Panasonic HC-V500M Camcorder Review
Low Light Performance
Low Light Sensitivity
The V500M didn't do well in our low light sensitivity test, especially when we used a bit of optical zoom in order to frame our test chart properly. The camcorder required 40 lux of light to capture a video image deemed bright enough for broadcast, which is far worse than the competition. The Panasonic TM40 required only 25 lux of light to hit the same levels on our waveform monitor, and the Canon HF R21 only needed 12 lux of light. More on how we test low light sensitivity.
Using the camcorder's widest aperture setting (without using any zoom), the V500M reached the same light levels with just 16 lux of light. This is a huge improvement, but it's still not a great score. Overall, the HC-V500M produced below average results in this test—even compared to similarly-priced budget models.
Low Light Noise
Just like in bright light, the Panasonic HC-V500M produced relatively little noise in our low light test as well. Its average noise levels came out to 0.98%, and we consider anything lower than 1% to be very good in this test. It's also statistically identical to the noise levels we saw on last year's TM40. More on how we test low light noise.
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.