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The Panasonic HDC-HS300 is a high-definition camcorder recommended for new or intermediate users.

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Pros

large 120GB of internal storage

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capable of recording to capacious, easy to find and inexpensive SD/SDHC cards

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12x optical zoom

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ready to use in 1.9 seconds

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touch screen controls

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full 1080p

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5 microphones for full 5.1 surround sound

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higher quality than the majority of camcorders

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Cons

somewhat expensive for the average consumer

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limited LCD screen resolution (230,400 pixels)

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HDD storage uses more power and is more prone to damage than a solid state flash drive

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The Panasonic HDC-HS300 is a high-definition camcorder recommended for new or intermediate users who desire an easy-to-use camcorder that can still produce top-notch, vivid video worthy of sharing with friends and family. The sixth of five Panasonic HDC-HS models, the Panasonic HDC-HS300 is a direct upgrade from the HDC-TM300 in that it offers a 120GB HDD versus just flash memory. In all other ways, however, the HDC-HS300 is practically a duplicate of its peer. For instance, the HDC-HS300 also features Optical Image Stabilization and an Intelligent Auto (iA) mode that allows shooters to either select a specific Scene mode or allow the camcorder to automatically choose one. The HDC-HS300 retails for a slightly more expensive $1399.95 (versus $1299.95 for the HDC-TM300) and comes with a 1 year limited warranty.

In addition to these of features, the HDC-HS300 sports a 43mm Leica Dicomar lens with a 12X optical zoom, 30X digital zoom, and a 5.1 channel surround sound system with a 5 microphones and a zoom microphone feature, and an SDHC/SD memory card so that users can record and store 1920 x 1080 HD video content on either the HDD or an SD card. The HDC-HS300 also offers full support for Apple Macintosh computers, and in fact allows easy file transferring so that files may be edited in iMovie. Furthermore, the HDC-TM300 features touch-screen controls with icon-based menus, an auto power LCD, and a quick 1.9 second power-up so that users can more easily catch spontaneous moments on video. The HDC-TM300 has a 2.7” wide LCD, auto focus tracking, and a manual ring that can control zoom, focus, aperture, shutter speed and white balance.

Features
  • 3MOS Chip System
  • 5.1 Channel Surround Sound System
  • 5 Microphones
  • Zoom Microphone Feature
  • 120GB HDD
  • SDHC/SD Memory Card
  • 1920 x 1080 HD Video Recording
  • Macintosh Support
  • Touch-Screen Controls
  • Icon-Based Menus
  • Auto Power LCD
  • 1.9 Second Power-Up
  • 43m Leica Dicomar Lens
  • Manual Ring
  • 2.7” wide LCD (230,400 pixels)
  • 12x Optical Zoom
  • 30x Digital Zoom
  • Auto Focus Tracking
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Intelligent Auto (iA) Mode
  • Automatic LCD Brightness Adjustments
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 64 x 69 x 128 mm
  • Weight: 360g
  • Available in Black, Silver, or Red
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
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