Panasonic PV-GS320 MiniDV Camcorder - After playing with the Panasonic PV-GS320 MiniDV Camcorder for a good while, I have to say I'm impressed.
The 3CCD processors (one for each primary color range) make an enormous difference in recorded color.
The OIS (optical image stabilization) is excellent; seems as good as Canon, which I think of as the image stabilization standard bearer. (I think Sony, for example, has an inferior image stabilization system to Canon).
The revered Leica lens further adds to the quality of the image. The camcorder's buttons take some getting used to, but I can't say I find it that complicated, though I don't think my hand/finger size is quite right for their arrangement.
Digital still camera functionality is quite good for a camcorder, giving good sharpness and image quality--you can even take a still picture while shooting video.
I considered Canon HV10 High-Definition MiniDV Camcorder, but after reading reviews, I felt I'd need a new computer just to process the HD video data. Plus the HD tapes are expensive.
I even rationalized that who would want to see themselves, family and friends in HD!?! If many Hollywood stars look bad in HD's unforgiving detail, me and my family and friends (no offense) will look terrible.
Disappointments (minor): I thought I could record video directly to the SD card. Turns out the SD card can only record still images.
Overall: I'm extremely happy with the Panasonic PV-GS320 MiniDV Camcorder. It's a relatively inexpensive system that gives excellent color and image quality.
UPDATE: After nearly a year working with this camera, I'm still very impressed. The image quality is excellent--particular the color rendition. It looks so natural and non-home-video-ish. Controls are easy to access. Auto white balance is excellent. I really love this camera. It's easy to use and provides excellent video quality. Again, it's not HD quality, but it's excellent non-the-less.
|Panasonic PV-GS320 3.1MP 3CCD MiniDV Camcorder with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom|