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I was bought this as a birthday present by my husband. He is an electronic engineer and I always know any electronic product purchased by him is going to be very carefully researched, to be the best available for our needs within our price-range.
Overall, the camcorder looks small and stylish and is very easy to use.
The video quality is absolutely outstanding for a handheld camcorder. The only very slight downside is I find the photo's seem to be of such good quality every flaw bags under eyes, spot, etc on your face comes up clearly! I appreciate amazing photo quality isn't going to be a problem for everyone and to be honest, but this isnt really a problem for us as we only really use the video camcorder for filming. We have a different digital camera for taking photos!
We tend to use the camera for filming family holidays, and have used it a lot recently to capture our baby growing up and her hitting important milestones.
I am not great when it comes to using technology but I have always found this very easy to use, with simple, clear functions. It is a clever little camera which doesn't take a genius to work out how to use it. It is also small enough to fit into my little handbag while on holiday for evenings out.
I would definitely recommend this to friends.
Just before Lottie was born I wanted a video camera to capture all those special moments. I chose this Panasonic HDC SD60 because we had read some brilliant reviews and the price was just about right. Let's talk about the camera beforeI tell you how I have got on with it.
Features - A standard list for you:
Full 1080 HD recording
35 X zoom
Power Optical Image Stabilisation
35.7 mm lens
Rotatable flip screen
SDHC/SD Memory card reader
Now I chose the black and silver colour but I am aware you can get others. It is relatively small and easily fits in one hand. The top is silver and at the back you can see the battery pack otherwise it would be kind of a rectangle shape. The brand is on the flip out screen at the left and to the right you have a strap to put your hand through t keep it steady.
The record button is by your thumb of the hand you are holding so you can work the camera quite easily and keep a hand free. Then at the back there is the option to take video, pictures or playback. The top has your zoom and the camera shutter button. Then the top side gives you the OIS and manual opions. You bring the screen out to the left and you have your space to put the memory card and as said before you can rotate the screen.
The actual screen looks very smart and is touch screen. It is so easy to navigate around the settings and your videos / pictures. There are also buttons at the bottom to navigate the menu, volume and light. The screen is very responsive to your touch and you have small previews of your videos and pictures to view so you can see exactly what you have taken.
On the camera itself because the screen is a reasonable size you can easily view the videos on there. The cable and everything comes in the box and it is easy to pop everything onto your computer. Because it records in HD you have fantastic videos and the recording stops when you want it to or when you shut the lens. The camera will power iself off is you leave it alone which means no more wasted batteries.
The battery takes a few hours to charge to full but will take a couple of hours of use.
The camera cost us around £250 but that was a while ago now so maybe you can get it cheaper.
Well my view is that it is an extremely easy to use camera and because of its size it is so practical. I am not technically minded so it is great for me and I call it my little point and shoot. You can get lovely cases to fit it which fit into my handbag and I take it everywhere. It has certainly provided u with some lovely memories already.
I bought this camera just after Christmas having got completely fed-up with my old one because it was a) slow and b) didn't have wide screen. I did a lot of internet research and discovered this was recommended as the best camera out there in my price range. It falls between the £200 - £300 price mark. So I played about with it (my sister also has one) and then decided to buy one.
I have to say that at first I was sceptical. It doesn't have an internal hard drive memory but relies solely on an SD memory card. Oh no, I thought, what if I run out of memory. I had previously managed to get a whole years worth of filming on the hard disc of the old one. So I bought two 16GB memory cards. Well I have just come back from two weeks in Florida and used one and half memory cards. So I guess I can live with that. The benefits to no internal memory far outweigh the inconvenience. These being...
- it is soooo much lighter than my old camera. Carrying it around Disneyworld I barely knew I had it!
- it is soooo much slimmer than my old camera. It fits in the palm of your hand very comfortably and is easy to fit in a handbag or a deep pocket.
The Panasonic HDC-SD60 comes in two colours, black and silver. It has a battery on the back which can be removed, but it isn't necessary to do so in order to charge it. The battery takes about 2 hours to fully charge and lasts for about 1 hour 30 mins. This was more than enough to see me through a day in the Disney parks, it didn't go flat once.
There is a handstrap on the right of the camera which is fully adjustable. The screen pulls out on the left side. There is an on/off button on the body of the camera which is accessed when the screen is out but the camera also turns itself on when you open the screen and off when you close the screen, nine times out of ten. If there is a flaw with this machine it is that occassionally when you close the screen and think it is off, it is still recording and you find you have several minutes (or more) of the inside of your husbands crotch or his feet pounding the pavements. It doesn't make for good viewing when editing your movies. When it does shut itself off it also closes the shutter over the lense. If you leave it on while the screen it open it will turn itself off too. The amazing thing about this camera, the thing that sold it to me, is the speed at which it turns itself on. It takes no more than 1 second between opening the screen and being ready to film. It is truly astounding.
The screen on the camera is touch sensitive. Once you have pushed the menu button at the base of the screen all the menu functions are then accessed via the touch screen. From here you can adjust and fiddle with the Record Setup, Picture and Setup facilities. One of which holds the display settings. I find it easier to film with the display off as when it is on there is so much information on the screen you can barely see what you are filming. This does, however, turn the battery display off which is slightly annoying as you can't tell how long your battery has left before it expires.
A particularly nifty function, one I am really impressed with, it the dual options for the most important part of any camera - stopping and starting the recording and zooming in and out. To start and stop recording you can either push the button to the right of the battery or push the button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. This allows you to choose whether to use your right or left hand as you hold the camera. The same is true of the zoom. There is the usual rocker button at the top of the camera and also buttons at the base of the screen. This is so clever!
The other buttons on the screen are the light for use in darkened conditions and the button for erasing clips. The light, I have to say, is fairly ineffectual. It's good for light people who are about 1-2 metres away from you, and after that it might just as well not be on.
Features of the HDC-SD60:
It is a full HD camera
It has a 25x optical zoom and 35x digital zoom
It has a 35.4mm wide lens.It has O.I.S. (which I assume is some anti-shake thing)
It can be switched from Auto to Manual.
It has a 5.0 Megapixel camera for recording still images.
It has a face recognition programme (but I don't know how to work that yet)
That's about as technical as I get - sorry.
How does it work?
Great. The picture quality is superb. It has a very sharp image. It is quick to focus and holds it's focus very well as you zoom in and out, so long as you don't do it too fast. The sound quality on the recording is also great. No irritating background fuzzy noise. It plays back well too, when you want to look at what you have recorded.
Now here's the really clever bit - it tells you when you are going wrong!!! If you are moving the camera too fast up comes a message on the screen to tell you! How cool is that? With a camera like this even monkeys could make good films... well maybe not, but it is a pretty impressive piece of machinery for the price and I can completely recommend it.