Panasonic HDC-HS200 reviews: Hard disk drive storage HD camcorder

23 customer reviews

+ This camcorder scores high on image quality. - It scores poorly on battery life.

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8.9 out of 10 based on 23 reviews.
Panasonic HDC-HS200: Horizontally held, 12x optical zoom camcorder using SDHC card. See full product description

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Some customer reviews of Panasonic HDC-HS200

Most helpful reviews

ROGER, SPALDING, LINCOLNSHIRE Experienced amateur

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
Good quality build and outstanding features and very easy to get on with. Picture quality is excellent.
Bad points:
None that I can think of.
Overall rating 10.0
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 7.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 10.0
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Confirmed purchase: 29 Dec 2009

Confirmed purchaser Keen amateur

Score 8.0/10
Good points:
The Panasonic Auto functions work well
In good light the image is stunning
No hard drive noise at all
Very good build quality
Bad points:
The battery life is way short - an hour of filming. Genuine spares are too expensive.
Don't expect the image quality to be maintained under low indoor lighting (like filming my new baby in the evening) - Its still ok, but you won't be blown away. And, yes, it does work in very low light, but again the image gets worse.
The manual shutter and apperture isn't particularly usable - if coming from DSLR use, you will probably just end up accepting the auto functions and forget about getting too arty.
Overall rating 8.0
Ease of use 8.0
Image quality 8.0
Battery life 5.0
Weight 7.0
Value for money 7.0
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Confirmed purchase: 27 Dec 2009

Alan, Milton Keynes Experienced amateur

Score 8.0/10
Good points:
This camcorder is easy to use and produces great images. Quick start up times and easy menus to use on touch screen. Just remember to get a SD card for any filming with motion as the hard drive will not always work under vibration conditions.
Bad points:
Need a second battery (double size supplied) to ensure sufficient time to video during a days activities. Due to Panasonic set ups you need to use a Panasonic battery to get all the battery life indications on screen.
Overall rating 8.0
Ease of use 8.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 5.0
Weight 8.0
Value for money 8.0
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Confirmed purchase: 23 Nov 2009

Vaughan , Derby Keen amateur

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
This is a top quality camcorder, providing excellent high definition video and stills. It's light weight means that prolonged filming is not too onorous on the arm. It has a relatively simple touch screen control but if you are like me and find new fangled technology a little difficult there is a comprehensive user manual to guide you through everything you need. Play back on HDTV is superb.
Bad points:
Panasonic supply various cables with the kit but for straight forward HD viewing on TV they failed to supply the most important mini HDMI cable which is bought separately. You can purchase a really good one for under a tenner but it would have been nice of Panasonic to provide this.
Functionally the most dissappointing feature is the wind noise reduction which really doesn't do what you would wish for as the lightest of breezes still produces noise.
I am still learning the best techniques to produce stunning video in readiness for our holidays this year. The price is not cheap but then again this really is a top notch piece of kit that for the money I am convinced is worth committing to if you want the best in video reproduction.
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 8.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 7.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 9.0
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Confirmed purchase: 21 Jan 2010

Mark, Lutterworth - Leics Keen amateur

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
Very simple to use, both in picture and video mode. Great Features for example taking a snap shot from a video, fold back screen so you can face the camera and Shoot / Film, On screen menus are quick and easy to use, all round a very nice package and well worth paying that bit more to get HD quality and 10mb pictures. If you are looking for a video camera that takes pictures as well, check the pixel rates as they are not always on the main spec and most lower cost cameras only have 2 megapixels which is no good to take snap shots from.
Bad points:
Panasonic may wish to consider including a small case with these high end models in future as was difficult to find a belt mounted case to use when walking around.
Overall rating 10.0
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 9.0
Weight 9.0
Value for money 10.0
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Confirmed purchase: 18 Mar 2010

Confirmed purchaser Just point and shoot

Score 9.0/10
Good points:
Easy to use, good picture, ai which means you can just point and shoot with no thinking saying that I am sure that there is plenty of manual features for those who know what they are doing and what control
Bad points:
Battery life around two hours of use
Overall rating 9.0
Ease of use 9.0
Image quality 9.0
Battery life 5.0
Weight 8.0
Value for money 8.0
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Confirmed purchase: 10 Nov 2009

Pete, Basingstoke Experienced amateur

Score 10.0/10
Good points:
Excellent product, easy to use. Sound recording is outstanding. Files recorded and dropped on PS3 have given outstanding quality on 40" TV and Sony Surround sound
Bad points:
No bad points found so far
Overall rating 10.0
Ease of use 10.0
Image quality 10.0
Battery life 10.0
Weight 10.0
Value for money 7.0
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Confirmed purchase: 09 Dec 2009

Product Features

Resolution quality HD
Resolution (Pixels) 1920x1080
3D No
Optical zoom ratio 12
Media format Hard disk drive
Connections USB
Type of memory card SDHC
Type of memory card SD
Shape of camcorder Horizontally held
Digital zoom ratio 700
Type of image stabiliser Optical
Widescreen recording Yes
Hard disk capacity (Gigabytes) 80
Shortest shutter speed (Fractions of a second) 1/8000
Weight (g) 420
Screen size (Inches) 2.7
Maximum aperture telephoto 2.8
Maximum aperture wide 1.8
Lowest focal length (Millimetres) 45
Highest focal length (Millimetres) 540
Type of chip CMOS
Release date 2009-02-10

Also known as: Panasonic HDC-HS200EBK, HDC-HS200, PANASONIC HDC HS200

Camcorders Buying Guide  

Manufacturer's Description

80GB Full HD SD/HDD Hybrid Camcorder with 3MOS Sensor System

The HS200 is a hybrid model that records Full HD images either on an SD (or SDHC) Memory Card or the built-in 80GB hard disk drive. A 32-GB SDHC Memory Card can hold around 12 hours of recorded video clips (in HE mode). The HS200 can copy recorded video images from the SD Memory Card to the hard disk, or vice versa, with easy operation.

The HS200 features the Full HD 3MOS sensor, developed by Panasonic based on its proven 3CCD technology. Panasonic’s new 3MOS system captures more vibrant, true-to-life colours, greater detail and richer gradation.

The iA function automatically activates several convenient shooting functions. These include Advanced O.I.S., which compensates for hand-shake to eliminate blurring; Face Detection, which adjusts the exposure so faces are captured perfectly; and Intelligent Contrast Control, which helps ensure proper contrast. Also included is the Intelligent Scene Selector, which determines the shooting conditions and automatically selects the scene setting that will provide optimal results. (Face/Scenery/Low light/Spot Light) And AF Tracking keeps the subject in focus even if it moves around to ensure continuously perfect image quality.

The HS200 records on both SD and SDHC Memory Cards. Because SD Memory Cards require no transport mechanism, the HS200 is highly resistant to external impact. This combines with its small size and weight to achieve unmatched mobility.

Image sensor size has been increased from previous 1/6 inch to 1/4.1 inch. 3MOS system with 3 full-HD sensors has total pixel count of 9,150,000 pixels* (3,050,000-pixel x 3). While higher pixel count tends to make noise more noticeable when shooting under dim light conditions, HDC-HS200 solves this problem by using 3 high-sensitivity MOS sensors. It records beautiful images even under dim lighting while maintaining high pixel count, thus making it possible to shoot under minimum luminance of 1.6 lx. * Effective motion image pixels: 6,210,000


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