Manufacturer: Panasonic Part number: PV-GS90
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- Average user rating: 4.0 stars out of 2 reviews
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as of 05/21/2013Refurbished
Small but Mighty
by momommius on September 21, 2008
Pros: lightweight, lots of nice features, good battery life, good quality picture, very user friendly design
Cons: 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.
Summary: 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 ...
Summary: 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!
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Excellent minidv camcorder.
by davewegner on January 14, 2010
Pros: Optical image stabilization, 40x optical zoom, clear stereo microphone, bright LCD view panel (even in sunlight), quick cold boot to record time, well placed controls.
Cons: Included battery doesn't last long, power dial is a bit too easy to turn when unwanted, those with big hands (me) might accidentally press unwanted buttons, retractable tunnel viewfinder is small, manual focus slow in low light.
Summary: Optical image stabilization works very well in longer focal lengths.
Easy to access manual controls cover the important aspects of recording: focus, white balance, aperture, and shutter speed. There is ...
Summary: Optical image stabilization works very well in longer focal lengths.
Easy to access manual controls cover the important aspects of recording: focus, white balance, aperture, and shutter speed. There is a completely automatic mode and two manual modes. The first manual mode allows you to control the white balance while the camera takes care of the other settings. I used this mode throughout a vacation where we were constantly going from inside and outside and the auto white balance switched slowly in a continuous shot. Manual focus is hard to adjust using the LCD view screen and auto focus worked slowly in low light situations.
Recorded image quality is fantastic. This is my first minidv camcorder, and while the 60 minute tapes usually offload onto the computer at about 12GB per tape, the resulting quality is worth it. So just grab a huge internal SATA or external eSATA hard drive (for speed when video editing the files) and start recording the world.
Cold boot to record time is reasonable. There is an option that puts the camera into a standby mode when the viewfinder is closed. This speeds up the record time if you intend to record again shortly.
I throughly enjoy this camera and am pleased with its performance. Recommended.
- Manufacturer: Panasonic
- Part number: PV-GS90
- Description: The GS90 MiniDV Camcorder offers 42x optical zoom with advanced optical image stabilizer and built-in LED light and one-touch navigation.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Camcorder
- Digital Zoom 2000 x
- Effective Photo Resolution 0.38 megapixels
- Camcorder Media Type Mini DV
- Optical Sensor Size 1/6"
- Optical Sensor Type CCD
- Min Illumination 2 lux
- Analog video format NTSC
- Image Stabilizer Optical (Advanced O.I.S.)
- Digital Scene Transition White fader,
- Min Shutter Speed 1/30 sec
- Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 sec
- Shooting modes Digital photo mode
- Shooting Programs Soft skin,
Surf & snow,
- White Balance Automatic,
- White Balance Presets Outdoor,
- Exposure Modes Program,
- Camera Flash None
- Webcam capability Yes
- Widescreen Video Capture Yes
- AV Interfaces Composite video/audio
- Type 42 x x Zoom lens - 1.8 mm - 75.6 mm - F/1.9-4.3
- Lens aperture F/1.9-4.3
- Features Built-in lens shield
- Optical Zoom 42 x
- Lens system type Zoom lens
- Min focal length 1.8 mm
- Max focal length 75.6 mm
- Auto Focus TTL contrast detection
- Focus Adjustment Manual,
- Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive
- Built-in Light Yes
- Low Lux / Night Mode Yes
- DV input Yes
- Additional Features Built-in speaker,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
- Software Drivers & Utilities,
Panasonic VideoCam Suite
- Included Accessories Power adapter with battery charger,
Audio / video cable
- Viewfinder Type LCD
- Viewfinder Diagonal Size 0.33 in
- Viewfinder Resolution 113,578 pixels
- Type 2.7 in LCD display
- Connector Type 1 x Composite video/audio output,
1 x USB,
1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire/i.LINK)
- Microphone Features Wind noise reduction,
Memory / Storage
- Media type Mini DV
- Video Capture MPEG - 320 x 240 - Web camera mode
- Video Recording Modes LP,
- Supported Battery 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( Included )
- Audio input type Microphone
- Microphone type Built-in
- Microphone Operation Mode Stereo
- Microphone technology Electret condenser
- Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
- Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
Viewfinder / Display
- Display Features Rotating
- Viewfinder Color Support Color
- Width 2.6 in
- Depth 4.7 in
- Height 3.3 in
- Weight 13.8 oz
- Sony LCE X3TH - case for camcorder (34881135)344.95
- Sony SPK HCH - marine case for camcorder (35266605)299.00 - 299.99
- Porta-Brace Rain Slicker RS-55 - rain jacket for camcorder (31059775)239.84 - 242.17
- Canon HC 4100 - hard case for camcorder (30584700)239.95 - 256.30
- JVC KA-551U tripod adapter (32090695)295.00
- KATA PRO Video Collection CCC-10-A - carrying bag for camcorder (34400943)325.00
- KATA PRO Video Collection CCC-1A - case for camcorder (34931653)299.00
- Panasonic AG-HT30G - hard case for camcorder (30964047)270.34
- Portabrace P2HD-EFP-BAG - carrying bag for camcorder (34529516)351.95
- Sony LC-ZA1TH Hard Thermodyne Transit Case - hard case for camcorder (32464209)209.00 - 214.95