A few years ago, I swore not to go shopping on Black Friday ever again. So tomorrow, I’ll be relaxing from home while hordes of early-bird shoppers wake early and battle the riff-raff for special, one-day deals. This year, I grabbed a special deal in advance of Black Friday and it arrived yesterday. I snagged Panasonic’s HDC-SD10 camcorder from Amazon for $299.99, including shipping. When this high-definition camcorder hit the market about six months ago, it was priced at $549.99. Amazon dropped the price to $399 and also offered a $100 discount code, which is how I got my price. I tweeted it when I pulled the trigger and a few folks on Twitter took advantage of the same deal.
So is this the best handheld camcorder out there? Of course not, but at this price, I simply couldn’t pass it up. As you can see by the photo gallery, the HDC-SD10 has roughly the same footprint as my iPhone 3GS, so it’s pretty small. And it doesn’t weigh all that much either — the body only weighs 85 grams more than my iPhone and the battery doesn’t add much more heft. I can easily see myself throwing this in a gear bag — OK, maybe not throwing — for use at CES and on the run.
The HDC-SD10 supports recording in full 1920 x 1080 at up to 60 interlaced frames per second or 24 fps progressive and sports a 16x optical zoom. The device records to an SD card in AVCHD format and can also take 2.1 megapixel stills. Other features include:
- Optical image stabilization
- 2.7″ LCD with touchscreen for camera controls and settings
- 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x mini HDMI, 1 x component out
- iAuto function for auto-focus, auto-exposure subject tracking
- Integrated microphone for Dolby Digital stereo recording
- 725 mAh battery
Again, there are plenty of better high-definition cameras on the market today — just not at $299.99!