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Panasonic NV-GS250 - Quality comments?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by russ hirst, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. russ hirst

    russ hirst
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    Hi guys,

    Me again, looking for comments this time on another Panasonic 3ccd camera. Does anyone have any views on this please? It seems to have manual everything apart from an external mic nput but welcome views please.

    Thanks.

    Russ
     
  2. neilneil

    neilneil
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    I have the GS 250 and the results are superb. It does have an external mic input but I don't think it has manual sound level control if that's what you mean.
    I have been really pleased with mine so far except for one problem. I cant get my win XP pc to recognise the camera via firewire. It transferes via high speed USB2 with full resolution and no frames dropped even with full PC remote control of the camera like some people say you can't achieve via USB.
    The problem is that you have to transfer the video to your PC with panasonics Motion DV editing software because most other software won't allow transfer by USB2. Once it's on the PC however you can use any editing software you like.

    Hope this helps

    -Neil
     
  3. chrisberry

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    I've just bought one. It does have external mic input. Use mine with imovie editing suite on apple ibook and it works a treat. Excellent camera. Also lets you record from TV and VHS. Haven't figured out jow to use it as a digitiser yet.
     
  4. JefUK

    JefUK
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    I am considering buying a NV-GS250 to replace my old Panasonic cam. I wish to shoot in widescreen, and will only buy a camera that has anamorphic widescreen capability. I have read different reports about whether it anamorphic. Panasonic, themselves saying it does not, but other sources saying that it does! :confused:

    A report here - http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/camcorders/0,39029966,39188511-2,00.htm - says:

    "Although its chips are optimised for 4:3 shooting, the NVGS250B offers two 16:9 shooting modes: an anamorphic squeeze that will fill a 16:9 television and a letterboxed wide screen for use on traditionally proportioned TVs."

    Can an owner please confirm the widescreen picture mode? Thanks.
     
  5. neilneil

    neilneil
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    As far as I know this is how it is if somone else knows different then please correct me...
    The recording menus let you choose between widescreen and letterboxed widescreen (panasonic calls letterbox CINEMA mode).
    When I playback my pictures on my tv then they are in anamorphic widescreen (and they look great :thumbsup: )
    The confusion arises as to how the camera gets those images.
    An anamorphic TV picture has no greater horizontal resolution than a standard 4:3 picture. To get widescreen the 4:3 picture is just stretched to fill the wider screen.

    True anamorphic widescreen cameras record a wider footprint of the ccd and then down convert the number of pixels back to the full screen resolution width.

    The panasonic does record a slightly wider field of view but not as wide as true widescreen camera would. It then squashes the image vertically to create the correct 16:9 ratio.

    In real life I've found it all to be a bit academic because the pictures I have recorded on my camera and played back directly to the TV in anamorphic widescreen have been far superior to those I have achieved with DVD playback. So if you are planning on doing some editing and final playback on DVD then you will start with material that is anamorphic widescreen and of a greater quality than the final playback medium.

    The only way to satisfy yourself is to take a tape to a shop and record some footage preferrably in daylight where the panasonics 3ccd really shine and then take the tape home or round a frends and play it back on a widescreen telly.
    Just make sure the camera is set to record anamorphic and not letterbox.
    Press the menu button then use the joystick to navigate to ADVANCED, down to the second page you will see ASPECT select (16:9) also make sure that CINEMA (the next option after ASPECT) is set to off or you will get a letterboxed picture and be very disapointed.

    Hope this helps


    -Neil
     
  6. JefUK

    JefUK
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    Thanks Neil for the very comprehensive reply. :clap: I don't understand why Panasonic Customer Services could not provide the information that you have.

    A further question - if you could - is the low light performance that much worse than its competitors?
     
  7. senu

    senu
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    Neil seems to be the expert here :) My tuppence worth if you dont mind,: I have a 3 ccd Panasonic ,the earlier MX350 and access to the ( more expensive) 3 ccd sony vx 2100
    Comparing the Panasonic to its Single chip equivalents in any brand: It gives vibrant lifelike colour in good ( daylight ) situations but adds bit more gain( and noise) in low light. The Vx2100 has no such hang ups but it is more costly bigger and not quite a point and shoot video camera: Even with upping the gain. nise is minimal. It is less than £2000 though and some professionals might snob it!!
    I think that although in general 3ccd camcorders ( irrespective of brand) seem to be that little less able to do well in the dark, the degree varies between indiviual camera ( and electronics) not between brands. Even the Gs 400 ( 250s big brother ) doesnt like low light as such but was still very highly recommended when I posted a similar thread on another forum seeking to replace my aging MX350.
    The issue of light sensitivity is very sensitive and some folk end up with more than one camera ,each for a diffferent purpose as there probably arvery few that can do it all. You may find in fact that some of this is academic since the (low light) quality may be acceptable to you as an indiviual. :hiya:

    PS: Camcorder User #200 ( now called Digital Video )has a good review of the gs250 I could scan to pdf a and e-mail it to you if you wish if unable to get hold of a back copy
     
  8. JefUK

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    Thanks Guys.

    Looks as though I shall have to flash the card! :)
     
  9. neilneil

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    You can't beat the sonys for low light in my opinion especially the single ccd models, so if low light is important then go for a sony.
    The Panasonics low light is ok for me but I don't do too much low light. I bought the camera for my wedding and holiday.
    I've only had the GS250 for about two months but have been really pleased with it. I'm certanly not an expert since this is my first camcorder but I did about 2 months research before buying.
    I was finally torn between the Sony and panasonics and my thoughts were as follows:-

    Sony
    Excellent low light performance.
    Very small size
    Great quality widescreen flip out monitor.
    Bad touch screen interface.
    Bad Sony proprietry accessories.
    Poor manual overrides

    Panasonic
    Superb daylight pictures.
    Great interface / joystick
    Standard accessories Hot shoe, SD memory 3rd party batteries etc
    Acceptable but not great low light performance
    Great manual over rides.

    To sum up...
    I've been stung too many times with sonys expensive non standard accessories ie hot shoe, memory cards, batteries etc

    The panasonic daylight pictures look almost broadcast quality to me. :thumbsup:

    Panasonics low light performance is not as good as the sonys. Panasonic provides an option they call magic pix which works in very low light levels but has approx 2Hz frame rate which renders it compleatly useless and unwatchable :mad:

    The sony interface is through the touch screen monitor that I think will get dirty and scratched in no time. The best pictures you will take are with both hands holding the camera and looking through the eyepiece viewfinder. Holding the camera at arms length and proding the display will not make a watchable movie.

    The sonys are quite a bit smaller than the panasonic GS250 which I was worried about. But then I thought that I'll also be carrying a spare battery, a compact stills camera, spare tapes, a couple of filters (UV and Polariser), a wallet and a phone. So I just bought a camcorder bum bag about the size of say three small bags of sugar and it fits the lot in easily but is not too big to be a nusience.

    I still recommend trying out one if you can, what matters to me may not bother you and vice versa.

    Lastly try out these web sites they were very usefull.

    www.pana3ccduser.com
    www.camcorderinfo.com

    PS I think i should have said stretch when I said squash in my previous reply when describing the widescreen modes. Either way I still find the anamorphic widescreen pictures superb.
    -Neil
     
  10. JefUK

    JefUK
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    Thanks for information Neil, and the links.

    I have owned a camcorder since the mid 1980's, and now wish to replace my ageing Panasonic NV-DS1EN. This was the first Panasonic DV recorder which I bought at 1/2 the UK price in Japan. It has been a very good camera, but has had very heavy use and the transport mechanism is now showing signs of wear. The low light performance of cameras from this period was not very good, but it has not been a problem for me, so the GS250 should be fine for my usage.
     
  11. daveande

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