First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Colour quality, price, easy menu controls
- No optical image stabiliser
The Panasonic NV-GS75 pushes the 3CCD camcorder into the consumer space for the first time.
Price$ 1,319.00 (AUD)
Camcorders using 3CCD (charge-coupled device) systems process the three colours that make up a video image (red, green, blue) with separate chips for each colour. This generally produces more accurate and cleaner colours than found in the more common single-chip camcorders. In the past, however, higher production costs have meant that 3CCD models were reserved only for those willing to part with thousands of dollars.
Panasonic changed all that in 2004 with the release of a range of 3CCD camcorders that were not only affordable, but small, light and easy to use.
The entry-level 3CCD Panasonic NV-GS75 has a useful dial/joystick control that provides quick access to the various functions on the camera. Anyone used to a push-button menu system may take a moment to adjust, but if you like texting on your mobile, you will love this menu system, as the thumb controls virtually all of the menu items. The 2.5" LCD screen was fast and clear, and visible even in direct sunlight.
The NV-GS75's 10X optical zoom was fast and accurate; however, if you really want to get close to the action, you may want to look at Panasonic's single-chip NV-GS35 with 30X optical zoom.
The 1.7 megapixel still images possible with the NV-GS75 produce reasonable 5" x 7" prints without too much trouble. Images are recorded to an SD card, and can be transferred to a PC via a USB connection. Printing straight to a PictBridge printer was easy.
The ability to download your video straight to your PC via a USB 2.0 connection makes the NV-GS75 an attractive proposition for PC users without a FireWire port. However, if you want to edit your video with a package such as Adobe Premiere Pro, using the camera's FireWire connection would be the way to go.
The NV-GS75 delivered impressive colour, with extremely accurate saturation, and although low-light performance was good for a 3CCD camcorder, experienced users of single-chip camcorders would notice a loss in performance once you get down to one lux. Low-light performance is an issue across all 3CCD cameras, so if you do a lot of recording in dark conditions, you may want to consider a single-chip model.
To keep costs down, the NV-GS75 uses a Panasonic video lens with a digital image stabiliser, rather than the Leica Dicomar lenses with optical image stabilisation (OIS) found in the more expensive Panasonic NV-GS250 and NV-GS400 models.
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