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Panasonic HDC-SD900

Panasonic HDC-SD900 camcorder

Full HD with 3D extras

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Parallax view

Any plans you might have to pip James Cameron to the post for an Avatar sequel might have to be abandoned at this point. Still, the 3D effect is undoubtedly fun. The SD card with 3D footage can be played back and viewed on any 3D Panasonic TV, alternatively you can route via the HDMI output to any other 3D display device.

Panasonic HDC-SD900

Great performer with SD storage recording that'll keep you shooting if you've cards aplenty

You can edit the side-by-side footage in a regular video editing package. I used Pinnacle Studio. The software sees the squished double images as a regular HD frame. Of course you’ll need to be able to force your display into a side-by-side mode when playing back any edits; there will be no control codes in your footage. It’s worth noting that the SD900 cannot take 3D digital stills.

Verdict

Overall, the HDC-SD900 is great value for money. I would rate its 2D picture quality as outstanding for the price and the feature spread ticks all the right boxes. As a hobbyist shooter it’s well above average, and for prosumers (needing 1080/50p) it could be a handy acquisition tool. The ability to upgrade to 3D is a novel final incentive, should you need one – although you may well be disappointed at some of the creative limitations that will accompany any journeys into the third dimension. ®

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Build a business case: developing custom apps

85%
Panasonic HDC-SD900

Panasonic HDC-SD900 camcorder

Versatile, well-equipped HD camcorder, able to shoot in 3D with optional conversion lens.
Price: £899, £280 (VW-CLT1 3D conversion lens) RRP

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