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on August 29, 2012
After reading the poor reviews listed, I wanted to put in my two cents worth. I got this camcorder a few months ago and took it on a week long vacation. It has the ability to increase the brightness of the LCD display so it can be seen in bright sunlight. I purchased a Canon camcorder that does not have this ability. In low light, there is a built in light that can be used to light the scene. Works well up to 5 or 6 feet. Not going to light up a whole room, but it does quite well for what it is intended to do. I did not have any problem with the software on a Windows computer using XP or one using Windows 7. One nice feature is the image stabilization even at zoom ranges. (Much better than the Canon) I also like the fact you can get third-party batteries that the camcorder recognizes (Unlike the Canon) so you know how much power is left. Video quality is excellent, and you can record at full 1080p at 60 fps. Uses a lot of memory, but the image is great. Sound quality is quite good with the built in microphone. Overall, I would recommend this camcorder to anyone looking for a good, mid-priced consumer-friendly model
77 comments| 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 26, 2012
$260 for this camcorder and you're going to give it a bad review? Don't know if serious or just flat out nuts?

Takes beautiful videos you won't find a camcorder that even comes close in quality for the price paid for the Panasonic hc-v500. This camera takes videos that you would expect from a $600 camcorder.

Pros

*Has a great zoom that's very clear

*Great stabilization for you shaky hands

*Compact fits right in the palm of your hand

*Stunning video recordings

* Offers the same quality that a much more expensive camcorder has

Cons

* The software that comes with this camera won't edit your videos for you, you have to do that yourself.

* isn't the quality of a broadcast quality camera you see on ABC or NBC

* Won't solve world hunger nor will it save the World from Armageddon

* Won't be able to shoot 100,000 porno scenes without breaking down (personal use only)

* You get a bunch of people who complain about this camera because they don't know how to use it
44 comments| 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 18, 2012
Nice camera, works as expected, good video. Would have preferred a charger that charged batteries ourside of camera with the pop up power prongs. Since it comes with a small brick it has a separate power cable and must take more things when I travel, won't fit in my camera bag. A remote control would be great!
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 30, 2012
My last camcorder i had until now was a Panasonic HDC-SD5 it has long been discontinued,i finely decided to buy a new one but there is so many on the market, That was for sure i wanted to stay with Panasonic because i had good experience with them in the pass, secondly i didn't want to over pay by now i know how this goes prices can go down like nothing i came across this Panasonic HC-V500K Full HD SD Camcorder,I'm so impressed the HD quality on these videos i shot is excellent amazing sharp,the camera is very easy to use. I was able to get started with it without reading the instructions i was surprised that it was so light i am use to heavy cameras in all I am Blown Away by this camcorder i would highly recommend this camcorder i am preparing to travel to Africa this week with a maga zoom like this camcorder has i am set to go
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 28, 2013
Have been loving an older model of this camera for a while now, so when it got a little fritzy, decided to replace it with the current model. It would appear there are two choices - the V100 and V500. Wanted 1080p (not 1080i) and wanted the lens cover to be automatic (not manual), so paid 2X to buy this one. Very happy. Great camera. I love the fact that I can take good still pictures WHILE I am shooting video. Huge optical zoom. I'm not in love with the actual "camera" function of the camera for still pictures (the camera operates in either video mode or camera mode, but you can take stills during video mode); it never seems to get the lighting/colors right (but neither did my old one). The first thing I used this camera for was shooting video of a dance recital from 5 rows back; the video came out great and the stills are great too (and I didn't use the integrated (and extremely bright) video light/flash)). With my old similar camera, we could even grab good (but lower resolution) stills out of the video footage by just grabbing frames; I haven't tried that with this one, but I think it probably would work well too. Great camera!
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on December 19, 2012
I bought this as an anniversary gift for my husband, and all I really know is that he absolutely loves it. He said to get the "next step up" you would have to pay another $200 or so, so think I got a really good deal on this. We took some video of a pileated woodpecker and that zoom made for some fantastic photography!!!!
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on May 3, 2013
I had another Panasonic that I ran over with my car (long story). I tried to replace it with a Sony, and also JVC. I wasn't happy, this Panasonic is just a great camera. It captures memories in light and dark nicely with great color. Battery life hasn't been an issue and with todays large capacity SD cards, the camera's small size, and ease of use it is unbelievable how easy it is to capture priceless moments. If you've lived through the 8mm era like I have, you'll appreciate what i"m saying. This camera works well in dark and light scenarios without the grainy appearance I saw on the Sony, and JVC that I tried out. I was able to focus on the moon during the late afternoon using the zoom feature. It came out clear which is amazing for a digital zoom. Color is great. I'm not a zealot for perfect quality but I do appreciate good quality and this camera has it. For the money, this is an incredible deal. If you've lived through the 8mm era like I have, you'll appreciate what i"m saying.
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on April 26, 2013
Great camcorder/camera! I love this little thing! I use it so often that I literally never grab my regular camera anymore. One of the best features that this camcorder has is that while you are recording a video, you can snap a picture by pressing a button on the top with your index finger. So easy. Another thing I love is that it is so ergonomic and lightweight that it's not annoying to use. I really didn't think I would use this as much as I do, but I really love it. Everyone that has seen it want to get one. Oh and another great thing is the lighting. A light automatically comes on when it's dark. And you can adjust what type of lighting you would like. For example... indoor, outdoor, soft, etc... You can also disable it if it comes on when you don't need it. Quality of video is really good. And from what I understand it has a stabilizing feature so that if your hand is shaky, it doesn't appear to be that way on video. Overall, I'm so happy with this purchase. I read a lot of reviews before deciding on this one and I'm definitely impressed. Great buy!
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on January 25, 2013
You might find better camcorders but you won"t find one as good as the panasonic HC-V500 for this price range. I searched the web for reviews on budget HD camcorders. I don't use them often and did not want to spend an arm and leg for something I use maybe 6 times a year. According to a review on a consumer magazine, this one was rated a best buy. I would recommend this camcorder to anyone. The software installed easy on my computer and works great.
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on June 17, 2013
Takes very good videos which was the primary purpose for buying this camcorder. Love the small size and light weight. Has a very good stabilizing system and the zoom is incredible. The only reason I gave it 4 stars was that I was not completely happy with the still photos that it takes. While they are decent when you shoot in 16x9 at 3 MP, its highest resolution, the pictures are not of equal quality to my digital Canon Power Shot set at the same resolution (3 MP). I was hoping that this camera would do for both so I would not have to wag two cameras as I have always had to do. I think the photo capabilities of the HC-V500 are barely adequate if you do not have your digital camera with you but not up to 3 MP quality of the digital cameras I have had. The problem is not with image size as 3 MP should be plenty, but the edges of the image has what I think is called digital noise. That could be caused by the photo compression. Panasonic makes a camcorder similar to this with a 16 MP photo capability for just a little more money. I am not sure the quality of its photos but one would hope that with 16 MP it would be better. However it does not have some of the other features that you find in the HC-V500 that I wanted.

After using the camera for a while I noticed a problem. It appears to be with the automatic white balance. Sometimes when I am videoing the color will suddenly take on an orange tint. If I quit and turn the camera on again it appears normal. I have noticed this mostly when recording indoors. I probably should have returned the camera. Guess I learned a lesson about buying a refurbished camera.
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