MultiCam PV-GS200 Mini DV Digital Camcorder (2.3MP, 10x Opt, 700x Dig, 2.5" LCD) - Security Camera User Rating
Manufacturer: Panasonic
Model: PVGS200
Digital Zoom: 700 X
Optical Zoom: 10 X
LCD Screen Size: 2.5 in
Recording Media: Mini DV|MultiMediaCard|SD Memory Card
Audio Support: PCM
Additional Features: PC Connection|Viewfinder
Image Stabilization: Digital
Average User Rating: Number of User Reviews: 14

Reviewed by: jakescott2 from CA on Sep 9, 2004

Experience: 6 Weeks

Strengths: Amazing color quality and clarity of video. Good battery life with included battery. Decent still photos. Good manual controls and features.

Weaknesses: You may be disappointed if you expect this to completely replace a stand alone digital still camera (I didn't have that expectation and I am happy with the still picture quality).

Summary: My first reactions were that the video quality is stunningly better (brighter colors, excellent auto focus together creating a more "you are there" feel than what I have seen from other top of the line consumer hand held video cameras). I also like the size, it is smaller than it looks in some pictures. My overall reaction is that this is a great camera for video and may very well be the best of any consumer handheld available right now (even those costing $300-$500 more). I find the digital still camera perfectly fine for use when I want to grab a quick snapshot. I got this camera because I wanted better video quality and I have been totally satisfied. I noted most of the complaints in other reviews focused on low still photo quality and or less than stellar low light video (a function of the 3CCD format, as I understand it) and I just wanted to put in my two cents that if what you really want from your video camera is great video, this may very well be your best option at anywhere near this price point.

Reviewed by: royalC on Nov 1, 2004

Experience: 10 Days

Strengths: Very lightweight, compact and fits snugly in hand. Easy to use with great picture quality.

Weaknesses: Expensive but is worth the cost for this quality.

Summary: The camera is everything that was expected. Picture quality was awesome, casette is top loading and this is very lightweight and small. Taking a picture is very simple even when recording a movie.

Reviewed by: pinkie31 from PA on Oct 23, 2004

Experience: 2 Months

Strengths: so impressive color and picture quality, and neat design

Weaknesses: little bluish for a few seconds when turning on

Summary: This camcorder has crisp picture quality with great color!! And I like its compact size with neat and cool design! Furthermore, all necessary accessories are included! I love everything with this PV-GS200~!!!

Reviewed by: welches from TX on Nov 15, 2004

Experience: 15 Days

Strengths: Great menu, easy to use buttons on side of camera-better than touch screen menu on viewfinder.

Weaknesses: None so far.

Summary: This camera is definitely best of the $600-700 products. The camera is easy to use and has lots of great options for the novice home movie maker.

Reviewed by: wklmdinc from CA on Jun 16, 2004

Experience: 10 Days

Strengths: Compact. 3 CCD. Very good camcorder functions in this price range.Color view finder. Sharp pictures.

Weaknesses: Thick manual. Requires a fair amount of time to learn all the navigations thru all the functions. Only 2.3 MB still pictures.

Summary: This is a very cost effective buy for a camcorder with the combination of sharp pictures in a reasonable light environment, video pass thru and firewire ready. Once the learning step is over, it should be great camcorder to use.

Reviewed by: jojomd on Jan 28, 2005

Experience: 2 Months

Strengths: Very compact with the power of 3CCD's, excellent color reproduction, tons of manual controls and more! All for less than $1000

Weaknesses: So so low-light performance, stills and image stabilization

Summary: Probably the smallest, lightest 3 ccd camcorder on the market. Fits comfortably in your palm with controls well within reach. The LCD display and crisp and bright. The footages are vivid with excellent color rendition. Dim scenes could be better but all in all acceptable. The MagicPix setting for no-light scenes is useless.

Features like the Leica Dicomar zoom lens, manual focus ring, manual settings for aperture, shutter speed and white balance, a wired remote with built-in mic for narration, and a built-in flash for low-light stills

The autofocus and zoom are smooth and responsive. The electronic image stabilization, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. Full close up shots will have to be taken on a tripod to remedy the wobbling and shaking.

The SD card slot is cleverly placed behind the LCD dock for recording stills and MPEG-4 video. The included 8MB SD won't hold much though. The camera's 2.3-megapixel still capture takes mediocre photos and won¡¯t replace your dedicated digital camera.

It¡¯s still not your digicam and camcorder in one but if you¡¯re looking for a superb digital video camera at an affordable price, this one will not disappoint.

Reviewed by: chenhao80224 from CA on Nov 19, 2004

Experience: 1 Months

Strengths: Outstanding color quality, easy to use, manual controls and features are very helpful.

Weaknesses: little weak in the dark condition, stablizer should be improved.

Summary: (Edited November 19th by chenhao80224) In the $7XX price range, the PV-GS200 is the best one so far. The 3CCD really make a difference. I also bought a PV-GS120 for my dad for $5XX, it is also a 3CCD camcorder. But I would say for extra $1XX dollars, I rather go for GS200 because this is the best personal camcorder I ever had.

Reviewed by: dsteve5319 from PA on Jun 23, 2004

Experience: 15 Days

Strengths: Incredible detail in video mode. Traveled well to and thru Disney on rides and never failed thru extreme hot humid to airconditioned areas. features that seem endless.

Weaknesses: features that seem endless, nested menus will take a while to learn,

Summary: wow I expected a lot from this little unit and it delivered more than I could have guessed. It can see better than I can and I don't need glasses

Reviewed by: mmarinac from NY on Jul 15, 2004

Experience: 7 Days

Strengths: Great value for an $800 range camera. Very handy and takes great moving picture.

Weaknesses: Does not do well as a 2 in 1 camera. Still pictures are low quality.

Summary: The instruction manual is endless but the basic functions are easy to operate. The camera doesn't have any editing function which was a rather important feature for me. Perfect fit in hand,light weight and great monitor. Has excellant focus and colors.

Reviewed by: LottieMarie from CA on Nov 20, 2004

Experience: 4 Months

Strengths: Good features. Easy to use.

Weaknesses: Main board broke after 4 months. $400 to repair camera.

Summary: A camera with nice features and easy to use. Bought it with the Panasonic reputation for quality in mind. Broke after 4 months of infrequent use. No response from Panasonic. Needless to say, I am angry and will not buy Panasonic or affiliated brands again.

Reviewed by: clarkebd from NC on Dec 17, 2004

Experience: 10 Days

Strengths: Very good low light color seperation. Lighweight camera. Fairly easy to use.

Weaknesses: Instruction manual is HORRIBLE ! 10x optical zoom is small compared to other cams in this price range.

Summary: Overall this is a great camera at this price range! Fits my hand perfectly, LCD viewfinders works good. Zoom is very smooth and quick if needed.

Reviewed by: huntah on Jul 25, 2004

Experience: 2 Days

Strengths: good colour best ive seen , compact size , good features , mpeg 4,

Weaknesses: no night shot , memory stick acess is not good , changing between modes is slow

Summary: i brought this camer thinkin it would solve both problems i had but it did neither the memory stick acess is difficult for the average user it is not plug and play like most other brands did not come with dv fire wire cable , the night shot is the same as usin the slow shutter that sony has , no green screen or infared , i did like the stills on comparison to a sony camera i have used before but still not enought to make me want to keep it i am takin it back and changing back to sony .if you need a quality camera for just day time shooting this has amazing pic quality but when compared to a sony camera it was only marginal better and at night time or low light it surely suffers the picture can come quite ugly . i do not consider myself an authority on dv cameras but my experence might help other people with similar needs to think twice about bein sold this camera. they pic quality in the day time is amazing i will say that

Reviewed by: vinribs from NH on Jun 6, 2004

Experience: 5 Days

Strengths: 3 CCD. Small size.

Weaknesses: No Night Shot. Complex manual of instructions. I have not found any end search capability so finding the next place to start shooting again is a little difficult with out leaving a blank space.

Summary: I have only had the camera for a shot time but I feel that it will be significantly better than the inoperative Sony PCR-7 that it is replacing. The 200 has many capabilities that it will take some time to learn. I have taken some stills with the camera that are very good. As soon as I have more experience with the camera I will provide a more in depth analysis of its capabilties.

Reviewed by: scmorrison from CA on Jul 6, 2004

Experience: 14 Days

Strengths: Very good video recording with 3CCD

Weaknesses: Rather poor still picture quality. Lines or edges are fuzzy and not sharp. The FINE mode setting in PV-GS200 was still worse than a typical digital camera. What a bummer.

Summary: I was hoping that PV-GS200 would do two-in-one with digital video and still picture taking so that I won't have to take along two equipment to take video and still pictures. But now it looks like I would need to take my digital camera along separately since PV-GS200 gives rather poor still picture quality.

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