Panasonic is now the only manufacturer left taking the three-chip approach with its consumer camcorders, and the SD600's video performance shows that this is still a very valid strategy. Despite each 1/4in sensor being quite a bit smaller than those inside most high-end HD camcorders these days, having three of them means that the SD600 can compete with the best single-chipper in every condition.
In bright, sunny environments, there is a good level of detail in both well-lit and shadowy areas. Colours are faithful and well saturated without becoming unrealistic. As illumination drops, the SD600 manages to maintain colour and avoid noise. The image is a little dark, but very sharp.
Without the comprehensive enthusiast features of the HDC-TM700, the Panasonic HDC-SD600 is not quite so easy to recommend unequivocally. However, it is significantly cheaper than the flagship model in compensation - as much as £200 cheaper from some vendors. For those who want dependable, top quality in the widest range of conditions but are unlikely to fiddle with manual settings regularly, the SD600 could be an economy worth making.