Panasonic PV-GS300 3, good camcorder

This camcorder worked well until an unknown person fell in love with it and decided to keep it.

I’ve only had this camera for a few days, but i am quite pleased with it. Before buying this camera, however, take a look at what else is out there. This camera sits in a very strange place between consumer cameras and pro level (or at least prosumer) cameras. While it has some excellent features like 3 ccds (so it captures richer color), optical image stabilization, and fully manual controls; it also lacks certain desirable qualities such as a real focus ring (it has manual focus, but it’s joystick driven and imprecise), a headphone jack (although it does have line-level audio out), and the ability to pass analog video through to digital video. To get all those features, you’d need to spend about $200 – $300 more on something like the pv-gs500. For $200 – $300 less, you can get a very comparable camera that simply omits the 3ccds and has digital image stabilization. What those extra features give you, however, is a richer picture with less noise and more detail, and a much more stable handheld image. You will especially notice the richer image detail if you edit your video in the built in software or imovie or final cut or whatever you use. You can make much broader color and image adjustments on the picture from this camera than you could with a 1-ccd camcorder. Personally, i am very pleased with this camera.

This is the first camcorder i have ever owned and i am very happy with it. I am not that savvy when it comes to photography and hence for now i have kept the camcorder on ‘auto’ mode and in so doing i am impressed with the colors/clarity of the video taken in this mode. Also, the camcorder has many different options for tweaking picture settings. As well, the different settings are easily adjusted via joystick and on-screen menu.

Key specs for Panasonic PV-GS300 3.1MP 3CCD MiniDV Camcorder with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom:

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  • Features professional-quality 3CCD imaging system
  • 2.7-inch wide LCD display
  • 3.1-megapixel still image capture
  • 10x optical Leica lens with 700x digital zoom brings you close to the action
  • Records to miniDV or directly to PC through DV (FireWire) or high-speed USB 2.0 interfaces

Comments from buyers

“Solid camera, not quite home, not quite pro
, Excellent camcorder for the price
, Great Camcorder

I bought this camera after looking at several others and must admit the price-point for the features was a key selling point. We don’t do as much videotaping as we did when the kids were younger, but with two in sports we’re doing more and more again. I have started taking a lot of still pictures with it as well and wound up putting a 1gb sd card in it, giving us a pretty high capacity for photos in addition to 1 hr of video tape. The ability to use it as a still camera both stand-alone as well as while videotaping is nice, the picture quality thus far has been outstanding and the ‘needed’ features are sufficient. Sound is as good as one could expect and once one plays with the camera for a few hours, it’s use is quite simple and playback/transfer is equally easy. The zoom range is adjustable at either 25:1 or 700:1 and while one would never be able to use an image zoomed in 700x, the 25x zoom is quite good and the variable speed of the zoom at 25:1 is more than adequate. Battery consumption is good – a 1hr tape and the standard battery are fairly close. I also bought a non-panasonic extended battery which gives a far longer capacity. With still photos, it eats up that battery far more quicklyone thing i would like to see a little better is the image stabilization, as when zooming in, the shake is magnified and when using much of any zoom, the small size makes it difficult to hold steady. I put it on a tripod and that solves the problem, but years ago in the larger full-size vhs cameras, the stabilization was better.

Bought this camcorder for christmas to film my little baby boy. I send dvds to my relatives who live far away and they love the picture quality. All of my friends who own camcorders agree the picure is very sharp. The camcorder is easy to use and comes with everything you need to get going except minidv tapes. Buy these with your online purchase because they are too expensive in stores. The only complaint i have would be the low light recording quality. It is only average(all camcorders are bad in low light). The camera does have a low light feature, but it produces tracers and ghosting with fast moving objects. The camera does have full manual control that will help with the image, but you need to learn camera jargon and take time to adjust before the shot. You can buy a mountable light to put on the camera, but they are not cheap.

I bought this for my trip to india. It i so simple to use and the joystick feature for the umns is a breeze to get a hang of. I did not like the idea of having to touch the screen to do everything with the sony’s. I wanted the canon elura 100 but the idea of a noisy camera turned me off. Like the other guy said, buy the tapes online because they are pricey in the store.

This is something good at the good price. Espesially that optical image stabilizer and 3ccd. This camera beats many more expensive cameras in the picture quality.

Paid well under $600 after shipping and haven’t discovered all of its features but it is a lot of camera for the money. Some of the controls are typically japanese – meaning they are sometimes obscure and the controls themselves are made for rather small fingers/hands. Overall, the camera is light, takes marvelous video (given adequate light). Most 3ccd cameras seem to require a bit more light to look good than the std. Wish it could shoot video in 1080i but oh well.

This is my first camcorder purchase. I bought it to take videos of my vaction in the orient. After doing much research on camcorders, i decided to buy this one and i’m glad i did. The video quality is very good and i like in particular the image stabilzation feature. It is also very quiet, you can hardly hear the tape spinning. The digital still pictures that i took with the camcorder were also very good quality. Overall it was a very good purchase.

When shopping for a camcorder, you have to realize that at this price point there are going to be compromises. According to all the reviews, this is one of the best at this level. I’ve had it for about a month now, and i can’t imagine that there is anything out there better than this and comparably priced. Here are my likes and dislikes:the good:- price (obviously)- picture quality outdoors is excellent. Beautiful color and clarity. The lens seems to be extremely sharp. Should be, it’s a leica, but these days leica is throwing their name on a lot of low-end (relatively) consumer cameras and camcorders with varying results. – i like the joystick control. Some people don’t, but i’m a big fan. Makes selecting options very fast.

Gives me an error when trying to play a few of my mini dv tape not sure why. Not sure why it play most of my other mini dv tapes that were all shot with the sony vx1000.

I spent countless hours researching camcorders before deciding to order this one, and it has lived up to 100% of my expectations. A major requirement was that the camcorder have a microphone jack so that i could narrate garden and nature tours ‘in realtime’ rather than having to do a voiceover later on. The combination of the top hot-shoe and external mic jack on this model is the perfect setup. The available manual adjustments allow the user to tweak settings as needed (for example when shooting outdoors in bright sun while keeping color rendition as true as possible) while still retaining the auto options. An excellent product with enough bells and whistles to satisfy an advanced user while remaining user-friendly for the beginner.

1 mpixel and i have a nokia n70 mobilephone with the same quality picture, but the 1mpixel camecorder are very nice. Dont buy these camecorder for the camera, and the battery durantion are very good.

Item was shipped quickly and arrived on time. The camera was just as described.

Very compact and easy to use. The quality of both picture & video is good compare to this range price of another camcorders.

This is the best camera i’ve ever owned. It’s easy to use, takes great images, and still works since 2007. That is rare for a camcorder.

There is no new camcorder on this planet and at this price which can give you better quality. The 3ccd capture colors and detail like nothing in this price range. I’ve compared this to the sony dvd403 camcorder and the gs300 is light years away. One reason why the gs300 is so much better than the sony dvd403 in the same price range is because the sony uses 1 chip. 1 chip will not be able to reproduce the colors realistically. This past weekend i’ve shot footage at the nopi xbox at mir in maryland with a home made shoulder stabilizer and everyone who has seen it told me that i can make dvds and sell them (it was that good). Optical image stabilization. Unlike eis (electronic image stabilization) ois does not degrade the picture quality.

I purchased this model after research here and on several other web sites. I was looking for a camera that had over all good performance and the potential quality from 3 ccds was intriguing. Unfortunately when compared to my canon zr25 (yes that’s right) the gs300 did not seem worth the price. While there was noticeably less noise in the low light settings it did not capture significantly more picture. In normal indoor light the colors were washed. While the zr25 tends to over saturate the gs300 seemed very dull. I was honestly aghast with the lack luster performance of this model. Backlit situations were only slightly improved. I will say that the gs300 had less noise but the picture quality in regards to color and tone show very little improvement. The placement of the record button in relationship to the battery and the joystick is terrible.

Has just about everything i could ask for except for audio-out. The camera’s small size suggests it was designed to be ‘on-the-go’ but it’s also good for the studio. I just wish i didn’t have to do my sound check with only the built-in speaker.

I have owned this one for many years and it has been through all types of weather and other situations and it has preformed flawlessly. My only beef is when windows 7 came out and the camcorders software will only work with xp. So i have an old desktop with xp so i can load the video not a huge problem but annoying none the less.

I just received the pv gs300 and like what i have seen so far. The picture quality is beutiful outdoors and the low light quality isn’t as bad as i read. One thing i do not like is the joystick. It is sooo tiny it is difficult to use. I have to use my fingernail to try navigating the menus using it and i still have difficulty. I really can’t say anything more because i have not tried everything. Hopefully this review helps in your decision a little.

What a great user friendly camera. Would purchase this camera again. Had it three or four years now and still works great.

I bought this one aorund 2 months back. Overall it is good, and the clarity is good. Little bit noise in lowlight indoors ( with backlight on. And it is very easy to handle, only the zoon button should be somewhere on top. It is kept to handle by middle finger which i am not used to. The great drawback is the software, which has no capability of burn to a dvd. These days, how can they give a software without that facility, then i used third party softwares for that.

I did alot of research on digital camcorders before purchsing this camera and i decided to go with this one because it was just sounded so great. The similar sony models seemed to have extra blue colors in the video quality while this panasonic model has perfect, real-to-life color contrast. The video quality is alot like actual film,which is a scarce find these days. I use this camera, with a variety of attachments and extra lenses of course, for my film productions company and my school film club. It has an amazing low light mode and is really easy to use. The joystick function is so simple and much more handy than a series of random directional buttons like most other camcorders. I love this camera and i use it for more than just family vacational type movies. I use it for actual films and high quality movies.

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Reviewed Item
Panasonic PV-GS300 3.1MP 3CCD MiniDV Camcorder with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
3 of 5 stars, based on 38 reviews