243 of 248 people found the following review helpful
Great Video Quality - Delicate Construction,
This review is from: Panasonic TA1 Full HD Pocket Camcorder - Grey (8MP Still Images, Skype Compatible Webcam, Built In USB) (Electronics)
This is Panasonics answer to the FLIP Video and it surpasses and falls short at the same time. First, the quality of the videos is remarkable. Automatically set at the highest default of 1920 X 1080, on a 4GB card you can record 40 minutes. With an 8GB card, you can record 1 hour and 20 minutes. Honestly, unless you are making a movie project, keep it at the high default, as shorter videos tend to be less boring. The 'menu screen' is very intuitive for both Video and Camera. The camera settings should always be at 8M (8 megapixels/the default) which will give a perfectly fine quality photo. A poster it won't make, but a 10 X 12 is easily possible. The software is very easy to use and one of the best features is the capability to record a video and come back later and extract an individual shot from motion. When taking pictures in low light, there is a button that turns on a bright light that is alarmingly effective. Playback of video and photos is clean, crisp and easy on a nice screen the same size as a Flip Video's. The special effects function allows you to record in 'monochrome', 'sepia' or 'soft skin'. Another very cool feature for real electronic buffs is that this camera has SKYPE capabilities, so if you plug it onto your computer Playback of video and photos is easily done on a good size screen (same size as a Flip Video) you can talk to other SKYPE users.
Now for the not so great features - the construction of the camera. There are three access panels on the sides of the camera for:
1) Battery and SDHC card
2) An external A/V port
3) The USB port for access to your computer.
These are thin plastic pieces that attach only with a thin plastic loop and can easily break. Once in place, they are secure, but this is probably the biggest flaw.
Having to use an external cord to connect the USB port to your computer is just an extra unneeded hassle, but then again, I've been concerned about hanging a Flip Video on a horizontal USB computer port. Like most compact video/cameras, there is a mono microphone and speaker. Not a big deal.
Other important points to make is that you really need an (Secure Digital High Capacity) SDHC card Transcend 8 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS8GSDHC6. This guarantees the ultimate in quality and performance. This is the only item not included in the package and they are not cheap.
Watching your videos and photos on your television (flat screen is awesome) or computer is a thrill when you witness the clarity. I do enjoy this camera and feel guilty to give it only 3 stars, but the construction of the access doors, the extra cord for computer connection and the non-inclusion of an SDHC card were the tipping points. Considering the price, it can still be considered a bargain. I suspect Panasonic will release a newer version that will blow away the competition.
Tracked by 6 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Nov 2010 05:57:01 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 6 Jan 2011 15:20:12 GMT]
Posted on 30 Nov 2010 13:36:39 GMT
C. Sharratt says:
I think Martin comments are excellent and thank you for taking the time to write a detailed comment!!!!!!
I am getting one of these for my kid for Christmas!!!!
Posted on 16 Dec 2010 08:57:26 GMT
Suzanne D. says:
Thanks Martin for your time and savy comments.
One important thing to mention is that when you use the camera with Skype, the format is only 640x280 maximum.
it would have been perfect being able to stream in 8MP!
Posted on 12 Feb 2011 23:11:06 GMT
Mr. Ma Jones says:
Do you have any feedback on the sound quality? I need to find a recorder much like this one that will give clear enough sound for me to use as a recording tool for a fitness assessment video.....I expect that the picture quality is sufficient but I am worried that the sound may not be very clear?! I read a feedback on the John Lewis site that criticises the sound....do you have any valuable information you can share? Thanks!
Posted on 9 Apr 2011 19:00:02 BDT
J. Sherwin says:
Sounds like a pretty good cam for what I'm after. What is the audio for videos like? I want to use this to make sort of a daily youtube blog with bits from my day and probably a fair bit of me talking. So any comment on the audio would be awesome!
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2011 19:37:04 BDT
Martin A Hogan says:
The sound is similiar to the Flip Video - not too tinny or echo-y. Can be heard clearly through a TV system.
Posted on 24 Apr 2011 11:47:08 BDT
Amazon Customer says:
Thinking about buying one of these so that I can slip it in my pocket. My main camcorder is a Panasonic, 3ccd job with surround sound, but it won't go in my pocket easily. However, I notice that this little camcorder says 30p, will it play OK on a normal British TV which is 25i or 50P? Can anyone help please?
Posted on 14 Aug 2011 13:42:18 BDT
sherlock holmes says:
thinking of buying flip camcorder to take on walkabout Australia, what extra equipment would I need for charging flip up.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2011 13:54:14 BDT
Suzanne D. says:
the battery last very long.i.e. up to 4 days. I used to charge it on a USB port when available. otherwise I would investigate the cost of getting a solio solar charger; very light http://www.solio.com/chargers/
have a nice trip
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2011 18:53:26 BDT
Martin A Hogan says:
FLIP's are being phased out, but to charge, all you need is a computer USB port or an adapter that plugs from the FLIP to a wall socket. Available under FLIP accessories.