By August 13, 2009

Panasonic HDC-SD10 review

Introduction

The High Definition HCD-SD10 is Panasonics almost identical twin of the TM10. With a range of camcorders to choose at the moment, is this going to be the one in your pocket?

The Panasonic HDC-SD10

The Panasonic HDC-SD10

 

What’s in the box?

  • SD10 Video Camera
  • Li-ion rechargeable battery, 7.2V/725mAh
  • AC adaptor
  • AC and DC cable
  • USB cable
  • Component cable
  • AV cable
  • Stylus pen
  • Software CD

Also take a look at Matt’s Panasonic SD10 unboxing video for more.

 

Panasonic HDC-SD10 Specification:

  • Image Sensor: 1/6" MOS
  • Total Pixels: 1.47 megapixels
  • Motion Image: 1.17 megapixels [16:9]
  • Still Image: 1.17 megapixels [16:9]
  • F Value: F1.8(WIDE)/2.8(TELE)
  • Optical Zoom: 16x
  • Digital Zoom: 40x- 1000x
  • Focal Length: 2.95-47.2 mm
  • Filter Diameter: 30.5mm
  • 35mm Film camera Equivalent: 44.1-706mm (16:9)
  • Minimum Illumination: 9 lx (1/25 Low Light Mode) / 1 lx (Colour Night View Mode)
  • Image Stabilizer: Advanced O.I.S. [Optical Image Stabilization] with Active Mode
  • Focus: Auto / Manual
  • White Balance: Auto / Indoor1 / Indoor2 / Sunny / Cloudy / White set
  • Motion Image: Auto Slow Shutter ON : 1/25-1/8000 , OFF : 1/50-1/8000
  • Still Image: Auto Slow Shutter ON : 1/25-1/8000 , OFF : 1/50-1/8000(Progressive : 1/25-1/500)
  • Backlight Compensation
  • Monitor(LCD): 2.7 Wide LCD
  • Recording Format: JPEG
  • Still Picture: 2.1 megapixels (1920 x 1080) [16:9]
  • Flash: Yes
  • Pict Bridge: Yes
  • Recording Format: MPEG4-AVC/H.264 (AVCHD standard compliant)
  • Recording Mode: HA (17Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080) / HG (13Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080) / HX (9Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080) / HE (6Mbps / VBR) , (1440 x 1080)
  • Playback Mode: HA (17Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080) / HG (13Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080) / HX (9Mbps / VBR) , (1920 x 1080) / HE (6Mbps / VBR) , (1440 x 1080)
  • Audio Recording System: Dolby Digital (2ch)
  • Microphone: 2ch Stereo, Zoom mic.
  • Speaker: Dynamic type
  • AV Out
  • HDMI (mini)
  • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Video component

 

General

As soon as you remove this from its box you appreciate just how small and light it is, the cube shaped battery makes up a large portion of the camcorders size. And yet for a small unit it is packed with lots of features.

Rear: Video record; battery release; mode switch

Panasonic HDC-SD10 back view

Panasonic HDC-SD10 back view

 

Top: Optical image stabiliser; intelligent Auto (iA) button; zoom lever; photoshot button; SD card slot

Panasonic HDC-SD10 top view

Panasonic HDC-SD10 top view

 

Underneath: Tripod socket

Left: Touch screen LCD display with record, zoom, menu, light and delete buttons; PRE-REC button; power button; battery compartment; component socket; HDMI socket; USB2.0 socket; AV socket

Panasonic HDC-SD10 left side

Panasonic HDC-SD10 left side

 

Right: Grip belt, lens cover switch, SD activity light

sd10_angled

 

Highlights

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • 16 x optical and 1000x digital zoom
  • Easy to use
  • SD card
  • Nice feel

Lowlights

  • No internal memory
  • Not keen on fast panning

 

Review

Considering you could spend a week reading up on all the features and how to use them, this is a straightforward point and shoot video camera that a novice could use with ease.

After you first turn the unit on, you can power on or off by opening and closing the LCD display. The touch screen display is simple to use and even comes with a plastic stylus which looks like someone has run over a whistle with a steamroller. At first I thought that the small size would make operating difficult, but once I slipped my hand into the grip and tightened it, the unit felt comfortable and operating it was easy and painless.

There isn’t any internal memory, so a high capacity SD card is recommended as you can record around 8 minutes of high definition video per GB. This is the only difference between this camcorder and the TM10 which comes with 8 GB of internal memory.

The SD10 has some good features including 16 x optical zoom, the PRE REC button which records 3 seconds before you actually press the record button, so you don’t miss any ‘You’ve been framed moments’ and Panasonic’s Optical Image Stabiliser which helps eliminate a lot of the camera wobble. You will find that if you try to pan the camera fast a warning will come up saying ‘Camera panning to fast’ , this is more noticeable whilst zooming.

As well as downloading to your PC you have the ability to download your videos straight to a recorded media and your photos to a printer with PictBridge. The still pictures are taken at around 1.17 megapixels which nowadays isn’t anything amazing but this is a camcorder not a camera and its features like this that allow you to take one device out with you and enjoy yourself.

 

 

Software

The software supplied was adequate and converted the videos into the m2ts format so that you could burn them onto Blu-ray. My test videos didn’t run properly through media player so I had to watch them through the supplied software.

sd10_lens

Conclusion

This is a wonderful little unit, light and small enough to fit in a good sized pocket or small handbag and yet packed full of features which make this camera ideal for a beginner through to someone that wants to have a bit more control.

There is a dilemma, if you bought the TM10 instead of this (for around £25-30 more) you would get the same camera but with 8GB of internal memory or you could buy the SD10 without the internal memory but with the savings go out and buy a larger memory card. Whichever choice you make, it will be a good one.

 

Review by: Gary

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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