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Thread: Camcorder - Panasonic HC-VXF990EB-K - Feedback requested

  1. #1

    Default Camcorder - Panasonic HC-VXF990EB-K - Feedback requested

    Hello-


    Am planning on buying a new camcorder in the near future.
    After doing some research and drilling down on the price and features required, Panasonic HC-VXF990EB-K seems the best fit.


    Can you forum ppl give me your valuable feedback on the above camcorder in terms of:
    1. Battery Life and any replacement battery or other options to keep the video capture going for longer duration.
    2. Useability of this equipment in the left hand(How well possible. This seems to be right hand oriented). Any wisdom appreciated.
    3. SD Card capacity to buy and what would be the usual size of videos in 4K or other format for about 40 minutes duration.
    4. Night useage - This equipment does not come with light. Is the night mode good enough to capture decent video during nights/dark days?
    5. Any other valuable tips/suggestions/reviews from ppl who have already used this or from ppl who have some knowledge first hand would be very very much
    appreciated.


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Hi, and welcome.

    I see you've posted this and had lads of answers on avforums. We are a much lower traffic forum here so don't expect much in the way of response.
    Panasonic have a good reputation for camcorders at this sort of price range and the VXF990 looks like it fits the family. They have always been popular with members of amateur film making clubs.

    I have a HC-X1 which I've been a bit disappointed in but it doesn't put me off their cheaper (mid-price) cameras.

    I see someone is suggesting looking to buy second hand. I have had excellent results doing just this,. Buying a well respected camera that is several years old has worked very well for me twice. Of course there's a risk and budget for new batteries.Typically proprietory batteries are much more expensive but they really do last longer in my experience (by which I mean after several uses they maintain their charge for longer)
    Tim

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    I have nothing useful to contribute, but a HC-X1 is my "desk" for this evening.

  4. #4

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    I've owned plenty of different camcorders over the years. They've all served me well but do they still have a place in 2021? It really depends on what you want / need, but for most users a phone will do everything a separate camcorder will do. In my experience the only benefit real benefit is optical zoom. So if you have no need of zoom (and you have a reasonably new phone), I'd buy a few gadgets for the phone.

    As Tim says, second hand can be an excellent choice. For example the Canon XC10 - https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equip...r/sku-1089578/ - is in the same price bracket.
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  5. #5

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    Thanks Tim

  6. #6

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    Thanks Marc

  7. #7
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    Marc asks if camcorders have a place in 2021. I say absolutely they do, though it may be rather more niche than it used to.

    Phones capture superb images - especially if you want just a massive depth of field (and camcorders typcally do not have a shollow depth of field anyway - if you want that go mirrorless/DSLR).
    They are suitable for loads of stuff.

    But .... ergonomically I find them horrible. I have mine in a case with a folding lid and this makes it very difficult to hold (but makes it very safe and unlikely to scratch in my pocket etc). Yes, I could take it out of the case but it feels so vulnerable to me - I'd be **** very scared of dropping it. A camcorder you can just grab and stick your hand through the strap. Note: despite all camcorders seemily designed this way, it's not a particularly comfortable way to hold a camera and hence not particularly conducive to stability - but it's better than a phone.

    With a phone, generally you have to set it and then film. No opportunity to adjustment whilst shooting. Or if you do you have to put your fingers all over the viewfinder (the screen).

    If you just want to shoot short clips to edit together (and your edits should be made of short clips) a phone is great. Due to economies of scale of manufacture you get far more image technology per 1 than with a camcorder.

    If, on the other hand, you want to shoot a band's gig or a theatrical performace (remember when we could do that?) an iPhone on a gorrilla pod is not going to cut it. You need something which will last an hour or more per set/act.

    Audio: "better" camcorders not only have an input for a decent mic, but, crucially, have a headphone socket for monitoring audio. I typically record my audio to another device anyway, but having a good audio to sync to in post is vital in some situations. If you're doing interviews a good mic straight into camera is enough and yo don't need to sync afterwards.

    I'm not trying to start a camcorder vs phone war. I can't see any reason for anyone for which a phone (or, from a different perspective DSLR/mirrorless camera) will suit to buy a camcorder. But there are situations where a camcorder is more suitable.
    Tim

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    But .... ergonomically I find them horrible. I have mine in a case with a folding lid and this makes it very difficult to hold (but makes it very safe and unlikely to scratch in my pocket etc). Yes, I could take it out of the case but it feels so vulnerable to me - I'd be **** very scared of dropping it. A camcorder you can just grab and stick your hand through the strap. Note: despite all camcorders seemily designed this way, it's not a particularly comfortable way to hold a camera and hence not particularly conducive to stability - but it's better than a phone.
    Camcorder ergonomics have always baffled me. Even making the strap vertical (rather than horizontal) would improve it no end. You're right, of course, phone ergonomics are however even worse, particularly with a folio case. And sometimes you just want to point and shoot without unlocking, finding the app, changing it from the last setting... and missing the silly thing your kid just did. Nothing beats the pointy shootyness of a camcorder.

    I finally gave up using DSLR's for video a few years ago. When you're running around shooting a whole bunch of stuff you need something that just works. Sure there were work arounds, but having everything at your finger tips with a "proper" video camera takes away the stress. Simple things like being able to move the hand grip and having in built ND filters.

    I think the general rule is that you'll always be less stressed if you use something purpose built for the job. I love using my iPhone to film my kids having fun and it's been great for live streaming a few events (and on that note, I've learnt a lot of lessons recently, but that's for another thread!). But I love having a proper camera when I just want things to be simple.
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  9. #9

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    Totally agree.
    Thanks for the detailed input Tim.

  10. Default

    Can I reply to "do camcorders have a place in 2021". The answer is Yes, but I keep hearing Sony/Panasonic etc say the people have abandoned the traditional camcorders. In fact it is the opposite, the big 3 Manufacturers have abandoned the Consumers.
    Back in the days of 1080p camcorders many changed models and found they'd gone from a 25/30fps to a 50/60fps and noticed the more silky smooth playback on PC & TV.
    Come up to date with 4K camcorders and the big 3 have clearly decided we must purchase their premium range for 4k@50/60fps. I for one will not go back to 25fps ever.
    So we consumers found 4K50/60fps in the products of DJI or GoPro and there imitators as the only options, etc, so now I use these.
    But I would love a 50/60fps version of the Panasonic HC VX1 camcorder instead, but it isn't out there for less than 1000.
    The manufacturers left us with no viable camcorders, so now have no viable customers, and to claim we abandoned them, well they are wrong, they abandoned us.
    As for the Camcorder ergonomics, with the external mic on top and good stabilisation I find they are the best in that department far more than a Gimbal and DSLR.

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