I had my first child when I was 20 years old and like every other parent I wanted to give him everything. I went out and bought him tons of clothes (some that he never wore and ended up getting their first wear on my second child!), toys, books, blankets and all those lovely little things. One thing I was determined to get was a video camera. We didn't have one when I was growing up and it's something I really wanted. Looking around the shops camcorders were really expensive. It took me a good week of research to pick out the one for me.
I chose the Panasonic NV-DS60. It was stylish, compact and had a handful of funky extras. The sales person was quite good and I managed to walk out of the shop having bought an Antler leather carry case and a pack of 5 films. Well done mate! These days something like that would never happen because I am a much savvier shopper and tend to do my research and only buy what is planned.
The camcorder was out almost every day so I could capture every burp, fart and roll! Oh yes, I was one of those parents! I'd seen before that you could buy those VHS tapes that you then slot the camcorder film into to watch the video but my camcorder came with the red, white and yellow leads to connect directly to the television so I opted for that method instead. One very cool extra was that it came with a remote control so I could sit back on the couch and control the tape viewing.
NightView came in handy when I woke up one night to find my son singing away to a toy in his cot. Very funny and I'm holding onto that video for future use (18th Birthday, Wedding!) The NightView makes the picture slightly blurry but still a good function.
I took it with for a birthday experience day and got some great videos of the day. The neck and hand strap make holding onto the camcorder very easy. The sound quality is normally very good. The only time I've found it to be a bit off was the experience day but in all fairness we were outside on a windy day with cars being raced about so not really the camcorders fault.
The little flip out screen is funky for viewing on the go and you can flip in all the way around and record yourself and be able to see how you look on screen at the same time. There's a litte remote attachment that helps for this so that you can zoom, pause and stop recording without moving from your seat. Makes sense because you don't really want to be recording and then have to get up and walk round the camera to turn it off and be seen doing that on playback.
I gave a got at using the PhotoShot function which basically takes a still from your recording. I could never quite get exactly the moment I wanted in the snap shot so ended up giving up with that bit.
With an overnight charge of the battery I can take the camcorder out for the day but if you're on holiday don't expect it to make it to day two if you're filming a lot.
It's a few (ok a few more than that, shhh!) years down the line now and digital has taken over. My old camera, phone, television and even photo frames have been replaced. The Panasonic has slowly moved from storage closet to other storage closet as my phones have become more high tech. I tend to these days always have my phone to hand and quickly turn it to video mode when I want. My phone can video for long enough that it covers most needs. My son was in a school play a year ago and I pulled out the camcorder to video it. A lot of the other parents had these tiny video recorders and thankfully this one is still small enough that it doesn't look overly dated.
Recently we were given a new digital recorder and although it's super nifty I just don't find a use for it all the time. The odd school play, sports day or family occasion but other than that both recorders live in the closet. Bit of a shame as they are cool pieces of kit but I just find my mobile phone more handy for the everyday things.
If you're in the market for a camcorder I would suggest buying a new digital one but if this is the one you're after then be prepared to have a search. I found two on eBay which current bids of £20 (£6 postage and 7 days of the auction left). Not sure what they will sell for in the end but I can't imagine them going for more than £100 in the end. There's one on Gumtree that is priced £150. So sad that something that originally sold for a few hundred pounds has lost almost all of its value. I know most things depreciate but doesn't stop me being sad about it.
Usually shopping around you can purchase 5 60 min tapes for about £5.
* Product Description: Panasonic NV DS60B - camcorder - Mini DV
* Product Type: Camcorder
* Dimensions (WxDxH): 6.6 cm x 12.3 cm x 8.7 cm
* Weight: 0.4 kg
* Media Type: Mini DV
* Sensor Resolution: 800 Kpix
* Shooting Modes: Digital photo mode
* Lens Aperture: F/1.8-2.3
* Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual
* Focal Length: 2.3 mm - 23 mm
* Image Stabiliser: Electronic
* Microphone: Microphone - built-in - stereo
* Viewfinder: Electronic - 0.33" - black & white
* Display: LCD display - TFT active matrix - 2.5" - colour
* Supported Battery: 1 x ( included )
* Battery: 1 x camcorder battery - rechargeable
New digital is overtaking old digital ... I would like to give the camera a 5 star and back in the day I would have but today with all the new technology and on the usage it gets I think I'm going to have to give it a 3 star rating.
© oioiyou 2011
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