The Panasonic SDR-S50 has one standout feature: its 70x optical zoom, which experts say is valuable if you plan to shoot school plays from the back row or football games from the nosebleed seats. A CNET tester proves the point by shooting a video of the moon, which fills the SDR-S50's frame and shows the craters clearly. Importantly, experts say the SDR-S50 has a very effective optical image stabilizer to keep zoom shots from shaking uncontrollably with every tiny movement of your hand, but testers say you'll still need a tripod for the best long-zoom results. Battery life in one test is 80 minutes of shooting time, which is below average for this class. The SDR-S50 includes no built-in memory; it records to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, which you buy separately (Panasonic does offer identical models with built-in flash memories or hard drives). The camcorder has the same lightweight (half a pound) palm-sized form factor as most modern full-featured camcorders, and testers say it feels solid and basically well designed.
Panasonic's SDR-S50 is an unusual cross between the two: it's a proper full-size camcorder that records standard-definition video to SD memory cards.
The camera itself looks like a tape camcorder that has been shrunk. With no tape inside the body is smaller and almost unbelievably light, and sits very comfortably in the right hand. The main controls for zoom and recording are under the user's thumb and fingers, with the menu controls on the fold-out screen.
It supports the latest SDXC memory cards, giving up to 64GB of storage, but an inexpensive 4GB card gave us 55 minutes of recording at the highest quality. Video is recorded in the MPEG-2 format, so if you want to edit Panasonic SDR MOD video you need to import mod into imovie for editing.
The key difference between this camcorder and a cheaper pocket model is its lens. The SDR-S50's lens starts at 33mm wide, with a huge 78x zoom range that allows you to zoom, albeit slowly, to capture far-off objects. Longer zooms would normally create shaky images, but with an optical stabiliser built in, the SDR-S50 copes admirably even without a tripod.
Like most hand-sized camcorders the quality of video shot with the SDR-S50 depends on the available light. In daytime we were impressed by the accuracy of colour reproduction and sharp image, but in dim conditions you will notice iffy colours and a slightly smudgy look. With no accessory shoe on the top you cannot add an extra light or microphone, which is slightly annoying.
Actually, most of Panasonic SDR-S series camcorders(e.g. SDR-S50, S26, S10, S7, SDR-S25A, SDR-S26R, etc) record .mod with the video compression of MPEG2. The MOD video can playback on the media player, which has capability of reproducing MPEG-2 video. However, the video is not compatible with Mac program like QuickTime, iMovie, FCE, FCP, etc. Maybe you have tried to rename them to .mov, but you still can't import it to iMovie.
So, if you want to edit MOD files to iMovie you should change the MOD files to mac-friendly format. The MOD Converter for mac should be your excellent assistant, which can help to convert Convert MOD to iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, PSP, Creative Zen, cell phones, Zune, BlackBerry, Gphone, iRiver, Palm, Walkman and to applications such as iDVD, iMovie, iTunes etc., then the program will output iMovie acceptable video formats like MOV, MPEG4, DV, etc.
Panasonic SDR MOD camcorder and compatible problem with imov