Customer Review

100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Performance, Great Price- You'll probably need an LCD shade, April 4, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic HCV700K 3D Full HD 28mm Wide Angle SD Camcorder (Black) (Electronics)
I just received my 'baby' today. I'm VERY impressed! I'm sure some of the expensive prosumer cameras can top it, but it's the best camcorder I've ever owned in the consumer/midrange arena! I've only used it on full auto so far.

The colors in the recorded footage filmed in sunlight are nicely saturated, lifelike and vivid. The image stabilization even while zooming is highly effective in all directions. The intelligent zoom image is indistinguishable from the optical portion of the zoom. (I viewed on a 47" Bravia TV)
The camera is very light, but feels solid, all buttons and controls have a firm feel to them.

I was able to shoot great indoor footage with shades drawn, and no lights on! The color was still accurate if a little muted, and there was a little graininess, but that's to be expected. The low-light image had no excessive noise, no strange orange cast, or washed out cast like my Sony and Sanyo used to produce! With just a little help, such as a 150 watt bulb the indoor picture becomes amazing compared to my older cameras.

Photographs are OK for a camcorder, but if you've been using high MP images or DSLR, then they are NOT impressive as they are only 6MP.

This version of the Camera only has the one slot, so a decent size SD(HC/XC) card is needed so that you don't fill it up too quickly.

If you want a camera that produces superb video without any effort, and can produce great footage in less than ideal lighting, the V700K is a great buy and lives up to its own marketing hype which is rare.

Pros:
* Allows in-camera editing of AVCHD clips
* Auto lens cover
* Low Light performance is amazing
* Can be used while plugged into AC Power
* Image Stabilization(5 axis)actually STABILIZES the IMAGE, unlike my last 2 cameras!
* Wide-Angle 28mm lens gets more of a scene without moving farther back from subject

Cons:
* Included standard battery is only average stamina
* The LCD is very hard to see in sunlight (Forcing me to order an LCD Hood)
* Filming a quiet scene I was able to hear zoom lens moving(I did NOT hear fan noise)
* If you intend to use this outdoors, an LCD shade is a MUST.. I found LCD Hood for Canon DSLR by Cowboystudio to be inexpensive, and effective.

4/15 Edit: I have uploaded some rudimentary sample vids to youtube, search for V700K or BitingCommentator.

I added some comments about the Audio, in the comments area.
I have uploaded images of the camera with the LCD shade in operation, and showing the Built-In Lens Cover, hope all this is helpful for you!
Uploaded a low light clip from the Auto Museum to my YouTube channel.

UPDATE 5/15/12
After one month I'm still happy, but I did witness the Auto White Balance adjustment delay during filming. 2 commenters mentioned this, but until now I never saw it. I'll try to explain what seemed to trigger the issue. On both occasions I was filming indoors, and my subject matter/lighting source changed drastically - each time with large areas of white in the image. Each time, the camera took about 3-4 seconds to recalibrate and correct the setting, and in each case the end result was correct and stable.

1st occurrence was camera sitting on my white gas range, which took up most of the image (daytime, but dark room; warm colors). I moved the camera and aimed at the window with BRIGHT sunlight, & lots of green plants, the image first appeared with a blue cast, then Auto White Balance was able to find an appropriate setting to match the sunlight. 2nd occurrence was shooting against white bed linens under very bright, very cool temperature ALZO lights -ALZO Photo Light Bulb - Pack of 4 - CFL 45 watt - Daylight balanced 5500K - pure white light - 2800 Lumens. (Excellent light source, use with a Y adapter socket for bright clean light!) I zoomed in until my girlfriend's skin-very tan/bronze filled the viewfinder, and when I zoomed back out, the entire image got a blue cast as the white (re)filled the majority of the image. The Auto White Balance again took about 4 seconds, (which feels like forever) to get itself to back to optimal settings, and stayed there.

My personal verdict on the Auto White Balance is that since it never drifted once it recalibrated itself, and since the Balance settings it chose were spot on, I'm still happy with the camera, and still rate it highly. Also affecting my verdict is that on my other inexpensive cameras Sanyo VPC-GH2, Canon S80, Sony HC45-when the white balance was wrong or changed- the cameras NEVER self-corrected, the rest of that video clip would be off!
Of course it's frustrating that the V700 sometimes doesn't adjust instantaneously; 3-5 seconds can be a long time if every second of your footage is vitally important, or you do not have video editing software.
But there is an easy fix - which is switch to manual, set the white balance with a piece of white paper or white object, and then switch back to Full Auto. The setting will be stored, and then the camera won't have to do any 'thinking' about it. As usual hope this helps.

(BTW, what gives with the $40-$50 Price Swings from day to day, Amazon?)
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Comments

Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 21-30 of 30 posts in this discussion
Posted on Aug 16, 2012 4:11:51 PM PDT
Evgen says:
Hello, are these cameras made (assembled) in Japan or China? I'd like to buy one from AMAZON store, not a private seller. Thanks

Posted on Aug 16, 2012 4:15:06 PM PDT
Evgen says:
Hello, are these cameras made (assembled) in Japan or China? I'd like to buy one from AMAZON store, not a private seller. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 11:41:19 AM PST
Mister Ed says:
I see it has no headphone output. Even My old Tape Pana PVGS200 had mic & headphones out at the same time. So is there ANY way to monitor the external mic in real time? Thats the one thing pushing me to canon M500 or the pana X800/900's is headphones!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 1:15:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2012 12:06:45 AM PST
The only thing I can think of would be to get an external/shotgun Mic, that has a jack, I think it's called a pass-through? or a wireless Mic maybe?

Given the price involved of those accessories - probably makes sense to get the more expensive cameras...

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 3:08:15 AM PST
Thank you very much for taking the time to do such a thorough review.

It was extremely helpful for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2012 3:38:19 AM PST
Thanks so much Doug!!
I'm glad you found it useful! I'm normally lazy - but since I was the first one to review the camera - I thought "better step up your game and make a useful review".

The biggest satisfication for me is if some people were able to save some time, or money, or frustration - no matter WHAT they decide to buy.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 8:19:20 AM PST
L. Whieldon says:
You should always get Class 10 SDXC cards in order to capture the amount of data HD recording throws out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 2:13:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013 1:58:39 AM PST
I certainly do, use Class 10 especially now that they are dirt cheap - but I find when writing a Review, lots of people might have old leftover cards. They usually want to know if cameras will work with the old cards.

Posted on Feb 3, 2013 11:17:42 PM PST
As a new owner, I don't see how to designate the SD card as where I want the recording done. The manual page 30 says that I should use the "Media Select" option when I have selected "Menu", but I don't see such an option. I did navigate to an option to format the card and this option apparently worked.

(The printed manual is for "HC-V700 HC-V700M". The location of the video recording start/pause button is shown on the right side of the camera, but it's actual location on the HC-V700 is on the back. Are there many discrepancies like this?)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2013 11:25:35 PM PST
If you look at the Top of the page (30) it states that subsequent instructions(the entire page in this example) are meant for only V700M.....

Which makes sense because the v700 doesn't have the internal 16Gb to choose anyway. Hope this helps.
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

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