So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Large zoom, wide range of supported discs, easy to use, price
- Washed out colour indoors and in low light, grainy footage, not natively widescreen
Although the VDR-D150 offers heaps of functionality at a reasonable price, the quality of its video footage is a letdown.
Price$ 879.00 (AUD)
Panasonic's VDR-D150 is an entry level DVD camcorder that offers a good range of functions in an easy to use package, but falls down when it comes to the quality of its video footage and still images.
When playing back footage it was immediately obvious that the VDR-D150 suffered from poor quality video. Shooting indoors we found colours to be poorly reproduced, with a grainy haze proving an annoying distraction. We thought our television was perhaps at fault, but switching screens yielded only minor differences. Shooting in a darkened room made matters worse, with the camcorder's sensor failing to show the vivid primary colours of our test charts. Turning on night shot mode helped a great deal, with the colours impressively coming to life instantaneously, however the resulting drop in frame rate when using this mode means it isn't an ideal alternative.
Things became better when moving outside, where the camera's small LCD screen coped well, even in direct sunlight. The picture was a great deal brighter, with the graininess less evident and the colours more accurate. One slight problem here was the camera's tendency to over saturate the image in areas of intense sunshine. However, a bigger downside is that the VDR-D150 doesn't record natively in widescreen. The LCD uses the standard 4:3 aspect ratio and to record in widescreen mode the camcorder simply adds black bars to the top and bottom of the picture; not true widescreen at all. Panasonic has usefully included a huge 30x optical zoom, which enabled us to zoom in on objects in the far distance with ease.
Ease of use is in fact one of the areas where the VDR-D150 excelled. All the models in Panasonic's latest line-up of video cameras use a simple five-way directional stick and an intuitive menu system to provide access to the various functions. This system works well, especially as the VDR-D150 is also lightweight and comfortable to hold. Panasonic has provided support for a wide range of discs, including DVD-RAM, which can be played back immediately on a compatible player, without the need for finalising the disc. Unfortunately, as recordable 8cm DVDs only offer 1.4GB of space, you can only expect a paltry twenty minutes of recording time using the highest quality settings
One final feature of the VDR-D150 is the camcorder's ability to save still images to your SD card. Most digital video cameras offer this functionality these days, with varying degrees of success, but unfortunately the VDR-D150's pictures are of too lower quality to be really useable. It can only save images as 640x480 JPEG files; an incredibly low resolution, and one that makes it inadequate for most uses. It did however have a surprisingly large range of manual options, across both still and video recording. Focus, shutter speed, white balance and aperture can all be adjusted using a simple on screen switch. These are impressive inclusions for a low end camera, but are largely wasted on such poor quality images.
Overall the VDR-D150 offers a good range of functions, a portable frame and a good zoom range. The quality of its video and still images, however, is just not up to scratch.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 ASUS FX503 review: An ROG Notebook By Any Other Name
- 2 HP Envy x360 (Ryzen 5) review: Power over portability
- 3 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 4 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 5 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
Latest News Articles
- Canon Strengthens 2:3” Broadcast Lens Range
- Canon Introduces Cinema EOS C700 FF Camera and More
- Netgear Launches the Arlo Go LTE Wire-Free Camera on Telstra’s Mobile Network
- D-Link Wins Prestigious iF Design Award 2018
- Reolink Launches a New 4G LTE Security Camera, Available in Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Frostpunk review: A richly conceived and vividly realised city sim
- Netgear Arlo Go review: An expensive but comprehensive home security solution
- Fitbit Versa review: New look, better price, same limits
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?