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Having moved away from the 3 MOS system cameras due to the limited zoom they offer, I was on the lookout for a budget, 1 mos camera. Most of my older camcorders are 3 mos, with my last being the Panasonic TM300 which is great, yet the optical zoom is limited to 12X. The current Panasonic top of the line X920 is also limited to 12X zoom.
So I was on the lookout for a longer zoom yet still have the best quality at a budget price.

I tried a head to head test between the Panny V520 and V720, and even though the V520 has a longer zoom, the picture quality of the V720 is far superiour in my opinion. I'm in no way saying that the V520 has a poor video quality, yet when compared to the V720 the difference is evident.

I am really impressed by the sharp, crisp footage of the V720, and I might dare say that it is on par with my TM300 in good light and slightly better in darker conditions. The zoom range is more than adequate at 21X with practically no loss in video quality.

Add that to NFC and built in Wi-Fi ! Technology has really come a long way.

This has to be the best value camcorder for the money.

Highly recommended
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on 13 August 2013
Bought this to replace two previous cassette movie cameras which had become unreliable. What a difference! This is the way to go with ease of use and so many facilities, I still have a lot to learn, but my first use has been quite successful and pleasing. Putting onto the computer and then down-loading to a DVD is a challenge, but this is probably down to my inexperience rather than the camera.The distance facility is great with no apparent camera shake and the picture is well defined. The basic use is fairly simple and the accompanying CD instructions are very detailed.You wont learn things overnight but worth buying for the experience. One negative note is the price of the spare batteries, HUGE! Panasonic should be able to sell these at half the price. However, the battery that comes with the camera is pretty good so don't be put off. Hence my reason for four stars and not five. Happy shooting.
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on 14 July 2013
I have had this camera for a couple of days now and have been checking it out before taking it on its first holiday. I started off with some 1080i recordings before switching to 1080p. I filmed in bright sunlight as one would experience on holiday. I think image quality was good in both modes although the colours seem a little washed out. I added a polarising filter which improved matters a little. As was mentioned by another reviewer, the lack of a viewfinder is always an issue in bright sunlight. Whatever happened to transflective technology ?
The AVCHD files loaded straight into Sony Vegas Movie Studio (version 10), but this editor can only handle 1080i so any benefits of recording in 1080p are lost. The files also played back fine on my Panasonic Vierra plasma screen. I don't experience the stuttering that another reviewer mentioned on my TV but I do see it on my PC, but this is quite possibly due to the limitations of my PC.

I also did a head-to-head comparison on still shots between the V720 and my Pani Lumix FZ28. Despite the higher pixel counts claimed by the V720 the FZ28 wins hands down. You can take passable photos with the V720, but don't leave your stills camera at home just yet.

Getting the wifi working was a bit of a trial. It seems the camera can't see wifi channels any higher than channel 9, mine was set to 12.
Just got DLNA working and was able to stream 1080p to my TV no problem. However there doesn't seem to be a mode where the V720 can appear as a mass storage device, for that you need to resort to the USB cable (unless I've missed something). Panasonic tell you that you have to use their HD Writer software to copy 1080p video off the device. This doesn't seem to be strictly true as I was able to copy files off using Windows explorer once I'd found them in the V720 file structure.

Dolby Digital 5.1 seems to work fine, although when playing back on my TV from my file server I experience a big delay before the system finally recognises what's going on and the AV receiver switches to Dolby Digital mode, during which time one is starting to think it's not going to work, but this is probably the TV's fault.

The unit itself is compact a light and generally a significant improvement over my Pani NV-GS320 tape camcorder.
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on 8 September 2013
What an excellent piece of kit the V720 is, for the price charged I am really impressed.

Plus points
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Excellent (if slightly cold) video quality, but sharp with reliable exposure.
Fantastic zoom (including digital zoom).
Microphone is good but suffers from the usual wind noise problems but does not pick up too much handling noise if used with care. I mainly use mine with a Rode stereo videomic with which it is excellent.
WiFi features (which I thought at first would be gimmicky) are fantastic. I have a Samsung S3 with the app installed and find it fantastic to use and very simple to set up.
Controls are easily to use and seem well laid out.
Optical stabilisation needs to be seen to be believed - it really is that good!
Touch screen system is simple to use and responsive.
Small and very light.

Minus Points
----------------
No SD card supplied (not usable without one). I purchased a 32GB Sandisk Extreme which works very well.
Supplied editing software is ok to get you started but I think you will be seeking alternatives sooner rather than later.
The camera feels a bit cheap and plasticy but for the price................................

Notes
-------
I noted in one review that the SD card access slot is difficult to use with tripod mounts etc. I use Manfrotto equipment and find that if fitted with a standard quick release mount the access is unobstructed.
I don't use it for stills so cannot comment on that aspect.

Overall I love this camera, and when I save enough money I may well buy a second one.
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on 26 January 2014
This is written after using this for the first time today. When I bought the Camcorder, I also bought two Lexar 32gig premium series cards from another Amazon supplier. I bought the camera on Amazon from MagicDiscounts who gave great service and sent the camera express post so we ordered on Monday and it was delivered on Wednesday. Once the camera arrived I went to PC World and bought a Logik Camcorder case for £3.99 which is just the right size and has a couple of pockets for spare bits.
Back to the camera and I have marked down by one star as although the video taken today was excellent, the 'still' pics leave a lot to be desired and I may need to experiment more.
Basic video is very easy and the zoom is very powerful. I did a bit of research on camcorders and the advice was to get this model rather than the cheaper 700 and finances prevented me going for the £600 model. My PC accepts the SDHC card directly and so it is so easy to transfer pics and videos onto my hard-drive. I need to sort out a decent pic editing package in due course but my first impressions are that I am extremely pleased with my purchase and I am sure once I actually read the instructions, there will be so much more to discover. Great buy.
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on 13 December 2013
This was bought for me as a Christmas present by my wife , and although i have not tried it properly yet, i did get one hours use as i bought it second hand and needed to test it , :). Its immediately obvious its a a cut above the rest, its optical image stabilisation is fantastic , the image is the best ive seen for this grade of camera, and the extras like remote control via your iphone or android phone, NFC and WIFI , all work brilliantly, its expensive sure, even second hand, but worth it .
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on 5 February 2014
Arrived very quickly after ordering and very easy to use. Everything I wished for in a camcorder, very light and compact, but with great functionality. Thank you
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on 17 June 2013
I bought this for my husband. He had reached the stage with his old camcorder where he wanted to achieve more and to take clearer stills. He loves it. Remember to buy a memory card as the camcorder won't work without one. I had ordered one but it didn't arrive at all. Amazon sent another straight away and it arrived the day after his birthday.
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on 24 September 2013
The panasonic v720 is topend for the cash, I took this peice of kit on holliday and it peformed out of this world, in any location including lowly lit caves to bright sunshine it has surpased any vid cam I have ever used.
Even down to the software included it came out on top for ease of use and HD playback is blistering, just had to update to bluyray to get the best rendition but worth the punt,
If. you are looking for a Camcorder my advice would be buy it!.5 star kit with the exception of high zoom levels 50s times is great
And stils @ 20mp +.
CHB
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on 17 January 2014
Full HD, easy to use, loads of features. Took some time to research cameras and found this one to be the best for price.
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