HDD Camcorders-Top 5 Compared
HDD Camcorder-Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder with 32x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Price/Value 5/5

Video Quality

Video Shooting 5/5
Features 5/5
Reliability 5/5
Easy-To-Use 5/5
Battery Life 5/5
Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder Ranking 100% for HDD Camcorders for 2008!
Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder 2008 Award
Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder Price Range - HDD Camcorder

Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder-Our # 1 pick. True, the Panasonic SDR-H18 is our #1 pick but this would not have been the case had the Panasonic SDR-H200 (our #2 pick) been slightly less in price. However, Panasonic SDR-H18 current value to price marks this HDD camcorder as our #1 pick. This HDD camcorder employs the Pure Color Engine technology that pumps-up the RGB signals so even complex moving shots maintain high quality color. The MPEG2 Engine of this HDD camcorder renders frames so fast and captures distinctions between frames so precisely that complex motion is crisp and brilliant. The MPEG2 engine also uses the Variable Bit Rate system. This even gives LP (long play mode) recordings nearly twice the resolution and lets the DVD camcorder record clear, smooth flowing pictures. This HDD camcorder has a large 2.7-inch widescreen LCD display. The optical zoom is 32x (times) with low distortion.

Video Quality:
O.I.S. stands for Optical Image Stabilization. Optical Image Stabilization is what digitally handles shaking that normally shows up in most other camcorders when a tripod is not used. However, by compensating for a much higher threshold of vibration this HDD camcorder allows for hand-held shooting with very good results. Adding to this quality delivery system is the MPEG2 Engine. This MPEG2 Engine improves quality even more because it works on action scenes that would otherwise show-up blurred. But by high-speed precision frame processing you come out with smooth, crisp movement. This is accomplished by the engine targeting frame differences and employs the Variable Bit Rate approach. Therefore, when scene movement speeds up the Variable Bit Rate System detects the movement speed-up and a very sharp increase in “Mbps” is immediately kicked-up. The result is that details that would otherwise have been lost in blur and distortion are now able to be captured. MagicPix allows you to leave the light off and still get clear colors. MagicPix gives you images with color even in dim lighting (1 lux). The light that is emitted is gentle and easy on the eyes. Soft Skin mode is another interesting feature worthy of highlighting. In Soft Skin mode this HDD camcorder automatically detects skin in the view of the camcorder. When this function detects skin tones, it softens the focus in those areas. Ultimately what this does is makes wrinkles and lines appear less noticeable. This function also seems to makes blemishes and moles look less conspicuous. If this affected other details it would not be appealing. However, the function does preserve the resolution in all other areas of the picture outside of the skin. So we consider this a value added feature.

Videoing Experience:
Instant LCD/EVF saves even more battery life so you can keep shooting. Opening the LCD screen the camcorder powers up the camcorder. Shutting the LCD powers the camcorder off. Pull out the view finder or close the view finder and the same powering on and off takes place. Because of the powering on and off is done in an instant, actual operation times are reduced, thus reserving energy only for actual videoing. By virtue of the enhanced MPEG2 Engine hand-held shooting even for action shots delivers crisp, frame-by-frame high definition video. The 30GB internal hard drive of this HDD camcorder provides 27 hours of shooting in Long Play mode (LP). It just means you can store that much footage before you need to back it up onto a PC computer or burn it to a DVD. The 2.7-inch widescreen LCD Display is good for picturing what you are shooting and how it will appear when viewed on TV. This makes videoing more spontaneous and enjoyable. These and other factors contribute to a good videoing experience.

One-Touch Navigation provides an intuitive approach for accessing all of this HDD camcorder functions. This is accomplished with a joystick. By touching the center of the joystick up pops an operating menu. Intuitively, your most often used operations appear. Setting changes can be performed without taking your eyes off your video subject. Menus are multi-language so you can choose a language other than English. The “Mode Dial” allows switching between all the different selections with just one finger. In all, we rated this high in ease-of-use because you can get to every operation and setting on the top layer rather than buried down in menus.

SD Memory Card slot and SDHC High Speed High Capacity Memory Card slot provide versatility to PC computers and other devices. Memory cards allow easy data transfer because no cable is needed. However, included with the camcorder is a USB 2.0 video class cable. This USB cable allows DV data uploads at high speed. It’s a unique feature. 

This HDD camcorder’s Video quality is very good. The MPEG2 engine enhancements and how this circuitry invokes the Variable Bit Rate system to sharply accelerate “Mbps” so fast action scenes can come out clean, clear and crisp is a very strong argument for this camcorder. Still further quality shooting is can be expected from this HDD camcorder by the introduction of O.I.S. Optical Image Stabilization which digitally compensates camera shake so even hand-held shooting is vibration free. The high resolution 2.7-inch widescreen LCD display is notable. Taking into consideration video quality, features to enhance color, motion, skin tone graduation and even modes to beatify skin while keeping other areas sharp and crisp along with ease-of-use make this an extremely good pick. These combined with the videoing experience and price has made this our #1 pick and has been awarded our Top 5 Product for HDD Camcorders Award for 2008.
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Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder Main Features
Enhanced MPEG2 Engine
High-Speed MPEG2 Engine
30GB Internal Hard Drive
Pure Color Engine Technology
Optical Image Stabilization
2.7-Inch Widescreen LCD
High-Speed Frame Processing
LCD/EVF Battery Saver
RGB Signal Pump-Up

Key Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder Features!
Supports SD Cards
Optical 32x Zoom
27-Hrs Long Play Shooting
MagicPix Dim Light(1-Lux) Shoots
One-Touch Navigation
Soft Skin Mode

Bonus Features of Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder
Multi-Language Menus
SD Memory Card Slot
SDHC High Speed Card Slot
USB 2.0 Video Class Cable

Buy Panasonic SDR-H18 30GB Hard Disk Drive Camcorder at Current Best Price Now!
Panasonic SDR-H18 Camcorder is ranked # 1 on the Top 5 List = Top Video Overall + Strong Features

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