Panasonic SDR H18 Review


The Panasonic SDR H18 is a compact, light weight, easy to carry digital camcorder. It is extremely affordable considering the price factor and hardly compromises with features and quality of images. It is a great home purpose video recorder and a tough competitor to beat in its category. Very few competitors offer the optical image stabilization feature in this category and it does a wonderful job than most others which is the most important buying consideration, especially for these long zoom cameras. Therefore, the SDR-H18 becomes irresistible and it is the least expensive also. The image quality is impressive with true to life colors and clarity.  However, with the Panasonic SDR H18 the exposure time is huge, which means that users can only record still scenes in very low light. The very low light feature on SDR camera is relatively disappointing. With a long zoom lens there is a severe compromise with the larger CCD’s because they allow for better image quality.

One more additional negative that becomes evidently noticeable is that the users can’t delete a shot until they shift to the playback mode. Therefore, the preview and editing process becomes cumbersome stifling between both of these. They could have then and there provided the facility to save time and effort of swinging between these extra steps. The Panasonic SDR works well in the broad daylight. Infact, the result is astonishing and impressive. But, the video quality is average with normal indoor light and poor in low light conditions. Though the hard disk space is ample but the supplied battery won’t last very long on a charge. The Panasonic H18 simply scores well above others because of its price and the image stabilization feature that are tough to beat. For those, who can put in a little extra can look forward to purchasing H18 instead of a regular snapshot camera.

Product Description

It’s hard to believe such a small camcorder is capable of doing such great things. Panasonic Palmcorder SDR-H18 Camcorder is perfect for extended trips with its internal 30GB hard drive that holds as much video data as up to 22 8cm 1.4GB DVDs. That’s about 22 hours worth of high-quality video. The SDR-H18 offers a 32x extended range zoom capability. Panasonic’s selectable Optical Image Stabilization system helps reduce blurred images that result from normal handheld movements. Stills and videos may also be recorded on SD or SDHC memory cards. A built-in USB port lets you transfer images recorded on the 30GB hard drive directly to your PC or Mac for extended video storage or editing. Shoot in 4:3 standard or 16:9 widescreen visual modes – fill your TV screens. It’s a camcorder for all seasons and reasons. Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) Recording Modes – XP, SP, LP MagicPix Images for 2 Lux Minimum Illumination Shooting Iris – Auto Focus/Manual (Including Gain) Still Picture Recording, 640×480, 640×360 (16 – 9) MPEG2 Recording Format Wide Mode (16 – 9 Aspect Ratio) Image Sensor (Total) – 1/6 CCD (680K Pixels) Image Sensor (Effective) – 4 – 3 – 340K, 16 – 9 – 460K (Moving Picture) Image Sensor (Effective) – 4 – 3 – 350K, 16 – 9 – 460K (Still Picture) Lens Aperture – F1.8 (Wide)/F3.7 (Telephoto) White Balance Settings – Auto, Indoor, Outdoor, Manual Backlight Compensation Date Recording – Auto Date (in Date Code) On-Screen Display Language – English, French, Spanish Built-In SD SDHC Card Slot PictBridge Compatible Unit Dimensions – 2.98 W x 3.27 H x 4.76 D; Weight – 0.95 lbs. Panasonic USA Warranty 1 Year Parts and 90 Days Labor

Technical Details

Built-in 30 GB hard disk drive

32x optical zoom; O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)

Pure Color Engine; MPEG2 engine

Large 2.7-inch widescreen LCD

One-Touch Navigation for easy, intuitive setting and shooting