Feeds
65%
Panasonic HM-TA20

Panasonic HM-TA20 underwater camcorder

Taking a dip

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

65%
Panasonic HM-TA20

Panasonic HM-TA20 underwater camcorder

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

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.