The VDR-D300 is equipped with 3 1/6" CCDs with 640K effective video pixels per CCD. Last year’s best DVD performer, the Sony DCR-DVD403, was armed with a 1/3" CCD and 3.3 MP. The DCR-DVD403 produced high quality video that was bright and sharp that rivaled video from some MiniDV camcorders. This Panasonic camcorder might be able to compete with and trump other 2006 high-end camcorders, regardless of the respective format.
Due to the hectic and confined nature of CES it is impossible to thoroughly test the performance of the display models. It is even tougher to make an extensive evaluation, though with its innovative imager one can speculate high quality video in bright light conditions from this model. On the CES show floor, parts of which are a fairly lit environment, the camcorder produced bright and sharp images with accurate color representation.
Low Light Performance
This model displayed fairly accurate color representation but was plagued with noticeable amounts of noise in the low light conditions on the darker parts of the show floors at CES. (Keep in mind that due to the uncontrolled environment, the VDR-D300’s low light performance could not truly be evaluated at CES. A more extensive assessment will be showcased in the upcoming full review.) The camcorder has an impressive imager which should affect its low light performance for the better, but this is merely an educated conclusion. The best DVD camcorder last year, the DVD403, had respectable low light performance. This model has a far better imager than the DVD403, and we therefore expect great things of this camcorder.