Customer Reviews: Panasonic HX-WA2 Waterproof Full HD Camcorder (Blue) HX-WA2A (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on December 2, 2012
This item was suggested by a salesman at a very reputable electronics store. We didn't buy it on-site because they only had the orange color in stock so we ordered from Amazon where we got the color we wanted and a better price. This is absolutely perfect for those who don't want to carry around a larger camcorder and all of the chargers/attachments that come along with it. This fits nicely in my pocket of my husband's jeans or in my purse. We prefer the smaller size so that we can bring along and not feel like stalkers. The videos are of great quality and we were very happy with the purchase.
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on April 20, 2013
Love the camera. HD quality is stunning. Learning curve was minimal because all options are very easy to get to and to use. Button placement prevents using the wrong button at the wrong time. Lots of features I've already used that I haven't used in other cameras because it's too hard to remember, on site, how to get to them (all found in scenes on the panasonic). Easy to change settings while in use, even underwater. Most video has been shot underwater and I am very pleased with the quality and the camera's auto compensation for low light levels. Typically we stay in the water close to an hour (the max allowed by the camera anyway) and the battery is only down to about 3/4 when we exit. Bought a 32 GB card and we have been in the Caymans 2 1/2 weeks and there is still memory left with daily shooting of usually 2 snorkel trips.

Have some questions about use of the photo zoom, which appears on the monitor but does not register for the actual picture. Also, the HD Writer seems to have a glitch that doesn't allow me to send emails. That menu item only takes me to the same one as the online sharing (You Tube and Facebook). Lastly, I also have some concern over water that appears in the card/battery area. So far it has stayed on the "wall" of that docking area and it has been just a few beads of water. My concern is that it's there in the first place (is this a faulty camera?) and that when I open the door it could drop on the electronics. I even made sure it was dry, put it in the sink for a soak and there was water in there then so I know it's not the depth I'm going to in the water. Please respond.
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on January 1, 2013
Solid purchase for the holiday season. The unit itself is light weight and good for pockets or other easy storage spaces. Havent figured out all the bells and whistles yet but recording is very clear. Manual is a bit long.
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on February 13, 2015
Very versatile camera, and the speed-shot feature works pretty well, though I haven't used it enough to become really good at it. The video does a nice job as well. This isn't a Canon Rebel, but it's also a lot cheaper. The design is useful also, I can shoot from my bicycle. It tends to be weakest indoors.
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on May 10, 2013
I am a prior owner of a Sanyo Xacti (Sanyo was purchased by Panasonic) and we loved it -too bad I left it on the roof of my car! This is a solid and much improved replacement. Despite what some have complained about, I find the button and the toggle stick easy to use. It takes fantastic HD video and 14 megapixel pictures. Plus it is super fast to turn on and start shooting video. That was the biggest complaint about my Xacti is that it took way to long to turn on. With the WA2, I open the view finder press the record button and I'm shooting video instantly!

Others have complained about the menus. I find them very intuitive and easy to understand. I had most of the features figured out without even opening the manual.

The waterproofing is a bonus. I don't have to worry about the kids splashing it at the pool or the beach. I plan on testing the water proofing underwater soon. It has specific instructions on how to clean it after it has been underwater that are easy and straight forward.

A solid buy!!
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on August 29, 2013
this camera takes outstanding HD quality Video under good lighting conditions, I purchased it for the purpose of using it at Blizzard Beach Water park Florida and Snorkeling at Castaway Cay Bahamas during our Disney vacation, the results are beyond my expectation, the quality of videos under 60p frame rate are outstanding, editing those videos using Sony Vegas Pro and writing them on Blue ray is near phenomenal, I had planned to purchase one of the professional line camcorder priced over 3k but this small wonder satisfies the basic needs.

Definitely ignore all negative reviews from others, charging the battery could be an issue but the solution is out here, get a charger with few extra batteries, taking video shots under low light, well this camera is not designed for weddings and night clubs.
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on May 22, 2013
When my Flip Camcorder died on me (which I didn't care for anyway), I purchased this little gem. I also purchased an extra battery and charger (which is a must if you have this camera). Picture quality is great, color is excellent, HD=A+, easy to operate, and most importantly, getting the video to my computer is quick and easy, although I haven't figured out how to delete the video clips in the camera via the computer software yet. Still working on that. Far better than the Flip I had in every respect.

I have only had the camera in the swimming pool so far, but have not had a problem down to 4 ft. Will be taking it on our next trip to the beach in the near future. Don't know how it will handle the sand. I have a canon camera for still photos so I can't really speak to the still picture quality as I did not purchase it for that.

Buy it, you can't go wrong.
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on January 2, 2015
This is a great little family camera. I used it to video Christmas morning of my little boy taking things out of his stocking and I was able to record and take still pictures at the same time! They didn't look super clear but clear enough. We took this to the beach and into the water with us and captured amazing video of our baby's first time in the ocean.
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on June 23, 2012
My previous waterproof cameras merely required a quick rinse under a faucet and a toweling, before they were safe to open. According to the manual, this camera must be shaken in a special way, and then leaned against something to keep it upright for an unspecified time, to allow water to drain from its waterproof shell. The manual doesn't say how to deal with sediment and minerals eventually clogging the drain holes, allowing it to drain into the interior when opened.

Also from the manual: A tripod screw a hair too large and/or tight can crack the waterproof housing. If used in salt water, a fresh water soaking, not to exceed ten minutes, must start within an hour. If the camera is subject to rough handling (unspecified) the waterproof seal can leak.

From the manual: Careful inspection is required in a safe area before each closing. Hair, dust or lint on the paper thin O ring can cause a leak. A special brush, included, is required to remove the almost microscopic particles.

From the manual: Even if you don't get the camera wet, it's subject to condensation inside, and malfunction. This can be caused by temperature changes by going inside to outside - or cool water contacting the camera on a warm day. Because the lens components aren't sealed, condensation can also form there. If it can't be dried out, it can cause fungus growth on the lens.

Panasonic recommends replacing the O rings once a year.

Menus are navigated and operated with a floppy, non tactile, half inch button/joystick. The button has to be pulled exactly left/right/up/down to get the desired results. Pressing doesn't work. I don't have big fingers. I had to hook my fingernail under the tiny ridge around the button to precisely pull it. To make my intended selection, my finger had to come down perfectly perpendicular to the button.

The delay timer requires difficult menu navigation, as described above, for each picture. So much for fun and spontaneity.

I used the camera once, in shade, and the automatic white balance didn't work. Everything looked like it was shot through dark blue glass. The instructions say the automatic white balance doesn't always work and suggest always setting it manually. That would include going from sun to shade. See joystick menu navigation above.

There are probably lots of other problems with this camera, but I only used it for about two hours. It is poorly designed, difficult to use and seems basically self destructive. The automatic functions don't always work. Panasonic should be totally ashamed of themselves.
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on October 21, 2013
There is a reason this camera only comes with a 90-day warranty! If it lasts that long, it will be a miracle. Just weeks after our 3 months was up, the camera stopped working. It will not power up! It will not recharge! Basically it is dead in the box. Panasonic will happily REPAIR the camera for you for $90. That's right - after it dies in less than 6 months, they will happily charge you another $90 to FIX something that was probably wrong when it was manufactured! When I pressed customer service, this is what they offered: you pay to repair the camera, send us your repair receipt and your purchase receipt, and we will review and possibly reimburse you for some or all of the repair cost.

I bought this camera for my daughter to use in our church youth ministry. She is very careful - the camera was never abused, dropped, or mishandled. It was only ever charged with the included chargers. Panasonic reps told me on the phone that this was a KNOWN ISSUE and that we didn't do anything to cause it.

DO NOT BUY THIS CAMERA! In fact, I'd advise against buying anything made by Panasonic.
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