lightweight, lots of nice features, good battery life, good quality picture, very user friendly design
plastic housing is rather cheap looking/feeling, handstrap could be placed differently to prevent camera tilt, non threaded lens so no option to add a fisheye or filter to the lens.
I researched a number of camcorders before settling on the PV-GS90. When I opened the box I was initially a little wary because the plastic housing on the camera looks very cheap. I had a Panasonic GS2 before and was very pleased with the little camcorder, so I decided to ... Read full review
I researched a number of camcorders before settling on the PV-GS90. When I opened the box I was initially a little wary because the plastic housing on the camera looks very cheap. I had a Panasonic GS2 before and was very pleased with the little camcorder, so I decided to forfit the learning curve with another brand and stick with Panasonic.
I wanted a camera that was small enough to carry with me on the go, but would still yield decent video (the popular Snap is great for YouTubers, but really doesn't shoot terribly good quality video in my opinion). I was also eyeing the new addition of the "Advanced O.I.S." which gained good reviews on eliminating much of the usual "camera shake". Plus, I thought the 42x optical zoom sounded like a great idea...especially considering the low price on this camcorder.
Once I got past the initial shock of the cheap camera housing, I quickly fell in love with this camera. No, it's not the quality camera such as a Canon XL2; but hey you can't throw one of those in your purse very easily either! The Panasonic PV-GS90 shot very good quality video in my opinion, and the included, internal-lamp truly brightened up indoor shooting. The 42x optical zoom and zoom mic worked very well. And the Advanced O.I.S. really did eliminate a great deal of camera shake even at higher zoom levels. The camera offers the option to shoot in wide-screen mode which is a very nice feature, as well as an easy to navigate menu which is accessed by a well-placed joystick at thumb position. You can even shoot video in the dark with this cameras Magic-Pix option (not great quality, but still kind of cool for no light at all). Another nifty little addition is the fact that this camcorder has an internal lens cap. So, no longer do you have to worry about an external cap blowing in the wind in front of your shot, or getting lost on vacation. Oh yes, and when you start to shoot, you do get a screen warning to open the lens for your video. The cameras quick start and fade it/fade out options let you get right into shooting very nice video.
It's hard to find a lot to complain about this camera, but I will mention a couple of things that I feel Panasonic still needs to work out with future models. One is the continuation of placing the AC power input behind the battery. If you need to make a quick switch to AC power, you have to turn the camera completly off and remove the battery before you can plug in the adaptor (just make sure your battery is fully charged and you should be ok though for most shooting because the battery does have a very good charge life). Also, it could just be me, but I had to tighten the handstrap (almost as much to be uncomfortable) in order to keep the camera from tilting a little to the left. There is no availability of a SD card slot on this camcorder, but there is the option to take still pictures directly on to the dv tape itself (I do not consider this a "con" to the camcorder though, because camcorders are not really intended to take still pictures...that's what standard digital cameras are for in my opinion. The plastic housing is cheap as I mentioned before, but I think they did use good internal components, and poor external plastics to keep the final price down. One thing that I really wish they would have included with this camera (which I think any camcorder needs) is a threaded lens. This one doesn't have it, and you cannot add a filter, fisheye, or any other type of lens attachment. That, in itself, would have really made this camcorder a totally sweet deal.
Overall, I am still very happy with this camcorder. It's small, light, it shoots nice quality, and the price is very easy on the wallet. If I don't drop it or smack it into anything, the plastic housing will probably be just fine. Panasonic still gets my brand name vote!