Panasonic is serving up some hi-def goodies with the new HDC-HS700 camcorder. It’s the first consumer camcorder to offer 1080/60p recording using their advanced 3MOS sensor system. The new Panasonic HDC-HS700 comes with a 240GB hard disk drive and records 5.1 channel surround sound with the five built-in microphones. Panasonic also upped the numbers game with a whopping 14.2 mega-pixels for stills. By all accounts the HS700 will serve as an able successor to the well-lauded HS300.
Latest Update: The Panasonic HDC-HS700K is Now on Sale at Amazon.
Click Here to View Latest Offer
Design and Features
The Panasonic HDC-HS700 uses the renowned Leica Dicomar lenses. It comes with a 240GB HDD that stores about 20 hours of video at the highest resolution. HD images, which are captured at 1080p/60 frames per second, can also be stored on optional SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.
Panasonic has obviously given much thought and gathered feedback from users on the usability of a camcorder. A case in point is the lens ring control on the HDC-HS700. The design of the HS700 allows for auto and manual focus, white balance, and back light compensation. The lens ring made focusing so much more enjoyable than the little control dials on other camcorders. You can also dial in the Focus, White Balance, Shutter Speed, and Iris settings via the ring. Very useful indeed.
The improved Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) feature reduces the effects of hand-shake. It is very effective even at high zoom settings. The system uses gyro sensors to detect tiny amounts of hand-shake, then shifts the lens and adjusts the optical axis to compensate.
The HDC-HS700 uses 3MOS sensors for capturing video that approaches professional quality. The sensors process reds, greens, and blues separately, for color reproduction that’s vibrant and true-to-life. The sensors also capture images in lower light conditions better than regular CCD sensors, so you get better detail in shots taken in low light conditions.
For getting closer to your subjects, the HDC-HS700K offers a 12x optical, 18x Intelligent zoom and 30x digital zoom that is good enough to get you close to the subject details. Intelligent Resolution technology lets you shoot at high zoom rates while preserving image sharpness. The 35mm wide angle Leica Dicomar lens with improved 3.45mm focal length on the other hand is great for shooting a large family gathering.
It is always ideal to have both an LCD and electronic viewfinder. And yes, this camcorder has both. The LCD is a good sized 3″ touchscreen that provides excellent viewing clarity with improved resolution. The 230,000 pixel LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles. Mirror mode allows you to view a mirror-image of the subject you are shooting in the LCD screen when the screen is rotated 180 degrees, but the image will be normal when recorded.
Rounding up the impressive feature set are 5.1 channel surround, zoom, and focus microphone to ensure you have good sound quality during video recording.
Here’s a short video of the HS-700′s key features by Infosync World:
Leica lenses are well-known for capturing sharp images. They also suppress ghosting, flare, and distortion at the image edges. Even in strong sunlight, these superb lenses maintain high contrast and resolution. Video images captured were one of the best we’ve seen. Colors were bright and rich. Resolution of details remain well defined and clear even in dim lighting or at high shutter speeds. This hi-end Leica lens brought out the beauty and richness of full HD images. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio recording is probably an overkill but the sound was abundantly clear and distinct nonetheless with good separation of ambient sounds and voice.
“Video camera is very user friendly. Menu options are very clear and easy to use. Sound quality is great, except in windy situations. Surround sound mic is very sensitive. Even though we adjusted levels on Mic, it was still to sensitive in windy areas, opted to purchase a Rode Mic with dead cat. Only one other concern was location of accessory shoe. Had to buy adapter to fit Rode mic because it made zoom inaccessible. Easily fixed with $12 adapter. Still pictures are great.” – D.Herrera (Palm Springs,CA,USA)
When shooting a person with her back against the window, the face detection technology and backlight compensation kicked in and automatically increased the brightness of her face while adjusting the white balance at the same time. It was effective in getting the exposure spot on resulting in clear facial features.
Overall the quality of the image approaches those of Prosumer models.
For photo stills it didn’t perform as expected given the specs busting 14-megapixel sensor. The pictures were decent and wasn’t exactly sharp. Some aberrations like fringing and noise were present which could be due to high ISO levels that were set automatically. It is obvious that this camcorder isn’t meant to replace your digital SLR!
If you desire a high performance camcorder that gets you top notch video images, the Panasonic HDC-HS700 can’t be beat. It is a professional grade camcorder with a top grade lens. The mouth watering specs and feature set are not only impressive but also translate to superb performance and ease of use. The HDC-HS700 is a joy to use and will remain so for years to come.
More user reviews:
• “So far, I love this thing, and I haven’t even had a chance to get into all the bells and whistles. I needed it for an event that occurred less than a week after I got the camera, so I just charged the battery, turned it on, and recorded. The automatic features worked for me just fine. As soon as I spend some more time with it, I’m hoping to learn all the manual functions and settings too. The end result of the footage is crisp, clean, and beautiful. It’s already gotten me some notoriety from the event I filmed, everyone wants a DVD copy. Transferring the footage is easy with my PC and Adobe Premiere, CS4. I just copy the files to my hard drive and load them into my program. I bypass the program that came with the camera. I like that with the hard drive, the footage is already broken down into scenes, since it makes a “scene” every time you record and stop. Great product, light weight, nice to those who don’t do a lot of manual touches, worth the money!” – E.Budvarson (USA)
• “After burning my videos to a Blu-Ray disk, I was mesmerized by the quality of the pictures. Summarizing to one word…Wow!! Crystal clear and simply wondrous on my Plasma TV. All our scenes were shot in 1080P – yes it is a storage hog but the clarity and resolution from the Panasonic is outstanding and I’m glad I did it.
Color saturation was excellent in this raw footage state. I burned the disk in a raw format without massaging the color/hue/contrast etc. Most people aren’t aware that Hollywood uses Avid, etc. to color amp the scenes and even out the lighting between takes. Obviously I don’t own this type of high end gear/software so those options were not available to me. As such, I detected a slight cold tint to the videos. Even during late evenings where Fuji chrome 35mm-film would have rendered warm colors an hour before sunset; the Panasonic was slightly `blue’ (for a lack of a better word). Because the files are so large, editing is a severe problem – but oh well – welcome to Hi def.
The image stabilization was excellent. A few scenes where I purposely left it off made the video jiggle; but once re-enabled – the zero to middle zoom was rock solid. The Zoom button is a tad awkward to manipulate (I have large hands) – but it worked well and was relatively fast. We didn’t pickup any zoom “noise” from the onboard mic, but wind did make for a blustery audio recording at times (sounds like a flapping flag with hiss). A camcorder of such outstanding quality really deserves a boom-mic with a fuzzy wind sock – so I won’t fault this issue.
Mist and cold temperatures (40F) didn’t affect the unit. Battery life was surprisingly good and the portable charger worked well. Still photos are soft, and I recommend bringing a 2nd camera. Overall I highly recommend this unit – it worked flawlessly, the lens is ultra sharp at all physical magnifications (ignore the gimmicky digital zoom) and the cost is in-line with results.” – T.Wilson (MO,USA)
• “I’ve only had this for a week but everything good that can be said of the Panasonic HDC-TM700K can also be said of this one. It’s slightly larger because it has a hard drive and that’s not a bad thing. The hard drive holds 40(!!!) hours of 1080/60i and 20 hours of 1080/60p video. Plus you can always use the flash slot to store more video/pictures and export. I need to play with the picture mode more but the pictures are just as good as my normal digital camera so far. Most amazing camera I’ve ever owned.” – S.Toth (WA,USA)
Click Here for Latest Offer on Panasonic HDC-HS700K
Enjoy Free Shipping & Secure Shopping