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What to expect from a camcorder's still picture (Panasonic V500MK) ?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I bought Panasonic V500MK, video is fine, but the still pictures are totally unacceptable: very patchy, and much more blurred than on my 11 years old 4MP camera. In addition, under low light conditions, still pictures are very grainy, though the flash is working. I tried both automatic and manual modes with different settings - to no avail.

So my question is: is this something one would normally expect from still pictures from a camcorder ? Or does it look more like a problem with my unit ?
post #2 of 13
Effective Pixles
Motion Image (video) 1.30 - 1.12 megapixels [16:9]
Still Image (photo) 1.09 megapixels [3:2] / 1.30 - 1.12 megapixels [16:9] / 0.97 megapixels [4:3]
http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/HC-V500K?t=specs

What you have is Panasonic's lowest grade traditional camcorder of last year. The next level up would have been the V700 and I'm sure the photo quality of the V700 would have been a bit better. Even though I don't own the V500, I really don't think you can do much to the V500's image quality. Personally I'd rather get something like the Panasonic LX7 over the V500 any day. It was $300 very recently but the price went back up to around $450.
post #3 of 13
Hi itrvlr - as Paulo said, the problem is with the low resolution sensor of the V500, not with camcorders in general.

Here is a still photograph taken with the 16.1MP Sony NEX-VG20 camcorder:



Here is a still photograph taken with the 14.2MP Panasonic TM-900 camcorder:



Again, as Paulo suggested - you'll get better stills and video if you traded the V500 in for a Panasonic LX7. You can get a used LX7 from Amazon Warehouse Deals for $285.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I am thinking of buying Panasonic LX7 from Amazon Warehouse Deals, for $284, it is listed in "Used - Very Good" condition. Do you think Amazon Warehouse is a reliable source of working equipment ?
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by itrvlr View Post

Thanks guys. I am thinking of buying Panasonic LX7 from Amazon Warehouse Deals, for $284, it is listed in "Used - Very Good" condition. Do you think Amazon Warehouse is a reliable source of working equipment ?
Yes. Amazon has given me very good service. I have had only a couple of issues over the years and they were quick to resolve them. Check to be sure, but I think you have 30 days to return anything, no questions asked.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by itrvlr View Post

Thanks guys. I am thinking of buying Panasonic LX7 from Amazon Warehouse Deals, for $284, it is listed in "Used - Very Good" condition. Do you think Amazon Warehouse is a reliable source of working equipment ?

Yes, I have bought used from them and had good experiences. If there are any problems, they have an awesome return policy, and will take the item back, generally with no questions asked. Good luck!

The Other Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I am thinking that LX7 may be a bit too thick (it won't fit into a pocket), and a bit too much for me. I would be satisfied with 720p video, as long as I am not forced to shoot in short clips. So may be a higher end point-and shoot camera, something like Powershot SX160, would work for me ? What would you recommend ?
post #8 of 13
Take a look at the Sony HX20V or the nearly identical HX30V. They are excellent "pocket" video cameras and don't take bad photos either.

Bill
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Is HX20V chargeable thru USB, or I'll have to carry the adapter ?
Also, it has very little in terms of internal memory, so which of the 3 memory cards (SD, SDHC, SDXC) will work with video in real time ?
Edited by itrvlr - 1/25/13 at 2:01pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by itrvlr View Post

Is HX20V chargeable thru USB.........

Yes, it charges from a USB. The "adapter" that comes with it is a Sony version of a USB brick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itrvlr View Post

.... so which of the 3 memory cards (SD, SDHC, SDXC) will work with video in real time ?

Class 4 or higher SDHC is all that's needed. I use a Class 10 SDHC because they have become so cheap and common. As near as I can tell there is no advantage with SDXC cards in video cameras. The math gets confusing when bits per second gets mixed with bytes per second, but a Class 10 can record data about three times faster than 1080p60 cameras can produce it.

Bill
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I played with Sony HV20X, and found what seems to be a big problem: when shooting with a timer delay, there is no way to make it focus right before the shot; it always focuses when I press the button ! So, basically, self portrait is always out of focus.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by itrvlr View Post

I played with Sony HV20X, and found what seems to be a big problem: when shooting with a timer delay, there is no way to make it focus right before the shot; it always focuses when I press the button ! So, basically, self portrait is always out of focus.
It will auto focus on something. Can you post a picture?
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yes, it does autofocus. But it does so at the very moment I press the button, not before the actual shot (which happens 10 seconds after I release the button).
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