Panasonic’s HDC-HS300 camcorder boasts a large 120GB internal hard drive with HD video. The features offered are extensive and relatively easy to use. The price tag is a little steep at $1399 but the camcorder is a pleasure to use. Panasonic has always offered very good manual controls on their products and this one is no exception. Another addition to this model is the Intelligent Auto feature that keeps the subject in focus with the correct exposure just by touching the subject on the screen. Not something the die-hard user is overly fond of, but a feature for those who are new to using a camcorder should really like.
The HDC-HS300 also offers a touch-screen LCD monitor that makes using the many features on the camcorder simpler to use. The options are many and will take some time to go through, but once learned they are a boon for the user. There is also an information feature at the bottom of each menu which gives more info on each setting that is selected. The only downside to this model is some of their external buttons. Some buttons are hard to reach and some are somewhat hard to push.
As with most all of Panasonic’s models, manual controls are a staple in their camcorder features. They allow the user to adjust shutter speed, exposure, white balance, and the aperture setting. The user can also make adjustments to correct sharpness and color saturation of the image. Most of these adjustments can be adjusted with the lens ring on the front of the lens, and this also controls zoom and focus. The only shortcoming for the lens ring, which operates smoothly, is that many of the adjustments can only be done with the LCD closed, using the viewfinder. A minor complaint, but one that time and usage will make a better functioning process.
The Panasonic HDC-HS300 records video to its internal hard drive or the user can purchase available SD/SDHC memory cards to extend the recording time. The 120GB internal hard drive provides sufficient recording time for most users making it a good portable device that can be taken out with little fear of running out of recording time. The internal drive does make the camcorder a little bulkier but does provide for better portability.
The HDC-HS300’s low light ability is one of the best on the market. This feature makes the camcorder much more useable in different lighting situations giving it more versatility to capture videos in a host of different scenarios. Filming a child’s soccer game, for example, the camcorder will adjust better to the changing lighting even if the game is being played near the end of the day when the sun begins to set. Inside, there is less need for special lighting to keep the images backlit; the camcorder will adjust to the different tones of light giving a much better video of the images. Panasonic’s HDC-HS300 is a good choice for the novice as well as the aficionado. The features are easy to use for both.