Panasonic PV-GS36 MiniDV Digital Camcorder 2 – Simple and Fun

I was looking for a basic mini dv camcorder to learn editing and video techniques. Picture quality was certainly important but, having strong photographic knowledge, also wanted something that would allow manual control. That limited the search quite a bit, especially in the single ccd class. The panasonics in general seem to be well reviewed and offer a good ratio of features to cost. I’ve had the camcorder for one week but have explored it quite a bit. In short, it easily meets if not exceeds my expectation. The 30x optical zoom is impressive, but demands a tripod when zooming out in the higher range of the zoom. Color accuracy is very good, assuming a proper white balance. The lcd panel can be rotated which is ecpecially nice when using the camcorder to transfer video to a computer.

I makes really nice movies and i thought i could get rid of my old digital camera as well but. . This thing takes miserable still photos. I have a three year old coolpix 3200 that takes much better photos but bad videos. So i get stuck taking them both with me to events. So if you need a camcorder that takes good digital photos just keep looking. Panasonic avg digital picture size 111,587 bytes on highest resolutionmy old coolpix digital photos size 1,097,728 bytes on medium resolutionyou do the math.

I’ve been using camcorders professionally and recreationally since 1986, and this little camcorder is the best deal out there period. Dv technology is proven, been around for a long time, if you want a reliable, simple to operate, and very good camcorder, look no further. Picture quality is excellent, one of panasonic’s strong points, color accuracy very good, and autofocus laser accurate. The joystick driven menu is very simple to use, most features you’ll need are readily available without it’s use, and it operates intuitively. Again, this is an entry level camcorder, that means it’s best used in fully auto mode, point and shoot, for taping you kids, vacations, etc. That being said, you can still get very creative once you have downloaded the clips to you computer for editing. Another review mentions firewire, saying it wont work on a pc. I’m surprised this user can actually surf the web. All you need to do is connect the firewire cable to the camcorder, windows finds it, install whatever drivers it needs (as with any other peripheral), and away you go. I purchased mine at costco, they have excellent policies, if you’re not satisfied with the product, return it.

I’m a video professional and i love my panasonic pv-gs36. I’ve used tons of high end $10k+ cameras and i know a good little camcorder when i see one. This summer i got married in thailand and didn’t want to take a ton of video stuff, just a nice little camcorder that wouldn’t breakdown on my big day. This one came through with flying colors. I did weeks of research and this is the one that had the best value for the money. Not only are the controls easy to operate and very intuitive but this little baby withstood the extreme heat and even more extreme humidity of thailand. The lens goes nice and wide for small areas where you have to get very close to the subject and still be in focus (depth of field). I’d stay away from the digital zoom, they’re not very good on any of the palm/camcorders. Also none of the small camcorders are particularly good in low light. What do you expect for a few hundred dollars?that said, this one is nice and small, is easy to operate and is tough in rough conditions.

My wife and i love to travel & our favorite place to go and relax is walt disney world. One of the things we love to do there is take our cameras and run around looking like the dopey tourists we are. My wife focuses solely on still photography, i do stills and video. In my youth i played around with super 8 film cameras, later graduated to a vhs camcorder, then a hitachi 8mm camcorder, then for years used my favorite camcorders: the sony digital 8 series. I have had 4 of them, going all the way up to the trv-720 with its awesome 4′ lcd screen – a really nice camera. The problem i ran into though was not with the cameras per say, but my arm. I get a bit obsessive with videotaping; like i never stop – i have to film everything – every minute of every show, etc. I could easily fill 40 hours of video on a just a short vacation. You know that you spend too much time with your eye stuck to the view finder when after the vacation is over you are still trying to zoom things in with your bare eye. Anyway, from where i worked i developed a nasty case of tendinitis in my elbow; the consequence being that i could no longer comfortably hold the heavier cameras up for a long period of time. Add to this the fact that i looked like a pack mule schlepping around with the camera, its bag, and a ample supply of tapes and accessories for the day and you can understand why i had to find a smaller camera. I read decent things about the panasonics, costco carried this one, so i decided to give it a try. No, it is not as versatile as my old d8’s, but it is a nice little camera. I really like the small footprint; i can quickly tuck it into my fanny packs large front pocket.

  • Amongst the Best of the Single CCD Camcorders
  • Simple and Fun
  • Best value camcorder out there.

Features of Panasonic PV-GS36 MiniDV Digital Camcorder 2.5″ LCD, 30x Optical & 1000x Digital Zoom

  • 30x Optical Zoom – 1000x Digital Zoom – 680,000 Pixel CCD –
  • 2.5″ diagonal color LCD monitor – Mini DV format – USB interface
  • EEE 1394 interface for high speed digital-to-digital transfer to a computer- Digital electronic image stabilizer
  • SD card slot (card not included) – Consecutive Still Shot-

30x Optical Zoom – 1000x Digital Zoom –

2.5″ diagonal color LCD monitor – Mini DV format –

EEE 1394 interface for high speed digital-to-digital transfer to a computer-

SD card slot (card not included) –

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Panasonic PV-GS36 MiniDV Digital Camcorder 2.5" LCD, 30x Optical & 1000x Digital Zoom
Rating
5.0 of 5 stars, based on 7 reviews