Feeds
65%
Panasonic HM-TA20

Panasonic HM-TA20 underwater camcorder

Taking a dip

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Making a scene

Additionally the HM-TA20 is equipped with Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto System, which automatically recognises a scene, adjusts exposure and white balance and enables functions like low-light or face detection. The HM-TA20 sports a nice, if limited, range of creative effects: black and white, sepia and skin tone smooth.

Panasonic HM-TA20

A satisfactory rather than outstanding performer

Video quality is not outstanding but certainly acceptable. The camera features decent electronic image stabilisation with well-controlled judder that enables capture of fast moving subjects and delivers smooth panning. Colours are quite vibrant and the monochrome modes appear well contrasted.

The actual videos are not always super sharp but there is sufficient level of detail and a pleasant overall result. Underwater the HM-TA20 does not deliver a particularly distinctive image quality. When you are quite close to the subject it can be quite clear and detailed but at a distance it becomes foggy and loses contrast and depth. I found it near impossible to use the zoom without producing unacceptable shake.

Battery life is not a particularly strong point but allows you to get through a day or two of occasional recording. In the box are some handy accessories including a tiny but useful mini tripod and a stylus pen for operating the touchscreen with gloves. Even so, these are hardly enough to make up for the cost, which depending on which Panasonic link you click on is either £160 or £180. This pricetag is a bit steep compared to cheaper waterproof offerings in the Kodak PlaySport range, when the only main difference is the touchscreen.

Verdict

The Panasonic HM-TA20 is far from faultless and suffers from a chunky design and poorly implemented software. Still, if you have kids, are into water sports or just need a survive-all camcorder to take on holiday with you, it can be a reliable companion for your trips and is capable of producing decent looking videos and, if you shop around, can be found at a reasonable price. ®

Catherine Monfils is a professional photographer specialising in portraiture, lifestyle and fashion.

More Camcorder Reviews

Contour
GPS Bluetooth
camcorder
JVC
Everio GS-TD1
Viewsonic
3DV5
Panasonic
HDC-SD900
GoPro
HD Hero

Boost IT visibility and business value

65%
Panasonic HM-TA20

Panasonic HM-TA20 underwater camcorder

Underwater and dustproof stills and video camera.
Price: £160 RRP

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.