The S10 also scores reasonably highly for editing compatibility. There’s a proprietary AV jack with breakout cable for composite video and RCA audio connectivity, but USB2.0 is the main interface for hooking up to a computer. Unlike most camcorders, the S10 won’t allow you to connect it to a PC unless it is on AC power. This is a good safety measure, considering the battery lasts under an hour. Once connected, the S10 shows up as a removable storage device and its files are readily accessible via drag and drop.
The Panasonic stores its MPEG-2 video in the MOD format which we first came across in JVC’s Everio. Although it wasn’t straightforward to edit back then, most mainstream apps now support MOD files so there should be no issues dealing with footage from the SDR-S10. We were able to import the files into Adobe Premiere Elements 3 and Ulead Video Studio Plus 11 without a hitch. MotionSD STUDIO 1.2E is supplied for Windows users, but nothing for the Mac.
The SDR-S10’s size makes it the most pocket-friendly true camcorder we’ve yet seen. Video quality is still perfectly acceptable for the intended market, although there are insufficient features for the enthusiast. The lowly digital camera resolution also feels like a missed opportunity to create a killer convergence device, and the 25-minute recording time at top quality settings is also somewhat miserly – you’d still only get 100 minutes with an 8GB SDHC card.
At under £300, though, the SDR-S10 manages to pull of a bit of a coup. Normally, you would expect to pay a premium for the gadget desirability of a camcorder like this. But the price puts it amongst the lower end of the DV camcorder market. Now that you can buy 8GB SDHC cards for just over £50, the format is starting to look like an affordable option. So for a very reasonable price, the SDR-S10 really is a respectable camcorder you could carry in a trouser pocket without people asking if you were pleased to see them. And it’s water resistant, too!
Score in detail
Image Quality 7