Panasonic HDC-SD20 Camcorder Review

$379.00 MSRP


The Panasonic HDC-SD20 is one of three models designed by the company to appeal to the more budget-conscious entry-level camcorder user. With an MSRP of $549, it's several hundred dollars less expensive than many models from the competition. What you save in money, however, you also sacrifice in video quality. The SD20 can't quite compete with more expensive models like the Canon HF20. What it does offer is an incredibly intuitive and rewarding experience for beginners.

The SD20 comes equipped with a smooth touch screen interface, responsive automatic image adjustments, and Panasonic's highly publicized Intelligent Auto (iA) technologies. The AF/AE Tracking and optical image stabilization are two highlights of a long list of effective and easy-to-use auto features. If you're willing to forgo some more advanced add-ons and skimp on performance, you could save yourself some money and end up with a camcorder that's fun and easy to use.

Update: The JVC Everio GZ-HM200 was ultimately selected as our 2009 Mid-Range Camcorder of the Year. To see why we selected it and read about our other awards, check out the 2009 Select Awards.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Panasonic HDC-SD20, take a look at these other camcorders.

Sony MHS-CM1
$259.95 MSRP
Canon Vixia HF20
$249.99 MSRP

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  1. Introduction
  2. Design
  3. Product Tour
  4. Color Performance
  5. Low Light Performance
  6. Motion Performance
  7. Sharpness Performance
  8. Sample Videos
  9. Ease of Use
  10. Handling
  11. Controls
  12. Features
  13. Recording Options
  14. Hardware
  15. Other Features
  16. Canon Vixia HF20 Comparison
  17. Sanyo VPC-HD2000 Comparison
  18. Sony MHS-CM1 Comparison
  19. Conclusion
  20. Photo Gallery