Summary: There is a lot to like about the prosumer Panasonic PV-GS400 camera, which took the Mini DV world by storm during 2005. I have owned two, which are still used for exterior B-roll footage in my Ken Burns inspired railroad documentaries. The 3 CCD 1/4.7" standard definition chips are good in low light and near broadcast quality on sunny days. Though the automatic settings are fine, serious users will wish to expand their results with the many manual settings available.
Summary: This camera somewhat surprised me. The picture quality is excellent! The camera is being used each Sunday in a small country church and the video is being shown on a local access TV station. Audio is not handled through the camera but through a separate audio board so I can't comment on the audio quality of the camera. Yes, I would buy another one of these cameras if the need arises.
Summary: I bought this camera because the community is doing an Oral History of the local 'ol-timers'. We needed great picture and sound. The GS400 is about as close as you can come to a professional camcorder without spending thousands. Complete manual control of focus and iris, good sized screen, excellent picture. 3 CCD and manual controls make this a serious camcorder.
Summary: Hi, The capacitor on my charger seems to have burst from a power surge. I'm looking for a new charger for the GS400 and I read somewhere that it uses the PV-DAC13 KIT. Does anyone here know about this and any pointers to locating its whereabouts on the net might be helpful. So far I've tried a lot of websites and in most places it's out of stock. I'm trying to figure if I'm looking for the right thing in the first place. Thanks in advance.
Summary: If you're looking for a cheap little camera of so-so quality, this is not it. But if you want crisp, clear, vibrant photos, stunning videos, and a solid camera you can rely on, this is the one you've been searching for! I shopped and compared for a LONG time before finally choosing this camera, and I am SOOO glad I did!! My friends and family all have the smaller, cheaper camcorders, and yes, I looked at those too.
Summary: Was delighted to recieve this camcorder, after waiting a few months to buy it. However, upon use I found that it was inoperable. The zoom did not work and there was a constant need to "reset" the camcorder. I had read the glowing reviews, wonderful feature accounts, as well as the outstanding video performance evaluations. However, if the camera has to be sent back, none of the video performance, features, or reviews mean anything.
Summary: About a month ago, pretty much the entire tape transport problem disappeared. Check out the tape transport forum listing at Pana3ccduser.com. I got mine on April fools day and it is the best camcorder ever. Picture quality is amazing, on par with any camcorder up to around $2000. The 16:9 mode is better than most camcorders under $2500 and the Procinema mode is also a great bonus. The LCD is very bright. 4 way ring works great as well.
Summary: Just got mine today and it too has the tape transport problem. Looks like Panasonic is not listening since this one just shipped in from the factory. I have an RMA in progress with the vendor and will update on the status of the replacement.