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Panasonic PV-GS31 MiniDV Camcorder w/26x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- 1/6-inch CCD imager with 680K resolution
- MiniDV recording format offers up to 500 lines of horizontal resolution
- 26x optical zoom with digital image stabilization
- 2.5-inch color LCD screen
- MagicPix feature enhances images shot in low light
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|Item Dimensions||5 x 7 x 9 inches|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||680,000 Pixels|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CCD|
|Shipping Weight||2.15 pounds|
|Video Capture Resolution||720p|
CL) AA) PANASONIC PV-GS31 DV CAM
From the Manufacturer
From the Manufacturer The new compact PV-GS19, PV-GS31, and PV-GS35 digital video camcorders are full-featured models that incorporate the most powerful optical zoom available, up to 30x on one model. These camcorders allow you to see up close no matter how far way you may be.
|Panasonic's tiny PV-GS31 measures just 31/4 by 21/2 by 41/2 inches and weighs less than a pound.|
The new camcorder models were developed to maximize the quality of the video recording by concentrating on those features that consumers will use most often. One such feature is the image-enhancing MagicPix, which creates rich videos under low-light conditions. An Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) system compensates for hand and camcorder jitter.
A digital still camera feature can be used to snap still images and save them to an SD Memory Card, and USB capability provides a convenient way to transfer digital video and still images to a PC for archiving, e-mailing, and more. The PV-GS35 also includes USB 2.0 high speed with Motion DV studio video-editing PC software for editing video footage.
|The MagicPix feature enhances images shot in low-light conditions.|
- Compact design
- Still picture capability
- SD slot
- 26x optical zoom
- LED light
- Color viewfinder
- 800x digital zoom
- Electronic image stabilization
- USB 2.0 high speed
Read about our customers' top-rated camcorders on our review page: Camcorders
Top Customer Reviews
If you're looking to take good pictures, don't rely on the Panasonic camcorder. Instead, go buy a tiny digital camera with at least 5 megapixels. This camcorder can take pictures but they're less than 1 megapixel, which equals poor quality pix.
First, the camera is very lightweight and sturdy in construction. If handled delicately, I don't foresee any spontaneous operational issues appearing. If you drop it and kick it around, then sure, it's going to break and not function correctly.
I am very pleased with the quality of film that it has produced. I am an amateur photographer and videographer, and I have no complaints personally about this particular model. It functions well in all light, and I was especially impressed with how it did in low-light. I found that reading the manual thoroughly and understanding the cameras functions helped me immensely to avoid problems.
Overall, I am pleased with it and am glad that I chose it. I have full faith in this camera, and that is why it's going to be used on an Alaskan cruise, and to film my wedding this summer. It's a great camera for the price.
Now, I do have a couple of rants about it.
- When in a specialized mode while filming, the display is very slow. So I haven't been able to have "real time filming" and when I am shooting something, and I see it on-screen, it's already happened and something else is going on.
- The camera does not come with any extras, which meant that we had to run to the store to get the Mini DV tapes required to start using it immediately.
- The BIGGEST issue that actually caused me a lot of frustration and anger was that with this camera you CANNOT transfer your film to your computer through USB. With my other cameras, I have always been able to transfer all digital images (movies and stills) over USB. Not with this. You have to have a special cable (Firewire 4 pin to 4 pin) AND you have to have the port for it IN your computer. Most average computer users do not have this port (I have a new Dell Dimension) So, I have to go and buy the Firewire port ($14.99), open my computer case and physically install the hardware. The firewire cable itself is really inexpensive. For someone who doesn't know about computers and needs this port, it could honestly cost you quite a bit to have it installed for you. It turns into a lot of hassel, which isn't very appealing for todays technological consumer.
Overall, I rate it a good camera for the money, but I do not like the issue with the firewire cable.
As others have mentioned, this camera is nearly useless indoors. All we wanted to do was shoot some video of our newborn baby. The problem is, newborns aren't in the mid-day sun, outdoors, much. Tried video during the day -- indoors -- very mediocre. In the evening, in a lit home, horrible. This camera is also very slow to focus when using in "auto" mode, and there's minimal steady-shot capabilities here too. So you get a shaky, pixellated, out of focus, dark video all the time.
I came to the conclusion anything I shot with this was going to turn out frustratingly poorly, except in absolutely optimum light conditions. Despite my limited use for the camera, it had to go back. Having no video camera it seems is less frustrating than having one you wish was better. I concluded I had no choice but to add more to my video camera budget and get something that might actually give me some useable video.
If you want professional, TV-show quality pictures all the time, get a $1000 camera. If you want a camera that works well both indoors and out, is easy to use, and affordable, this is a good candidate. Someone seriously into video would be disappointed, but for the casual hobbyist, this is quite a nice beast.
I have had few problems taking pictures indoors, even in rooms with one fluorescent bulb and darkened windows. You just need to fiddle with the settings a little... Night mode is your friend in some cases. Even without nightmode on, there is very little in the way of noise.
The image stabilizer can be a little unsteady zoomed in really close, but it doesn't seem like this is a terribly unusual problem in any camera.
The camera is lighter than the SCD535 I had previously, and feels good/fits in my hand.
I chose it over the JVC GR-D270US because it is supposed to be slightly better in low light. I chose it over the Canon ZR200 because I heard Canons frequently had motor noise. And the Samsung was just awful.
The controls aren't terribly intuitive, but they're not bad to learn and are accessed similarly to each other, so it's not like it's a horrible task to remember how to do things.
You do need a firewire port, and cord to upload video to your computer. The camera has a four pin port. USB in this model is only for uploading stills. I haven't tried the still photo mode yet, but honestly, I love my still digital Kodak camera, so I probably will just use that when I need a good quality photo.
All in all, pleased with the camera. It's a good idea to get a replacement battery, such as the ER-C535, or CGA-DU14 as Panasonic puts a cheap battery with a short life on the default model.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
no USB cable and night times is not the right time to shoot video or photo both.