Panasonic PVDC252 MiniDV Ultra Compact Digital Camcorder – Small and handy

This is the coolest camcorder i have ever seen. It took me a while to figure out what all it can do, but it’s truly remarkable. It’s nice that it comes with two controllers one that’s a tethered remote and the other one has every button that you can possibly think of. The wireless controller is really nice because if you want to video tape yourself then all you have to do is put the pvdc252 on a tripod, turn the lcd screen towards you and press record on the controller. I haven’t used it on the computer yet, because i haven’t had the chance yet. It’s also cool that you can record still pictures on the tape or on a memory card it comes with. The only two things that aren’t as great, is that the software isn’t editing software for videos and the eye piece you look into is so small there’s not point. All in all this is remarkable little gadget. It’s kind of funny when you eject the mini dv tape out because you see the whole inside of the camcorder itself. This camcorder is a little pricy by itself and for the mini dv tapes, but it’s worth it.

Now you can carry your camrecorder every where. Nice and small and yet easy to hold. This camera is great and has most of the accessories included in the package – really neat – you have a camera that will not become obsolete in a few months.

I spent a lot of time researching cameras before buying this one. As a hockey mom, i take action video and still shots (don’t have to drag my digital camera around) so i can edit in my file in the pc via usb & firewire. This camera has a great 10x optical zoom for close-ups. I have used the digital zoom but found that the picture quality becomes too grainy (as all digital zoom does). There are all kinds of special effects such as sepia, b&w, etc. Which work great but i don’t use them as i do effects in my pc. This lightweight camera has both a color eyepiece as well as a color display. Batteries are charged on a separate unit and not in the camera which means you can use the camera while juicing up the batteries. It does have a stabilization feature but with so much action in the hockey rink, my video still shows some shaking.

The old programming expression is ‘fast, [inexpensive, and good: choose two. “. That can be extended to camcorders by changing it to “small, [inexpensive], and good: choose two. “. However, the pvdc252 manages lets you choose all three. It is relatively [inexpensive], quite small, and very good. You can get smaller cameras (but not much), [inexpensive]cameras, and better cameras, but this one is a nice compromise between all three. Size: it is smaller than my digital camera. Fits perfectly in your palm (hence ‘palmcorder’), which makes it very easy to hold steady, unlike many of the smaller models. Despite its small size, the controls are fairly easy to use, with the exception of the ‘menu’ button, which is awkward to hit one-handed. I’m not quite sure how they manage to fit the minidv tape in therequality: image quality seems fine. Perhaps a little washed out on cloudy days, but this is not a surprise using any camera. ]

I did quite a bit of research before buying this camera. The online reviews were favorable, and just before buying it, i also noticed that consumer reports (cr) had rated its video quality as being very good (in the top 3). The camera is fairly compact, not as compact as the canon eluras or the small sonys, but it is more comfortable to hold because of its horizontal format. Sound quality is simply excellent. The only extraneous noise picked up is the zoom motor. I cannot hear the tape transport motor on playback (this is a problem with some of the small canons and sonys). Video quality in good light is also very good. Good light includes indoor shots in a reasonably well lit room. In dim lighting, colors fade and the video does become a bit grainy. Otherwise, color fidelity is very good using the automatic white balance.

The pvdc252 wasn’t really on my list for christmas as i was eyeing vetical-type dvcams, specifically the jvc grdvm76u. Then i happen to see the pvdc252 in an electronics store and it really caught my attention. The ‘silver barrelled’ lens looked really nice, plus the cold shoe attachment, and of course the price caught my attention. It had everything the jvc had, only that it is in the traditional ‘horizontal’ design. I played around with the unit and it grew on me quite quick. I did final research and even looked up the sony micromv dcrip5, but i kept going back to the pvdc252. A full week before christmas, i bought the pvdc252 – and i never looked back 🙂 the dvcam was really good for the price and yes, very compact (length-wise). It came with a lot of goodies (ir remote, wired remote, usb cable, charger/adaptor). Handling of the unit is simple and controls are wel within reach. The video output is quite exceptional and pc connectivity via firewire is a snap (i used adobe premiere to capture my vids to my hd).

  • Best in price range, best size
  • Small, [inexpensive], Good
  • Made for Panasonicby gnomes

Pros: size, perceived quality, ease of use, good video ratings, low price. Cons: colors seem less vibrant in some conditions, stills not so good for printing. Overall: a small, yet easy-to-hold and operate camcorder, that takes good video, with a low price. I’m very happy with my decision to buy this model (bought through amazon. Com to get their 30-day return policy). Video: consumer reports rated it high. Color and contrast were excellent. ‘ i thought the colors seemed dull in some situations (as did the reviewer on dvspot).

At least, that’s the initial impression you’ll get on seeing this remarkably small digital camcorder. It’s just 4 1/2′ long, 3 1/2′ high and under 3′ wide. When you consider that includes room for the tape and is with the lcd display stowed, that doesn’t leave room for a whole lot else. This has to be the work of gnomes. Even those with fairly small hands will be able to firmly hold the unit in just one hand (has to be the right-hand though). There’s the usual strap to hold it in place, and the right side of the unit is ribber for extra grip. Since it’s a mini-dv camera there’s the inevitable firewire slot – no 4-pin to 6-pin firewire cable is provided, though, so if you’re planning to edit on your (firewire-equipped) home computer, make sure you pick one up. It’s also got a usb socket for downloading still images from any card you might have in the sd slot. It *does* come with a cable for this, as well as an 8mb card, but sd cards now go up to 512mb in size, so there’s plenty of room for expansion there.

In europe this model is called the nv-gs5, which is what i have, but it’s otherwise identical. I’ve had it a few months now. I bought it after lots of research, and after rejecting the ‘upright’ style cameras because they’re so hard to hold steady. This little panasonic is still very small (and cute) but you have a chance of holding it reasonably steady. Having said that, even with the image stabiliser on, you will need a tripod to make decent use of even the 10x optical zoom. Panasonic’s main selling points for this camera seem to be its ability to record stills, mpegs and voice clips onto sd card, but if you’ve already got a digital stills camera, you’ll not be too excited about stills at 640 x 480, maximum. Forget that, and notice the other advantages. As the top model in this range (the 352 is really quite different and a lot bigger) it gets a colour viewfinder, and an analogue av input. That could be really useful. There appears to be a connector for just about everything you can think of, including the all-important external microphone.

Features of Panasonic PVDC252 MiniDV Ultra Compact Digital Camcorder with 2.5″ LCD, SD Slot & Digital Still Capability (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

  • Make sure this fits
    by entering your model number.
  • MiniDV camcorder
  • 10x optical, 700x digital, zoom with digital image stabilization
  • 2.5-inch color LCD; color EVF
  • Records digital stills up to a resolution of 640 x 480 onto included 8 MB SD card; also compatible with MultiMediaCards
  • Ultracompact size

Make sure this fits
by entering your model number.

MiniDV camcorder

10x optical, 700x digital, zoom with digital image stabilization

2.5-inch color LCD; color EVF

Records digital stills up to a resolution of 640 x 480 onto included 8 MB SD card; also compatible with MultiMediaCards

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Panasonic PVDC252 MiniDV Ultra Compact Digital Camcorder with 2.5" LCD, SD Slot & Digital Still Capability (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Rating
4.8 of 5 stars, based on 9 reviews