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What to buy!

eglons

Standard Member
I've decided on a panasonic camcorder as I like their kit. Videos tend to be home movies kids/football matches/pets etc but I do edit them to HD Media files so appreciate good quality (but am not a filmmaker).

I want to spend less the £600 so the x920 is out... what would people buy

- x900 - 3 sensor model, around £570 now on Amazon
- v720 - CMOS model, around £470 on Amazon, currently with a £50 Amazon voucher for buying so effectively £420.

I'm leaning towards the newer v720 based on price and the expectation that the image quality will be loosely comparable... is this is decent assumption?
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
A 1-sensor Pana is unlikely to be better than 3-sensor (otherwise those sales would stop dead).

However, I read in Computer Shopper (try to get one, v.good reviews tell it straight), that the v700 generates less noise than the 3-sensor SD700-series (which includes the 900 - although 3-sensor SD700 is now unobtainable). This is because the 700-series used three rather small sensors.
The "2" (in V720) probably means it includes WiFi -so there is some advantage if you have a SmartPhone - but you should download the User Manuals, then check in a store (taking an unformatted SDHC card) - by taking two cards you can compare the cameras side-by-side by filming much the sames scenes.
Can't help feeling the x900 will be the better camcorder, since it was more expensive and used newer tech. I don't have a smartphone so WiFi looks like trouble . . . . but Pana also increased the sensor-size [DYOR] so the 920 shares 3x the v700 - this probably means the 3-sensor would have better noise figures in low-light.

Personally, as you ask (!) I'd go for the Sony 610 - OK it's still full-price at £600, and 1-sensor may mean some colour/low-light issues - but the extra zoom and good audio jacks may come in useful.
I compared one with my NEX5 and frankly on a hand-held trial could notice no "obvious" differences (apart from zoom-range - a "cheap" camcorder ought to be poor against an APS-C -
At night-time I accept it's a different story - the NEX5 will work in moonlight with a f/1,8 lens - although my own f/3.5 fixed 200mm (=300 on NEX) is very bright.

Sounds to me you're not far from being a FilmMaker - just that no "subject" has passed-by, YET.
My only concern is that "football-matches" may raise low-light issues. (leaving Copyright aside).
So, try to compare the camcorders in a dark corner of the Store???

Hope that helps.
 

eglons

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply... I guess I'm a lazy photographer/film maker and dont want to lug lots of kit about so really am looking for one piece to take photos and video to a good standard. A camera will need lenses to cover the range of the camcorder (plus it's more awkward to carry about with the lens protruding than the bullet type camcorder). So that's the logic for going for a camcorder... I'm still not convinced one way or the other... the 720 has a bigger single sensor than the 700, and it's hard for me to work out whether the larger single sensor gets closer to the 3 smaller sensors of the 900... gut feel says the 900 is the right answer but it's £150 more so I need to be sure!
 

eglons

Standard Member
After a lot of deliberation I went for the v720, it's on at £470 at Amazon but got a £50 voucher gift and a deal with Panasonic at the moment for a free battery so works out good value... thanks for your help hopefully it's as good as I expect!
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Please let us know how you get on with the 720 and does it come up to your expectations - especially with stills?
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Well done, I'm sure you'll enjoy.


BTW When I said the Sony CX410 (unfortunately I wrote 610) . . . was the full £600 (your upper Budget-Limit), I was well mistaken - the £600 figure included the Sony Tripod which has the Remote on the Pan handle.
+Whilst I'm not keen to buy "yet another tripod" it is likely to be better than most (read "All"), of the several tripods I use [When not lugging the pro-Manfrotto about] . . . . BUT the remote-control feature marks the camcorder+Tripod out as being subtly "pro" - and whilst it is possible the CX410 is not quite up to fully pro I do have the NEX5 with the large sensor (esp useful for shallow DoF, using a suitable SLR lens - - Sony E-mounts being horrid prices, unless I was earning my living, that is.
But as I may have described a quick test with both showed no quality visual difference, leaving aside the zoom range.
 

eglons

Standard Member
Today the v720 dropped to £439.99 and the nice people at Amazon refunded me the £30 difference. Making the deal even sweeter. I've had a bit of a play with the camcorder and have issues (but haven't read the manual so until I have I'll not worry). One of the main problems is that it cooked the first 32gb class 10 card I put into it when I reformatted it (was working fine before I reformatted it in my Xacti)... very annoying. I've stuck an 8Gb class 4 in there as it's all I can find, but the write time on photos is awful. I need to but another card and want to get something fast... am I right in thinking an SDXC class 10 is the best I can get for speed?
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Is there a problem with your camera? I use a 32 Gb Class4 card and the photo write time is minimal - about 1sec.
I always reformat in the camera, this takes about 15 sec for the same card.

I just tried a hi-speed burst, got 30 photos in about 3 sec.

Technically the class 10 is faster but the class 4 works fine for me.

Just check the camera is working properly.
 

Bob++

Active Member
It is compatible with SDXC cards but any class 10 card should work. Bear in mind that since you have no 720p option you will have to used high def with the attendant large files.

I would dearly like the video streaming capability so that I could use my Asus tablet as a viewfinder.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
eglons, I suspect there may be a fault somewhere . . . it may be the way you used the SDHC card, -always format in the same camcorder . . . . . and keep the Battery charged.
Most HD camcorders min. spec. is Class 4 - so Class 10 gives you a degree of extra. That 32G card from Az looks a tad pricey, there being little point in over-specing unless there is no price-penalty. To date I've only used SD/SDHC. I keep a reserve 4G Class4 for my audio recorder, which could go in the Camera in emergency only. (I like to review shots after taking, just to be sure they're in the bag.)
You did well to receive a cash-back . . well done Amazon!
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
I would dearly like the video streaming capability so that I could use my Asus tablet as a viewfinder.

Both the 720 and the 700 have an AV out socket. I use my NextBase DVD car player as a monitor and viewfinder. Connect the Audio and Composite to an AV input.
 

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