Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
Excellent Video - pathetic accessories
on August 7, 2010
Just got back from a vacation (Canada) where we used the Panasonic hs700k in various lighting conditions - even a day of foggy mist. Returning home, I was disappointed that the accessories lacked an HDMI cable. Looks like Panasonic is stealing play book pages from dishonorable printer companies that short change you on toner/ink.
The packaging included low rez patch cables - but this is an HD camcorder and it didn't come with an HDMI cable. Unacceptable!!! This is like buying a car without wheels.
I recently purchased a Droid-X Smartphone - which oddly enough does come with an HDMI cable - but Panasonic picked a strange form factor and it even though I have a "mini" HDMI to "full sized" HDMI from the Droid...it won't fit on the Panasonic's special sized port.
But now that I'm done venting about the bumbling business decisions made by the incompetent Panasonic Management staff; individuals with ACTUAL JOB SKILLS have exceeded my expectations on the build and image quality.
After burning my videos to a Blu-Ray disk, I was mesmerized by the quality of the pictures. Summarizing to one word...Wow!! Crystal clear and simply wondrous on my Plasma TV. All our scenes were shot in 1080P - yes it is a storage hog but the clarity and resolution from the Panasonic is outstanding and I'm glad I did it.
Color saturation was excellent in this raw footage state. I burned the disk in a raw format without massaging the color/hue/contrast etc. Most people aren't aware that Hollywood uses Avid, etc. to color amp the scenes and even out the lighting between takes. Obviously I don't own this type of high end gear/software so those options were not available to me. As such, I detected a slight cold tint to the videos. Even during late evenings where Fuji chrome 35mm-film would have rendered warm colors an hour before sunset; the Panasonic was slightly `blue' (for a lack of a better word). Because the files are so large, editing is a severe problem - but oh well - welcome to Hi def.
The image stabilization was excellent. A few scenes where I purposely left it off made the video jiggle; but once re-enabled - the zero to middle zoom was rock solid. The Zoom button is a tad awkward to manipulate (I have large hands) - but it worked well and was relatively fast. We didn't pickup any zoom "noise" from the onboard mic, but wind did make for a blustery audio recording at times (sounds like a flapping flag with hiss). A camcorder of such outstanding quality really deserves a boom-mic with a fuzzy wind sock - so I won't fault this issue.
Mist and cold temperatures (40F) didn't affect the unit. Battery life was surprisingly good and the portable charger worked well. Still photos are soft, and I recommend bringing a 2nd camera. Overall I highly recommend this unit - it worked flawlessly, the lens is ultra sharp at all physical magnifications (ignore the gimmicky digital zoom) and the cost is in-line with results.