Panasonic has a history of bearing solid prosumer camcorders that bear accomplished video affection and performance, but accept unexciting, anatomic designs. That attitude continues with the latest crop of models. Updates to aftermost year's 700 series, Panasonic's 800/900 models--the HDC-HS900, TM900, and SD800--are fundamentally the aforementioned as their predecessors with some bashful enhancements and hardly bigger video quality. They do, however, use the aforementioned leash of sensors and lens, as able-bodied as an about identical anatomy design.
Series information: We performed a hands-on appraisal of the HDC-HS900, the hard-disk adaptation of the camcorder, but abreast from the few anatomic differences inherent in recording to the altered media, the HS900 and TM900 should be identical.
The HDC-SD800, on the added hand, is basically a stripped-down adaptation of the TM900; it has the aforementioned sensor and lens as the others, so delivers the aforementioned video, but lacks an EVF, lens ring, and accent shoe, provides alone two-channel audio, and has a abate LCD and no congenital memory.
When it's activity correctly, the video affection looks actual good. It's got a almost ample tonal range, admitting ablaze highlights tend to blow and I couldn't antithesis them in software (probably because the camcorder has aeroembolism out any recoverable data). The blush and acknowledgment rendered by the three-chip arrangement are absolutely good, admitting the automated white antithesis can get a bit wonky--usually switching to addition ambience and again aback did the trick. Abreast from the white-balance issue, all the automated settings formed actual well, including exposures with backlight. I didn't see any moiré. And while there was a little bit of cyan abnormality on high-contrast edges, it apparent basal fringing.
Better bokeh is one of the capital affidavit you ability demand to opt for a dSLR or ILC over a cher camcorder; alike the added big-ticket customer camcorders accept airedale polygonal apertures.
In low ablaze there's about no blush noise, although you can see absolutely a bit of beating from the babble reduction. Still, the video looks decidedly acceptable and charcoal artlessly saturated.
The still photos are appealing characterless beheld at abounding size, but ability assignment as baby advertence images. You ability be bigger off afraid to anatomy grabs at 1,920x1,080 pixels.
The HDC-HS900 performs well, too, with fast, authentic autofocus that's not calmly confused, balmy sound, and a appropriate wind filter. There's basal lens baloney at its widest, but that's apparently because the lens doesn't get actual wide; Sony seems to be arch the backpack with that, which is one of the cogent means this accomplished chic of models could improve. That, as able-bodied as added adorable apertures. As far as I know, there's no abstruse acumen a $1,000-plus camcorder can't absorb a seven-bladed aperture.
As with best avant-garde AVCHD camcorders that alien in aboriginal 2011, application the best-quality 1080/60p approach is a bit of a pain. Because the AVCHD blueprint wasn't adapted until the summer to abutment 1080p (note that there is no 1080/30p), the camcorder makes you jump through some anachronous hoops and throws up annoying warnings back you about-face in and out of that mode. This is one of the few complaints I accept about the series. But I'd aloof about-face into it and stick there because you absolutely do demand to use the best bit amount and resolution.