Pros good video quality, user friendly (when it works)
Cons Cheaply made. Terrible camera life(6months)
Summary Bought this camera in Aug '10 alrwady broken in jan '11. Sent this camera back under the 1yr manufactures warranty and they told me that i needed to pay non-refund $45 fee just to do the diagnostics, $45 doesn't cover the repairs. Make sure you buy the extenede warranty, actually better yet DON'T buy the camera at all. Go with the FLIP camera it's a much better buy. $10 to ship the camera $45 to found out what wrong with it, you can buy a brand NEW one for $77. I bought this camera for $169, now i'm out of a camera and I can no longer record my new son's first steps. SAD but true. I have long been a supporter of Panasonic, but no longer. T E R R I B LE warranty and customer service. STAY AWAY FROM THIS UNIT
Pros Panasonic vid quality is the show stopper here. Wife has Kodak Playsport, a good friend has FlipUHD. Panny TA1 vids are simply superior, and the anti-shake stabilizer is THE BEST! Easy: Charge, shoot, then play on virtually any device. Cheap thrills.
Cons An external battery charger would have been nice.
Summary I've had this video camera for a couple of months now, daily gold box special on Amazon.com for $65. The more I use it, the more I like it. Keep it in my jeans pocket at all times and it feels just right. I use it for basically anything and everything.Dating myself here. My first video camera was one of these: [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MX1-AgBKv4[/url] I still have it, and yes it still works.
For reference: I've toted around lots of video cameras, basicly since they first started making them publicly available 30 years ago. And, for the last two years it's been a $700 Canon HF100. The TA1 can't match the Canon's low light levels but in full light it's virtually the same or better HD quality as the Canon. Hey, I've shot almost as much video in the last two months with the TA1 as I did in two years with the Canon! That basically speaks for itself.
When I first opened the box, the unit looked and felt more than a bit underwhelming. Plastic? It took a few days to really want to start carrying the thing around. After shooting some hard to get outdoor restaurant scenes with the family, I was sold. The boot cycle is FAST, the movies are vividly color saturated, well auto/motion focused, and extremely sharp. The anti-shake feature on this camera is absolutely incredible, I have no idea how they were able to do this and keep the cost/value ratio of the thing so low. .Plastic look and feel? Gone. Sturdy thing, very much so, yes it is. Comfortably super slim, super fast, super sharp & colorful vids, and super reliable. Panasonic, you've done it again. Thank you.
Lots of other people that have actually used this camera for a while are now saying the same thing, "I never leave home without my TA1". That says it all.
Updated on Feb 20, 2011
We've come a long way from December 1985, and my Panasonic TA1 proves it.