The HDC-SD800 High Definition Camcorder is a high-end HD offering from Panasonic. Right off the bat a few of the camera's most desirable features include: 1920 x 1080/60p recording, an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot, the option to record in 3D, and a quality image sensor system. These features alone give you detailed, beautiful images, a plethora of recording space, and the ability to shoot fun and unique movies in 3D with an optional lens.
Let's take a closer look at the 3MOS system and 1080/60p recording. Panasonic's proprietary '3MOS' is a 3 sensor CMOS that adds up to 9.15MP (3 x 3.05MP). These sensors work together with another Panasonic technology, Crystal Engine PRO. This engine is a fast processor which writes those gigantic HD files to the HDD or SD card quickly and efficiently. It also allows for high-res zooming when exceeding the optical range. In addition, the engine works to reduce image noise, rendering beautiful, like-like images. These two work together to produce 1080/60p footage. The "p" means progressive; when recording in a progressive frame rate the footage captures is more vibrant and detailed than even "i", or interlaced, HD recording. In the world of consumer camcorders, 1080p is the gold standard.
Of course the sensor and engine wouldn't be able to do their job without a high-quality lens. The SD800 comes with a 35mm Leica Dicomar lens that sports a 3.45-41.4mm focal length, 12x optical zoom range, 46mm filter diameter, and a 1.5-2.8 f/stop. Lens can zoom up to 20x using the Intelligent Zoom; and it features a manual ring for more control and creativity with your shooting. Another way in which the camera works to create clean video is with HYBRID O.I.S. (optical image stabilization). This O.I.S. keeps your shots steady when hand-holding the camera. It reduces the effects of hand-shake for an easy-to-view, clean shot.
Other useful tools of the camera include a 3.0" touch screen LCD. This screen provides you with options like, "Touch Zoom" and "Touch Shutter". The zoom function allows you to zoom in by dragging your finger across the LCD. The shutter function enables instant touch focus on a particular subject in the frame, and the option to switch to still-image shooting. The camera also features 5.1 channel Dolby Surround Sound recording, and 5 built-in electret condenser microphones. You can capture true Surround Sound that targets your subject, while minimizing wind and extraneous sounds.
In addition to all these useful features, the SD800 also gives you the aforementioned option of recording in 3D. Using the optional VW-CLT1 conversion lens from Panasonic, you can capture 3-dimensional footage. Your 3D videos can then be played back on any 3D TV that is compatible with the side-by-side method. Giving the camera a 3rd identity would be its ability to capture up to 14.2MP still images. A dedicated iA mode will automatically switch to 1 of 5 scene modes for optimized capture.
The SD800 also features numerous shooting controls, like face detection or Intelligent Auto, which help to take the guesswork out of video recording. These controls allow you to make recording simple, so you can focus on the moment and not figuring out the correct settings. And when it comes time to share what you've shot, the SD800 provides you with various options as well, from editing software that lets you upload to the web to a fun in-camera playback feature.