Feeds
65%
Panasonic HM-TA20

Panasonic HM-TA20 underwater camcorder

Taking a dip

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Review Pocket camcorders might have lost their appeal since the spread of HD-ready smartphones but the amphibious nature of the Panasonic HM-TA20 is still likely to grab the attention of holidaymakers. The HM-TA20 is an underwater pocket camcorder capable of shooting 1080p videos and 8Mp still images up to depth of 3m and also doubles up as a digital voice recorder, with a number of ad hoc options.

Panasonic HM-TA20

Sub-aqua snapper

The HM-TA20 has a rugged and fun appearance with a bright orange or blue-coated body that felt just a tiny little bit too wide for my hands and slightly awkward to hold. The large 3in touch-sensitive screen whilst being generous in size, leaves very limited space to grip on. You need to hold the camcorder in an upright position while shooting, so it’s not the most comfortable camera to handle, especially underwater.

On a positive note the camcorder is very tough and well built, with every compartment protected by thick watertight rubber seals, along with a security system of double switches to prevent exposure of internal areas even during the most extreme sport or careless use.

The HM-TA20 has virtually no physical controls other than a large recording button at the front with everything else handled through touchscreen menus. The camera uses a resistive panel which is not very responsive.

Panasonic HM-TA20

Settings tweaks are performed using touchscreen menus

The user interface relies on three large virtual buttons, Play, Mode and Menu that unfortunately leave little space for the actual live view of the footage. The menu is very straightforward but lacks direct control of functions such as exposure or mic volume. Touch control issues aside, the LCD screen is bright even underwater and fairly sharp too.

Apart from being waterproof, shockproof and dustproof, the HM-TA20 does not exactly shine in terms of specs. The 1/4.1in CMOS sensor has a 5.33Mp resolution, which is further reduced if the 4x digital zoom is used. Presumably, Panasonic indulges in some image interpolation trickery to get this sensor to deliver 8Mp (3264 x 2448) stills. Video capture is at 30fps in Full HD, 720p, VGA or iFrame resolutions. The latter is 960 x 540 and is optimised for use with Apple's iMovie '11. For low light shooting, there’s a rather weak LED light on the side of the lens which helps, but not much.

Panasonic HM-TA20

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.