HDD Camcorders-Top 5 Compared
HDD Camcorder-Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Price/Value 3/5

Video Quality

Video Shooting 5/5
Features 5/5
Reliability 5/5
Easy-To-Use 5/5
Battery Life 4/5
Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder Product Rated 98% for our 2008 Pick
HDD Camcorder-Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder
Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder Price Range

Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder-Our # 2 pick. It’s easy to understand why the Panasonic SDR-H200 is our #2 pick once you understand the quality of video, which is what any HDD camcorder should be about. In fact this would have been our #1 pick had the price been just a little lower but these evaluations are centered on value and price. However, this HDD camcorder uses a 3CCD camera system which is what most professional broadcast cameras use. O.I.S. is the Optical Image Stabilization system that digitally compensates for shaking and vibrating that typically shows up in other camcorders. This HDD camcorder employs the Advance Pure Color Engine technology that pumps-up the RGB signals so even complex moving shoot 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. Still photos are 3.1 megapixels. So, even stills are equivalent to fair quality dedicated cameras. It’s like getting 2 for 1 which is great because you won’t need to carry both camera and camcorder just bring your camcorder.

Video Quality:
Four core video elements have been brought together that exponentially bumps-up the video quality of the HDD camcorder: 1) 3CCD camera system; 2) O.I.S. Technology; 3) Advanced Pure Color Engine; 4) MPEG2 engine advancement. We will start with the 3CCD camera system. 3CCD systems are what separates amateur camcorders and professional broadcast quality video cameras and with good reason. Most current camcorders process incoming light information through just 1 CCD system and they still provide adequate video reproductions. However, the Panasonic SDR-H200 uses a 3CCD system which essentially processes incoming light information using completely separate CCDs. Using 3 distinct CCDs means absolutely no loss of light. The end result is vivid color, accurate detail along with rich tonal graduation frame-by-frame. Add to the 3CCD system Advanced Pure Color Engine technology and you further magnify quality of video. The Advanced Pure Color Engine performs special image processing for the RGB signals. The circuitry of this Advanced Pure Color Engine works on each color signal on its own coming in from each of the 3CCDs and “punches” each color wave up. Performing this processing on each color wave separately transforms video footage into broadcast quality footage. Furthering this quality platform is O.I.S. 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 and good results. Finally, on top of all the other quality delivery systems, adding into this mix is the MPEG2 Engine enhancements and your outcome becomes impressive. 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. Because of these 4 fundamental systems and how well they have been integrated, the quality of the Panasonic SDR-H200 is profound.

Videoing Experience:
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 off 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. The Auto Ground-Direction Standby system keeps your battery from draining. When this HDD camcorder is inadvertently left on the recording is automatically stopped. The camcorder actually detects when the camera is in an unusual shooting position and performs the shut down. It’s a great feature because not only does it save battery life but also saves disc space. Instant LCD/EVF saves even more battery life so you can keep shooting. Opening the LCD screen powers up 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 instance, actual operation times are reduced and 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. 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. MagicPix allows videoing in lights-out conditions and still delivers color even as low as “1-lux”. Soft Skin Mode is a unique feature that is more like a luxury accessory. Soft Skin mode detects skin in videos and in those image areas the focus gets softened. The result surprised us because wrinkles, blemishes and moles become less conspicuous. It’s a unique feature. Another unique feature is the Tele-Macro. Zooming in at close range usually is distorted. With Tele-Macro a sharp image results even at extreme close-ups.

HDD camcorders are about videoing quality and everything else is about enhancing that experience. The Panasonic SDR-H200 is mostly about video quality. At the core of this HDD camcorder is the 3CCD camera system which is the same as professional broadcast cameras. The Advanced Pure Color Engine further enhances quality by integrating into the 3CCD system to pump-up the RGB in each of the 3 CCDs. Furthering video quality is the MPEG2 engine enhancements and how this circuitry invokes the Variable Bit Rate system to sharply accelerate “Mbps” so fast action scenes can comes out clean, clear and crisp. 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. Quality, quality, quality video is how we view the Panasonic SDR-H200 and why we have rated this our #2 pick. This would have been our #1 pick had the price been slightly less.
Buy Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder at Current Best Price Now!

Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder Main Features
3CCD Camera System
Professional Broadcast Quality
Advanced Pure Color Engine
3-CCD Separate Color Processing
Optical Image Stabilization
Enhanced MPEG2 Engine
Soft Skin Mode
Auto Ground-Direction Standby
High-Speed Frame Processing
RGB 3-Signals Pump-Up
LCD/EVF Battery Saver
Tele-Macro-Extreme Close-Ups
Dimensions: 3.27x2.98x4.76 Inches

Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder Key Features!
One-Touch Navigation
3.1 Megapixels Still Photos
“Mode Dial” Top-Layer Controls
MagicPix Dim Light(1-Lux) Shoots
2.7-Inch Widescreen LCD
30GB Internal Hard Drive
One-Touch Navigation
27-Hrs Long Play Shooting
Optical 10x Zoom
700x Digital Zoom

Bonus Features of Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder HDD Camcorder
SDHC High Speed Card Slot
SD Memory Card Slot
USB 2.0 Video Class Cable
PictBridge Compatable
S-Video Out/AV-Out

Buy Panasonic SDR-H200 30GB 3CCD Hard Disk Drive/SD Palmcorder HDD Camcorder at Current Best Price Now!
Panasonic SDR-H200 HDD Camcorder is ranked # 2 on the Top 5 List = Broadcast Video Quality + Best Features

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