Panasonic SD80 or SD40


Standard Member
Hi all,

I've got a 6 months old son and it's the first Christmas coming up. I'm trying to decide what to buy and i've been told about the above models. I'd like something that is Full HD and that i can hook up to the TV to be able to play along with the new laptop. I'd be used for numerous things as you can imagine with the baby, so a good quality picture and good life span is essential.

What are peoples thoughts on the Panasonic's, and if you have one was it a worthwhile purchase?


Distinguished Member
Welcome to the confusing World of Video!
I presume you have a fairly modern PC and this is what you will use only to edit the vid files - playback must be via a dedicated (e.g DVD) "player".

However, you have chosen rather "budget" models and consequently there are likely to be issues re output quality. Nevertheless a fixed budget is a very strong reason for going with your instinct.
I refer you to Computer Shopper #286 (Dec2011 issue) which suggested the higher price of the SD90 was well worth the extra over the SD80 . . . but in my opinion neither will excel indoors, under what is generally "Low-Light" conditions. Outdoors you'll hardly notice the difference, unless you have a particularly good HD-TV.

Not sure about "life-span" comment; do you mean you expect it to be working on their 18th birthday - this may be good for a toaster, but camcorders will be taken about and subject to many environmental conditions - they are surprising robust, but some of the reliability is in your own hands - buy a sturdy leather case and a bag to put it in when not in use. You also need a spare battery + charger (watch-out many now charge "in-camera" which stops all filming. Budget for a second SDHC memory card at about £15 for Class 10 ( OR at least double in the high-street!).

Good luck for the future.

theo cupier

Active Member
Sorry to slightly hijack this thread, but the SD90 is about £270 in Amazon at the moment, which brings it within my budget.

Is there a rival make/model available at this price (no more than £300) which is a "must buy" instead of the SD90?

Presumably "low light" conditions are going to be a fairly consistent shortcoming at this price point...


Distinguished Member
Yes low-light issues are a result of the insistence on "more pixels" - HD in effect creates this.

Difficult to rec. any camcorder I've not used, but read that CS review, they are pretty hard-nosed with their comments and I get the impression many "reviewers" are reading the camera spec...whereas CS do seems to be independently tested. If there's a prob, CS mention it....

If you include "All Brands" then you just add to the confusion.....

I think they sell back-issues a small price to pay when you're spending nearly £300 -and you'll need an extra battery and a 16G class 10 SDHC so be prepared for some extras, not to mention that tripod - anything under £50 list, just isn't worth it, but look for discounts. Tripod height depends upon your height, if you're tall, then get a taller tripod, to be comfortable...that's my take.

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