Panasonic's D100 has some modest specifications, sporting only standard 4:3 capture with no native widescreen recording. The D100 has a 1/6in CCD sensor with 400K effective pixels. It doesn't take still images, so if that feature is on your wish list, you'll need to look elsewhere.

From a comfort and aesthetics point of view the D100's design is successful, however, with the circular shape of DVD discs providing the theme. The controls are convenient, with most situated within easy reach of the right hand. And the D100's thumb-controlled joystick enables you to steer through a host of shooting options such as white balance, focus, aperture, shutter speed and gain control.

The D100's lens is another highlight: it has a whopping 30x optical zoom range. As with the Samsung's 33x lens, you'll need to keep a tripod handy if you wish to use the Panasonic at greater distance ranges. The D100's electronic stabilisation system begins to struggle beyond 10x.

The Panasonic is less choosy than some models about which DVD media it will accept, although it doesn’t support DVD+RW discs.

Panasonic VDR-D100: Specs

  • 1/6in CCD
  • DVD-RAM/-R/-RW
  • 2.5in LCD
  • 30x optical zoom
  • max aperture f1.8
  • focal distance range 1.9-57mm
  • 1/6in CCD
  • DVD-RAM/-R/-RW
  • 2.5in LCD
  • 30x optical zoom
  • max aperture f1.8
  • focal distance range 1.9-57mm

OUR VERDICT

In anything other than good natural light, the D100 suffered obtrusive and persistent blotchy noise issues and compression artefacts. The Panasonic's automatic white balance frequently wandered into much warmer tones, occasionally resulting in horrifying, Dale Winton-esque flesh tones. And you really don't want that.

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