The Panasonic HDC-HS80K hard drive camcorder shoots in full high definition 1920 x 1080/60i, and the video looks and sounds great. While other camcorders shoot in 1080/60p and feature a better video compression rate, this is still a solid HD camera to capture all your memories, and earns our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award.
This hard drive camcorder has a number of quality features, including a 1/5.8-inch single CMOS sensor, which shoots well in low light and captures beautiful HD images. It also has a quality HD lens with a 34x optical zoom, with 42x intelligent zoom and a jaw-dropping 2000x digital zoom. The Hybrid optical image stabilizer (OIS) works great for smooth hand held video, while the intelligent Auto (iA), which can properly adjust your automatic controls, such as focus and exposure.
A quick note on the 2000x digital zoom feature; while it is an impressive number, all it does is essentially digitally zoom in on the pixels, creating a fuzzier picture, so we advise you to stick with the optical zoom or the intelligent zoom.
Panasonic’s HDC-HS80K shoots in full HD 1920 x 1080/60i, which is very high-quality high definition. While it doesn’t shoot 1080/60p, the best in HD resolution, it still produces a great picture and sound. The colors are vibrant and the images are clear HD. The audio is recorded in Dolby Digital (2 channel), and the sound is clear and of nice quality.
This hard drive camcorder features several image quality settings, including HA (17 megabits per second, variable bit rate), HG (13 Mbps/VBR), HX (9 Mbps/VBR), and HE (5 Mbps/VBR). The higher the number, the more details the video will show, so shooting in HA is your best bet for high quality HD video and audio. However, it creates larger video files, which means less footage can be saved to the hard drive.
This hard drive camcorder from Panasonic can also shoot digital photos up to 1.30 megapixels, with two other image quality settings of 1.10 MP and 0.97 MP. Still images look good, but a dedicated compact digital camera can shoot higher megapixels and has features better suited for digital photography.
The capacity of the Panasonic HDC-HS80K’s hard disk drive is 120GB, allowing you to store up to 50 hours of HD video, but that’s if you shoot in the lowest quality mode, HE (5 Mbps/VBR). The higher the setting, the better the quality, but the less HD footage you can store on the drive.
If you need help or support with the HDC-HS80K, Panasonic has a few options for you, including a user guide, tutorials, a FAQs page on their site, and a standard one-year parts and 90-day labor warranty. You can also purchase a two-year or three-year extended warranty from the manufacturer.
If you require technical support, have more questions or need further help, you can reach Panasonic by email, telephone or live chat. Keep in mind that they keep regular business hours, so check Panasonic’s site for current days and hours of operation.
The Panasonic HDC-HS80K is a solid option for a hard drive camcorder that shoots in full HD 1080/60i, especially with its many features and the 120GB hard disk drive. While a few of the similar camcorders may have even more features and a larger hard drive, the affordable price of this unit makes it an attractive camcorder to consider.
The HD video looks great, and the 120GB hard drive stores up to 50 hours of video.
It doesn’t shoot in 1080/60p like similar hard drive camcorders.
This is an affordable hard drive camcorder option that shoots great-looking HD video.