Panasonic has the world's smallest and lightest full HD Camcorder, the HDC-SD9. This pocket size cam features a 3CCD sensor that records at 1920x1080. For the independent film maker in all of us, you will appreciate the 24p mode that shoots at the same frame rate as motion picture film.
It records to SD/SDHC memory cards with the AVCHD codec. Which means, no more tapes. You will need a rather new and fast computer, preferably a dual core machine, if you want to have a chance at being able to edit the footage.
There were some compromises made in order to make this cam so dang small. Panasonic got rid of the viewfinder that is traditionally located on the back of the unit. You must now use only the LCD screen to frame your shots. This isn't such a big deal, since most people only use the LCD screen, and forget all about the viewfinder. If you want to plug in an external microphone to improve the audio quality of your recordings you are in for a big surprise. You can't. You are stuck with the built-in mic that is located on the camera. My biggest complaint is that the HDMI port is located in the battery compartment. If you want to use the HDMI, you have to take out the battery, and run on AC power. This is a big pain in the ass. Hopefully Panasonic will wise up and fix this on future versions.
This little cam also features "Face Detection" which had previously been available only on still cameras. This new function, which can detect up to five faces at once, automatically adjusts the exposure and smooths skin tones according to the ambient brightness, so faces are bright and easy to see.
This is an amazing HD camera that you can literally fit in your pocket.
Pros: Full 1920x1080 HD, 24p Mode, Leica Lens.
Cons: No Mic Input, No Viewfinder, HDMI Port Location.
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