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Panasonic HM-TA1 - Additional features and verdict

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

When you've finished, you can upload the results to YouTube or Facebook. Alternatively, when you first plug the HM-TA1 into your computer and the software loads, you're given the option to upload files straight from the device to YouTube or Facebook, without having to copy them to your local drive.

Overall, HD Writer PE 1.0 is on par with what other pocket Internet camcorders offer. Both iMovie and Windows Live Movie Maker far exceed its capabilities, but it’s fine for a quick trim and online upload.

Additional features and verdict

The HM-TA1 does have a couple of novel features. There’s a built-in LED video light, although it only has a range of a couple of metres. Panasonic has also included the ability to operate as a webcam, so you can tether the HM-TA1 to your PC to capture straight into your editing software, or employ it as a high-resolution camera for Skype video calling.

When you switch to this mode, and attach the HM-TA1 to your computer, drivers to use it as a webcam will be installed. The camcorder will then be available within Skype as an imaging device. With its good low-light performance, the HM-TA1 will be quite adept at this function, given the murkiness of many domestic studies.

Verdict

Apart from the built-in video light, webcam capability, and marginally better low light ability than many competitors, Panasonic’s HM-TA1 is a relatively innocuous pocket Internet camcorder. However, it does have one feature to set it apart from the crowd – its price. At around £85, even when you add the price of a SDHC memory card, you should still pay less than £100. This makes the HM-TA1 one of the best value camcorders in its class.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Value 10
  • Features 6
  • Design 7

Enigma

December 22, 2010, 8:05 pm

On first seeing it I thought it was a phone.





Indeed I fail to see the value of this when you have phones with 8MP cameras either 32GB memory and/or able to take a memory card.





Given its price I would say a mobile phones that retail with 3-5MP cameras like Nokia’s 6700 Slide for prices ranging from £70-200 could easily incorporate all the HM-TA1 at affordable total price. Indeed it makes senses as it makes no sense carrying a second 'phone'.

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