Product: Panasonic HC V770
Subject: The Best Panasonic Camcorder
Price: ( retail )
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com (Click Here)
Our Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Camcorders are quite hard to come by these days – not because they’re not useful, but because there’s so much competition from other devices that do the same job; between smartphones, hybrid SLRs and cheap professional cameras, handheld prosumer camcorders have a hard time on the market.
Luckily, the buyers win in this case – since the competition is tough, companies have to both cut prices and maximize the features in order to get those sales.
Panasonic is a well-known name in the audiovisual world – from low end pocket cameras to professional studio and broadcast equipment, they’ve consistently offered the best quality/features/price ratio, and their camcorders are no exception.
Even though Panasonic have cannibalized their own market share by releasing the extremely versatile GH series of DSLRs that double as video recorders, they still offer a range of high quality camcorders for beginner videographers and home users that offer all the features one might need at a very attractive price point.
Their current product list include the 4K-ready HX-VX870 and HX-WX970, as well as the top of the line Full HD HC-V770 and the lower end Full HD HC-W570 and HC-V270.
4K is in its infancy, and it’s a very hardware demanding resolution to work with, not to mention that the benefits for consumers are marginal.
It makes more sense to get the best Full HD camera now, then upgrade to 4K in the future, which is why you can easily skip over the first 2 models and go straight to the third.
In this Panasonic HC V770 review, we’ll take a look at the device’s features, its pros and cons, as well as the potential buyers who might be interested in it.
The V770 uses the standard consumer camcorder design – it’s designed to be held and operated with one hand, and the controls are arranged for the best comfort and ease of use.
It is a bit bigger than other cameras on the market (at 5.75 x 8.11 x 4.05 inches), but that is not a problem in actual use.
The build quality is as good as it gets – you don’t want to drop it, but it will certainly not fall apart after a year of heavy use.
The internal hardware is what makes the HC V770 great. The sensor is a 6.03 Megapixel unit with Back Side Illumination and Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization.
Panasonic’s hardware OIS solutions have always been the best in their class, and the V770’s Hybrid OIS does not disappoint – the image stabilization is near perfect even at maximum optical zoom.
You can shoot 1920 x 1080 video at 60 FPS, encoded in either MP4 or AVCHD (the latter being harder to work with, but taking up less space), and you have the option of Full HD at 120 FPS (with interpolation to 240 FPS) for slow motion capture.
You can also take stills – the 6 Megapixel sensor is not made for photos, but it does the job just fine (although the “24 Megapixel shots” is misleading – that’s simply the interpolated size).
The audio is recorded in stereo by 4 internal condenser microphones that work in tandem to offer high quality omnidirectional recording with noise cancellation, as well as the ability to adjust the audio recording angle (if you want to record only what’s in the front of the camera, for example).
The view screen is a 3 inch, 460K dot touch sensitive unit that does its job very well, and of course, you can adjust it to any angle you want.
The touch controls are well placed, but you always have the fallback hardware controls if using the touchscreen is cumbersome.
What sets the Panasonic HC-V770 apart from the competition are the ability to mount an external light (using an optional shoe mount adapter), use an external microphone (via a 1/8” jack), the Wifi + Twin Video Camera features and quite extensive manual controls (focus, aperture, white balance, shutter speed and brightness).
The Wifi can be used to transfer your work to your PC without using a cable or to view it on a big screen using a Wifi-enabled TV.
The Twin Video Capture feature is more interesting – it allows you to connect a smartphone to the V770 itself and record two streams simultaneously, which can be very useful for picture-in-picture videos or for shooting the same thing from different angles.
As far as the price/performance/features balance goes, the HC-V770 is, in my opinion, the best Panasonic camcorder you can get right now.
The Good & The Bad
The pros of the Panasonic HC V770 outweigh the cons, but like any product, this device has both.
- A high quality BSI CMOS 6 MP sensor;
- Best in class image stabilization;
- 120 FPS slow motion (with 240 FPS interpolation) at Full HD resolution;
- The ability to record from an external microphone;
- The ability to use standard shoe mount equipment using the shoe mount adapter slot;
- Wireless Smartphone Twin Video Capture provides a lot of extra flexibility for shooting;
- Manual controls are very useful for getting the picture you want and use more advanced video techniques;
- The built-in LED, which can’t provide good illumination in low light conditions;
- Battery life – you can get 1 hour of continuous shooting on 1 charge (although you can use an external adapter or an optional high capacity battery pack);
- No internal memory (you’ll need to get a fast SDXC card);
Who is this product for?
The HC-V770 is Panasonic’s flagship Full HD camcorder – and it comes at a very attractive price point. It’s the perfect choice for beginner videographers who want to learn the ropes, as well as seasoned professionals who need an extra camera for secondary shots.
If you’re a beginner video podcaster who doesn’t plan on doing digital photography and you want to get the best quality and the most features you can get for a decent price, this is the camera for you.
I hope this Panasonic HC V770 review helps you in your decision – you should check other camcorders out, as well, but in my opinion, the V770 does an excellent job at balancing price, features and performance, while being future proof enough to support any add-ons you might find necessary and get you all the way to professional shooting without spending a huge amount of money.
If you don’t need 4K, the V770 is the best Panasonic camcorder for prosumers…
US Visitors – CLICK HERE For More on The Panasonic HC-V770 HD Camcorder with Wireless Smartphone Twin Video Capture
UK Visitors – CLICK HERE For More on The Panasonic HC-V770EB-K Full HD Camcorder with Wireless Twin Camera (20x Optical Zoom)
We hope you enjoyed this Panasonic HC V770 Review and if you have any questions about the camera or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment in the section below.