Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Panasonic HX-WA03

I had planned on an extensive video review on this camera, verbally listing all of the features, etc, but I found the best way to show off a camera is through normal use.

Normal is defined by the fact that I'm not the only one who uses the camera. So the video includes some taken by my kids. If you watch the video, you'll realize that it's not a paradox to say that is also how I define crazy.

The only thing that I didn't do is go for a swim with it. It is supposed to be water proof but the pool at the campground I'm staying at isn't open yet, even though we've already had a few 90°F (32.2°C) days already. I think they have a specific date in mind.

It's been dropped already, twice. It still works just fine, but now there are a few scuff marks. If you are wondering, it wasn't me who dropped it this time. Honest!

Besides the videos on product I'll be posting here, you can check This (not so) Boring Life. I will be posting family videos there. Soon.

There are some features that I miss with my old camera that this doesn't have (shown at the end of the video):
  1. The touchscreen. I miss being able to hit record when the screen is facing towards me. I now have to guess which side is "record" and which side is "picture".
  2. The extreme optical zoom. Don't tell my kids, but I used to use my camera to check what they were doing from a distance. That said, if you zoomed in too far, you lost the anti-shake feature, so I didn't record much.
  3. The shape screams CAMERA. The Panasonic screams "TOY". Although, that might be a benefit for some.
  4. Battery life. The Pansonic has only a 1 hour and 30 minute battery life - give or take a few minutes, depending on what you are doing. I guess this really isn't bad, as I usually take less than an hour of video in a day. I just plug it in overnight.

What is better in this camera:
  1. It's shockproof. I have six kids. I think that's pretty self-explanatory. That said, the Sony did last 3 years, so no complaints here
  2. High res photos. Finally, a  camera that does both well. It also takes higher res videos than depicted here, but really, it's more than you need. Same with the 16MP photos, but who buy just what they need?
  3. It fits better in my bag. The Sony is a bit "round" and it's difficult to put it in any of the pockets in my bag.
  4. It's drool proof... I mean water proof. Even though I hadn't taken it for a swim, the water proof feature has already been tested by my youngest, who's 10 months old.
Unfortunately, the price has gone up on Amazon. I paid $155 (plus insurance). It's now $215 and the Sony listed in my A-Store is $223 (supposedly too low to display, but I'm displaying it here). So they are somewhat competitive in price.

Note: The Sony that's listed below is actually 2 upgrades from my old camera. They may have a lot more features than the older one, but waterproofing isn't one of them.

Check them out here:
Sony HDRCX240/B Video Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Black)`
Panasonic HX-WA03 Dual Waterproof 16MP Digital Camcorder (white)

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