View Full Version : 2 Camcorders - Which to Get?

01-03-2006, 03:42 AM
I’ve finally narrowed my camcorder choices to two models:

Panasonic PV-GS150
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation (http://slickdeals.net/?t=178142&u2=http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=365871&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation)

Sony DCR-HC42
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation (http://slickdeals.net/?t=178142&u2=http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=365713&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation)

I know absolutely nothing about camcorders these days (my current one is a 10 year old Sony). Some of the differences I noticed in the specs of the two models are:

Panasonic: 3 CCD; 740K Pixels x 3; 400K effective pixels per CD
Sony: 1 Advanced HAC CCD; 1070K Pixels; 690K effective pixels

Line-In Recording:
Panasonic: Digital
Sony: Digital and Analog

Panasonic: 10x optical, 700x digital
Sony: 12x optical, 480x digital

Menu Input:
Panasonic: “Toggle” switch
Sony: Touch Screen

Panasonic: 1 Lux – MagicPix Night Mode
Sony: 7 Lux; 0 Lux with Super Nightshot plus Infrared System

Lens Type:
Panasonic: Leica
Sony: Zeiss

Manual Focus:
Panasonic: No
Sony: Yes

Analog Input:
Panasonic: No
Sony: Yes

Headphone Jack:
Panasonic: Yes
Sony: No

Edit Protocol:
Panasonic: No
Sony: Yes

So, which of the two camcorders mentioned above (please don’t confuse me by giving me any more choices) is the best?

Thanks for any and all help.


01-03-2006, 04:14 AM
Demo, demo, demo :)

01-03-2006, 04:19 AM
Demo, demo, demo :)

Wish I Could, Wish I Could, Wish I Could!!!

01-03-2006, 06:33 AM
What will be its primary use for?

01-03-2006, 06:52 AM
What will be its primary use for?

Video taping family events and my daughter playing in basketball games.


01-03-2006, 07:09 AM
They're both pretty strong brands and good models. You need to do just one last piece of homework to tip the scale: which one offers a better warranty package and has the most accessible service centre nearest you?

01-03-2006, 08:50 AM
TripleB, I notice you love to ask for recommendations regarding your potential electronic purchases. hehe.

What is it, don't trust professional consumer electronic reviewing sites?

01-03-2006, 02:48 PM
CNet review of Panasonic. (http://reviews.cnet.com/Panasonic_PV_GS150/4505-6500_7-31307916-2.html?tag=nav) Quick Take: A feature-stripped version of the more expensive PV-GS250, the PV-GS150 is more compact than its sibling but lacks the GS250's optical stabilization; it uses electronic. They use the same set of three 800,000-pixel CCDs, but Panasonic's interpolation technology translates into different still photo resolutions for each, and they have different lenses. The GS150 also lacks a manual focus ring and an S-Video input connector; therefore, you can't use the GS150 for analog-to-digital video conversion. Because of the differences in lens and stabilizer technologies, you can expect different video quality than the GS250's. According to a different website, both these camera's have 10X optical zoom. Here's another site (http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/compare/497443515) that allows you to compare them.

- The Sony has a better lens.
- The Sony has an analog to Digital input, which means you can digitize any VHS tapes you have and burn them to DVD if you wish. With the Panasonic you can't do this.
- No headphone jacks in the Sony, which may or may not be a big deal, but in my opinion good sound is almost more important than good picture quality in many instances.

Except for the 3CCD's, which makes for richer picture, it seems to me that the Sony is better. The analog to digital thing is a big deal depending on if you have a bunch of family stuff on VHS that you'd like to transfer to a more secure medium.

The Panasonic is a stripped down version of a more expensive 3CCD camera. I almost, IMO, give the slight edge to the Sony despite it's 1 CCD.

01-03-2006, 03:12 PM
I'd go for the Panasonic. 3CCDs + a headphone jack. Headphones are essential.

01-03-2006, 04:11 PM
Consumer Reports didn't rate your two exact alternatives but two comparably priced higher end models from each manufacturer and ranked them as follows overall:

#8 Panasonic PV-GS250, picture quality very good, ease of use very good, image stabilizer excellent, audio quality fair.

#14 Sony DCR-HC90, picture quality very good, ease of use average, image stabilizer very good, audio quality very good.
*Also be advised that there is a Recall Notice on all Sony camcorders on Consumer's list (Sony had 13 of the 42 digital camcorders rated) due a faulty chip.

I hope the relative comparison helps.

Not to confuse the issue but I just purchased CR's #4 rated camcorder the Panasonic VDR-M53 ($450) for my family and found CR's rating of it spot on.

01-03-2006, 05:51 PM
^ That one he's thinking about getting is a stripped down version of the GS250, the image stabilizer is said to be inferior.

Head phone jacks are great to have but I wouldn't say essential for what you have in mind. Just make sure to check the gain levels once at the beginning and you should be fine.

01-03-2006, 07:32 PM
I can tell you from experience. I am a Private Investigator and for the past 10 years I have used Sony cameras. They tend to have more features than you will ever use. They are durable and last. Most people that have video cameras keep them picked up in a camera bag and only pull them out a few times a month. My Sony cameras are used every day. My opinion - Sony!!!
Good luck.