Expert Review of Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder
Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder has a slim and ergonomic design, and features vertical grip, still and video, twin shutter system and a joystick control for menu system. The camera can be operated single handedly and its 3 inches wide LCD screen can be rotated at 285 degrees. The brightness of the screen can be adjusted to seven levels and the stills can be shot at 14MP while videos can be recorded in full HD resolution. While video recording, you can get near the subject without disturbing the quality of image through the use of 5x optical zoom. You can rely upon the working of iAuto function after turning it on, for it will sense the present shooting conditions and configure the camera settings to achieve the best results. Creativity is enhanced by features such as High Speed Reverse, Panorama Mode, Consecutive Shooting, and Burst Shooting modes. Also, online upload and sharing is managed by HD Writer VE 2.0 software, a memory card slot, and a mini HDMI port.
Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder is a small and a compact camera that gives robust feel when held. There is a 4-way directional button for settings but other buttons seem sturdier. The buttons get to work with easy pressure. When the screen is folded, it becomes a one-piece system and thus fits quite easily into the pocket.
The usage of Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder is determined by SD cards' use. An 8GB Class 6 SDHC card makes the video recording experience fluid though yet again, the max time you can make out of it is 1 hour and 10 minutes that too when set to the second highest quality image setting. At the least, to take out much from the camcorder, a class 4 SD card is needed especially when you are on a vacation trip. The options of controlling the quality of images and videos are the very advantage of this video camera but then if you want more in less space, you would have to turn to other quality options. Memory cards that can be used are SD/SDXC/SDHC, and there is a feature of inbuilt memory as well.
The zooming power you get with Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder is up to 15x. The active image stabilization feature lets you use the device freely/hand-held without the fear of recording shakes and blurs. From wide-angle to dynamic shooting range, you can meet many possibilities. With active EIS on, the max zoom level that can be attained is 12x and whereas under still shoot mode, the max zoom that can be attained is 5x. The Active EIS uses the 4 axis correction systems to assure minimum blur and shake. Also there is an intelligent scene selector feature that observes the given scene and turns to the apt scene mode for shooting. The four modes present are portrait mode: here the camera takes care of the complexion of the subject and also maintains the right softness in the skin, scenery mode: this mode evaluates the exposure over the whole frame and eliminates the areas having high brightness. The spotlight mode does what spotlight on stage does that is, provides illumination to the image in the darkened spot. The low light mode, as the name suggests, fills light in dark spaces of frame. Under dull lighting conditions, the camcorder slows down on the shutter speed.
The face detection feature prioritizes the faces of subjects and smoothens their skin tones. It senses the lighting of the atmosphere and manages on the exposure suitably. Panorama mode can be used in two ways - 180 and 360 degrees. The HDR (High Dynamic Range backlit compensation) option takes images one by one at differing exposures and then combines them to get rid of all the flaws like shadow blocking or light blowing. Complementing it is the HDR paint option that further enhances creativity of your photo by giving it artistic, paint like effect. The burst mode feature lets you catch 10 3MP stills, one after the other, at intervals of 1 second to fill in with 40 images within 4 seconds. High-Speed Reverse Consecutive Shooting does nearly the same but the former is considered better for subjects in motion. If you get closer to your subject by 1cm, the camcorder turns itself to macro mode. About the focus system, the HX-DC2 uses 9-point focus system and it does not matter if the subjects do not fall at the center. At last, the shooting can be controlled manually, with control permit over aperture, compensation etc, under the manual mode.
The UI of Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder is a fine experience, for there is an inbuilt uploader wherein, you have to simply choose the videos or photos within the camera and link them to your PC via USB. After that, the destination would be either your YouTube channel or Facebook wall. The mechanism that helps in that is the HD writer ver. 2.0 software that comes along. The image-processing engine is of HQ with IRT - intelligent resolution technology. The camera observes the edges and corners of the subjects/objects in the image to determine the best quality. In turn, you observe noise reduction and natural improvement in smoothness. Above all, you find yourself with full HD images. There is also a 3D digital noise reduction feature that lessens random noise levels.
Screen and Menu
Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder sports a 3 inches, diagonally wide LCD screen with resolution 230,400 dots. The LCD is tiltable and can be rotated to 285 degrees. So you can have a your awkward imagined angles (over the head, below the waist, close to the chest etc.) for shot composition. The brightness of the wide screen can be adjusted up to seven levels. Since the camcorder has dual functionality such that it can record videos and capture stills, the menu has been divided for the same. There are four main recording menus. There are 22 sub-divided options that include panoramic and burst mode. The iAuto setting does almost all the work when it comes to capturing the quality desired. Depending on the given situation and the scene at hand, the iAuto configures the camera to optimum settings.
· Ease of use. People can treat this as a point and shoot of the camcorder series
· The quality of image attained is as good as that of videos shot
· The User Interface is intuitive and one can familiarize quickly
. Battery life is not impressive
Panasonic HX DC2 lets you capture videos at full HD resolution but it does eat away the memory space on the card. The options ambit that you can touch begins from 1920 x 1080 aspect pixels down to 640 x 480 aspect pixels. The quality of image ranges from 14m (4352 x 3264 frame size) to 0.3m (2560 x 1920 pixels) and complementing it is a range of 16:9 aspect ratio choices. The format in which your videos get stored inside the camcorder is MP4 AVC / H.264. Elaborate video recording options are 1920 x 1080/30p, 1280 x 720/60p, 1280 x 720/30p, 640 x 480/30p and 960 x 540/30p. The Audio comes in and is recorded in AAC 2 channels (stereo). The speakers that play it back are dynamic type as well as there is an indicator to let you know how much of the media is remaining.
Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder sports a 1/2.33-inch MOS sensor. The entire megapixel count is 14.4. The effective MP for video recording at aspect ratio 16:9 is 11.9MP and for 4:3 aspect ratio, the MP count is 14.3. For still shoot and for aspect ratio 16:9, the MP count is 11.9 and for 4:3, the count is 14.3MP.
Panasonic HX DC2 Camcorder does lie somewhere between the performance statuses of HX-DC10 and the HX-DC1 video cameras. HX-DC10 features the same full HD video recording with BSI image processing engine, records stills at 16MP wherein, HX-DC1 differs from HX DC2 by TFT LCD monitor. Photos can be taken while shooting video at 2MP resolution. HX-WA10 sits at the top of the pistol-style camcorder series by Panasonic, it features 16-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor.