Most helpful critical review
60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Not really 1080p
on November 10, 2012
I got this camera from another store and am returning it after a few days (see the Cons for my reasons). Also, Amazon has falsely labelled it as 1080p, but it is really 1080i (Look up what that means if you don't know).
I love all of the features and menu options that this camera provides. It also has a great battery life (due to it not being a touchscreen). It will last all day if you keep the lcd panel closed (to put it into stand-by) when not in use. It is also very easy to connect the cables to a tv and view the video. If you plan on filming 16:9 widescreen, you have to use the component cables to watch it on your hdtv. That results in 5 connected cables total (3 component for video, 2 for sound). If you film in 4:3 standard, you only have to connect the 3 standard cables. The usb connection is also easy to use. You can drag and drop the files off of the camera onto the computer without any issues.
I shot several videos in different lighting situations and uploaded it to my computer. Playing back the video on a higher resolution monitor revealed that the camera doesn't shoot high quality video. Image quality is very smudgy looking if you plan on filming anything that moves. I'm not talking about the auto stabilization - that works great. Panasonic advertises it with a 1.5MP sensor. Think about your really old digital camera that had a 1.5MP sensor. That is what the video looks like when you pause it. There are not enough pixels for it to be shooting 1080 pixels vertically (nevermind the fact that 1080i only does half of the pixels at a time). It smooths out or guesses what the rest of the pixels should look like - resulting in video that looks bad.
I originally didn't even care if the video shot in 1080 resolution, because I was planning on only keeping it as a down-scaled 720p. However, the video this camera produces does not do well in down-conversion, and the video quality only worsens. If you don't plan on doing very much editing to your video before burning it to something simple like a dvd, then this camera would work fine. I wouldn't plan on doing any HD youtube videos or blu-ray discs though.