Panasonic Family Moments

 We’ve got a huge amount of video of the kids and most of it isn’t very good. Most of it’s been wobbly shot on a smartphone. It’s fine for showing other people on a smartphone but if you want to burn it to DVD or perhaps impress the inlaws on your 50inch full HD plasma screen, it makes the Blair Witch Project look like it’s Inception or something.

So when Panasonic offered a bunch of us parent bloggers a Panasonic HC-V500 fullHD camcorder and a mornings lesson on how to film kids (with sandwiches), I jumped at the chance. Better late than never and all that.

Some of the pointers we picked up from the chap from Panasonic were really useful too, even if I did get an unexpected laugh when I said I always had trouble with wind when I filmed stuff (and the video below does have a bit of a wind issue ironically). Did you know that resting the camera on something at a distance and zooming in gives a great depth of field effect as well as allowing you to film the kids without them really realising that’s what you’re doing. Devious eh?

Playing around with the camcorder was quite revealing too. The image stabilisation is nothing short of astonishing. It has a 50 times optical zoom, and you wont feel sea sick if you use it because the computery jiggery pokery keeps everything on the level. The camcorder sits snugly in your hand, it’s not small but it has a very big lens, which means a very good picture quality. At top whack it shots at 1080p 60. This means it does the highest current HD resolution, at 60 frames per second. I didn’t shoot any video at this resolution because I don’t have a computer with enough thinking power to edit it but what I did shoot looks ace on our big telly.

Camcorders have come a long way since I bought our DV camcorder 8 years ago when we got married and I can’t believe the quality this camcorder shoots in for a relatively modest price (if you shop around you can pick it up for £226)

The kids are very impressed with seeing themselves in actual larger than life footage on the TV screen. I think Fifi wants to be a film star…