Panasonic HC-V500M Camcorder Review
With a color error of 3.82 and a saturation of 81.28%, the colors captured by the Panasonic HC-V500M were excellent for a budget model. These results are just a tad worse than the numbers we got from the high-end Panasonic HC-X900M camcorder earlier this year. More on how we test color.
The V500M doesn't have much in the way of color modes, but it still has more color features than most budget models. You can adjust the color depth (saturation) on a -5 to +5 scale, and the same goes for white balance shift as well (not to mention sharpness and exposure in the same submenu). Many camcorders in this price range offer a picture effect or two, so the fact that Panasonic includes an option with "fine tuning" capability is noteworthy.
The HC-V500M did better in our color test than the previous HDC-TM40 camcorder from Panasonic, and only the Canon HF R21 had a better color error score among the models we used as comparisons in this review.
Low Light Color
The HC-V500M experienced a big reduction in color saturation when we dimmed the lights for our low light test (compared to its strong color depth in bright light). The camcorder registered a color error of 4.9 and a saturation level of 61.88%, both of which are middle-of-the-road scores for a budget camcorder. Still, the other models in this comparison didn't do all that much differently than the V500M in this test, so this is a decent performance compared to the competition. More on how we test low light color.
Even the noise of the HC-V500M has achieved very good results, putting up numbers that were a bit better than the noise percentages we measured on the Panasonic TM40 last year. We measured the V500M's bright light video with a noise level of 0.4%. More on how we test noise.
The video image produced in bright light by the V500M is sharper than last year's TM40, but it still couldn't match the Canon HF R21 camcorder in terms of sharpness. Just take a look at the comparison images above to see for yourself. The Canon clearly has a sharper video image (in bright light, at least), and even the Sony CX160 produced arguably sharper video than the Panasonic models.