Excerpt: The Panasonic VDR-M50 is Panasonic’s lower-tier DVD camcorder offering this year. It ships with a 1/6-inch CCD with 680K effective pixels, similar to that of Sony’s DCR-DVD101’s. Its body shape is the same one found on the VDR-M70, the DZ-MV550, and the DZ-MV580, though CCD sizes and performances differ.
Conclusion: While it may appeal to people who want the simplicity of being able to record directly to DVD-R or DVD-RAM discs, the Panasonic VDR-M50 will also frustrate enthusiasts by virtue of the DVD format's limitations. Ad-ditionally, we aren't impressed by the video—a problem in a $799.95 camcorder.
Pros: Very small and portable. Easy to use. Welcome 18X optical zoom.
Cons: Mediocre image stabilization and still-image quality. Can't shoot higher-quality DV, only MPEG-4. Mediocre audio.