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Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works Great, Meets Expectations.....!!!!! Updated....Warranty Information, December 25, 2010
This review is from: Panasonic HDC-SD600K 3MOS High-Def Camcorder with 35mm Wide-Angle Lens and 18x Intelligent Zoom (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
UPDATED WARRANTY INFORMATION (12/30/2010):
Since there seems to be so much confusion and misinformation about warranty issue surrounding this camcorder, I decided to update this review to include the correct warranty information. I have personally spoken to Pansonic and confirmed the US warranty. To check if you have a US version of this camcorder model (NTSC recording format), remove the camcorder battery. Under the battery, there is the official camocorder model # imprinted. If this model # reads, HDC-SD600P, you have an official US version, with US warrnaty. If your camcorder model # reads HDC-SD600GK, you have a UK version (PAL recording format) and your warranty probably will not be valid here in US or might have a hard time getting warranty services.

Warranty Information: This camcorder carries 1 year parts and 90 days labor warranty. Battery itself carries 10 days parts warranty only. To obtain warranty services, please contact 800-211-PANA. Please note that there is also a postcard included in the camcorder box itself for warranty registration and for extended warranty purchase discount through Pansonic directly.

****************************************************************************************************************************************************

ORIGINAL REVIEW (12/25/2010):
Why did I purchased this camcorder? Well, if you have a house full of kids, you know how important it is to preserve those precious childhood memories. I have upgraded my CRT TVs to LCD TVs, simple cell phones to iPhones, VCRs to Blu-ray DVD players, but since last 10 years, I had not upgraded my camcorder. I used the same standard resolution Digital 8, cassette based camcorder since 2001. It was time to finally take a plunge and upgrade to a newer technology.
I had been doing my research about digital camcorders with HD recording capabilities. I had set my budget to around $700, to purchase camcorders with decent balance of price vs. features. I wasn't expecting to pay any more and at the same time, I didn't want to cut corners on some basic features.
I researched Sony (too expensive at comparable features), Canon (wide angle is a joke), JVC (reliability issues) and finally I settled for this camcorder model, when Amazon offered it in its Gold Box deal. I waited through Thanks-giving, Black Friday and finally in December, I found this deal here at Amazon.
When I purchased this camcorder model, I couldn't find much information about this model, due to the fact that it was recently released in USA (even though it is offered for sale in UK and other European countries). Basically this camcorder is same as HDC-TM700 series camcorder, minus the few minor features (such as no built-in storage memory, no mic input, no manual focus, no 5..1 digital surround sound recording). Take away these few features and you have a camcorder that is cheaper by almost $450. Perfect compromise considering the fact I don't intend to use these features, while saving extra $450.

Following items are included in the box,
1) Camcorder
2) Battery
3) Battery Charger/Adapter
4) AC Cable
5) DC Cable
6) USB Cable
7) AV Multi-cable
8) Stylus Pen
9) Lens Hood
10) Remote Control
11) CD with Drivers/Software etc
12) Manuals

First impression: This camcorder is very tiny, has a very small foot print, and aesthetically it is very pleasing. It weighs only 0.85 lbs with battery and SD card installed. Wow, what a relief!! It grips comfortably in your palms. I was able to record straight 30 minutes of a birthday party video, without any fatigue, a task impossible to accomplish with my old digital 8mm camcorder. In spite of its light weight, it has a solid-built feel to it. It does not feel cheaply built or flimsy.

Operation: I used 8GB SDHC card for my recording purposes. I was able to record close to 45 minutes of video clips (at 1080i/60p) and few pictures, taken at 14.2 Megapixels. I got around 80 minutes of recording time on a full battery charge. I think taking pictures with flash probably reduced that overall video recording time proportionately. Touch screen based control options are more than sufficient and they work well. Touch screen control feature itself works very well. Screen itself can be rotated 180 and folded back in to the camcorder body. Touch screen also displays operational messages. For example, when you zoom in too fast, or move camcorder around too fast, it displays the warning. 18x intelligent zoom works very well. If you feel adventurous enough, you can enable digital zoom as well and get up to 700x zoom range, though its usability is questionable, unless you are using a tripod (tripod mount is at on the bottom side).
I am very pleased with the still picture quality at 14.2MP. Pictures are sharp, bright and clear. There are no detectable distortions, or chromatic aberrations that I can tell (but then again, I am not a professional videographer). Flash works adequately, just don't expect miracles in low light situations. Built-in OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) does the magic every time.
Transferring pictures and video recordings is a snap using the supplied software. My Vista and Windows 7 (both 64-bit OS) systems were able to recognize the camcorder instantly (after installing the drivers and the software). You can also access the camcorder storage media and transfer/copy/delete pictures and videos manually.
After transferring the video files, it played at full 1080/60p resolution without any jerking motions, frame freeze or skips. I am not sure why other reviewers had a problem, may be their system is not as "powerful".
If you plan to record videos for playback via other DVD players, you need to use the included software to convert 1080/60p format to AVCHD format (which the included software does it for you). If you have a Panasonic DVD player, you might be in luck, since newer Panasonic DVD players support playback of 1080/60p recording. Simply copy your original 1080/60p recording on to a USB flash drive and insert in to one of the USB ports of your Panasonic DVD player. 1080/60p native support is now-a-days included in newer versions of Sony and Panasonic DVD players.

Conclusion: Overall, it is very nifty, capable, and powerful camcorder, with perfect balance of price and features. It is light weight, supports latest HD recording standard (1080/60p) and doubles as an excellent camera. Most of the avid home-users will not have much to complain about this model. To take full advantage of 1080/60p recording capability, make sure you have plenty of light. And to play full 1080/60p video, make sure you have a PC powerful enough CPU, enough memory, powerful GPU, and updated drivers and players. I used VLC player version 1.1.5 and didn't have any playback issues at all.

Pros:
1) Excellent price
2) 1080/60p recording rate (with choice of lower recording rates)
3) Excellent recording quality
4) Excellent camera picture quality
5) Compact, light weight, easy to operate
6) Excellent price
7) Functional out of the box, up and running in few minutes (assuming battery is charged)
8) Excellent Optical Image Stabilizer, works perfectly

Cons:
1) No HDMI to HDMI cable included
2) Included software is not best suited for editing/playback etc
3) Slightly expensive accessories

Please note, I am not taking in to consideration lack of mic input, 5.1 recording, manual focus etc. Because I already knew about it and didn't care for it.

Warranty Information: This camcorder carries 1 year parts and 90 days labor warranty. Battery itself carries 10 days parts warranty only. To obtain warranty services, please contact 800-211-PANA or [...]. Please note that there is also a postcard included in the camcorder box itself for warranty registration and for extended warranty purchase discount through Pansonic directly.

When calling Panasonic tech support, please mention the correct model # for this camcoder, which happens to be HDC-SD600K. It was originally advertised by Amazon as HDC-SD600 (which is the PAL model sold in UK) and later was modified by Amazon as HDC-SD600K, which is the NTSC model, meant to be sold here in USA. This may be the reason, Panasonic tech support informed customers that it is not covered under US warranty.
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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 26, 2010 11:12:54 AM PST
Panasonic HDC-SD600K 3MOS High-Def Camcorder with 35mm Wide-Angle Lens and 12x Optical Zoom (Black)
Could anyone confirm if the recording mode could be changed from 1080/60p
to 1080/50i for ease of editing ?

Posted on Dec 26, 2010 11:16:12 AM PST
could you please confirm if there is a facility to record on 1080/50i
in addition to 1080/60p

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2010 7:05:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2010 7:05:44 PM PST
This Camcorder is capable of recording in 1080/60p format. But you can switch to 1080/60i and use either HA or HG or HX or HE mode. 1080/50i is not available on this model.
Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2010 1:35:20 AM PST
Many thanks for the info

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2010 6:18:02 AM PST
It is my understanding that 1080/50i yields the frame rate of 25, which is typically used in PAL systems. That may be the reason that this camcorder (NTSC version of similar one sold in UK, which happens to be the PAL version), supports 1080/60i here in USA and 1080/50i in PAL version, sold across the Atlantic ocean.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2010 10:58:07 AM PST
You are very precise on your comment. I live in Europe but visit family in the US very often and was wondering if the US spec camcorer could be used and footage edited with Roxio 2011 which i use to edit and convert my recordings to a PAL DVD.
I ask this question because the cheapest i could find a HDC-SD600in the UK is £449 where as the HDC-SD600k is available at $399. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2010 12:08:08 PM PST
If you have a mac and $999 to spare, you should try Apple Final Cut Pro Studio software. Here is the link: http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs/#finalcutpro
This should take care of all conversion/editing headaches for you.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 6:02:03 PM PST
LG says:
Your so-called "warranty information" is as far away from the Panasonic stand on this issue as it can only be.
Do not confuse people here, call Panasonic Tech Support at 1-800-211-PANA (7262) and chat with them regarding
warranty and tech support for this model.
Your US warranty card means NOTHING at the moment as far as Panasonic is concerned.
It might change in the future if quite a few of the buyers and maybe Amazon itself will speak up, but as of now
Panasonic USA does not want to know anything claiming that it is "European model".
So don't confuse people on this board.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2010 7:20:16 AM PST
I have talked to Panasonic and confirmed the warranty coverage for this camcorder.
If you have any doubts, I suggest you do the same.
I don't care whether you own this camcorder or not, I don't care if you interested in owning one, but just stop spreading misinformation.
In short, get a life.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2010 9:38:21 AM PST
LG says:
Update: seems like Panasonic is coming to their senses and WILL honor warranty on the camera.

ShopperGuy, don't be rude. I've got a life, I suggest you do the same.
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