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Panasonic PVDV201 MiniDV Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

My title pretty much says it all. I was looking for an inexpensive DV solution ever since my son was born, and it took me a month to come up with this one. While this camcorder is considered low end, I have to say it is definitely much better than low end. The resolution is fine for home movies (much better than VHS or 8mm, and much better than other DV camcorders in it’s price range) and I like the fact I can edit and do whatever I need to do with the footage I shoot, with little to no generation loss. Pros:Good solid digital video recording and PC transfer. I’m using Windows XP, and while Adobe Premier will not transfer the video to the PC, I’m able to transfer from Windows Movie Maker. …2. 5" Color LCD. MultiMediaCard support for still images. Hot Shoe for a lamp only. VERY light!FireWire!!!!PCM Stereo. …Cons:Software is not Windows 2000 or XP compatible (all video transfers are done through Microsoft’s software, not Panasonic’s). Stills cannot be transferred at all through USB on Windows XP (ME and 98 work fine). Still images are poor (no amount of Photoshop work will help. ..get a real camera). Words of caution. ..more than likely you will need more Hard Drive space than you have. 18 minutes of higher resolution DV will take upwards to 9 GB of Hard Disk space. And while you’re at it, you could probably use more memory as well. Check it out!

Product Description The PV-DV201 is a great introduction to the world of digital video. Featuring a 20x optical zoom, along with digital image stabilization (during both recording and playback) that helps eliminate those shakes and bounces common to high zoom levels, this model has everything you need to start capturing beautiful footage. You can use either the 2.5-inch color LCD monitor or the EVF to frame your shots. To help ensure that the footage you shoot will be the best it can be, the PV-DV201 has a five-mode Program AE (autoexposure) that will adjust aperture, white balance, and other settings automatically. Also included are a number of digital effects and faders, letting you give your footage some fun, creative touches. Stills can be captured at a resolution of 640 x 480 onto either an SD (8 MB included) or an MMC card. A USB-port is built-in for speedy transfer of your images. For those interested in video editing, the PV-DV201 has a built-in IEEE-1394 port for speedy, lossless transfer of your video and audio. Also included are analog outputs for viewing your home movies on your television, or for transfer to a VHS tape. The PV-DV201 is a great introduction into the world of digital video. Featuring a 20x optical zoom, along with digital image stabilization (during both recording and playback), which helps eliminate those shakes and bounces common to high zoom levels, this model has everything you need to start capturing beautiful footage. You can use either the 2.5-inch color LCD monitor or the electronic viewfinder to frame your shots. To help ensure that the footage you shoot will be the best it can be, the PV-DV201 has a five-mode programmed autoexposure that will adjust aperture, white balance, and other settings automatically. Also included are a number of digital effects and faders, letting you give your footage some fun, creative touches. Still photos can be captured at a resolution of 640 x 480. Save them on either the included 8 MB Panasonic secure digital (SD) card or a MultiMediaCard. A USB port is built in for speedy transfer of your images. For those interested in video editing, the PV-DV201 has a built-in IEEE-1394 port for speedy, lossless transfer of your video and audio. Also included are analog outputs for viewing your home movies on your television, or for transfer to a VHS tape.

 

 

 

Panasonic PVDV201 MiniDV Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode (Discontinued by Manufacturer) Review

 

Like most purchasers of camcorders, I am having my first child in August. Thus, I decided to buy a camcorder to take hours of video that I will never watch again. On the other hand, if I didn’t buy a camcorder, I would be a horrible parent, right?Anyways, I did a fair amount of research online and in print (Consumers Reports). I finally decided to purchase the Panasonic based on the recommendations of several electronics salespeople. First, the PV-DV201 is a MiniDV format digital camcorder. The Digital8 camcorders (generally sold by Sony) are a little cheaper for the tapes. On the other hand, the camcorders are a bit larger and a fair bit heavier. If you have old 8mm tapes you want to replay on a camcorder, Digital8 is probably the format for you. This was my first camcorder, so I went with the MiniDV format because of the weight difference, and also because the picture quality seemed a bit better. One caveat about the PV-DV201: The digital zoom requires you to press a separate button, which is a bit awkward. That being said, it is rare (in my experience) that you will need zoom power in excess of 20X, which the 201 provides. The digital zoom is a bit of a marketing ploy. If you have previously fallen for the Sony marketing blitz, and think that only Sony can make good consumer electronics, just shop the prices, and you will see Sony is $100-150 more for comparable features. I found this camcorder to be a high quality starter camcorder in the digital format, for a very reasonable price. -Read Reviews-

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Digital camcorder uses MiniDV tapes

20x optical zoom (300x digital) with dual digital electronic image stabilization

Built-in digital still camera mode stores images on SD or MMC cardss

2.5 inch LCD high-resolution monitor

Arcsoft editing software and USB driver included

The Good: We’ve had our 201 for two years now, and have been happy with the video performance and features. The still cam is weak, but with the specs on it, it’s more of a convenience than something one would want to depend on. Perfectly appropriate for the price at the time we bought it. The bad: The hand strap attach point broke off, and the GE extended warranty won’t cover what they consider a non-functional part. There are 4 strap attach points, 3 metal, one plastic, and that’s the one that let go. Without the hand strap, you’d have to hold the camera with both hands to use it. The case is very thin, and no other physical attachment exists internally. I also found a report of someone buying 8 PV51 cameras (similar to this one), and three of them broke in the exact same place as mine. Still waiting to hear from Panasonic, but I’m betting since it’s out of warranty I’m out of luck. And I’m going to cancel my worthless GE warranty policy as well.

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