Panasonic's V500 series camcorders capture gorgeous HD video and boast a lightweight design and good battery life. We've chosen the Panasonic HC V500M camcorder to represent this series in our review.
The HC V500M full HD camcorder records in full high definition, meaning your video will be recorded at a 1080p resolution as opposed to 720p. It also captures video at 60 frames per second (FPS), which is on par with the best HD camcorders we reviewed. The more frames captured per second, the better the quality of your video will be.
This camcorder features a great optical zoom as well, at 38x magnification. The camcorder also has a mode that can zoom in at 2500x magnification. That digital zoom number sounds nice, but it's not always a practical potion. The more a digital zoom magnifies, the more the video quality starts to suffer. It is doubtful you will see a clear picture at the max digital zoom with this HD video camera.
The Panasonic HC V500 series camcorder has an integrated 16GB internal flash memory. This is a nice addition because you don't necessarily need a memory card, although an extra card wouldn't hurt. The battery life on this camcorder is above average, and you can expect to get about 55 minutes of recording time on each charge, depending on the settings you use.
While this camcorder doesn't necessarily shoot 3D video, the camcorder has a 2D to 3D conversion function. If you hook up the camcorder to a 3D-compatible TV, the conversion function will convert your video images into 3D.
The features on this full high def camcorder are useful, but they're somewhat limited compared to other devices . Most notably, there are no built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. It would be nice to have Wi-Fi on this camcorder so you could upload videos and share them wirelessly.
Panasonic offers a variety of ways to contact customer support. Live chat, phone, email and mail support are all available. One caveat is to make sure you find the correct Panasonic site. Panasonic's global site is Panasonic.net. You'll find similar products there, but the customer support options are not readily accessible as they are on the Panasonic.com site. If you are not careful, this could be very confusing.
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider the Panasonic HC V500M when you're looking for an HD video camera. The great video quality, integrated memory and strong battery life mean we can easily recommend this video recorder as one of the top ten.
This full HD camcorder has a decent battery life and integrated memory.
There is no built-in Wi-Fi for uploading videos wirelessly.
This high def camcorder offers great quality and useful features, but the lack of built-in Wi-Fi makes it less convenient than others.