Written on: 18/12/2005 by Larkby (1 review written)
I don't think they make it any more.
Perhaps they still make it.
I bought my Panasonic VDR-M30 digital camcorder on the 10/9/2003. I'm selling it on EBay tomorrow (12/19/2005).
1) Panasonic tech support is appallingly bad: they hide the phone number, then require you to input tons of stuff just to talk to a person, then the person may not even know how to fix it. It will probably take you an hour or more on the phone for each issue, and there will be issues, trust me.
2) In 2003 the DVD-Ram discs were expensive and hard to find. That probably isn't the case any more, but check first before you buy.
3) The DVD-Ram discs will not play in my DVD player or in the DVD drive on my Dell computer.
4) Transferring video from camcorder to computer takes forever.
5) Due to the miniature scale of the LCD screen and menus on the camcorder, video editing really has to be done on your computer with their software. DVD-Movie AlbumSE (the included video editing software) is not intuitive. It is poorly designed, barely supported, and will probably crash your computer.
6) You can't download drivers from Panasonic's website.
7) Yet another program is required in order to burn the edited video onto a real, full-sized DVD, that will play in your grandma's DVD player. Sonic My DVD is that program. It's better than My DVD but not much.
8) The DVD Ram discs have to be removed and turned over - like LP records in order to play/record on the other side. It's not exactly convenient, and it can't be done in less than twenty seconds.
All in all, this product sucks. DVD-Ram media is a bad idea. Panasonic support is reason enough to buy from the competition. Now that I've owned this piece of rubbish, my dream camcorder is a camcorder that records onto it's own enormous built-in hard drive, with a USB port for fast and easy transfer to my computer, and some good stable software that anticipates and meets the needs of the average user, i.e. get the raw video onto the computer fast, add some slick tricks (titles, sound-tracks, etc..), and burn the finished product onto a real DVD. If that's essentially what you want, then the Panasonic VDR-M30 is NOT the camcorder for you.
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