Panasonic PVDV953 MiniDV Camcorder with 3.5" LCD, 3CCD, and 16MB SD Reviews
Average Customer Rating - 3.9 out of 5 stars12 customer reviews
Greast movie making camera!, February 26, 2004
I have had this video cam for over a year. The picture clarity is the best and it is extremely effortless to use. I have had the still pictures developed at Costco/Walmart and they rival any moral digital camera.
I have created many a relations movie with Microsoft's free movie maker software. For the guy who said he can't procure it on his computer, all you need is a firewire cable and movie designer (which is free with Win XP~ plus movie maker2 is downloadable free from Microsoft's website) Plug the camera in and the XP system will identify it. It worked great for me!
Love my video cam!
Takes great video and is fun to use, January 10, 2004
Overall I really similar to this camera. It takes great video and is fun to use.
* 3CCD for great resolution and color separation
* Gorgeous LCD screen sign
* Manual as well as automatic settings
* Fades sound contained by addition to picture
* Auto focus from wide angle to macro
* Mic directional angle and sensitivity change as video zooms
* Automatically position to end of cassette
* Create titles and overlay them on video
* Convert/Shoot video as MPEG4 for the web
* Low light mode preserves mood short altering picture brightness
* External microphone, headphone, remote, and external A/V in/out use the same jack, so no two can be used at the same time (a concrete design screw-up).
* Camera can show date and time over the image in the display but does NOT story it.
I will comment on features and facets that I think are significant or that are not done equality by the detailed specifications. Of course, you can find out all this and more by downloading the pdf of the manual.
* The camera have three modes: Camera, VCR, and Card. In Camera mode you acquire video through the lens. In VCR mode you can record on and playback from the tape through a cable. In Card mode you can work next to still images on a memory card. In particular, you can filch a 3 megapixel digital picture and store it on the card.
* Camera starts recording approx. one second after pressing record button. Record oil lamp appears to not turn on until camera actually starts recording. Record oil lamp can be disabled.
* Camera takes approx. 6 secs to position tape and prepare for subsequent shot after pressing stop recording. It makes a whining racket while doing so. This has not been a problem so far.
* Many functions are accessible solely through menus. The menus display on the LCD or viewfinder.
* Date/Time display is turned on and off through menu, but I cannot get it to history as an overlay to the video.
* Audio: 12 bit or 16 bit. Audio dub mixes with 12 bit and replaces 16 bit.
* Video insert: This may be a DV feature. Recording over an existing demo inserts the new audio and video without unsafe the recording that follows.
* Counter is frame accurate. Can position to any already-recorded frame when in VCR mode.
* The eyepiece viewfinder is a bit small, but is color. It can swivel up and pull out. I use the LCD monitor.
* The LCD swivel allows turning the LCD toward the people mortal taped so they can see themselves. The image automatically rotates to be right side up and can be mirror portrait or not.
* Filter diameter is 43 mm.
* Hot shoe does not appear to be "hot," but it does allow mounting an external light or mic.
* Optical Image stabilization removes the little shakes and makes possible conceivably steady handheld telephoto shots as well as steady handheld moving the camera around.
* The infrared capability seem to be only for using the camera in VCR mode next to the infrared remote.
* The cable-attached remote functions are record start/stop, zoom and photo shot.
* Digital still can be 640x480 or 2048x1496. A still shot can be recorded to the memory card or to cartridge (DV resolution) for 7 seconds.
* Camera can convert A/V source (camera lens, recorded cassette, or cable input) to MPEG4. It creates an ASF file on the memory card. ASF is a format used by Windows Media.
* Camera can connect to a PC so that the memory card appears as a USB drive. Then can drag wanted files to the PC.
* Create titles that overlay on video by select Create Title from menu and pressing photo shoot button to take a picture of text or other two-color representation. I print black text on white paper using PowerPoint. Then set the print or background to black and the other to the desired color. Video will show through whatever is black and the other color will overlay. Store one or more titles on the memory card, select the desired one, and when in place, push a button to make it overlay, push again to make it shift away.
* A cable is provided to do stereo audio and composite video in/out, which allows showing videos on a TV, copying them to VHS, copying VHS to to DV, etc.
* Other cable included is USB.
* S-Video jack can be used for input and output (cable is not supplied). Must use the A/V IN/OUT cable at the same time for the nouns.
* Battery type is CGR-D16 (lithium). A battery and charger are included.
* In-camera digital effects: Multi-picture (display 3x3 grid of pictures and tape them), P-in-P (overlay moving picture beside small still picture in any one corner), Wipe/Mix (horizontal wipe or dissolve, both from still captured at fall of last scene to new scene), strobe effect, gain up, trail, mosaic, mirror (right partly of image is mirror image of left), unenthusiastic, sepia, Black and white, solari (painting-like effect). These must be set up through a menu.
* Has a tripod receptacle.
3CCDs, great optical stabilizer, and the price is right!, September 13, 2003
panasonic has a winner surrounded by the PVDV953 camcorder. it has 3CCDs and takes incredible video. at a index price of less than fifteen hundred bucks, this is an incredible value. comparable 3CCD camcorders from sony are at most minuscule five hundred bucks more.
- excellent value - 3CCDs for less than fifteen hundred bucks!
- as expected from have 3CCDs, this camcorder displays excellent video quality in pious lighting.
- color reproduction is amazing - having 3CCDs definitely create a difference here.
- for a camcorder, this unit boasts high element stills.
- built-in flash for stills.
- optical image stabilization - and it really works.
- large 3.5 inch lcd.
- top-loading cassette mechanism - this means you don't enjoy to remove your camcorder from the tripod to change tapes.
- allows a great level of manual control.
- miniDV media is widely supported.
- great connectivity option: firewire, USB, S-video, headphone, mic input, etc.
- leica dicomar lens.
- magic pix function - allows video capture even for terribly low light situations (just don't expect quality footage).
- built within pop-up flash for taking photos.
- ability to record mpeg video directly to SD card.
- the built-in mic zooms to your target in coordination beside the lens.
- the price. 3CCDs at this price point is just a huge bargain.
- the complement shoe is not a hot shoe; this means that while you can get a third carnival video light, the camcorder will have undeniably zero interaction with the buoyant. contrast this with sony, which has some video lights that will even adjust standard lamp intensity automatically depending on inputs from the camcorder. with the pv953, this is not possible.
- thoroughly limited accessory record from panasonic.
- no built in video light but you can grasp third party lights. oddly adequate, when i emailed panasonic about an optional video neutral, they responded that they don't make video lights for this camcorder. very strange.
- low resolution viewfinder
- below average low hurricane lantern recording quality.
- the included 16MB SD card is hardly adequate. be prepared to shell out more money for more memory.
- lots of functions are buried in the menu system.
- it could be lighter - dimensions are 5-1/8"H x 10-5/8"W x 8-1/2"D and this element weighs 1.7 pounds.
i have to hold coming back to what an incredible value this camcorder is. this will apply downward pressure on sony products and that can just be good for consumuers. if you're considering a camcorder in this price reach, the PVDV953 should be in your short list. soak up!
Best MiniDV Camcorder under $1,500., January 8, 2004
When I purchased this Camera I was looking for the proper best camera for under $1500. Well that is exactly what I get. The video quality of this camera is Oustanding with the 3CCD's at 800K Pixels respectively! I spent $3000.00 on my Sony 3CCD Camera and this Panasonic produces video just as good except better. Here are my Pros and Cons:
-Fantastic video quality, far better than any closely priced model.
-Great stills for a MiniDV CAM.
-Price is Unbelievable.
-The zoom is easy to use and it is adjustable.
-Additional lenses are sort of easy to find(on the internet) and inexpensive.
-Battery Life is good considering the 3CCD.
-The video Stabelizer in actuality works and it works well.
-The 3CCD produces colors that you just can't capture on other cameras.
-Larger than other MiniDV Cams but compared to others in its class it is actually fairly small.
-16 MB SD Card is inadequate, barely take 15 pictures.
-The camera is not quite as rugged as others in its class. You hold to be careful with it.
Overall the PRO's of this camera far out weigh the Con's. This is a Super Deal on a Super Camera. I recommend it for anyone who desires professional quality video for under $2500.
Great Camera, March 24, 2004
I enjoy had this camera for about 2 months and to date it have been great with a couple of little niggle.
I have captured footage outdoors surrounded by fairly bright light and enjoy to say that the performance have been far superior to my old analogue camera, the picture is clearer, the colours are heaps,heaps better, contained by fact the picture excellent all round. The 3ccd make the difference. The sound is not the best, but not bad any, the zoom mic is a waste of space IMO. The sound from the close surroundings is moral. So if high quality pictures/footage is what you after and you plan to gag on PC where you can add/clean up the sound after I would highly reccomend this product.
I have downloaded footage to my PC via firewire beside no problems (winXP) and used USB to transfer stills, all remarkably easy.
The manual is just satisfactory, but there is so much comfort on the internet I have not a problem to date, just post on a forum if you can't digit it out.
Overall a great product.
Buy this cam instead; the TRV950 is a total waste., May 24, 2003
I've been using the MX5000 (the Japanese publication of the DV953)over a year, and I can assure you that this cam is a huge bargain. You can get one for $1100 or smaller number (even cheaper than the 1CCD TRV80), and you know what? This cam incorporates the 3CCD technology that are widely used in professional video cameras today. Another great thing more or less this cam is the Leica lens that has special multiple coatings, and the Zeiss lenses in Sony cams are a quip in comparison. Buy this cam instead of the TRV70, 80, 950; by doing that, you'll save more money.
*The Good Things almost the DV953
-"optical" image stabilizer
-auto (not manual) ND filter
-great color reproduction (sometimes better than the TRV950)
-much more flexible, intuitive manual controls compared to the TRV950
-high resolution: 540 lines
-manual iris & shutter control
-much better audio than that from any Sony cam (TRV70, 80, etc...)
Download movies to PC? Of course!, June 14, 2003
Rishibh is incorrect: Like most if all DV camcorders, this one has an IEEE-1394 interface to download movies to your PC. In tallying, you can store MPEG-4 video on the data card, and use the unit as a webcam.
Great Camera/Lousy Manual/Software, February 25, 2004
I not long purchased this camera from a company in New York for less than 1600 US. The do business included shipping and a ton of extras (pro pack it was called). Anyhow, aside from the lousy manual and useless software, the camera is fantastic. The video competence is stunning to say the least and the digital stills I am taking are special. As for the manual, I quickly remedied this by going online and hunting down reviews for the camera (DVD-Spot have the best/most thorough). I am still working on software for converting my home movies to dvd, but I will get that accomplished over time. If anybody know how to disable the pop up flash (very anoying when taking pictures in okay light) I would greatly appreciate it.
Overall I recommend this camera whole heartedly
Good camcorder for a beginner approaching me., March 7, 2004
I've never owned a camcorder before, so I have nought to compare this to. But, it's been an overall good experience for me. The "early start" in the manual have me shooting movies and stills in no time.
**** You'll need to spend another $150 if you want to download movies to your computer - read more below ****
The digital stills are amazing soaring quality. I had be warned that camcorders don't take severely good stills, but these are pretty darn good. I be quickly able to download them to my computer over USB.
The movies are pretty right, and the image stabilization works like a champ. I'm not smart satisfactory to take advantage of some of the more advanced features, but the zoom is smooth and keep focus fairly well.
Now, almost the software: Of course, you'll need to install their USB driver in proclaim to download from the SD card, but the rest of the software is worthless. Don't bother with the ArcSoft software. With the USB connection, you can treat the camera resembling a removable disk drive and just copy over the pictures. After that, just use your favorite doll viewer like IrfanView.
Maybe I'm in recent times an ignorant newbie, but I expected to have everything I needed to download movies from the video. This isn't the case. First of all, the download is over Firewire so you'll call for to buy a Firewire card for your computer and a Firewire cable (if the card doesn't come with a cable). I got one for $50 from Adaptec.
On top of that, you'll also hold to buy software to handle the download (the software shipped with the camcorder doesn't support this). You enjoy several options here, and each bundle comes with its own set of editing tools. I spent $100 for Pinnacle Studio 9, but you have other option, too.
Finally, you need a computer with the horsepower to support the editing tools - and within are some pretty high-end requirements here. You'll need plenty of memory, a fairly brisk processor, and a hard drive that can write fast satisfactory to keep up with the cartridge.
Poor Software and manual, February 19, 2004
Had the camcorder 6 weeks and I'm not happy. Video standard might be great but what does it help if you can't get anything else than still pictures onto your computer. Someone wrote contained by another review that this is not true. Well, if he is right he is welcome to provide the help that the poor software and instruction book doesn't give (email@example.com)
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