Finding a camcorder that fits your budgets and needs can seem complicated when you first look at all the different series a company will sell. Panasonic was once the largest producer of electronics in Japan and still holds 89th place in the world. In 2010 they released more than five different camcorders for a range of budgets including the Panasonic SDR-T50. The SDR-T50 was designed more for a smaller budget with more affordable technical specifications. You can pick up the T50 for $269.95 from most stores including Panasonic online.
The design of the Panasonic SDR-T50 is not like many of the other 2010 camcorders in the line. It is an SDR which stands for standard definition. It is not a HD or Full HD like some of the more expensive options. The lack of HD offers only an advanced optical zoom of 78x with the OIS. OIS is optical image stabilization allowing for you to get a clear image or video even if your hand shakes a little bit. The wide angle lens is 33mm with the intelligent auto focus with AE/AF tracking. The AF stands for auto focus with auto face resolution tracking as part of the camera.
This black camcorder has 4GB of internal memory with a possibility of increasing the external memory with standard memory cards. Recording formats are typical with MPEG, AVC, and JPEG for both video and images. Total pixels are ranked at .8 with an optical zoom of 70x and digital zoom of 100x. The design incorporates standard illumination at 1400 lx, auto white balance, and backlit compensation to ensure proper image capture in dark and lighter rooms. The LCD monitor is 2.7 inches wide, another standard of Panasonic camcorders.
The design for the Panasonic SDR-T50 provides a built in microphone with stereo and zoom capabilities. It also includes the dynamic speaker type to enhance playback sound. This model has USB ports at 2.0 hi speed and an AV out. It does not have HDMI. Accessories included in the package are the AC Adaptor, AV Cable, USB Cable, software, and rechargeable battery. The battery offers a minimum of 895 mAh due to the lithium construction. The software pack is VideoCam Suite 3.0, which is standard with most SDR camcorders from Panasonic.
“This turned out to be a really good little camera. I am surprised with the quality of the movies. This is a good camera for someone who wants quality and a lot of options for the money.” – Dave (USA)
For a standard camcorder the SDR-T50 has many easy to use features. Performance however is going to be standard. You have a visible noise and digital problem, especially with fringing. The camcorder often has purple and green fringing on high contrast subjects. In low light the performance is poor, though that is typical of a standard camcorder. HD camcorders are meant to correct this, so if you want a darker room quality you have to be willing to upgrade. The performance is satisfactory based on quality and cost. The zoom range is powerful enough to get further away shots, as well as to do so with a steady hand. The OIS system is Panasonic’s design that has been used on their HD versions as well.
A handy performance option with the SDR-T50 is the inclusion of web software. The software suite allows you to upload video onto YouTube and other websites with one click. The software is simple and easy to use, making the general performance of making a video for publication simple as well.
The major difference in the standard option and the HD is how the images and video are completed. It lacks the intelligent option of laying images as you take them. In other words you are recording the image as it is seen rather than an interpretation of data as some of the higher end Panasonic models can offer.
Based on the features and performance it is clear the Panasonic SDR-T50 is meant to be a low end camera. For value versus cost it is possible to find a camcorder without the fringing issues this one has. Therefore, while the features are top of the line for standard and you can shoot some good quality videos, you may want to test out other products in the same price range. This camcorder is meant more for long distance subjects than up close video quality, thus the price is worth it depending on how you will be using the camcorder to capture images and video. The auto features make it easier to get a higher quality image as well, especially combined with OIS stabilization during the image capture.
More user reviews:
• “I really like this camera. It is compact, lightweight, easy to use, and takes great videos. I’m not a great videographer, and only a so-so photographer (lost that bug long before digital). So I guess I would have to say I am just a sort of point and shoot kind of guy now. For me this camera is perfect. If you want to take high-resolution, super high-quality videos, it’s probably not your cup of tea. But if you want a simple, small camera that you can slip in a pocket, I’d say go for it. Of course I can always shoot a quick video with my iPhone if I don’t have this camera with me.” – J.A.Bergeron (FL,USA)
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