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Panasonic HC-V700 review




  • Recommended by TR

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Panasonic HC-V700
  • Panasonic HC-V700
  • Panasonic HC-V700
  • Panasonic HC-V700
  • Panasonic HC-V700


Our Score:


User Score:


  • Great image quality
  • Good range of manual controls
  • Effective image stabilisation


  • No lens ring
  • 3D attachment doesn't allow zooming
  • No headphone minijack

Key Features

  • 1/2.33in CMOS with 15.3Mpixels
  • 1080/50i or 50p recording
  • AVCHD 2.0 format at up to 28Mbits/sec
  • Accessory shoe adapter and microphone input
  • SDXC card slot
  • 3D ready
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £499.99

Although it's almost business as usual at the top end of Panasonic's 2012 camcorder range with the HC-X900, the next rung down is a little more of a departure. Although Panasonic did already offer plenty of models with a single CMOS, the HC-V700 offers an unusually large one, in a similar fashion to the high-end models from most of its competitors.

The V700 boasts a sizeable 1/2.33in sensor with a whopping 15.3MP, although only 3.55MP of these are used when shooting video. This CMOS is also described as High Sensitivity, which is Panasonic's spin on backside illumination. So on top of the sensor being already large, it also sports this performance-enhancing technology. Curiously, only 3.55MP are used when shooting still images, too, so this won't make a great general-purpose crossover device.

Usually, when camcorders have a large sensor the optical zoom factor is reduced, as there isn't enough room for a long one. But the V700 still manages to offer a 26x telephoto, and there's an iZoom option available which boosts this to 46x. This isn't quite a digital zoom, because it doesn't blow up the video signal and lose resolution, but instead crops into the frame, taking advantage of the excess pixels available.

Video is recorded in the relatively new AVCHD 2.0 format, so data rates now have a maximum of 28Mbits/sec, with Full HD running at 50 progressive frames per second. The V700 doesn't have any built-in memory, instead relying on its single SDXC card slot. At the top data rate, around 5 minutes of footage can be stored per gigabyte. The other benefit of this version of AVCHD is that it has direct support for 3D, although the V700 only offers the side-by-side format, not the MVC format that maintains Full HD resolution rather than halving it.

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March 18, 2012, 4:43 pm

Hello James,

Please can you confirm this for me because I am finding it hard to believe.

Have Panasonic made this camcorder with a 15.3mp, 1/2.3" sensor but only ever use a maximum of 3.55mp of this? I believe that is only when using the 3D mode aswell.

Even what taking photos its still only around the 3mp mark.

I think this is truly disgusting to be frank! Panasonic is clearly just relying on the average user not really knowing a huge amount and seeing the spec sheet thinking that 15.3mp is a nice high number and 1/2.33" is good big sensor so this must be a good camcorder. But it should read 3.55mp and 1/10" sensor size!

If this camera did use a sensor just a tenth of an inch in size it would get destroyed in reviews but that is all its using so why call it a 1/2.3"?


March 18, 2012, 10:26 pm

That is indeed correct, but it's no reason to be annoyed. It's standard, sensible practice to have a sensor with more pixels than the resolution that is recorded. This is so the camera can create a better quality image by downsampling. It results in better dynamic range and low light performance. Admittedly, it is strange that you can't use a few more of the pixels for still images, and conversely that there are so many pixels for a standard 1080p camera, but so long as you realise - as james says - that this camera isn't great for both stills and video there's no cause for concern.


March 19, 2012, 12:46 am

Hi Ed, that's true but the real question is, does it really use the whole sensor and downsamples the result (which would be absolutely fine) or does it use just a small part of the sensor itself...?


March 19, 2012, 1:46 am

Hi Ed,

"this camera isn't great for both stills and video"? I think you meant is...?

How sure are you that Panasonic are using those extra pixels for downsampling? I don't believe they are at all. As I'm sure you well know but high quality camcorders, like Canon G10, don't have large zoom ranges not because their uses don't want the feature but because optically you can't have a large sensor + a large zoom range in a reasonably sized body. This hypothesis is backed up by the fact that the V700 is only capable of 3mp photos. The lens physically can't disperse the image over an area greater than this, about 1/10".

The Canon G10 has a 1/3in sensor with 2.37mp, but Canon will be using this whole sensor and even though its a much 'smaller' sensor than the V700's 1/2.3" it can produce better IQ because its got a much larger surface area in use.

My gripe is that you would be hard pushed to know which was better from the spec sheet: 1/3" + 2.37Mp or 1/2.3" + 15.3Mp. But tbh this isn't what makes me angry. What gets to me is that surely this massive, high Mpixel sensor costs alot more than a 3.55mp 1/10" which is all that is needed for this camera. The only reason this isn't used is to prey on the buyers that don't look that closely at things like effective pixel count or wouldn't know what it meant even if they saw it.

I am not trying to take anything away from the actually performance of this camcorder because a 1/10" sensor or not its clearly capable of delivering a decent end product. I just feel the specs are very misleading and very wasteful.


March 19, 2012, 2:02 am

I'd bet quite a considerable sum that Panasonic isn't just putting an oversized sensor in for the hell of it as it would literally be throwing money away - silicon costs money. I don't know the exact reason for the disparity between actual pixels and effective resolution on this camera but I presume it's a combination of the aforementioned and the iZoom feature (that crops into the sensor like a digital zoom, without losing resolution). I'll investigate further on Monday.


March 19, 2012, 2:17 am

Sadly i don't have a considerable sum to bet but i would still love to hear what you find out :)

While you are there, ask them what is going on with their data sheet:


First it states the optical zoom range is 21x, then it states it's 28-717.4mm, which = 25.6x??


March 19, 2012, 2:42 am

Sorry, i don't mean to fire a million questions at you but what is the screen resolution? I would guess its the same 3" screen from the X800 which is 460800 dots but would like to know this thanks.

The other thing that i have never been able to figure out is why they bother to make a 50p and 60p version in this day and age. Who's computer/display can't handle 60p, even in a PAL region? Given the choice i would much rather get a 60p version to allow me to do smoother slowmos.

Is it possible to flash a the device's firmware from a 50p to a 60p?


March 21, 2012, 8:24 pm

I ordered the Panasonic HC V707 (eu model) and received it today. I will send it back, because the camera recorded noise from the fan and from the zoom. Very sad thing :( because there are a lot other things i liked. The picture quality was superb inside and outside, the OIS image stabilizer was the best I have used so far and the automatic mode worked very well even in difficult light.

Did you have trouble with fan or zoom noise as well?


April 17, 2012, 3:56 am

Thank you for the informative review.

I'm looking for a decent camcorder at this price that is Mac compatible and the Apple site has an extensive review page for Supported Cameras:
However it says of this model: 'iMovie does not support footage recorded in 1080-50p from this Camcorder' - so would I be safe in assuming that it is ok shooting in 1080-50i ?

Secondly, does this format create an output that can be played as one continuous video without having to edit all the files together. Unlike an iPhone for example, which creates a separate file each time you stop filming?
Many thanks,


April 24, 2012, 12:15 am

If the extra pixels are put to use to allow for the 46x Intelligent Zoom, I'm not sure why you feel it is a bad design to use a larger sensor.

I agree that if a person is not reading/watching ANY of the review information and only looking at MP specs, they might be fooled. But that is a far cry from Panasonic being deceptive.

It seems to me they chose a better zoom, over higher MP stills as a feature.


April 24, 2012, 2:40 am

I purchased the v700 model, however I am not hearing the fan noise that some are reporting. I have heard the zoom noise in very quiet settings.

Because of the type of footage I am shooting, (my wild little nephews, and family outings) the zoom noise is not an issue for me.

simple simon

June 18, 2012, 4:12 pm

I've had one of these since April (2012). In general I am happy, certainly the image quality is everything I could expect.

Where I am unhappy is that everytime the display is closed the camera returns to full 'wide angle'. This means that I cannot mount it on a tripod, frame a shot as required and then close the display (to save battery energy) until the required moment. This issue also effectively filming the same location multiple times with an *exact* same focal length.

My Panasonic TZ3 still image camera has a 'zoom resume' feature which means that I can do what I describe above. I wish this camcorder was similarly equipped.

I also dislike the 'lite' aspect of the manual aperture and shutter speed controls. I would wish for additional 'aperture priority' and 'shutter speed priority' settings which recognise that the lighting may change significantly whilst filming (ie: sun goes behind clouds) and changes both aperture and shutter speed whilst still giving one greater precedence.



August 19, 2012, 12:24 pm

Well the answer is very simple. The total number of pixel is the pixel number before applying the bayer matrix. See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.... The bayer matrix include one pixel for each color. Well,50% for the green and 25 % for red and yellow. The effective pixel number is AFTER you apply the bayer matrix. So just divide 15.3 mp by 4 and you get the magic number of 3.8(approximately). This is very technical and i guess Panasonic did not intend to confuse people about that.


August 19, 2012, 12:26 pm

Sorry, i said green , red and yellow. It is green red and blue.


November 29, 2012, 8:48 pm

DO NOT buy this camcorder!

I am from Guwahati, India and being an PANASONIC enthusiast, bought it in July 2012. Last year also I bought HDC SD90 which was predecessor to this one. But surprisingly last year they gave an extra battery for free!! After using it I noticed the reason was, they knew well their batteries were of cheap chinese quality (in fact they are china made). For the first 20- 25 min. it works well, but then though meter shows 45 min left, it rapidly reduces and eventually the camera shuts down!
This year they didn't offer extra battery so I thought they get rid of the problem. But to my horror, faced same problem. Worse, the battery itself became dead after 3 months of use - believe it or not.
PANASONIC just replied they don't have warranty on battery! They are robbing ppl. as its very costly for a moderate quality camcorder (Rs. 39000/-) and yet they are deliberately supplying defective batteries.

I am preparing for consumer case against PANASONIC and swear not to trust their products in future. Friends, my honest advice is not to buy it - rather go for SONY - whose battery lasted for 4.5 years in a miniDV cam.

Cam. S/L ID: D2HR00014 & Complain ID : PI-CS-1208-002891

Other downside of this model:
* PANSONIC is fooling by the 15 mP sensor shit. The quality is same as last year's model & still pic qlty is really aweful - like 3 MP mobile phone camera.
* Very inconvenient touch screen focussing - no spot focussing option.
* Non-friendly & non-responsive LCD screen

Sanjiv Dutta
(Scientist 'C' working for Govt of India)
Address: G-3, Classic Enclave, Shankar Path, Hatigaon, Guwahati 781038


December 5, 2012, 5:00 am

I am thinking about buying this camcorder for recording family moments, especially indoors. is this good enough? Or should I buy JVC HD Everio GZ-v515 or Canon Legria HF-M56? What would you suggest?

john smith

February 10, 2013, 5:56 pm

I have connected the HC V700 to the PC via the USB but Windows XP Movie Maker does not recognise the camcorder . Any suggestions please


October 7, 2013, 8:18 pm

Sorry Bruta I have only just seen your reply to me.

If what you say is the case how do the likes of Canon's LEGRIA HF G30 with a sensor containing just 3.09MP but still having an effective pixels of 2.91MP?


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