Visit our Business Solutions website >>

Panasonic SDR-H40

alaTest has collected and analyzed 227 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers really like the size and image quality. The portability and value for money are also appreciated, but views are divided on the battery. Many are less positive about the features and viewfinder.

usability, value for money, portability, image quality, size

viewfinder, features

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Panasonic SDR-H40 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 81/100 = Very good quality.

See all Panasonic Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 227 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 73 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 73 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (45)

Expert review by:

Panasonic SDR-H40 Review and Prices


The Panasonic SDR-H40 is an entry-level DV camcorder and is another entry into the increasingly popular hard disk drive market. It is designed to compete with the low-end Everio range from JVC and Sony's standard definition HDD camcorders.

Large storage capacity, great handling, powerful zoom and impressive OIS

Poor low light performance, low-quality stills

Expert review by:

Panasonic SDR-H40 40GB Hard Drive Camcorder With 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom


The Panasonic SDR-H40 makes a very strong argument for itself. With an impressive 40GB built-in hard drive, and a record-making 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom, the Panasonic SDR-H40 stands head and shoulders above most other hard drive camcorders....

The Panasonic SDR-H40 makes a very strong argument for itself. With an impressive 40GB built-in hard drive, and a record-making 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom, the Panasonic SDR-H40 stands head and shoulders above most other hard drive camcorders....

Consumer review by:

Excellent camera, can't work the software.


I have an SDR-H40 and, being an elderly novice, am very happy with the film-taking, etc. BUT, I really need some software advice. I have successfully copied all of my video-clips onto my computer but have totally failed to find software that will then...

Easy to use, to take films, etc

Having managed to copy my video-clips to my (Windows XP) Computer, I have totally failed to find a way of then copying them (burning?) onto DVD's, and believe me, I've tried


Consumer review by:

Overall Great Camcorder 7 WORKS WITH MAC'S!!


I am heading out on a trip to an island, and I wanted a small camcorder that recorded onto a hard drive. My main two priorities were that it have good image quality and that it worked with my mac, running 10.5.6, with Imovie version 7.1.4 . First, I...

Optical Image Stabilizer ; Awesome 42X Zoom ; Small ; All of the buttons accessible with one hand

The charger must be attached when putting video onto computer

Consumer review by:




Picture video is great on the camcorder haven't used the still part of camera

Panasonic software sucks, hard to use and very long start up time if you can get it to work. Thank god I have a dvd recorder to transfer video

Consumer review by:

Wonderful inexpensive hard drive camcorder


I got this camcorder for my birthday today and it works very well. It was going to be a choice between this camcorder and the Sony Handycam DCR-HC52, which records on MiniDV tapes. I was torn between the two until I went to Best Buy, hoping to be able...

Easy connectivity, great image stabiliizer, lots of video space, fun interface

Squeezes widescreen video

Consumer review by:

Not a great camera


Two things I will never do again. First buy any camera from Best Buy. The return policy and re stocking fee is crazy. We bought the Panasonic SDR-H60 first and after a lot of fighting with Best buy the allowed us to trade it for the Panasonic SDR-H40....

Price is the only advanage if you can live with a bad camera

Bad compression of image, but is better then the first camera we bought the Panasonic SDR-H60. Image is poor at best. It sad that for almost $400. Software is worst that the camera

Consumer review by:

worthless, wish we could return it


I wouldn't buy it again. I'd either be happy with the short movies from our canon powershot elph camera (which we love) or get some other brand of camcorder. maybe someone from panasonic wants to call me or email me? i'm only on the internet writing...

easy to view directly on tv

hard to keep the videos. need external hard drive, dozens of dvd's, separate dvd recorder, dvd's then don't play on tv, OR all of this is possible but the directions are so confusing that it isn't possible for normal consumers like me

Consumer review by:



I still recommend the camera because my hands shake on and off without reason and the stabilization makes me look like I have the steadiness of a doctor. The videos still come out good and I appreciate the simple interface. I actually purchased a...

Best stabilization, good weight, good price, good battery life and slightly bigger than avg hard drive

I HAVE 2 buy addtnl software (expensive) AFTER paying 4 the camera (software shuts down after accessing files on cam. I never get 2 copy/edit them. I want the option 2 charge my battery & use the power cord @ the same time (how tough could that be)

Consumer review by:

Software problems are fixable


Same problem as everyone that probably has one of these cameras and not the exact computer the software was designed to run on. I got NERO DVD burn software and am now able to see the camera hard drive and recognize my videos. I have Windows XP but as...

Nice camera. Takes really good video. Easy to use and setup

If you can't get the video off the camera it really is useless after about 15 hours. Most folks don't have the time or money, to be aggravated with this problem. My summary below will hopefully help anyone who has one or may want one

Product Specifications

The SDR-H40's 42x optical zoom lens has the power you need to take dramatic closeups or get remarkable shots of even distant subjects. But with long-distance zoom shots, even a tiny bit of hand shake has a huge effect on picture quality. That's where Panasonic's Advanced Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) comes in, suppressing the effects of hand shake as you shoot. The system uses gyrosensors to detect hand shake, then shifts a lens and adjusts the optical axis to compensate. This all happens a remarkable 4,000 times per second. And because the system is optical, no image quality is lost. Thanks to Advanced O.I.S., the images you capture look incredibly clear, sharp and blur-free even at high zoom levels. The SDR-H40's 40GB internal hard disk drive lets you record continuously for up to 36 hours (in LP mode) without changing a disc, tape or other recording media. Panasonic's Anti-Shock Shield helps protect recorded video data from damage due to jolts and impact. The Drop Detect function senses if the camera is falling and moves the head away from the hard disk. The Floating Structure protects the hard disk should the camera fall or be dropped. And the Buffer Memory automatically backs up data while the camera is falling. This hard disk drive camcorder has a USB Host function, which lets you connect directly to a DVD burner (sold seperately) via a USB cable. You can then copy recordings from the hard disk to a DVD disc by simply pressing a button. You can transfer the motion-image data from the SD card or the camcorder's hard drive right to your PC using your PC's USB port.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific

Camcorder Features

Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes
Widescreen Video Capture: Yes

Digital Storage Media

Type:Hard disk drive

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.7in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.9cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Panasonic

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.9-4.3
Max Focal Length:75.6mm
Min Focal Length:1.8mm
Optical Zoom:42
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Still Resolution:0.3Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:380Kpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:800Kpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/6"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):4.2 mm ( 1/6 ) / 4.2 mm ( 1/6" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Qty:1CCD

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:MPEG-2
Digital Zoom:2000
Media Type:Hard disk drive
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Still Image Format:JPEG