Not fit for purpose
, 28 July 2013
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1E-K 3D Compact Digital Camera (5x Optical Zoom) 3.5 inch LCD (Camera)
Disappointed. The camera itself is brilliant but that's not enough for a video recorder. The software is unbelievably bad - clearly the designers have never used the product in earnest. I went on a world cruise and bought the camera (after poring through endless comparison reviews)for the occasion. As you do with movies, you take endless short clips as well as long and moderate ones to record the experience. Then you use the video editing software to shorten some of them, delete unecessary ones and generally trim the overall duration. Then you export the result to see if its not too long winded and repeat the exercise until pleased. At least that's how it always worked with my Sony to good effect. Not with this rubbish software! You cannot "stitch" clips into one continuous movie. It offers something idiosyncratic called "short story" whereby you select clips to produce short stories up to 3 minutes long (whats the point?)but in actual fact ignores some of your selections, duplicates others - sometimes three times - and endlessly complains about your selections exceeding the duration allowance or being too short. Then, when you think you've finally got it about right and show it on the Panasonic TV, the TV promptly breaks it up into DATE groups. Can you imagine how infuriating it is trying to show off your movie and the TV constantly throws you back to its menu selection because the clips are arranged into dates (regardless of your "short story" composition as one mini movie) so you are endlessly having to pick the next scene from the menu - completely destroying any attampt at a relaxing viewing.
So the short story option is a joke; I then decided to just shorten some clips and delete others and hope my initial movie recording was good enough to use, depending on the TV to run the clips automatically, one after the other - as my SONY TV and Sony vidoe does (Yes, I have reverted back to the Sony equipment and will be selling my Panasonic to anyone mug enough to buy them - sadly leaving me without a 3D capability for now). Not a chance! The TV promptly splits all the clips into the original recording dates again, leaving me with the same constant interruptions to my viewing. The export process offers you an option to select your own sequencing instead of date grouping. AHA you think...that should solve the problem. Nope...Its laughable because, having arranged your output into the sequence you want, it STILL groups the clips by recorded date - potentially making things worse.
As you can imagine, a world cruise encompasses 107 days and having consumed several 8GB SD cards, the intention was to pruduce a plausible set of 3 movies of 30mins each. Absolutely impossible with this software generating 107 separate date groups of clips, no matter what I do.
The saving grace is that there is an option for converting to 2D output, which I shall do and use my Serif software (excellent) to compose my movie record. I havn't tried it yet but presume they at least get that right.
Finally, find me someone I can complain to. I can't!
So you can see the dilemna. Brilliant camera but viewing the movies is a nightmare - it screws you whichever way you turn.
If anyone knows of any software that will do this job on Panasonic files please let me know. I am constantly searching, having downloaded a number who claim to do so and in fact appear to succeed only for the TV to refuse to process the end product.
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