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Customer Review

93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice, But..., April 5, 2013
This review is from: Panasonic HC-V520 HD Digital Camcorder with 80x Zoom and Wi-fi (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Camera)
I work with baseball players and bought this unit for its 60P capability and long zoom. The zoom is more like 58X or 62X, but that's still VERY powerful. The image quality is good, even at max zoom and the image stabilizer seems to work well. This video-camera also seems to work very well in lower light conditions (it's at least one stop better than my other cameras, I assume due to a bigger sensor). It has a full range of manual controls that seem to be available in all modes. It's also VERY small and light. Battery life on the included battery seems better than average (compared to my Canon HV-30).

The only downsides -- and the reason why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 -- are that I literally can't buy another (or really two or three) battery for it, which is an issue for me because I am a semi-professional photographer and film entire baseball games and like to have 2 or 3 batteries in my bag just in case. Panasonic also charges a ridiculous amount for accessories like batteries and an external battery charger. They are pricing the camera low and then getting you with the accessories, so understand that the effective price of this camera is more like $500 or $600 if you need more than just what comes in the box.

P.S. The BIOS is buggy. I am getting increasing numbers of card write/read errors, despite using premium, high bit rate Sandisk cards.

P.P.S. The size of the sensor is quite small, due to the small size of the camera, so beware that the image won't scale well. That won't be an issue for most consumer users, but power users might notice some image quality problems if they try to blow up the image.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 9, 2013 2:16:27 AM PDT
Carlos Carmo says:
i have the same camera, and the same opinion!! More than 120 dolars for a 3 hour battery is simply ridiculous!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2013 8:36:05 PM PDT
common sense says:
If it helps, I found the battery at new egg, item Item#: 9SIA1T50SX9809 for Eighty Five shipped.

Posted on Dec 14, 2013 9:15:11 AM PST
betty says:
Very helpful review. Question for you: have you figured out the bugginess of the BIOS, or has it gotten any better? I purchased the camera and used it for 5 minutes of film, hit pause, and when I went to hit record again the camera had completely frozen. Nothing would work, not even turning it off. I had to pull the battery. Have you had this happen? I am a private investigator and I can't have the camera freeze like that. I love everything else about the camera and I don't want to return it, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to.... any thoughts?

Posted on Jan 31, 2014 10:29:55 PM PST
Can you test something for me? I really need to know whether the analog a/v output is putting out audio when the camcorder is in RECORD mode, NOT playback/dub mode. I need this information to determine if this camcorders analog stereo audio can be monitored during shooting, or if its muted. I appreciate your efforts! Thank you, Paul

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2014 8:39:36 PM PST
Carlos Carmo says:
yes, with headphones in the a/v output you can hear the sound of your recordings during the same recording. Is not mute!

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 8:12:20 PM PST
I really don't get it, some of you say you can't buy a battery for it and others say you can! Which one is it?

Do you really need to buy a rechargeable battery for it? I never heard of a camera coming out without a battery!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2014 1:56:16 AM PST
Carlos Carmo says:
??very strange...it never happened to me!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2014 1:57:05 AM PST
Carlos Carmo says:
very strange... it never happened to me...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2014 2:01:16 AM PST
Carlos Carmo says:
I have 2 batteries and for me it´s enough, specially to go for vacations. I was in Italy last summer and i took my two batteries with me, and it was the best thing i did. For example i went for a Springsteen show in Milan, and the concerts lasted almost 4 hours. I have recorded 3 hours of the show with the camera, because i already had wasted the other battery power before the show. If you do lots of recordings outside i strongly advice you to have 2 charges!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2014 7:32:36 AM PST
So how long does the battery that comes with the camera last for?
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