PROS / It has a 700x digital zoom, which is the highest of any of the HDV camcorders we looked at.
CONS / It only has 32GB of built-in memory, but it can use a variety of SD cards for those who need extra memory.
VERDICT / This HD camcorder combines an impressive zoom, touchscreen functionality and a low LUX light rating to create a high-end device.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product’s information.
If you aren't as concerned about the internal memory (isn't that what SD cards are for?) but you really want an HDV camcorder that gives you a killer zoom and consistently provides striking results, we highly recommend the Panasonic HDC-TM900K. This camcorder has a large screen and is equipped to handle low lighting situations. The reason why this product won the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award was because of how well-rounded it is in giving you all the options you'll need to make stunning HD home movies to share with your family and friends.
There is no doubt that manufacturers play an important role when it comes to electronics, and HD video cameras are no different. Panasonic has been around the block quite a few times and their high standards of excellence are seen in their HDC-TM900K. Not only do you get a great product right out of the box, but there are multiple accessories included that give you more options for perfecting your home movies.
Video & Image Quality
When looking for a camcorder, video and image quality is the first thing to consider. This is an HDV camcorder, so you already know there are some quality standards with the video, but there is still a lot of room for variation. With the Panasonic HDC-TM900K you will have top of the line quality in zoom, low lighting shots, recording speed and still camera resolution.
The zoom is important because it determines how far away you can film. This HD video camera has the best options when it comes to both the optical and the digital zoom. The optical zoom is 12x, which is the highest of any of the products in this category. The digital zoom is stellar at 700x. Even if you are standing at the other end of the football field, you will be able to capture the winning touchdown.
Since carrying around multiple electronic devices is a hassle, we looked at how well the HDV camcorder worked to take still photos. While the quality isn't as high as you would get with a camera, we were impressed with the 9MP resolution. You can either take the photos using the camcorder or pull the photos directly from your video. Either way you will get great photos to share with your friends or family, whether you want to make a photo book or post them online.
The three other factors we really examined were the focal length, the LUX rating and the recording speed. All of these can be easily forgotten but play an important part in the quality. The focal length of this camcorder is fairly broad with 3.45-41.4mm. The LUX rating is 1.6, which means that even at dusk, you can capture your memories with a clear picture. The higher the recording speed the higher the quality, and this HDV camcorder has speed. The Panasonic HDC-TM900K has a recording speed of 28Mbps.
Recording HD videos requires a lot of memory so having a good amount of built-in memory is a good place to start. While the 32GB of memory isn't as impressive as some other HDV camcorders on the market, it does give you upwards of 12 hours of recording time. This number changes depending on the recording mode.
If you want more than 32GB then you can always use memory cards. Having a memory card is a good way to make sure you always have enough memory with you. There are a variety of memory cards on the market, and this HDV camcorder takes three different types of cards. You can use SD, SDHC or SDXC with the Panasonic HDC-TM900K. It is easy to slip in the card when you need it for that extra long take.
A well-rounded HD video camera will not only have good video and image quality but offer features that make it easy to use and increase the functionality. Some of the features that we looked at include the screen size, dimensions of the unit and the warranty provided by the manufacturer. One of the features we felt was missing from the Panasonic HDC-TM900K is an embedded GPS. This isn't essential but we like to see the option because of how convenient it is for keeping track of exactly where you were when you when you filmed your movie.
The screen of this HDV camcorder is an impressive 3.5-inch LCD. What we really liked about this monitor was the fact that it is a touchscreen. Having a touchscreen increases the ease of use when it comes to navigating through menus. Who hasn't pushed the wrong button when trying to select an item? Now you don't have to worry about remembering which button does what.
The HD camcorder is small. It's only 6.60 x 2.83 x 5.75 inches and it weighs only 13 ounces. This is one of the lightest products we reviewed. Your arm won't get tired holding this HDV camcorder up for extended periods of time. We were also glad that it comes with a year warranty that protects against manufacturing defects. There are more warranty options available for an additional cost.
The Panasonic HDC-TM900K is an HDV camcorder that brings some of the highest quality video equipment to everyone. You don't have to be a professional cameraman to get the best out of this product. The built-in memory may be a little lacking, but the option to use memory cards means this isn't a concern. What really makes this product stand out is the expansive zoom. You don't have to be in the thick of things if you don't want to be. Stand where you want to and get a high-quality video every time.