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Panasonic HDC-HS100 - Panasonic HDC-HS100

By James Morris



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic HDC-HS100


Our Score:


With an identical sensor array and optics to the SD100, the HS100 unsurprisingly has identical image quality. It’s a noticeable improvement over the HS9 and SD9, which were already good. Colours are vibrant and saturated in optimal lighting. However, although the switch to CMOS has benefited low light performance a little, the image is only a little brighter than the previous three-CCD system in poor illumination. There is still a lot of grain in the lowest light. Although the grain is finer than before, it’s more unsightly than that produced by Canon’s HF10 and HF100. So the Canons still have a slight edge for sheer video quality.

When it's time to watch and edit your footage, the HS100 is as comprehensive as it is in other areas. As the video format is AVCHD, editing support is now wide, and even includes Adobe with the latest version 7 release of Premiere Elements. The USB 2.0 port for downloading your footage to a computer is hidden under the battery, so can only be used on mains power. The HDMI port has the same limitation, as it is located next door. It’s also of the mini variety, so will require an adapter for HDTV connection. The analogue component and AV ports are located on the side, however, so can be used on battery power.


In pure technical terms, the HDC-SD100 is more of an achievement than the HDC-HS100, considering how much it packs into such a small chassis. But the HS100’s 60GB hard disk is likely to have wider appeal, considering it only comes at a £50 price premium. Indeed, the extra 100g weight actually makes the HS100 a little easier to keep steady when shooting. So our hearts may be with the SD100’s marvellous miniaturisation, but the HS100 will probably suit most of the target market more. They’re both great achievements, though. So if you have been waiting for an AVCHD camcorder with semi-professional features, you can now choose between ultimate portability or capacious storage – both thanks to Panasonic.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Image Quality 9
  • Features 10


December 13, 2008, 6:16 pm

I've just taken delivery of my Pana HS100 and can say it's the best gadget I've bought ALL YEAR...and I've bought an ipod Touch so that's quite a statement. Just had a baby and needed to update my previous Sony Mini DV unit which served me well for years. Not sure where you're getting your prices from TR but www.webelectricals.co.uk sold me one for 𧼏 including free delivery.

Anyway - I particularly like the quality of the colours. I thought my Sony had it covered but the colour of the output with this have to be seen to be believed...it's like looking through a pane of glass not a digital lens. I hate it when I take a photo or moving shot and then look at the image and all the colours are different (to reality) so you have to mess around with the settings...and then reset them for the next shot. This seems to adjust according to the environment which is what 'point and click' customers want!

john salkeld

December 22, 2008, 1:30 pm

i have a imac with final cut pro can any one tell me how to get the video on to the mac never mind finalcut pro if i cant do this its back to the shop and money back


January 25, 2009, 6:29 pm

The image on the LCD looks perfect but when I transfer it to the computer or tv it appears liney and often a little grainy. I brought it back to the shop to see was it a setting I was using but it wasn't. Has anyone had this problem? For the price and good reviews I have read I expected a LOT more!

For the previous question which i'm sure you have discovered at this stage - Firstly install the program disc onto your computer. Connect your charger to the camera and plug the usb into the computer. So now you have two leads attached to your camcorder.

Open the LCD screen on your camcorder and you will see 3 options appear. Choose "PC connect".

When using your video editing software there should be an option to import media.


February 16, 2009, 9:50 pm

I bought a HDC-HS100 last month on my way to Aus.I am delighted with it, especially the sockets for independent mike and headphones, and the Manual focus, audio,and white balance. The lens ring is an added bonus.the pics look really crisp too.

I too am struggling with getting the footage onto my windows xp computer.apart from using the composite lead, which ofcourse lowers the definition.I've tried loading the cd rom , it appears I need the windows xp service pack 2.I'm loath to download anything I'm not sure about, I'm trying to contact my comp dealer.Apart from the above I am delighted with it.

Ian 14

May 20, 2009, 6:32 pm

Hello James, I am looking at buying my first HD camcorder. I was taken with the SD card version of this but then saw the newer SD-200 version being similar to the 300 you review very positively here.

So the choice - go for the older but with more features 100 or sacrifice the viewfinder, external mike and light for the 200??

I have not seen one against the other in a review yet. What say you?

Many thanks.

Mike Lacross

June 10, 2012, 11:08 pm

Hi. I got my self a HDC-HS100 from the Ebay! but it came with NO software. Anyone have any idea where I can get some from?
Many thanks

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