Written on: 31/01/2011 by lukeromeril (54 reviews written)
Having owned a camcorder for as long as I can remember, I was distraught when it finally packed up. So, thinking about a new one was not high priority due to the cost of a good one. So when my work announced a choice of gifts and this was one of them, I leapt at it. I had the opportunity to change the actual model to one of my choice, but after reading about the similar price range models, I decided this was the best one available. It is features up, packing in a wide angle lens, surround audio recording, 120 gb hard drive, sd card slot, hdmi output, 25x (!) optical zoom
It has an and advanced optical image stabilisation system called Power OIS with Active mode which gets rid of hand shake, and so far from playing around with it, it actually works very well. Another awesome feature is the wind cut feature to reduce interference on the mic which can be extremely annoying on playback.
It has a front mounted light for filming in low light situations, excellent addition.
It has a still camera mode, and the 5mp come out surprisingly well! armed with a flash, you can treat it as you would any other type of stills camera.
The lens is amazing, I made a short film about cars, and the touch screen focus is superb, allowing the simulation of much more advanced filming equipment.
The software supplied with it is awful. I wouldn't even bother installing it. If you have a pc, windows movie maker is better, or iMovie on Mac. I use premiere cs4 which supports AVCHD (the native format) and edit all my stuff in there.
it is very compact, slightly bigger than my hand, so transporting it around isn't cumbersome... but for some reason, Panasonic were cheap and excluded the case! I bought one on Amazon for around £10, but come on... a case! cheap.
All in all, I am happy with the quality of the camcorder, and I am sure it will be perfect for the amateur filming I do, especially the snowboarding.:)