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Panasonic HX-WA2 Comparison
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Panasonic has had its hands in the waterproof camcorder market of a couple of years now, but since its acquisition of Sanyo the company has begun to release its own line of "pistol grip" compact camcorders. The HX-WA2 is a waterproof version of the pistol grip camcorder, which is kind of humorous when you consider pistol grips are also the shape of your average garden hose. This gun-like design does offer a good grip for handheld shooting, but overall the HX-WA2 absolutely fails when it comes to handling.
While the WA2 did put up good numbers in our performance tests, the camcorder struggled with everything from poor menu design to slow controls to a terrible button interface. Sure, the camcorder has more controls than your average ultracompact model, but you need to ask yourself how important controls like shutter speed and aperture actually are for a cheap, waterproof camcorder. Are you really going to change the gain levels while you're snorkeling? Probably not.
The HX-WA2 has promise as a camcorder, and it certainly appeals to control enthusiasts, but its cheap design doesn't bode well for a product that's supposed to be submerged underwater for long periods of time. Panasonic cut too many corners and didn't put enough of an emphasis on user interface with the HX-WA2, and that ultimately led to the camcorder's undoing.