Panasonic HC-V500 video review



Read the full Panasonic HC-V500 review

The HC-V500's sub-£300 price places it firmly in the budget category, but it has features not normally found at this level. In particular, the Hybrid OIS+ optical image stabisation system is much more effective than the electronic systems usually found in budget camcorders. There are comprehensive manual settings, and image quality is good in most conditions. The V500 is not quite rock bottom value, but if you've got a little more than an entry-level budget, there's enough here to be worth the extra money.

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Brian ONeill

June 18, 2012, 4:24 pm

I have a canon ixus 230is that shoots hd video.

I am curious is there any benefit to having a dedicated video camera like this over using the video function in a stills camera?


June 18, 2012, 9:17 pm

I've been wanting to know this for a while now. TR folks, please opine !


June 19, 2012, 12:44 am

Very much so, yes. Dedicated camcorders such as this one offer vastly greater optical zoom ranges (the key thing really), optical image stabilisation, easier handling for video shooting, smooth zooming, better audio recording. If you're doing anything more than just a few short clips, they're infinitely easier to use. That said, if you go to the really low end - the sort of cheaper camcorders referred to in this review - then the lack of manual controls and optical stabilisation and lower image quality may mean that for many casual users it's not worth the outlay (though you'll still get a much larger zoom range).


June 19, 2012, 7:56 pm

Thanks for that Ed. I feel better purchasing my Panasonic SD60 back in 2010 after reading this review just before my purchase

Geoffrey Brown

September 27, 2012, 9:50 am

One thing I am interested in knowing is that in the Panasonic FHD (Full High Definition = 1920x1080) lineup this camera is in the odd situation of having insufficient pixels to support 1080p. My understanding is that for 1080i you are supplying half the lines in each frame so only need 0.5 of FHD = 1.05 megapixels approx. Given this camera boasts FHD @ 1080p it would seem to have insufficient motion pixels for this. It needs 2.1 megapixels but really has 1.3 - 1.12 megapixels. Is this therefore FHD ? It would seem not to me.


Geoffrey Brown

September 27, 2012, 9:52 am

The review above in relation to the camera FHD capabilities appears to skirt around the issue of whether it is really FHD. The mention that the sensor has high sensitivity is really a separate matter to the native resolution and support for FHD.



December 23, 2012, 1:33 am

I just bought this camera to replace a larger network quality camera and I was SURPRISED with the picture quality.Simply amazing.I bumped it to 1080p right out of the box and definitely will be enjoying this camera for all my video needs.The stabilization of the picture is worth it alone.Take video while walking or running and it's smoooooth as silk.The 1080p HD videos from this camera are shown in 1080p on my 55 inch Samsung flat screen so defects will show at that size,but there are few,if any.This camera is priced too low for what you get and if you are smart you will grab one before they are gone.You can argue specs but it all comes down to the actual picture when viewed by the naked eye. Panasonic has hit a home run with this one.

Alistair Lumb

January 12, 2013, 9:39 am

Im just contemplating trading in my HV40 for this or similar hoping that time will have made image quality better or at least equal. Whats your take

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