Summary: This is the first camcorder I've owned, so my rating is based on my personal satisfaction and not comparison to other cameras. Good: - 3ccd: The color depth and saturation are very good. - Optical image stabilization works really well. - 5.1 surround sound: It's actually very good when you're watching your videos with a good pair of headphones--it really adds dimension to the sound. The sound quality is also good.
Summary: I'm quite happy with the camcorder, ease of use is what I expected for the form factor. Menu navigation is somewhat tedious, but I don't find it to be all the needed once you're shooting. SD memory medium is great - I love the fact that the camera is silent, small, and lightweight. It gets intriguingly warm when shooting for extended periods. Only complaints are the avchd file types and lack of good free editing tools. Overall great value and I'm pleased.
Summary: I've had this camcorder for a few weeks now. If you are looking for a reasonably priced entry level high-definition camcorder that doesn't use tape, then the Panasonic HDC-SD9 is a great buy. It is by no means a perfect camcorder, but if you want a camera that produces better video, expect to pay at least $250 more. The Panasonic shoots spectacular video outdoors. It is compact, easy to handle, and easy to use for beginners.
Summary: I bought the Panasonic HDC-SD9 primarily for it's size and brand quality. The Leica lens was a name I've known for over 5 decades as a high quality optics producer. I was looking for a video camera that could be carried easily, used easily and with high quality results and this camera does just that. The operation of the camera is easy to understand, it's extremely light-weight, the battery life seems adequate as does the 8MG SD card memory.
Summary: Pros Extremely small (fits in the front pocket of my shorts) Awesome picture quality outside with good light. 3CCD Great zoom The best image stabilizer I've ever used on a video camera. Really like that is uses memory cards rather than tape or hard drives. Cons' Low light performance is not good. LCD is great but if you wear sunglasses it goes completely black.
Great camcorder, but suggest Nero 8 Ultra for Editing
Dale MCATEE, Amazon
29 May 2008
Summary: I purchased this camcorder from Amazon just after it came out, and discovered the price dropped considerably not long after. I contacted Amazon within 30 days and promptly received a credit back for the difference. Nice job! Not much more to add that hasn't already been said, but I have started using the HDC-SD9 for taking stills as well. The shots are in widescreen format to boot, and the image stabilization helps.
Summary: I think this is a great product. Lightweight and handy. I read some bad reviews about the picture quality, but I don't agree. Low light performance is still acceptable for point and shoot users. Cons: The software is not that great to edit movies, but works pretty well to save and burn them. Pros: Everything else.
Bottom line, it's a very decent HD quality camercorder for under $600
J. Shinn, Amazon
24 May 2008
Summary: UPDATE2: I finally got an Infrared Light array to test the Panasonic HDC-SD9 in 0-lux. Low-light mode barely picks up anything while in MagixPix mode, it's bright but the motion is so choppy it's useless. If you're looking for a camcorder to record in 0-lux conditions(like in a cave with no light sources)Sony is the only way to go with their Super Night Mode unless you want to pay up big bucks for Panasonic's prosumer line.
Summary: We bought this to record important family events and for us it has worked very well. The quality of the raw image files seems quite high and the ease of use and portability make it a good choice for amateurs in my view. A 16 gig SD chip can hold a couple of hours of recording, more than a single battery can film. I don't have experience with other software video products but found the programs bundled with the camcorder servicable running under Vista Business.