Panasonic HM-TA1 Pocket Camcorder Review

Posted: December 15, 2010
Panasonic HM-TA1 Pocket Camcorder Review

Panasonic's HM-TA1 Pocket Camcorder is as small as a mobile phone, records full HD video, offers 8 megapixel pictures and built-in software for easy online uploading. Kevin Pereira and Chris Hardwick take a look at this $110 pocket video camera that's perfect for the holidays on the go.

What You Need To Know

  • The Panasonic TA1 is one of the of the smallest and lightest pocket camcorders we've seen.
  • It's just a little thicker than a cell phone and weighs only 3.3 oz.
  • The battery cover might slide off because it's so light and plastic-y.
  • The USB port is also kind of awkward to slide out.
  • There's no HDMI output so you can't watch videos in HD on your TV.
  • It is SDXC compatible.
  • The TA1 is at least easy to use: menus are laid out in a logical way.
  • There are shortcut buttons for deleting, taking still pictures and turning on the light.
  • Just like the Flip, the TA1 comes with built-in software to share and edit your videos.
  • There are shortcuts to upload videos to both YouTube and Facebook in a quick, painless process.
  • Editing videos is cool: you can add titles, transitions and cut parts out, though again, it doesn't look like much.
  • Doing some heavier editing might bog down your computer a little.
  • The TA1 also works well as a Skype webcam: just change the camcorder to webcam mode and connect it to your computer.
  • You can Skype at a resolution of 640x480.
  • The camera records in full HD and has electronic image stabilization.
  • The foot looks okay: normal light footage looks almost as good as the Flip with bright colors and no overexposure.
  • The image stabilization feels non-existent, since any movement makes the video jump a lot, sometimes with artifacting and trailing.
  • Low light footage doesn't look very good: it's grainy and sort of blurry, and even the light doesn't help.
  • The pictures aren't bad: if you have the right light, the photos look good but most of our pictures looked a bit overexposed or soft.
  • Low light photos aren't bad but you better keep a steady hand or they'll blur.


  • $110


  • Buy.
  • This is a good, cheap alternative pocket camcorder and it has expandable memory.

Comments are Closed

  • bradleyquist

    ...and why can't I delete my first comment?

    Posted: December 15, 2010 8:30 PM
  • bradleyquist

    Holy shinkies. There are 20 points listed on "What you need to know" and yet 9 of them essentially say why this isn't a good product to buy.

    Why would you ever recommend this product?

    Posted: December 15, 2010 8:28 PM
  • bradleyquist

    Good gracious. Out of the 20 points you've made as to why this is a good purchase, 9 of them indicate otherwise.

    Why is this on here?

    Posted: December 15, 2010 8:26 PM