The Panasonic SD80, as well as the TM80 and HS80, are really tweener devices. They have advanced features only found on the high-end Panasonic models just last year and a handful of manual controls, yet they lack the options that I think make for a complete camcorder.
The missing elements will probably turn off experienced users looking for a relatively inexpensive camcorder, but at the same time, the SD80 is a decent option for a pocket camcorder owner looking for something a little more serious.
Ultimately, most of the SD80 flaws come in the form of what the camcorder doesn’t have (external mic input, zebra stripes). What it does have, works well. Video quality is superb, shooting features abundant, and it’s extremely light.
That said, I don’t think users of any level will appreciate navigating the menus on a 2.7-inch screen, and even professional cinematographers will probably forget to close the manual lens cover.