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on 21 May 2012
A really easy to use 'point and shoot' camcorder with some nice extra features should you wish to get more involved with your filming (adjusting white balance, manual focus, iris settings etc). Light, and small enough to carry in a coat pocket. Battery life around 90 mins. Zoom is very good, assisted by good image stabilisation. The still image quality is very good too - as sharp as a reasonable camera.

On the minus side, I found the colours just weren't as vibrant as I would have liked, which compromised the HD sharpness. I also found that light surfaces lost most of their detail in moderate brightness. There's a fair review on Techradar which describes the issues I encountered. The V700 is by no means a poor camera, but by way of comparison, I returned this and bought a Panasonic X800 (bargain price on an auction site). The difference having 3 sensors on the X800 is quite marked when compared with the V700 - colours are far more vibrant, and I'm very pleased.

Don't get me wrong, having upgraded from a DV tape camcorder, the V700 was like having getting cataracts removed. But if you're in any doubt over this and the higher spec'd Panasonics, go for the latter if you can justify the premium. (Or better still see if you find last year's SD800 for a good price).
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on 27 June 2012
This is my very first camcorder and wanted one that will last a few years before becoming antiquated.
I chose the V700 against the Sony CX260 & Canon R36 as it has the better reviews and the best sensor size. Having compared all 3 I am satisfied I chose the best option for my needs.
Build quality is very good and size is excellent for most hand sizes.
Features of the V700 are reasonably simple to use and the camcorder can be used without too much fiddling with settings etc. If left on default settings it is an easy point and shoot camcorder producing great results that would satisfy most people except perhaps those who have higher requirements.
Quality of video is excellent and the zoom operates smoothly and quietly.
As I walk with a stick, filming and walking seemed a problem but not with this camcorder due its wonderfull efficient image stabilisation. So if I can get good results anyone can.
Interior usage is very good both due to wide angle lens and low light facility.
I purchasede the high quality Sandisk 32GB 45MB/s Extreme Video SDHC Card and this gets the best out of the videos. Will invest in a 2nd card later which with the 2nd battery due from Panasonic soon will suffice all my needs.
So in conclusion I would sum by highly recommending the V700 to those both new to or upgrading their camcorder. You will unlikely be dissapointed. Like all things though it does depend on your own personal needs. For me I feel as I have purchased the best within a reasonable budget and will unlikely need to buy again for a long time. So go on try it in the shops get the feel of it, go home and buy on the web and save yourself a bundle. Oh and get the card I mentioned above it`s a great investment.
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on 19 September 2012
I did look around before purchasing this camcorder, there were a number of models in the same price range. I liked the sony models with the projector thinking it would be quite cool not to have to attach it to a screen, however the reviews for those products weren't great, especially in low light.

This camcorder however is great in low light, the quality of the image is fantastic. Considering just 1 year ago I purchased an SD camcorder for £150 pounds less than this, It would have been much better to have spent the extra for the HD version.

I haven't used it for anything complicated, just straight filming, but it is easy to setup and use. The only thing I have found is if you want to watch in HD on the television while you film you must use an HDMI cable (Mini - Standard) which is not included. The included composite cable will show an HD image but as soon as you hit record the TV screen will go blank.
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on 18 September 2012
First off, I fell over this model after a lengthy trawl in search of a budget camcorder which allows an external mic to be plugged in - a tough ask as you're heading into pro territory; however, this one has it, so if that's what you're after - this model is worth looking at.

I've used the camera several times, mostly tripod mounted, but I also did a handheld session to test the OIS. The image quality is excellent across a wide range of lighting conditions, I haven't tried it in low light but it's very unlikely I'd be using it in that environment, so not an issue either way for me. When handheld, the image stabilization was impressive producing very clear images. Re: the audio quality, I'm using an external mic so I can't vouch one way or the other for the built-in mic. The camera seems very quiet in use with no noise picked up that I have noticed so far.

In use the touch screen is intuitive to operate as you can quickly navigate to the setting you want - speaking of which, you can kill all the auto settings if you want to go to full manual which I suppose allows creative freedom; however I'd suggest leaving the autofocus and exposure running as they are very good. I haven't decided whether I like the face recognition feature yet, that may (or may not) come with time. The battery life seems impressive so far, however, I haven't pushed the endurance limits yet with long shooting sessions.

So overall first impressions are very positive, it's a reasonably priced bit of kit that delivers good quality video - it certainly covers the bases in terms of what I need it for, I'm happy to recommend it.
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on 5 July 2012
Hi,

Have recently upgraded to this from a 10 year old miniDV tape camcorder.

The image quality that this produces is quite simply outstanding. Initially, I had bought the Sony CX250 camcorder but the image quality on that was very bad, with very grainy video and certainly no where near what you would find acceptable in an HD camcorder. We then took it back to Currys and got a refund (after a lot of fighting as their customer service is rubbish compared to Amazon.co.uk and it was tedius getting them to admit there was an issue with the camera).

Anyway back to the V700, we recently used it on my son's first birthday and handheld the image stabilization is brilliant to the point that you would think we were using pro equipment. Also the image quality is razor sharp especially in good light, in low light, the camera does bump the sensor sensitivity up and you see some grain which is to be expected but still nowhere near as bad as we were seeing with the Sony CX250.

One other thing is note is that this has a sensor with enough megapixels to support native full HD resolution and then some which come into play when using its intelligent zoom feature.
Most of the other cameras which I looked at which are generally much cheaper than this and claim to be full HD do not actually have a sensor resolution high enough for HD and what they are doing is artificially inflating the resolution in camera. This is not TRUE HD and as far as I am concerned false marketing.....

All in all, very satisfied with the V700 camera, and in my opinion the best available at this price point.
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on 6 January 2013
I like many people spent several weeks researching which camcorder would best suit my holiday needs. I was looking in the £300-500 range.I wanted proper full HD quality and I was blown away how crisp and clear the quality is when playing back through a PC or my 50" TV. Where this camera excel's is the image stabilisation.I sat filming on the back of a moving motor bike and the images were crystal clear. My son has a Sony camcorder and this V700 was better sat on a moving motor bike. The zoom takes a bit of getting used to as it is that quick. If i was to get picky the audio was not quite as clear as the Sony. The HD picture quality and image stabilisation are the business for the price of £329 after cash back. I am very satisfied with my purchase strongly recommended.
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on 18 August 2012
Video performance - reasonable but the colours seem quite washed out - I give it 3/5 stars for video performance.

Audio performance - poor, the inbuilt mic records sound which has little depth and difficult to pick up from background noise even if the subject is close to the camera (I play back through my Samsung 40D6530 TV) - I give it 2/5 stars for audio performance.

Still photo performance - absolutely abysmal and unpredictable - I give it 1/5 stars.
Even when writing this statement it seemed over the top so I had another look at some of the photos I took and am still unable to say anything better than this. My 5-year old phone takes better and more consistent photos. A lot of the photos seem to have a dull greyish haze to them (even on sunny days in Mallorca), even though the resolution is 3200x1800 it seems much lower, they regularly seem blurry which is odd because the shutter speed from the EXIF data is regularly 1/1000th second although similar issues when at 1/50th second with maybe a little more noise. The colour is rarely accurate, either seeming to tend towards the yellow (blues can look a little green and whites a little creamy). Some photos do come out OK but you never know which ones, they all look great on the built in lcd display but even photos you take seconds apart can have massive variability, its pot luck, maybe 1 in 10 photos I would say is acceptable quality for a camcorder at this price. The wierd thing is that there is a video mode and a photo mode, but you can take photos in both modes by pressing the dedicated photo button, I've tried taking photos in both modes and can't tell any difference in the photos.

Usability - Its fairly straightforward to use - I give it 3/5stars.
The zoom has a very good range (even when digital zoom is switched off) and the image stabilisation is probably the best thing about the camera although it can lead to a less than smooth pan (even when not zoomed) as the cameras image stabilisation algorithm tries to keep the image still as you are panning, its a bit hit and miss. The zoom control using the zoom lever is a bit dodgy as the zoom changes speed after a certain point (starts slow up to a point and then jumps to a faster zoom to the end of its range). It can be zoomed smoothly using the touchscreen controls but this zoom is glacial and in my opinion not that useful. You can also hear zoom lever usage on the audio but this isn't unusual for this type of camcorder. The manual video mode seems to be hampered by lack of information about what its doing, for example when I change the shutter speed the aperture is automatically adjusted but you can't see to what, or I can adjust the aperture (or iris, strangely in decibels) and when I do this the shutter isn't correspondingly adjusted as it would be in aperture priority mode, leading to the image just getting darker or lighter. I only tried using manual mode for video because intelligent auto switches mode quite regularly during shots, if a face appears it goes into portrait mode, if you pan to a slightly darker part of the scene the candle mode comes on, or it sometimes decides landscape mode is better for no apparent reason, this leads to the image getting brighter and darker unexpectedly during video clips which can be distracting. Neither manual mode nor automatic is entirely satisfactory. The best thing I found was to switch the camera to a specific scene mode manually but the wierd thing is that this is buried in the menu system and can't be made more accessible on the touch screen top level menus, whereas other items such as backlight control or video light can be.

Anyway, I'm disappointed with this camcorder as a whole. I thought about a higher score because after all it it a video camera and the performance is reasonable, but when watching footage on the TV I was continually distracted by the poor sound which does take away from the viewing experience. Add to that the fact that the still photo functionality is next to useless really annoys me enough to give 2/5 stars overall.
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on 3 September 2012
Bought this as an upgrade to a 2 year old Panasonic as I like the functionality of the old one and has the bonus of using the same battery so I can switch between the two and double my recording time.
Recording is simple and the picture is very clear on the inbuilt screen.
Plenty of help and info in the pdf manual on the more complicated actions so you will need a PC or pdf reading device to make the most of it.
The downside is you need a high spec PC to edit and view your movies properly.
Before I bought it I got the min spec from Panasonics website but this wasnt really accurate (make sure you find the spec from the manual as that tells you what you need in order to 1) download 2) edit 3) playback - the min spec is different for each action.
To be able to view your full HD movies and edit them you will need a high spec, i5 3ghz PC with loads of RAM and a good graphics card.
Anything less that that you and you will only be downloading and burning them to DVD to watch elsewhere.
Other than that its a great camera with a good battery supplied (they dont last as long as low def camcorders but panasonic dont seem to be skimping on the battery like some other well known brands) and the still picture are as good as any similar 6mp camera I have owned.
Enjoy!
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on 11 August 2012
Superb and good value for money, the battery lasts longer than stated, very high quality video, easy to use and light.
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on 11 November 2012
My previous camera was a Panasonic VDR-300 3CCD, 8 years old.. so was time to upgrade.. and the 60 Euros cashback from Panasonic helped as well.. There are plenty of good reviews on internet on V700 and there are true.. It is a great camera and for a good price... will need a space battery soon.
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