Panasonic SDR-H85-K camcorder
A standard-def Panasonic camcorder with 75x optical zoom and an 80GB hard drive
- Good performance for the asking price, massive 78x optical zoom, OIS Active mode
- Poor still image mode, not much different to Panasonic SDR-H80-K
The Panasonic SDR-H85-K is an excellent standard-definition camcorder that offers some great features for the asking price. If you're on the look-out for a model that's user-friendly yet highly functional, it's hard to look past the SDR-H85-K.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic SDR-H85-K is a standard-definition HDD camcorder equipped with a 78x optical zoom lens and an 80GB hard drive. Like its predecessor, the Panasonic SDR-H80-K, it packs plenty of useful features into an ultra-affordable package (RRP: $649). Both lightweight and user-friendly, the Panasonic SDR-H85 is an excellent choice for families and casual users. For the asking price it also takes great looking video.
As its name implies, the Panasonic SDR-H85-K is a minor upgrade of last year's SDR-H80-K. Both models sport the same dimensions (64x55x107mm) and most of the same specifications — although the SDR-H85-K does add a few new features to justify its existence. For example, the SDR-H80-K's 60GB hard drive has received a 20GB boost, bringing the total to 80GB. This will net you around 24 hours of footage at the highest possible quality, or 102 hours in LP mode.
Panasonic has also added Active mode; an advanced form of optical image stabilisation. Beginners are sure to find this very useful, especially when employing the 78x zoom. Other additions include an AF/AE Tracking tool, a wind-noise canceller and support for SDXC memory cards. While far from essential, the above additions do help to boost the camcorder's value — and the previous iteration was good value to begin with.
SDXC is a new, high-capacity format from Panasonic with the potential to store up to 2TB of video. SDXC cards are also faster than their SDHC predecessors, boasting a theoretical transfer rate of up to 300 megabytes per second (300MBps). Naturally, the Panasonic SDR-H85 also supports the previous format — so don't fret if you already own a bunch of SD cards. (In any event, most users will probably make do with the SDR-H85-K's 80GB hard drive.)
For menu navigation, the Panasonic SDR-H85-K uses a tried-and-tested directional joystick. We personally would have preferred a touch-screen interface — as found on the Panasonic HDC-HS60 — but we suppose it gets the job done well enough.
All the usual camcorder functions are present, including adjustable iris and shutter speeds, manual white balance, 10 scene presets, manual focus, 16:9 and 4:3 recording, face detection and an array of digital effects. As mentioned, the SDR-H85-K also comes with Panasonic’s iA mode, which attempts to adjust settings on the fly to attain the best picture. It's basically just an automatic scene mode, albeit one that works quite well.
The Panasonic SDR-H85 also comes with a dedicated Web mode button. This restricts recording time to 10 minutes, which is the maximum length of a YouTube video. You can then upload your movies directly from the camera to the video-sharing Web site of your choice. A stills image mode is also included, but unfortunately there is no inbuilt flash.
To capture video, the Panasonic SDR-H85 uses a 1/8in CCD sensor with an effective pixel count of 0.8 megapixels. While this might sound measly on paper, it's important to note that modern sensors are considerably more sophisticated than the technology from a few years ago. Consequently, they are able to tease plenty of colour from relatively fewer pixels.
To test the Panasonic SDR-H85, we shot several videos in and around our office building, both indoors and out. In optimum lighting, our test footage exhibited accurate tones that were relatively free of noise. Images were not the sharpest we’ve seen, yet they should nevertheless satisfy casual users. Naturally, footage tends to look best on a CRT television or PC screen, as the flaws become readily apparent on large HD TVs. Nevertheless, the Panasonic SDR-H85 is an impressive performer for the asking price.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the newsletter!
Bitdefender’s best-in-class security solutions have been awarded Product of the Year.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 2 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 3 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
- 4 Zolo Liberty+ review: The true wireless earbuds you've been waiting for
- 5 Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: The path of least resistance makes for an easy upgrade
- AMD confirms Ryzenfall vulnerabilities, but says they'll be fixed soon via routine BIOS updates
- How to delete, disable, or limit your Facebook account
- IBM wants to open up the deep learning expertise bottleneck
- Monoprice slashes $80 off the Xbox One X on Sea of Thieves launch day
- Is your VPN secure? How to check for leaks
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Hands On: Pitting the Apple HomePod against the Sonos One
- Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Comparing The Google Home’s Assistant To Amazon Echo’s Alexa
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTProject Manager - SAP Asset ManagementOther
- TPSenior C++ DeveloperNSW
- CCMicrosoft Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTSystems EngineerVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSolutions Team LeadQLD
- FTFrontend Developer/Digital DesignerNSW
- CCChange ManagerQLD
- FTSAP ABAP (CRM)/ UI5 DevelopersOther
- FTSenior Infrastructure Project ManagerACT
- TPBusiness AnalystsVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTHadoop DeveloperSA
- FTSenior Network Engineer - JuniperWA
- FTFull Stack Developer - NodeJSQLD
- TPSenior Technical Business AnalystQLD
- TPPMO AnalystACT
- FTSolution Designer/Architect - Java IntegrationOther
- TPChange ManagerQLD
- FTSalesforce DeveloperOther
- CCMultiple Java Developer roles!NSW
- CCApplication Support Developer - .Net & SQLWA
- FTService Desk ConsultantOther
- TPJunior Network EngineerQLD
- FTCommunications & Change AnalystOther