Panasonic HX-WA2 First Impressions Review
At first blush, it doesn't seem like the Panasonic HX-WA2 will be a top camcorder. Construction is shoddy, design is boneheaded, and if either of these are an indicator of image quality, then we're not expecting much.
Of course we've been fooled before. And not by just any camcorder, but by this model's direct ancestors: the Sanyo Xacti models like the VPC-HD2000 and VPC-CG10, which, thanks to Panasonic's acquisition of Sanyo, featured very similar designs as the WA2. The Sanyo Xacti models suffered the same problems with construction and control, and became known for odd quirks like buzzing and even D.O.A. units, yet that camcorder absolutely aced our lab tests and even remained at the top of our charts for a couple months.
Do we expect a repeat performance? Not really. The WA2 uses an entirely different sensor and lens, so even though the chassis is the same, this is hardly an "apples to apples" comparison. In fact all we really know for sure is that the WA2 has retained the undesirable qualities of the old Sanyo. Not exactly a selling point. Still, we'll cross our fingers and hold back judgement until the full review later this year.