Together with the HDC-HS80 and HDC-SD80, the Panasonic HDC-TM80 is part of Panasonic’s 2011 mid-range high definition camcorders with 42x zoom and Hybrid optical image stabilization. The HDC-TM80 records through a single image sensor (1MOS) lens capable of 33.7mm wide-angle and 42x zoom. It shoots 1920 x 1080 high definition format recording to 16GB of built-in flash memory. Panasonic’s Crystal Engine Pro processor provides the engine for recording sharp images and amazing movies. The HDC-TM80 is configured with Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto focus, Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) and Wind Noise Canceller.
What’s Difference in the Mid-Range Camcorders and the Panasonic HDC-TM80?
The HDC-TM80 records to 16GB of built-in flash memory as well as to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. The hard-disc drive model in the series, the HDC-HS80, records to a 120GB hard disk drive and to SD memory cards. A slightly lower priced model, the HDC-SD80, records only to SD memory cards – no internal hard disk drive or built-in memory. The amount of video that can be captured and stored accounts for one difference between these models. The other is that TM80 cannot record HD 3D, but the TM90 is capable of 3D recording when used with another lens, the VW-CLT1.
The 1.5MP CMOS sensors on the HDC-TM80 are slightly smaller than the CMOS chips found on the TM90 and SD90. The TM80 features a 2.7-inch LCD screen as compared to the 3.0 inch larger screens found in the TM90 and SD90.
Reviewing the HDC-TM80 Camcorder
When evaluating this Panasonic camcorder, this review focused on these features:
• Picture Quality
The HDC-TM80 has a compact body that comes in black, silver or red. The LCD touch-screen is 2.7 inches and provides an intuitive interface for controlling your video recordings. The advanced touch-screen operations include “Touch Zoom” which allows you to quickly zoom in or out on your subject with just the touch of your finger. When you are shooting still pictures, the “Touch Shutter” automatically focuses when you touch the subject on the LCD screen. As for playback, you can switch between image pages by sliding a fingertip across the display screen. What these features mean to you is that you have a compact, easy-to-use camcorder. You don’t have to look at or change anything on the camera other than from the LCD touch screen.
Other features that you will appreciate are the camera hand-strap and Eco-Mode*8. The support strap on the right side of the camera where you insert your hand gives you a firm grip on the camera case. Eco-Mode*8 automatically turns off the power when the camcorder is not operated for five minutes.
The core technology that creates vivid, life-like recordings is Panasonic’s Crystal Engine PRO and the 1/5.8 inch megapixel CMOS sensor. Other core features of the camera include a touch screen 2.7″ LCD for intuitive control of the camera, a 33.7mm wide-angle lens, 42x Intelligent zoom and optical image stabilization (O.I.S.).
Panasonic’s new Hybrid O.I.S. is phenomenal. It reduces the blur that happens when you arm or hand moves or shakes during recording or zooming. The O.I.S. detects blurring caused by vertical or horizontal wrist movements and when your arm moves vertically or horizontally (like it does when panning). This correction is also effective when you are using the high-powered zoom feature.
Another feature that makes recording a breeze is Panasonic’s iA , Intelligent Auto, with Face Recognition. Even if you have a group of six people, the iA finds the faces and optimizes the focus and exposure for them.
Do you record animals moving across an area, like your dog running with a Frisbee or deer crossing a field? The HDC-TM80 uses the Intelligent Auto to track the subject as it moves within the frame.
And along with creating detailed video, the HDC-TM80 camcorder also produces crisp audio using the built-in “Zoom Mic” and “Wind Noise Canceller.” You don’t have to invest in an external mic, because this built-in mic captures quality audio. The “Zoom Mic” is a function that ties the sound capturing capabilities with the camera’s zoom action. You’ll also appreciate the “Wind Noise Canceller” function. This function detects wind noises that are going on during your recording and then cancels them out. Compared to previous models, the noise-reducing performance is improved by 33%. Now, you can actually hear the natural sounds going on in your recording without them being overridden by wind noise.
• The O.I.S. stabilizes the picture when your arm or hand moves while recording.
• The Intelligent Auto locks in on the subject, keeping it in focus as the subject moves in to or away from the camera
• More affordable than the higher end 3MOS Panasonic cameras (i.e., the HDC-SD900, HDC-SD800, HDC-TM900, and HDC-HS900).
• The 42x ultra-telephoto zooming teamed with the Intelligent Zoom function captures blur-free images.
• 33.7mm wide-angle on the HDC-TM80 allows you to squeeze more people or more background into the frame.
• The Panasonic HDC-TM80 doesn’t have the hard disc drive that the HDC-HS80 has which means that you won’t be able to record as much to the TM80 as you could to the HS80. However the HDC-TM80 does have 16 GB of internal memory while the HDC-SD80 uses SD cards and does not have internal memory.
If you are looking for an affordable camcorder capable of providing stunning high definition video recordings, as well as amazing still photos, then take a serious look at Panasonic’s HDC-TM80. It is an excellent choice for capturing high quality video and audio memories.
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