Panasonic HC-V720 review – Hands on
Posted on 7 Jan 2013 at 11:35, by Seth Barton
The upper mid-range model in the Panasonic's 2013 line-up is the HC-V720 – with it only being bettered by the 3MOS flagship Panasonic HC-X920. The new V720 replaces the Panasonic HC-V700 and comes with a number of useful updates.
NFC is the most eye-catching feature on the new model. This allows it to quickly be connected to other NFC-capable devices such as many smartphones and tablets (as long as they aren't made by Apple). The NFC chip is placed on the upper right-hand side of the camcorder and it was easy to make a direct Wi-Fi connection to a Google Nexus 7 tablet.
Once connected the built-in Wi-Fi takes over and the camcorder can stream footage to the tablet and be controlled via an app from it too. You can share footage on the camcorder itself, uploading directly to popular sites such as YouTube. Ustream is also supported for live broadcasts, though the quality of the stream was a little choppy, this was likely down to the quality of the Wi-Fi connection being used.
Panasonic has included a new 'high sensitivity' sensor in the HC-V720, though we couldn't test these claims during our time with the device and we weren't given any demonstrations either – what we do know is that this isn't a BSI sensor, as used on the X920.
The lens is the same 28mm example as in last year's model, though the intelligent zoom has been bumped up from 46x to 50x magnification. An example of the intelligent zoom technology versus Sony's 2012 product showed that Panasonic is well ahead – with far less picture break up, less noise and more detail. Of course we'll need to see Sony's new models before making final conclusions, but it was an impressive demo.
The camera's 5-axis stabilisation system has also gained a gravity sensor in this year's model. This provides data that allows the V720 to level your shots automatically, correcting off angle handheld footage. It work's similarly to electronic stabilisation systems, so it'll be interesting to see if it affects image quality at all by cropping the sensor.
The V720 looks to be another successful evolution of Panasonic's camcorder line-up, with plenty of neat new features, though we'll have to hold off making any conclusions until we've tested the image quality properly.
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