Panasonic's pair of top-of-the-prosumer-line high-definition camcorders -- the £900 hard-drive-based HDC-HS300 and the £850 flash-based HDC-TM300 -- in many ways vastly improve over older models like the HDC-HS100 and HDC-SD100. Panasonic has jettisoned most of what we disliked about those models, including the too-low-resolution CMOS sensors and connector placement, and retained everything we liked, notably the breadth of manual controls and eye-level viewfinder. While the company has replaced the awkward ring-based manual operation with an equally awkward touchscreen, the improvement in video quality and performance makes these camcorders a far better bet.
Because of the different recording media, the camcorders have slightly different designs. The HS300 is ever so slightly larger and heavier than the TM300, due to its 120GB hard drive, but they have the same feature sets and should have identical video quality. The highest video quality they offer is at a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, at 30 frames per second, at 17Mbps. You can read our full Panasonic HDC-TM300 review, which will tell you everything you need to know about the HS300.