Panasonic HDC-SD5: Very Average (Now Broken) Camcorder
3 March 2010
Summary: Preparing to set off on a big trip, I decided a HD Camcorder was almost a necessity if I wanted to properly capture my experience. I therefore went on the search for a 'good' yet affordable camcorder. I found the Panasonic HDC-SD5, which, to my amazement, was going for about £300 on Amazon. I purchased, and went travelling. In terms of being user friendly, I was very pleased. It's a very simple piece of equipment to get the hang of, and can be learnt very quickly indeed.
Summary: Early days yet but but I feel I should just point out a major flaw. Spare Batteries are hard to find and I called Panasonic UK for a price. I was shocked to learn £88. This is just pure greed as they know only they currently do it. Give it a few months and you will hopefully get a compatible but until that Panasonic have you by the short and curlys and they intend to squeeze hard. Long term they will sell less.
Summary: Panasonic's support centre is unhelpful, to say the least. They just pushed me off to find my own solution to the problem with their software!! They know of the problem but have not made the effort to have a solution at hand for customers. They just told me to find the solution myself. Beware of purchasing Panasonic if this is their usual way of resolving the problems their customers have with their products.
Pros: Portability Ease of use Quality of HD image Simplicity of use of SD memory card. Flexibility of using SD and SDHC cards
Cons: Limited means of dealing with this format of video -- won't even download to my X-Pro II plus. No external microphone input. The Panasonic software (HD Writer) cannot be installed on my computer as I have Windows XP Service Pack 3. The software does not recognise anything above Service Pack 2 and they have no solution available! The light weight, while an advantage, is also a disadvantage as one really needs to use a tripod at all times for stability.