Panny's true HD cams shoot for Europe

Panasonic's gorgeous SD1 may have come out top in our HD camcorder group test but a serious contender is already waiting in the wings: the SD5 (pictur

Panasonic's gorgeous SD1 may have come out top in our HD camcorder group test but a serious contender is already waiting in the wings: the SD5 (pictured).Now even smaller, it takes the same barrel-like design and thumbstick controls and crams in even more pixels to rank alongside other, much bigger, 'Full HD' contenders such as the JVC Everio GZ-HD7 and Canon HV20. By shooting at a full 1920x1080 resolution, instead of the usual 1440x1080, it can screen luscious 1080i HD without having to stretch its recorded pixels to fit.Like the SD1, it has a 10x optical zoom, records 5.1 surround sound and employs 3CCD chips for sparkling colour. It also has the same Advanced OIS we were smitten with in our group test.AVCHD format is again used to shoehorn the HD video onto SD cards – around three hours will fit onto an 8GB SDHC – but it now (finally) comes with AVCHD-friendly PC editing software and the optional VW-BN1 DVD burner that'll dump HD video direct to DVD.If an add-on DVD burner won't float your boat, there's always the SX5, which swallows mini DVD discs as well as SD cards. 60 minutes will fit on a standard platter but it does bulk the cam up with an unsightly disc-shaped bulge. A small price to pay for  home HD heaven though, right?Essentials Panasonic HDC-SD5, HDC-SX5, VW-BN1 Price: £TBA On sale: September Contact: Panasonic Related stories: 1080p camcorders on the way from Hitachi Reviewed: Panasonic HDC-SD1 Panny joins the ‘true HD’ camcorder club