Panasonic has announced the Panasonic HC-V720, Panasonic HC-V520 and Panasonic HC-V210; its latest lineup of mid-range camcorders, which add NFC, Wi-Fi and BSI sensors to the mix.
Announced alongside the company’s new flagship consumer camcorder the HC-X920, these other three models all feature new back-side illuminated sensors for better low-light image quality, though unlike the flagship model they only use a single sensor rather than three.
Panasonic HC-V720 Specs
The top model in this range, the Panasonic V720 features a relatively large 1/2.33in sensor with a total of 15.3MP. This is accompanied by an f/1.8-f/3.5 28mm equivalent wide angle lens that stretches to 717.4mm at its telephoto end for an optical zoom range of 21x. This combination should give it excellent image quality.
Adding to this core spec are the new features that include Wi-Fi and NFC. The latter is useful for quickly setting up the camera to connect to a smartphone which can then be used to control the camcorder, including checking audio recording levels, zooming in and out and starting and stopping recording.
The V720 also uses the image sensor's excess pixels to offer up to 20MP still images and a 53x ‘intelligent zoom’ mode which unlike traditional digital zooms still offers Full HD (though image quality does degrade a little). Also onboard is 5.1 surround sound recording, Panasonic’s class-leading Hybrid OIS optical image stabilisation and a new Level Shot feature which uses an internal sensor to show you whether you’re shot is level or not.
Panasonic HC-V520 Specs
The V520 uses a much smaller sensor than the V720 (1/5.8in to be exact) so core image quality won’t be quite as good but this does allow it to offer a longer optical zoom range of 50x (28-1748mm equivalent). It also offers a wider wide angle than its predecessor the V500, making for a marked upgrade all round.
It also maintains the Hybrid OIS, Level Shot and both Wi-Fi and NFC of the V720, though it misses out on surround sound (only stereo) and thanks to a much lower pixel count its sensor doesn’t offer quite such good still image quality.
Panasonic HC-V210 Specs
The baby of the new range is the V210 which drops the Wi-Fi and NFC of the other two models, as well as loosing a number of more subtle features such as wind-cut and zoom mic.
However, the V210 retains the same image sensor as the V520 and has a lengthy 38x zoom, though here it only starts at 32mm at its wide angle end. You still get an ‘intelligent zoom’ mode though which boosts this range to 72x.
Image stabilisation is still optical but is only Panasonic’s Power OIS version which isn’t quite as effective, plus you miss out on Level Shot.
Panasonic HC-V720, V520 and V210 Release Date and Price
This new range of HC-V camcorders will be hitting UK shelves in February with prices yet to be confirmed. Expect them to be in the region of £500, £350 and £250.