There’s no denying that the Panasonic HDC-SD800 shoots solid video; at 1080/60p, it should. Other standout features like the 3MOS sensor, Intelligent Zoom, and great OIS all start to paint a picture of a well-rounded, top-of-the-line camcorder. But at an MSRP of $849.99, it isn’t quite the complete package that it should be; the zoom mic basically doesn’t work like it should, and larger screens tend to expose the graininess and artifacts in the video quality. Omissions like the absence of an accessory shoe (cold or hot), external microphone jack, manual lens ring, mini HDMI cable, and onboard storage also seem inexcusable for a camera this expensive.
The SD800 does what it’s supposed to do and relatively well. But if you’re willing to spend $849.99 on a camera that is lacking in so many departments, you might as well shell out the few extra bucks for any of the camcorders in the 900 series, which were clearly given preferential treatment and have many of the features that the SD800 is missing.