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Panasonic HX-WA3EB-W Full HD 1920 X 1080 Tough Vertical Camcorder - White/Blue (16MP, 5m Waterproof, -10 C Freezeproof, Dustproof, Still Images, 18x Intelligent Zoom) 2.6 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer)
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- 5 Meters Waterproof
- - 10 C Freezeproof
- 18x Intelligent zoom
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Panasonic HX-WA3 HD Camcorder--Rugged Design for Reliable Shooting in Tough Conditions
Perfect for sun holidayers, winter holidayers, cyclists, walkers and skiers, the versatile WA3 can be used all year round. In addition to its tough design, the WA3 boasts an Intelligent 18x Zoom allowing users to shoot faraway subjects with ease, and images will be blur free thanks to the Active E.I.S.
Ergonomic Upright Design for Vertical Style Shooting
Specifically designed for single-handed use, the vertical style of shooting with this camcorder and unique grip minimises fatigue. Easily held with one hand, the essential controls are ergonomically placed within easy reach.
Rugged Features - 5m Water Proof, -10 Freeze Proof, Dust Proof
The WA3 is designed for tough active outdoor shooting. Whether it's snorkelling, snowboarding or just adventure holidaying, the ruggedised build quality of this high definition camcorder easily goes places no ordinary video camera can go.
MP4 Full HD Video Recording Mode for High Compatibility
High Definition video including 1920x1080 can be shot at 30 Progressive frames per second. MP4 (H.264) format is compatible with many video editing software packages, but is also compatible with iTunes for playback on Smartphone or tablet devices.
iFrame Recording Mode for Compatibility with Apple Macintosh Software
iFrame is a recording format suitable for viewing or editing on Mac (iMovie’11). Using iMovie’11, iFrame motion pictures can be imported faster than AVCHD motion pictures. Also, the imported file size of iFrame motion pictures will be smaller than that of AVCHD motion pictures.
iA (Intelligent Auto) Shooting Mode
Perfect for video novices, iA mode lets you shoot the movie without you having to worry about what settings to use. The camera intelligently works out the type of scene that you are trying to capture. Whether it's a person's face, a dramatic landscape, or a night time shot. The most commonly used shooting scenarios are programmed in to the camera and the camera makes all the internal settings automatically, leaving you to just press the record button.
12 Creative Filter Options for Video or Still Picture Shooting
To add an interesting new look to your videos or photos any one of 12 creative filter effects can be selected before taking your shot: Old Movie, Time-lapse, Ghost effect, Fish-eye effect, Sepia, HDR Paint, Soft Skin, Monochrome, Miniature, One-point Colour, Vivid and Soft Focus.
x18 Intelligent-zoom (Optical x5)
The WA series includes a clever combination of optical and digital technology to get you even closer to your subject. The powerful image processing engine means that a high quality image can be created from the zoom lens that is equivalent to an incredible 18x magnification (more than triple the optical zoom limit).
Active E.I.S. (Electronic Image Stabiliser)
The new Active E.I.S. helps stabilise your video and reduce handshake caused by videoing from a moving vehicle or walking.
16.0MP Still Picture Capture Mode
Digital Still pictures can be taken with this camcorder in two aspect ratios: 16:9 and 4:3. Depending on the aspect ratio chosen, images with a resolution up to 16 mega pixels can be taken. This is very useful as it means the camcorder can be used to take photos when you do not have a Digital Still Camera available.
360 Degree Panoramic Still Picture Shooting Mode
With sweep panorama mode you can position yourself to take a 180/360 degree panoramic photo. By holding down the shutter button and slowly swivelling your hips or turning around, a beautiful panoramic sweeping image can be made. The camera takes pictures consecutively while you turn. When the shooting ends, consecutively shot images are joined together to produce a single panoramic picture.
Burst Shooting Mode (10fps @ 3MP)
One of the advantages of a MOS sensor is the incredibly fast read-out speed. High-speed still picture burst shooting, up to 10 frames per second at 3 mega-pixel resolution, is possible. This enables you to capture high speed action with a sequence of still pictures that are sharp and defined, even when it is difficult to keep the subject in the centre of the frame. You can review the images after you have captured the action and choose the best composed shot.
40 mm Wide Angle Shooting
Despite its compact size, this camcorder offers a wider than normal field of view. Where a 50 mm angle is considered the normal field of view for humans, this model offers a 20% wider shot that enables more of the subject to fit in the picture.
2.6" 230K Pixels Wide LCD Screen
A high quality wide aspect Liquid Crystal Display is offered with a 6.7 cm/2.6 inch viewing area that works well in bright light due to the Auto Brightness sensor that automatically increases brightness by up to 40% when in sunny conditions.
2ch Stereo Mic and New Wind Canceller
A built-in stereo microphone means high quality Dolby encoded stereo sound can be recorded when using movie mode. And a new wind canceller reduces the wind noise coming into the built-in microphones while maintaining a realistic sound.
USB Charging Function
A USB AC adaptor is included in the box. This convenient accessory enables you to charge the battery inside the camera from any mains power outlet. It is compact and easy to carry around with you giving you a wide number of options to charge up the battery. Alternatively, you can use the supplied USB cable to charge the camera from a USB port on a computer, for example.
Which Panasonic Active HD Camcorder is Right for Me?
Rechargeable Battery Pack
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OK, so you either risk destroying the camcorder by not replacing the seals, or you pay to send it away and have them replaced every year. I emailed Panasonic to find out how much this would cost, and was directed to the DK Audio Visual Repair Centre. I lookied on the DK website and eventually found that the base labour charge for any kind of service on Panasonic camcorders was £60 (just for replacing some rubber seals!), plus £10 for them to send the camcorder back to you, plus postage for you to send it to them in the first place. And you're expected to do this every year. I expect Panasonic and DK make a fat sum out of that from customers who have been caught out and had not read the manual before purchasing the item. I phoned up DK and they told me they weren't allowed to give price estimates over the phone (very fishy) and we had to fill in a service request form online, probably comitting us to send in the camcorder, before we found out how much it would cost.
Another thing it said in the manual, not so important but still inconvenient, is that you have to give the camcorder a thorough internal and external cleaning, and let it lie in a tub of clean freshwater for ten minutes within 1 hour of every use in the water, especially in the sea. If you're out and about then you won't be able to do this - it just isn't practical!
So, if you're prepared to spend probably around £80 every year sending the camcorder away for service, go ahead and buy it - it looks like a very good camcorder. That's like buying a new one every 3 years. But unfortunately I cannot afford this and so cannot buy the camcorder. I might have to go for something like the Fujifilm Finepix XP60 instead, although I am looking for a camcorder rather than a primarily stills camera, so I still don't know what I'm going to do. I'm really disappointed because this looked like such a great little camcorder for me and I feel a bit tricked that it actually only stays waterproof for one year. Such a shame. Just wanted to warn others - read the manual before buying!
Some of the buttons are a little fiddly to use, for example, the W/T zoom. I also think some kind of lens protector would have been a good idea.
Battery life is pretty good, but a spare battery (or even two) is essential for being out and about.
While I do not use the underwater capability of this machine, it would be immensely useful for anyone who likes scuba-diving.........(and also if you drop it into the garden pond by mistake). The sand resistance is great for beach movies, and you don't need to worry if you drop it onto the sand.
Overall, I am very pleased with this camcorder.
CC - (London).
It is still early days but I am pleased with the quality of the videos and still shots, and is easy to operate.
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