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Panasonic HDC-SD600 review



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Panasonic HDC-SD600 front angle
  • Panasonic HDC-SD600 front angle
  • Panasonic HDC-SD600 LCD display
  • Panasonic HDC-SD600 side
  • HDC-SD600 HD Camcorder


Our Score:



  • Excellent image quality
  • Competitive price


  • No built-in memory
  • No SD recording mode

Key Features

  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 1080p/50 recording
  • SDXC support
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £427.48

Over the last couple of years, Panasonic has retaken the high ground for enthusiast camcorders, and its recently released HDC-TM700 is our current semi-professional or enthusiast favourite. But not everyone wants the ultimate in manual control, instead preferring similar quality video automatically. Sony's consumer camcorders primarily aim at this market these days, and Panasonic also offers models for more point-and-shoot usage, the latest of which is the HDC-SD600.

This model is built around the same sensors and optics as the TM700, so its foundations are good. These comprise a trio of 1/4in CMOS chips with 3.05-megapixels apiece, plus a Leica Dicomar lens offering a 35mm wide aspect. The latter allows you to pick up more of the contents of a small room, which is likely to be useful for a camcorder intended for general consumer usage.

However, the camcorder body is a little smaller than the TM700's, mostly due to the absence of some key physical features. Chief amongst these is the excellent lens ring, which makes the TM700 so very easy to adjust manually. But the bracket for an accessory shoe attachment is also missing, as are minijacks for connecting an external microphone or headphones. The final omission is the cross lattice of microphones the TM700 has that enable it to record 5.1 surround sound. The SD600 only offers stereo microphones, although it does still provide the new wind cancellation setting introduced with the TM700, which we have found to be remarkably effective.

Panasonic HDC-SD600 front angle

Despite these omissions, some of the top new features of the TM700 have been carried forward to the SD600. In particular, its highest quality setting is still Full HD at 50 frames/second, which is recorded at 28Mbits/sec. This mode has a special button to enable it, which also pops up a message implying that it won’t be so compatible with editing software or external devices. The highest quality setting at 25 frames/sec records 17Mbits/sec, but there are no standard definition options, unlike HD camcorders from some other manufacturers, such as Sony.

Since this model doesn’t contain any flash memory, it relies entirely on SD cards. The recently introduced SDXC format is also supported, which allows capacities above the 32GB limit of SDHC. A 16GB card is enough for around one hour and 20 minutes of 50p footage or two hours of regular 25 frames/second Full HD at the top quality setting.


August 27, 2010, 2:44 am

Hi thanks for the great review. I am deciding between a new HD camcoder. 1st one I have every bought and am not a professional at all. I am looking at the Panasonic SD60 which gets 9/10 on your reviews and the SD600 which gets 8/10 on your reviews. Does this really mean that the SD60 is better than the SD600? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

Malcolm McDonald

December 2, 2010, 11:00 pm

I am so disappointed with this camcorder, so many glowing reviews but after having it for five weeks and digging into it's features i feel the detail levels are not real, by that i mean edge sharpening is being applied to give an illusion of sharp detail, unfortunately this edge sharpening which i will call edge enhancement adds some halo's around images whenever a dark object is in front of a white background.

Edge enhancement is the trick they used to use to make DVD movies seem sharper than they really were, the brain is fooled into believing there is fine detail present on smaller screens, i view at 104 inches using a full 1920x1080p projector and edge halo's tend to stick out like a sore thumb, i tried setting sharpness to -1 then all the way down to -5 but the edge enhancement is still there and at lower settings detail is poor with far too much softness.

I am just so very disappointed to have to write this review but edge sharpening is not real detail, it's false and it's also very ugly to view.

I wish i could get my money back but it's been five weeks now and thus i cannot return it,i also have to wonder if all camcorders claiming to be high definition within this price range are in fact edge enhanced, i hope the reviewer can re-visit the camcorder and look closely at this, if he did i believe the score would be lowered to 4/10 or less.

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