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Panasonic HC-V550 review

Andrew Unsworth
10 Apr 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
469
inc VAT

Page 1 of 2Panasonic HC-V550 review

Good camcorder with built-in Wi-Fi, but it’s too expensive

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Specifications

1/5.8in BSI MOS sensor, 1,920x1,080, 50.0x zoom, 280.0kg

The Panasonic HC-V550 is a small handheld Full HD camcorder with a 2.51-megapixel, 1/5.8in sensor, a 50x optical zoom and built-in Wi-Fi. It’s a fairly basic camcorder, and an example of this is its lack of a built-in microphone, but the HC-V550’s compact size makes it perfect for throwing in your bag and taking to a party or an event.

Panasonic HC-V550

You can record video in the AVCHD and MP4 formats at bitrates up to 25Mbit/s for both MP4 and AVCHD files. The HC-V550’s sensor isn’t very large in either physical size or megapixel count, so its quality isn’t going to match higher-end camcorders such as the Panasonic HC-W850 or Panasonic HC-X920.

IMAGE QUALITY
We’re happy with the HC-V550’s image quality. There are some places where it could be better, but overall the image quality is pleasing. The colour accuracy, for instance, is pretty good, but the lens gently pulsates in out of focus in response to a moving light source at metre distance from it in our lab footage. This pulsating focus effect is only slight, and may go unnoticed, but it’s present.

There’s noticeable mosquito noise in our low-light footage, but not as much as we expected. There’s also more detail in our lab footage than we expected to see, and we could clearly read the text on a pack of stickers located around a metre away from the HC-V550’s lens. However, there were jagged edges on many objects. Again, the jagged edges are only slightly noticeable, but it lowers the image quality of the HC-V550 in comparison to more expensive camcorders such as the Panasonic HC-X920.

Panasonic HC-V550

The HC-V550 gave a decent performance in our outdoor footage. Once again, the colour accuracy was pretty good, and the HC-V550 made the most of its Full HD resolution to provide a great level of detail. Mosquito noise was present, even bright daylight, which made some of the objects, such as handrails, shimmer. The level detail on distant objects quickly faded, but we could still see the pointing on a brick wall 20 metres away.

Page 1 of 2Panasonic HC-V550 review

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