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Panasonic HDC-TM10 - Panasonic HDC-TM10

By James Morris



Our Score:


The TM10 is primarily aimed at the point-and-shoot user, and its size precludes the features that make its higher-end siblings such tantalising propositions. Therefore, there’s no lens ring, no accessory shoe, and no minijacks for an external microphone or headphones. Only a smattering of buttons offer discrete functions, including ones for cycling through the OIS modes and toggling Intelligent Auto and the PRE-REC video buffering system. This constantly spools footage to memory, which is tacked onto the beginning of a recording, so if you hit the button too late you won’t miss an important event.

Everything else requires a trip to the touch-sensitive LCD, which contains Panasonic’s usual comprehensive range of manual configuration options. In auto mode, the AFAE system is available for a little more control. Simply touch a spot in the frame to indicate a reference point for focus and exposure. The AFAE reference can even be linked to the TM10’s face detection system, allowing focus and exposure to track a moving human subject. We’ve found this works reasonably well, with only a small amount of lag. You can also access backlight compensation and tele macro mode via the touch screen.

Further assistance for point-and-shoot users is provided by the Intelligent Auto system. This attempts to detect conditions and set scene modes accordingly, such as Low Light mode when illumination drops, and Portrait mode when human faces are detected. In good lighting, the Intelligent Contrast system is invoked to bring out details in shadows and highlights. The Shooting Guide also pops up messages when you perform potentially jarring camera moves such as panning too quickly.

Switch to manual mode and yet more options appear. You can adjust shutter and iris independently, and add up to 18dB of gain on top of a fully open aperture. Manual focusing operates via the touch-screen too, so is rather fiddly to use, although there is an Assist function. This magnifies a central rectangle within the frame for fine-tuning. White balance options include two indoor and two outdoor presets, plus fully manual configuration. You can also enable soft skin mode and colour night view with the camcorder set to manual.


December 14, 2009, 2:33 pm

I am new to camcorders, but I'll never understand why none of you seem to care about a) wide angle, or b) quoting focal lengths in 35mm terms. It strikes me the only way to get wide angle footage is to splash out a lot for an adaptor, or to buy a video enabled compact or DSLR. Your review quotes the lens's focal length, but this alone is meaningless as different sensors are different sizes. Why is it that camcorder folks don't care about the wider end? Having a camcorder with a 50mm wide end makes it impossible to use, as you have to stand so far back all the time. Great for zooming though, but not when shake starts to appear.

James Morris

December 14, 2009, 4:26 pm

There are actually camcorders on the near horizon which take this into account... but I can't tell you more than that right now! ;^>


December 16, 2009, 3:51 pm

Ooh OK, I'll hold me breath until the new year! I wanted to discuss this issue on your forum but it won't work for me. Where has it gone? I just get an error page. Perhaps if it's gone for good the forum link should be removed from your homepage?


December 17, 2009, 12:54 am


I'm thinking about a HD camcorder at the moment. I think this or the SD only version seem great value at their current prices. I'm wondering how they compare to the Sony HDR-CX105E? I see that the pannys have OIS, whereas the sony has DIS. I found in my Canon (FS100)that it was not as good ( I had a Sanyo for all of a week for the same reason). How do they compare for IS and in low light?


December 17, 2009, 1:01 am

Oh can I also ask if the low light footage would be better with more gain?



December 20, 2009, 3:37 am

The best place to ask those questions would be the forums. Have I missed the announcements from TR as to where the forums have gone?

Dave Cleverley

April 2, 2010, 2:16 pm

I'm a total newcomer to digital video having owned a few analogue video cameras in the past of which I was pretty impressed with at the time and served me well. I purchased the HDC-TM10 on a whim a few weeks back (not at the cheaper end of the price range either!) from a Euronics store. Generally the unit performs quite well in 'iA' mode with image stability and auto focus etc working well. My only disappointment relates to poor colour balance where all reds seem to have a 'pinky' hue and blues are weak plus considering the resolution is supposed to be 'Hi-Def' the images are noisy (even in brightly lit situations). Exposure compensation I find to be a little 'hit or miss' and stills are no better than from my mobile phone!

All in all I'm slightly unimpressed. Maybe I should have spent more time looking around for a better price that would have sweetened my views of this less than impressive piece of kit. I'd give it no more than 7/10 overall.

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