Panasonic HC-V700 Camcorder Review
The V700 has a new sensor, one of the biggest Panasonic has ever put in a consumer camcorder. Surprisingly, however, this new sensor, which is loaded with pixels, wasn't able to produce a sharper image than last year's HDC-TM90. In fact, objects in motion looked slightly less sharp on the HC-V700. In our test, we measured the horizontal sharpness at 700 lw/ph and the vertical sharpness at 750 lw/ph. Both of these numbers were obtained using the camcorder's 1080/60p record mode, which is the highest-quality option the camcorder offers. Shooting 60i video reduced the sharpness levels to 600 lw/ph horizontal and 575 lw/ph vertical.
Keep in mind, these are still very good sharpness levels and the difference between these numbers and the numbers we saw on the HDC-TM90 (800 lw/ph horizontally and vertically) are barely perceptible. We should also point out that the HC-V700 produced a much sharper image when the camcorder was not in motion. So, if you're recording landscapes or wide shots with little motion, the video will be even sharper. More on how we test video sharpness.
The Panasonic HC-V700 has optical image stabilization, which is turned on and off via a dedicated button on the top of the camcorder. The feature worked very well for a mid-range camcorder, as it was able to reduce the shakiness of our test video by more than 50% in both our high-shake and low-shake tests.
In low shake, the HC-V700’s OIS setting cut down the shake by 57%. In high shake, the mode reduced the shakiness by 69%, which is a very respectable score. These numbers aren’t quite as strong as what we saw from the Panasonic HDC-TM90 last year, but they’re in the same ballpark. If you want an extra boost of stabilization support, the HC-V700 has an additional Hybrid OIS setting that can be turned on in the menu system (if the regular OIS is already engaged). But we found the regular OIS worked well enough that the Hybrid option isn’t really needed for most situations.