Panasonic SDR-H85

Panasonic has been leading the forefront in electronics for many years. Their cameras and camcorders are popular for their quality and the variety of pricing. This allows for the amateur videographer to produce exceptional videos for a small amount of money, yet lets someone with more experience enjoy a camcorder with more features and benefits. The Panasonic SDR-H85 camcorder is a great camcorder for a person that wants to have more automation with less hand- on ability. You will find that Panasonic has still packed it with everything you could need or want in a brand new camcorder with an attractive price tag around $350.00.

Panasonic SDR-H85

Panasonic SDR-H85


The SDR-H85 has an advanced optical zoom with 78x zoom with the traditional image stabilizer that Panasonic is known for. This device stabilizes your image even at the longest zoom. If you are trying to fit a group of people into your shot the new 33mm wide angle lens will give you the opportunity to do so. The 2010 SDR-H85 comes equipped with the Intelligent Autofocus that has automatic exposure and automatic focus capabilities while you are recording.

There are a total of 0.8 megapixels and an F Value of F1.9 (Wide) / 5.7 (Tele). The image sensor for a motion image is 0.41 megapixels for Tele and 0.52 megapixels for Wide. You can expect 0.38 megapixels for Tele and 0.47 megapixels for Wide in a still image. The camcorder records onto an HDD 80GB, SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card. The format for the SDR-H85 is JPEG for stills and MPEG2, H.264/AVC for recording.

You will find a 2.7 inch LCD monitor, Panasonic lens, a stereo microphone as well as a zoom microphone. There is a backlight compensation for the LCD screen so that you can still see it in low lighting conditions. The on-screen display screen is available in three languages: English, French and Spanish. Focus can be manual or automatic with White Balance for auto, indoor 1, indoor 2, sunny, cloudy, and white set. You will find a USB 2.0 hi-speed jack and an AV out jack on this new model.

Everyone is always interested in getting some accessories included in the price and with the Panasonic SDR-H85 you will. The box will have an AC adaptor, AV cable, USB cable, VideoCam Suite 3.0 software and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack with min. 1790 mAh.

Actual user review:
“I bought this camcorder because this Panasonic SDR-H85K was top rated in consumer reports. I didn’t need HD at least not yet, because I don’t have an HDTV, and I didn’t want to be able to see the pores on my face. HD is good for sports games, but i just needed something that took good video, and wanted a good Optical Image Stabilization(OIS). This thing is light, attractively styled and has amazing 78X zoom! I like the fact that they made it a hybrid which means it has an 80 GB HDD with the option to insert an SD or HCSD in it as well to boost the memory capacity. It also has quick start up for those “got to get quick” moments. The OIS on this camera is amazing! when you zoom out all the way, the OIS kicks in, and the image moves around a little, but it moves around smoothly or not at all vs. cameras with no OIS it looks like an earthquake hit. If you need a good OIS because you have shaky hands this is the camera for you.” – L.M.Symes (OR,USA)



If you are looking for a camcorder that gives you good stabilization for your images, has great manual controls and is designed well then you will enjoy the Panasonic SDR-H85. For a camcorder in this price range you should be able to get good video if you aren’t in a low light situation. The powerful zoom lens is one of the best features on this camcorder as it allows you to get very close to your subject; however, you may still want to use a tripod if you can remain stationary for the video you wish to shoot. The image stabilizer is good if you are moving, but you will like the quality of your video even more if you use some type of support when you can.

Since the new camcorder is not recording in HD you may be slightly disappointed with the quality of video if you are used to using a camcorder that does. The video is alright, yet not exceptional. There aren’t any external mic jacks or headphone jacks either, but you may not miss them. The performance of the camcorder is pretty standard for the price range, but it is very easy to use which makes it a pretty decent buy for families using it for vacations or birthday parties. When you invest in this model you are getting a great lens and storage capacity with average video recording.

If you are in the market for a small compact camcorder that can fit in your coat pocket or purse for ease of use then the SDR-H85 should work for you. The controls are positioned well so that when the right hand is slipped onto the wrist strap you will be ready to use the camcorder. The camcorder easily slips from video mode to photo mode when the shutter release is depressed. If you would like to enhance the performance of the camcorder in low light situations you could purchase a video light and adaptor.


When looking for a camcorder that can work well from a distance with an affordable price tag then the standard definition Panasonic SDR-H85 will be worth it for you. The fact that the video quality is just average may not matter to you. So if you are searching for great memory and a great lens this would be it.

Average User Rating:
More user reviews:
Easy to use, easy to view, easy to handle. Great size, good battery life and the 80 gb hard drive makes it wonderful to never have to worry about having a device to record on. The zoom is incredible! We’re able to capture facial expressions on the field while still sitting in the stands. It’s been a great choice for us.” – sportsmom (USA)

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Like the other reviews say, it does take fuzzy video in low light. But for being so cheap and convenient, it’s a good camera. I took various video when my child was born and the battery still showed a full charge. Don’t expect movie quality shots, but for quick, worry-less, don’t stress out if you drop it home video-making, this camera is what your looking for.

The 78x zoom is amazing as well. It has the anti-shake feature that really works. I can’t believe how far this thing zooms in and takes clear shots. And for those who don’t know, having the internal hard drive is awesome. Don’t mess with the disc or external memory cameras.

If you want high-definition, “blu-ray” shots, spend the extra cash for the true HD cameras, but for me this camera is perfect. “ – katers933 (USA)

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