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on 17 April 2012
I've been eagerly awaiting the release of the wa-20 for some months. I have to say firstly it's made of sturdy stuff, feeling pretty robust and comfortable to grip. Pretty quickly though I'm not impressed with the button lay out and how they function, having to swap between the joystick and zoom buttons on top, and also the menu button situated on the side when flicking between playback and record. A shortcut option is available for the joystick keys but these are predefined in the menu and limited, rather than being able to select your own shortcuts.
Being a complete amateur cameraman I just want something to turn on and point and this is perfect for this. Intelligent scene chooses the right setting exposure etc although like any camera this can be overridden if required. A great feature is being able to record a movie and very simply being able to save a picture of a frame. Sound quality is good also. One of the biggest disappointments for me is the much hyped panoramic mode, I gave up in the end, only managing one horizontal picture and no successful attempts at the 360 degree, it kept failing. Still pictures can be taken upto 16m but to be honest I'm not impressed with the quality when compared to my 12m Sony compact camera, there is just too much noise particularly in dim lighting conditions or when using the zoom, although for a camcorder stills are acceptable. Battery time just over an hour isnt amazing Overall I'd say good video quality, shame it doesn't come with a hd lead for playback, stills ok and at £260 not a bad price. 3 stars not 4 just because of the slightly annoying menu setup, new firmware shouldn't be long away please!
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on 7 September 2012
I bought this camera to film myself kayaking the English Channel and some training sessions on Lake Windermere. The reason I picked the WA20 is because it is advertised as a sport camera and it is waterproof to 3 metres. It did the job but there were some annoying design flaws.

The video quality at HD resolution (30fps and 60fps) is excellent. It was one of the reasons I chose a Panasonic camera over similar sports cameras on the market. The slow-motion feature is good but you need really good light conditions - don't expect much from anything indoors or low-light conditions. The 480fps mode is at such a small resolution (320x180) so will need some post-production resizing to be of any use.

The battery only lasts around 40mins which for sports use is not great, not much chance to recharge it if you're outdoors away from power source. There is a battery saving mode but I haven't turned that on yet.

Because it is waterproof all the connections are behind the lockable battery compartment door. This means to charge the device or connect it to the TV you have to leave it open which could put it more at risk of accidentally becoming snapped off.

There did appear to be some internal lens fogging at one stage of my main channel trip, this did affect the quality of some of my video clips. The camera was not submerged at any point of the journey and was possibly more to do with condensation build up as it was a very warm day - either way not good!

The screen in bright sunlight cannot be seen so at times I couldn't see if I was recording, not great if you're trying to capture a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event.

You can't film whilst the screen is down. This means the battery is sometimes unnecessarily drained by the LCD screen.

Sound quality is reasonable on the internal microphone but there is no external microphone connection. Sound playback is very quiet to it's hard to hear if it was capture ok and there no headphone jack either.

Overall for the price and in this genre it is probably the best camera for feature set and video quality.
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on 1 August 2012
Can't see screen in sunlight and getting the angle right is difficult when shooting blind.Would like it to work when screen is folded in.Very good performer apart from previous crits.
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on 14 January 2013
I was looking for a simple to use robust camcorder, having owned a panasonic camcorder myself I have always been impressed by the picture quality of my unit so was confident that this unit would give good results and it does,it uploads the footage in mp4 so it is much easier to put it on to a computer all in all a good camcorder.
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on 16 May 2012
Wow what a great product. Low light level recording a bit grainy but outside shots stunning HD. Clever editing tool.
Battery life not brilliant and almost impossible to get a second battery as product is so new.
Very pleased so far. Best price on Amazon too.
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on 27 April 2013
Ar first it took some getting used to it as my hands don't function too well due to arthritis, but by now manage quite well although do suffer from camera shake when changing focus.
Otherwise its brilliant and I love it, well worth the money I spent. I got the WA20 instead of the cheaper WA2. Don't know if I will ever use the fast filming button. As well as filming underwater at 80+ but as a new grandchild is on the way thought I should get it. Also am learning to word and edit with Final Cut and Panasonic is one of the cameras supported by Final Cut.
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on 9 January 2013
once you get use to the feel and smallness of the camera it's great. we sail and the fact it.s water proof is ideal
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on 14 April 2013
I took this in the swimming pool with my young kids (no more than 1 metre deep!). I checked the battery compartment seal before I went in the water but it still leaked both in the battery compartment and the lense. The battery compartment since dried out okay but the lense is still fogged so I am sending it back under warranty.
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on 9 June 2013
Bought this camcorder for the sole purpose to be able to film a family wedding. Wanted something that I could use with one hand as I was on crutches. It was very portable & easy to use but it stated it had 15x intelligent zoom but only goes as far as 10.
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on 8 April 2016
I really like this camera. It's super easy to use and has a good picture and sound quality. It's not great in low light but fine for family holidays and general use. I love the way it turns on when you flip the lid and is ready for action. I've tested it in water to about 3 meters and it's fine. The only downside, which is a bit of a shame, is that the tripod thread position at the base of the camera which is a weak location and very prone to wobbling when attached. It would have been better to have an extra screw hole on the side of the unit to secure it firmly to a 90 degree tripod head but you can't have every thing. If you want a waterproof camera that allows a separate sound input and a better tripod attachment, maybe go for a go pro.
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