Panasonic HDC SD60 mini review

jomike

Well-known Member
These are my experiences with the Panasonic HDC SD60 so far. hopefully it will help other noobs to AVCHD video camcorders like myself.

I purchased the Panasonic HDC SD60 last week from Ebay (after managing to avoid the Argos SD60 - SD80 bait and switch scam). It was a Panasonic refurb unit that came in the original box with a UK plug and all the bits.

I am very impressed with the footage from this little cam. I had a Sony DVD camcorder that got stolen in Madrid a few years ago, and I never bothered to replace it. I also have a Nikon D90 DSLR that does video, but it is a faff to manually focus, and other limitations mean I hardly ever use it for video.

The main reason I went for the SD60, besides the good reviews it gets, is because I have a Panasonic HD TV with a SD card slot, so I can view footage without needing HDMI cables in full 1080p HD, and very impressive it is too!

I use Adobe Premier Elements for editing and uploading to YouTube. My Athlon dual core 2.4GHz with 2Gb running Win7 64 seems to handle it OK, albeit slowly (after I cleaned out the dust clogged CPU heatsink to stop it shutting down from overheating) and Win Media Player seems to give the smoothest playback of the .mts video files from the cam.

My main interest in stills photography is Macro, so of course I had to try out the "tele macro" mode. Here is some roughly edited footage (Premier Elements):

YouTube - ‪Bugs‬‏
 

Paul MC007

Well-known Member
These are my experiences with the Panasonic HDC SD60 so far. hopefully it will help other noobs to AVCHD video camcorders like myself.

I purchased the Panasonic HDC SD60 last week from Ebay (after managing to avoid the Argos SD60 - SD80 bait and switch scam). It was a Panasonic refurb unit that came in the original box with a UK plug and all the bits.

I am very impressed with the footage from this little cam. I had a Sony DVD camcorder that got stolen in Madrid a few years ago, and I never bothered to replace it. I also have a Nikon D90 DSLR that does video, but it is a faff to manually focus, and other limitations mean I hardly ever use it for video.

The main reason I went for the SD60, besides the good reviews it gets, is because I have a Panasonic HD TV with a SD card slot, so I can view footage without needing HDMI cables in full 1080p HD, and very impressive it is too!

I use Adobe Premier Elements for editing and uploading to YouTube. My Athlon dual core 2.4GHz with 2Gb running Win7 64 seems to handle it OK, albeit slowly (after I cleaned out the dust clogged CPU heatsink to stop it shutting down from overheating) and Win Media Player seems to give the smoothest playback of the .mts video files from the cam.

My main interest in stills photography is Macro, so of course I had to try out the "tele macro" mode. Here is some roughly edited footage (Premier Elements):

YouTube - ‪Bugs‬‏
What Panasonic tv do you have?

I was wondering whether these memory cards would work on my Panasonic - I have a V20 model from 2010 - it does have an SD card slot I believe, but didn't realise that you could (presumably from what you say) just insert the card into the tv and watch the footage directly in HD?

What size memory card do you use and how much footage in HD can you record on it?

Many thanks
 

jomike

Well-known Member
What Panasonic tv do you have?

I was wondering whether these memory cards would work on my Panasonic - I have a V20 model from 2010 - it does have an SD card slot I believe, but didn't realise that you could (presumably from what you say) just insert the card into the tv and watch the footage directly in HD?

What size memory card do you use and how much footage in HD can you record on it?

Many thanks
I have a 2010 37" TX10 LCD TV. If your TV has a SD card slot, it should play jpeg stills as a slideshow (complete with cheesy music) and AVCHD video. The jpegs should be in the card's root directory, but the AVCHD video has to be in a specific directory structure in order for the TV to be able to play it. The SD60 (and other Panasonic SD card camcorders) create this directory structure when you format the SD card.

I use a 8Gb Sandisk Ultra card which can record about 1 hour at highest quality. I have a 16Gb on order.
 

Paul MC007

Well-known Member
I have a 2010 37" TX10 LCD TV. If your TV has a SD card slot, it should play jpeg stills as a slideshow (complete with cheesy music) and AVCHD video. The jpegs should be in the card's root directory, but the AVCHD video has to be in a specific directory structure in order for the TV to be able to play it. The SD60 (and other Panasonic SD card camcorders) create this directory structure when you format the SD card.

I use a 8Gb Sandisk Ultra card which can record about 1 hour at highest quality. I have a 16Gb on order.
Thanks for the info - interesting.

So, you say, based on your current 8gb card you get roughly 1hr's worth of footage in best quality? What's the quality like if you drop it down a little? What's the next lowest setting from the best quality? Is this HD?

Does it record SD footage well?
 

jomike

Well-known Member
The SD60 only records in 1080i HD at 4 different bit rates, 17, 13, 9 and 5 Mbps. This gets you 1h, 1h20m, 2h and 3h20m respectively on a 8Gb card. (all approximate as the bit rates are variable). I only use the highest bit rate, and store my video files on a 1Tb hard drive as this is the most cost effective storage method, with an external hard disk for back up. I dont know how much the lower bit rates affect quality.
 
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EngIan

Novice Member
The SD60 only records in 1080p HD at 4 different bit rates, 17, 13, 9 and 5 Mbps.
Are you sure? According to my info, those bit rates only record in 1080i. The 1080p mode records at a rate of 27 Mbps.

In fact the SD60 does not support progressive mode.

Ian.
 

EngIan

Novice Member
So, you say, based on your current 8gb card you get roughly 1hr's worth of footage in best quality? What's the quality like if you drop it down a little? What's the next lowest setting from the best quality? Is this HD?
The quality in 9 Mbps mode is a little poorer than 17 Mbps mode. You will notice the difference. The quality in 13Mbps mode is somewhere between the two - noticeable but less so. Both are considerably better than broadcast HD which (at least here) uses 8 Mbps or even 4 Mbps. In the case of the latter many broadcasts are actually 1440x1080 pixel (stretched horizontally to fit).

For those that have Panasonic cameras that support progressive video, the quality (in terms of resolution and noise etc.) is identical to the 13 Mbps interlaced mode.

Ian.
 

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