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Panasonic PV-GS85 MiniDV Camcorder with 32x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

3.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
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  • Features 32x optical zoom
  • Pure Color Engine
  • Large 2.7-inch widescreen LCD
  • One-Touch Navigation for easy, intuitive setting and shooting
  • Use an SD/SDHC Memory Card to transfer image easily
6 used from $64.95

Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

PV-GS85 MiniDV Camcorder with 32x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

From the Manufacturer

If you want to enjoy shooting videos, enjoy viewing them and enjoy creating your own video collection, you'll love the Digital Palmcorder camcorder. This convenient camcorder also lets you add previous recordings to your video collection.

PV-GS85 Highlights

Advanced Imaging Technologies for Capturing Beautiful Videos

Pure Color Engine The Pure Color Engine converts the CCD output signal from a complementary color signal into an RGB signal at an early stage and extracts the low-frequency luminance component from the RGB signal. This innovative engine also achieves truly superb color reproduction for high-zoomed pictures.

32x optical zoom This 32x zoom can fill the screen with even a distant subject. This lens is not only the powerful zoom offered in a home-use digital camcorder, it also features low distortion. And because it's optical, there is no quality loss -- you get the images in all their natural beauty.

So Easy to Use, Even Beginners Get Beautiful Results

Large 2.7-inch widescreen LCD The large, 2.7-inch LCD monitor displays bright, clear images. You can see even tiny details. It's more fun to shoot and view images on a wide monitor, and it's easier to picture just how the images will look on a TV screen.

One-Touch Navigation for easy, intuitive setting and shooting With One-Touch Navigation, just press the center of the joystick to display an operating menu. The operations you use most often are right on the monitor, so it's easy to change settings or operate the camera without looking away from your subject.

Mode dial Just turn the dial and you're ready to shoot or to view the images afterward. Just rotate the dial with your fingertip to select the icon that corresponds to the mode you want.

Trilingual menu The menu can be displayed in any of the following three languages. You can switch it to view all menus in the language you prefer for easy, comfortable operation.

The Joy of Creating Videos that Perfectly Capture a Scene

Still picture recording This digital camcorder also records still pictures. It captures all of the outstanding detail, color and sensitivity.

Soft Skin mode When this function detects skin tones, it softens the focus in that area. This has a skin beautifying effect, which makes wrinkles and lines appear less noticeable. When turned on, this function makes blemishes and moles look less conspicuous, while preserving resolution in areas of the picture outside of the skin.

MagicPix for low lighting Leave the light off. MagicPix gives you images with color even in dim lighting (1 lux). Light is gentle and easy on the eyes, so you can snap shots of sleeping children without waking them up.

More Convenient Shooting Functions

Instant LCD/EVF saves battery life When you open the LCD, the power switches on. Shut it and the power goes off. Pull out the viewfinder and the power switches on. Store it and the power goes off. Instant LCD/EVF reduces the time required for operating the camera.

Easy Networking -- For More Fun When the Shooting's Done

Use an SD/SDHC Memory Card to transfer image easily SD/SDHC Memory Cards are the ideal recording and storage media for today's visual communication and networking. They make it easy to instantaneously transfer image data to a PC or printer.

Web Camera Function With the camera connected via USB cable to a PC, start up Windows Messenger and the camera instantly turns into a web camera. Ideal for teleconferencing over the Internet, or for surveillance camera use.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 9 x 7 x 5 inches
Item Weight 4 pounds
Shipping Weight 2.5 pounds
Item model number PV-GS85
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #20,174 in Camera & Photo
#1,078 in Camera & Photo > Camcorders
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com January 8, 2007

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew Jackson on March 24, 2007
Verified Purchase
The recent arrival of our first child prompted this purchase. I knew that I wanted MiniDV to allow me maximum editing flexibility and software compatibility. I scoured the internet for product reviews and had decided to get a Canon Elura 100 as this was widely considered the best "budget" digital camcorder. Of course, I decided on that just as the last stocks ran out - Canon no longer make the Elura line. I was then faced with starting from scratch as all the majors had just released new cameras. I've used Canon SLRs for years and so naturally gravitated towards the Z-series camcorders. They didn't get great reviews though.

Then I spotted the Panasonic PV-GS85 and was immediately grabbed by the fact that it has OIS - optical image stabilization. It uses an actual optical component to counteract hand shake as opposed to the electronic jiggery-pokery that other cameras at this price point use. I tried out both a Canon and the Panasonic in an electronics store and the difference between the effectiveness of OIS and EIS is amazing - optical stabilization is just leaps and bounds better. That is what sold me on the Panasonic.

I went for the GS85 over the GS80 for the addition of snapshot capability - it will take a still photo to memory card whilst you are filming. The quality isn't fantastic, but it isn't terrible either and it is perfect for capturing stills of those magical moments for emailing to relatives when you happen to be in the middle of filming.

I don't use Windows, so can't comment on the software included, but the camera works flawlessly with iMovie on my Macbook Pro and with Kino on Linux.

The video quality is very good, color reproduction has so far proved excellent.
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Verified Purchase
I was looking at buying this camcorder or the comparable Sony. I am so glad I went with the PV-GS85. The OPTICAL IMAGE STABILIZATION IS KEY! This little piece of tech keeps your videos nice a stable even when you are zoomed way in. The SD card slot is a hidden gem. It is so easy to hit the snapshot button while recording and get some great (although low resolution 640x480) shots WHILE you are recording. The only downside is that it cannot record in very low light conditions like the Sony can. The PV-GS85 does not have the capability to see infrared very well like the Sony can. One day I will probably be annoyed by not having this feature, but it hasn't been an issue yet. Overall, the optical image stabilization far outweighs the NightShot technology... unless you are going to recreate Blair Witch or something like that!
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After much research and reading many reviews, mostly here (thanks everyone for the excellent reviews), I chose to get the Panasonic PV-GS85 over the Canon ZR850 for the following reasons:
- Claims of motor noise on the Canon
- Panasonic has Optical Image Stabilizer
- Panasonic has a built-in light (seems like LED technology)

Now that I have the camera and got a chance to play with it a bit, here's my review...

- Somewhat small (not the smallest, but not large by any means)
- Smooth zoom (either analog or it has many small speed increments)
- Optical Image Stabilizer
- Built-in light
- SD card slot for snapshots (although I don't intend to use it for that)
- Color viewfinder

- Hand strap mounted too low and allows camera to pivot away from fingers
- Charger has cumbersome heavy-guage power cord (not easy to stuff into a small bag)
- Very few buttons -- almost everything is done through the joystick menus
- Menu and Light buttons can't be reached with thumb and require some dexterity to reach with index finger
- Built-in light is VERY weak (although it probably doesn't consume much power -- I think it's a small LED lamp)

This camera will probably make most home movie makers very happy -- overall, it's very easy to use. Features, such as Night mode or Fade, take a little effort to change since you'd need to shuffle through a few menus.

It supports USB photo transfers, FireWire video transfer to PC, and A/V out to a TV.

Overall, this is a very nice and easy-to-use camera.

This was the first time I've tried uploading a video onto a PC, editing, and burning a DVD.
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Verified Purchase
1. Really easy and convenient to use
2. 16:9 widescreen recording
3. For Windows users, simply connect to the PC and use Windows Movie Maker to download your recordings

1. Relatively short battery life
2. USB 1.1 !! Inexcusable for a new product. It does have FireWire which is fast, but if you're a USB only person, then you're stuck with 1.1
3. The battery needs to be removed to connect USB or FireWire to the computer. Consequently, power needs to come to the camera from a cord hooked up to the battery charger... an inconvenience. What's even more irritating is that when you connect the battery charger to the camera to power it up, the battery stops charging... i.e. the charger will either charge the battery or feed power to the camera but not both! Really annoying since I'd like my battery to charge up while I'm downloading the recording.
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