Hands on: Panasonic HM-TA1 pocket-size camcorder


LatestGadgets had the chance to test out the Panasonic HM-TA1. This will be Panasonic’s first pocket camcorder and goes toe to toe with the Flip Ultra HD. Let’s see how it compares.

The HM-TA1 is very easy to use and I was up and running within minutes. All the software is preloaded on to the camcorder so no CD required here. There are a few more buttons than on the Flip but there are more settings allowing you to tailor the video or picture to how you want it. Video is Full HD and pictures are in average 8MP. Unfortunately, there is no HDMI with the HM-TA1 so connecting to your TV might be a bit tricky. There is an in-built USB arm so connecting to your PC is simply plug and play.

The arm can be a bit awkward to get out but once you get the hang of it, you will be fine. A major plus for the TA1 is the SD slot so you can put a 16GB memory card in and record hours upon hours of video, unlike the Flip in-built storage. Why not go bigger if you like?

Sample footage (by a 3rd party):

The camcorder has a 4x zoom so you can video from a distance. For those action shots, the Electrical Image Stabilizer system will minimise blurring and hand-shake. It doubles as a webcam as it is Skype compatible. To upload video you have transfer to your PC first then upload to YouTube using the software which is similar to Flip. You can customise the TA1 from a choice of 40 skins

For Panasonic’s first outing into the pocket side of things, it is a good little camera for people who take a lot of video as you can get a memory card to suit you. Available from £99.99 at Currys. You will need to buy a memory card to go with it which brings it close the Flip Mino HD and Ultra HD in price.