so it's very comfortable to hold. The HDC-SD1 has some manual controls, though they could be easier to use. To adjust the shutter speed, for example, users must press a tiny joystick on the back once for each step in speed (you can't just hold it down).
Overall, while the current editing limitations are significant, once the software catches up, the Panasonic HDC-SD1 will be an excellent camcorder.
Join the newsletter!
When the Hypertext Transfer Protocol was introduced nearly 30 years ago, the Internet was a small, cozy club hosting just one website.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- 3 ASUS Zenbook Pro 15: A futuristic, exciting, imperfect, flagship notebook
- 4 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 5 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
Latest News Articles
- Swann refine their smart security solution with new solar panel
- Logitech Rally sets new standard for USB-connected conference cams
- Netgear recall Arlo power adapters
- Canon Strengthens 2:3” Broadcast Lens Range
- Canon Introduces Cinema EOS C700 FF Camera and More
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung officially debut the Galaxy Note 9
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- HTC U12+: Full, in-depth review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?