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Panasonic HDC-HS60 review

Compact Full HD camcorder offering over 50 hours of movie storage

Our Verdict

For

  • Compact and light
  • Great wide-angle lens 120GB HDD
  • Crisp, sharp footage
  • 25x optical zoom

Against

  • Feeble video light
  • No YouTube-style upload
  • Touchscreen can be unresponsive
  • No headphone/mic socket
  • Only 5MP stills

The Panasonic HDC-HS60 is a brand new full HD camcorder which packs internal storage galore as well as many other nifty features.

However, when less than £200 gets you a pocket-sized, YouTube-friendly movie camera like the Flip or even Apple's iPod nano, why would you want to spend over £500 on a camcorder – even one as crafty and compact as Panasonic's HDC-HS60?

Welcome to a conundrum facing not just consumers but camcorder developers as well …

The crux of the problem is that as established camcorder manufacturers make their conventional models smaller – though still rammed with features – they're asking buyers to make a decision on products that while not much bigger than pocket-shooters can often be more than twice the price.

Entering this fray is the HS60, a spec'd-up, Full HD (1,920x1,080) camcorder, which doles out the type of modes a Toshiba Camileo or Samsung HMX-U10 can only dream of, and which forms part of a three-pronged '60' series that includes the TM60 and SD60.

Movie clips are recorded, using the AVCHD format, to an impressive 120GB HDD.

With four recording settings this means there's the potential to record between 15 and 51 hours of video.

Panasonic hdc hs60

And the inclusion of an SD card slot increases this storage, as if you fill the hard drive the cam will automatically continue recording to any installed SD card.

The HS60 is the successor to last year's HDC-HS20 and Panasonic has grabbed the opportunity to upgrade some elements.

Chief among them is the ability to use SDXC, the latest version of SD card-recording technology. SDXC promises faster access and more reliability, as well as the increased capacity of 48GB and 64GB cards.

An already advanced optical image stabilisation system receives the boost of Power OIS with Active mode, and this eliminates low-frequency hand shake. There are also additions including a wind cut feature to further reduce interference on the microphone and a 25x optical zoom.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Camcorder
Hard Drive Capacity120 GB
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Number of Image Sensors1
Effective Image Resolution2.3 Megapixel
Effective Video Resolution2.1 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Product FamilyHDC
Recording MediaHard Drive, Memory Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom25x
Digital Zoom1500x
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, AVCHD
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone, Video Light, Flashlight
Image Sensor Size1/4.1"
Maximum Image Resolution2592 x 1944
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Audio ChannelsStereo
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camcorder Resolution3.3 Megapixel
Maximum Video Lines1080
Interlaced ScanYes
USBYes
Longest Shutter Speed1/2 Second
Shortest Shutter Speed1/8000 Second
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)35.60 mm to 891 mm
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height65.5 mm
Width54.5 mm
Depth112 mm
ColourBlack
Video SystemPAL
Sound SystemDolby Digital
Product SeriesHDC
Minimum Illumination1 lux
Focal Length3.02 mm to 75.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelHDC-HS60
Product NameHDC-HS60 High Definition Digital Camcorder
Aperture Rangef/1.8 to 3.3
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberHDCHS60EBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Microphone TechnologyElectret Condenser
Package Contents
  • HDC-HS60 High Definition Digital Camcorder
  • AC Adapter
  • AC Cable
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack
  • AV multi Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Software CD (HD Writer AE 2.0)
  • Stylus Pen
Display Resolution230400 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)327 g
White Balance Modes
  • Auto
  • Indoor1
  • Indoor2
  • Sunny
  • Cloudy
  • White Set