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★★★★☆

“I am a veteran movie amateur, using analog camcorders...”

Written on: 11/07/2004 by hornikn (1 review written)

Good Points
Small, handy & light weight. Easy to handle.
Good picture quality: sharp and well exposed, especially outdoors in daylight.
Reasonably priced for what you get.

Bad Points
Noisy mechanism when starting or stopping recording. This can be quite annoying when used in quiet places such as libraries, lecture rooms, churches etc.

General Comments
I am a veteran movie amateur, using analog camcorders for the last 16-17 years +4 in the digital arena. In addition to what has been said before by other reviewers, and my list of Pros & cons above:

I have the Panasonic NV-GS5 Digital Camcorder for about a year. I previously had a Panasonic NV-DS5 palmcorder for about 4 years, but it was unfortunately stolen in Rome in mid day. It was realy a marvelous piece of equipmqnt. In the process of miniaturization, Panasonic (and the other manufacturers) make sacrifices & trade offs which are not to our benefit. It's true the older NV-DS5 was slightly bigger (but only a few mm on each dimension, and about 150 gr. heavier)than the current GS5. Yet it had quite a few benefits over todays amateur equipment: The older DS5 had a crystal clear & bright 3.8" LCD compared to only 2.5" they use today (ie the screen surface was almost 2.5 times bigger). The area of the surface of the CCD chip is another point worth noting. It's common knowledge that for a given number of pixels, the larger the surface area of the CCD -- the better. The NVGS5 has a 1/4" chip compared to 1/3" that was used in the older DS5 (which had the same number of pixels). The surface area of the NVGS5 chip is almost half of that of the older DS5. The newer models in the "GS" series (EG NVGS50, 55,65 etc) employ an even smaller CCD -- only 1/6".

So, to conclude: The GS5 is quite a good palmcorder and I can recommend it. However, if you can afford it, look for models with larger screens and CCDs or even go for a 3 CCD model

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