The Panasonic HDC-HS700 is a camcorder that can shoot and store hours of Full HD footage, thanks to its built-in 240GB HDD. It is also simple to use and is packed with a lot of features that can help you take that perfect shot.
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After charging the battery, one can immediately use the camcorder without having to read the manual as its buttons and dials are well-labelled. When the 1080/50p button is pressed, the camera is able to record at its best quality. Turning this mode on will provide a maximum recording time of 20 hours and 26 minutes.
Other recording modes are also available and can be accessed by pressing the Quick Menu button found below the touch screen. Photos can also be taken while shooting videos by pressing the Photoshot button located on top of the camcorder.
The power button is found on the left side of the camcorder (when the LCD monitor is open), while the record start/stop button is located right beside the mode dial. The zoom lever and Photoshot button are located on top of the camcorder, as well as the Intelligent Auto (iA)/ Manual and Optical Image Stabiliser buttons. There are even buttons below the touch screen that allows a user to record, zoom in/out, gain access to menus, as well as delete photos and videos.
The HDC-HS700’s interface and icons are easy to understand. In video mode, the recording mode, remaining time, and recording time elapsed are displayed on the screen. An AF/AE Icon is located at the bottom of the screen that can be used to set the focus and exposure to the subject specified on the touch screen.
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Other operations such as fade, contrast control, smile shot, guideline, backlight compensation, and tele macro can be accessed by pressing the F icon on the lower left of the screen. Other advanced options such as scene mode, zoom mode, and face recognition can be found on the record setup.
The camera comes with an Intelligent Auto mode that allows a user to shoot instantly. Pushing the iA button again brings it to manual mode for instant focus, white balance, shutter, and iris adjustment.
The HS700 was able to produce crisp videos, with colours looking very vibrant. Videos taken in dark places were surprisingly bright and had minimal noise, while photos taken on the camcorder were good enough for prints. The 12x optical zoom helped in taking those far away shots, while the Optical Image Stabiliser significantly reduced shaking.
A user can show videos on a TV using the supplied AV multi cable or via HDMI (adaptor sold separately). Panasonic has included a disc with a program called HD Writer that is able to copy images and videos from the camcorder to the PC, edit videos, upload videos to YouTube, and even burn footage to a disc. Each task has a wizard that takes you through the process step-by-step, making it impossible for anyone to not know what to do next.
Not only is the HDC-HS700 camcorder easy to use, Panasonic has gone the extra mile by making sure that users will be able to share their memories quickly via its simple software. It is available this month with an RRP of $2099.