Summary: I bought this camera brand new and only used maybe 5 times and the finalizing of the cds wont work. I tried to get it fixed and of course $225 needs to be up front. Really for that much just buy a new one.
Summary: I admit this isn't what I'd get if I was buying new, but recently I got this at a yard sale for diiiirt cheap, and it works great. My previous camcorder was tape, so for me this DVD cam was an upgrade. It's fairly easy to use.
Summary: Do not buy this - time has passed this by. It's cheap, because you can do so much more now than you could in 2006. You simply cannot manipulate the videos you take on this - no USB connection to upload to a computer, no software to make changes if you could. Get a miniDV or something more modern.
Summary: I've owned a VDR-m53 for 20 months. I have lost at least 4 event DVDs (birthdays, holiday pageant, vacation) to disk errors even when using the correct media, being incredibly careful with this camera, and following all relevant instructions.
Summary: If I could, I would give this camcorder a 0 of 5. Since I now have to search for a new camcorder, from reading other Panasonic model reviews, I am convinced I did not just get a lemon, but the Panasonic brand is bad. We bought this camcorder 18 months ago at the birth of our son.
Summary: I've bought this camera about a year ago and I am very happy with it. The batery charges fast and lasts long, the movies are good in quality (clear, not blured, the colors come out exactly the same) and the camera is light enough.
Summary: If you buy this camera, remember to buy also additional DVD copy software (IntelVideo Copy - around $70), plus only Panasonic DVD-Ram mini DVD disks (also expensive). Also, after my experience, if you erase one DVD-ram disc at least twice, on the third use the movie will have many video or audio...
Summary: I bought this camera because of consumer reports great reviews. But I'm bound and determined to get my images onto my PC. I purchased a DVD-RAM compatible drive for my PC and still can't get it to recongnize either DVD-RAM or DVD-R disks. Do I need special software? And if so what?
No USB Port, does not use DVD-RW that is compatible with most drives and dvd players
1 January 2006
Summary: Has good features, but the biggest downsides are it does not have a USB port and it uses DVD-RAM discs (re-writable) which do not work on most of the DVD players. Note that it does not use DVD-RW discs that come with most notebooks and desktop computers and allow re-writing.