Despite being released back in January of this year, the 1920 x 1080, 10x optical zoom SD9 is (still) the top performer. Touted by Panasonic as the world’s smallest full HD cam, its slimmed down profile makes it a real winner with the portability crowd. HD image quality and compression are noticeably ahead of other cams in this round-up, but there’s still some ghosting and artifacts in certain (read: low light) situations. The menu system is classic Panasonic simple and easy to learn, but the joystick has been moved into the LCD cavity, hampering movement and versatility. The rest of the controls are nicely placed with smooth well-modulated zoom and a fumble-resistant dedicated optical image stabilization button.