|Storage Type||Removable (Card/Disc/Tape)|
|Media Format||Mini DV|
|Optical Sensor Qty||3|
|Focal Length Range||2.85mm - 28.5mm|
|Lens Filter Size||43 mm|
|Min Illumination||1 lux|
|Flash Type||Built-in flash|
|Memory / Storage|
|Recording Speed||LP, SP|
|Supported Flash Memory||SD Memory Card|
|Display Type||With LCD Screen|
|Screen Details||LCD display - TFT active matrix - 2.5" - color|
|Microphone Operation Mode||Stereo|
|Microphone Technology||Electret condenser|
|Battery Form Factor||Manufacturer specific|
|Effective Still Resolution||3.1 MP|
|Digital Video Format||MJPEG|
|Still Image Format||JPEG|
|Additional Features||Color Viewfinder, Still Shot Capability|
Average review score based on 9 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
This is my second PV-G250, and my third 3CCD Panasonic Palmcorder. My first GS250 still works after a good six years of use, but due to constantly flipping the LCD screen, the wires inside broke over time and the LCD screen no longer works. But I avoided the whole HD thing because a nice 3CCD DV camera produces a fine image, better in many ways to many of the HD camcorders available. MiniDV is also much easier to edit from a codec standpoint, being so established, almost any editing program you throw at it can edit it.
But more specifically, the GS250 features a 3CCD set-up, meaning much more accurate color reproduction (A prism is involved, SCIENCE!) and a nice-sized lens. The image quality is limited by how much light you throw at it, though. It performs quite bad in dimly-lit environments, and what little you can see will be obstructed by a thick layer of noise. It advertises itself as having some kind of low-light mode, but it reduces the framerate to under 10 frames per second, making the footage completely useless. However in daylight, or well-lit areas, it performs admirably and produces a DVD-quality image, that looks quite good upscaled to 1080p on my 52" HDTV. The manual controls are one of the key features of the unit. I own a PV-GS400 which features a larger LCD screen and larger CCDs (1/4.7" as oppose to the GS250's 1/6" CCDs), but it does not feature a headphone jack, so monitoring sound can be a problem. The GS250 features a headphone jack, microphone jack, manual focus ring (manual focus toggles on and off in the menu), manual white balance control (by way of a 'white set' function which seems to work well, and Tungsten/Sunlight/Auto presets). The lens cowling is also threaded (52mm) allowing for a wide-angle lens, polarizer, and other handy lenses and filters to be attached.
The camera's onboard mic isn't bad, but do to the small size of the camera and its components being so close together, expect a lot of motor noise from the tape mechanism and even the zoom lens if you do an in-camera zoom. Also be aware that the shoe isn't raised off the camera, so even attaching an external mic without a shockmount, sounds and vibrations will travel to the mic.
In the 'other' department, the camera works nice as a digital still camera, though doesn't compare to today's megapixels. It allows for enough manual controls; however; to rival many cameras on the market today under the 150-dollar mark, and also does better at capturing motion than many of those cheaper still cams. I used it as my main still camera before finally giving in and buying a DSLR last year. The zoom mic actually works OK, though I haven't had the the occasion to use it, only test it out. The EIS sometimes works, but half the time makes unsteady camerawork look even more jarring. You basically need to test that out yourself, but don't count on it.
As far as applications go...it's more for people who like to tinker with controls and use other equipment in conjunction. I use it mainly for making short films, conducting interviews, etc. I wouldn't suggest this camera to somebody looking to shoot their kids' plays. But if you want to make shoestring budget films and are on a fixed income, this is a good place to start. You'll pay at least four times as much for a comparable HD camera, and good luck finding one with mic and headphone jacks, a threaded lens cowl, a wide array of manual controls, etc outside of the "this costs as much as used car" range. Eight...
I have used this camera once and have completed the first vacation video. It about the closet I have come to a professional camera. The controls take a little getting used to, but they are convenient and are easy to use. The SD card feature allows an easy shift from video to stills and back with no trouble. Excellent color with either mode. Also, used the recommended external mike. This mike will zoom with the lens and pick up distant sound very well. Also, the battery can be changed with no diffulty. The top loading for your tapes is convenient, especially if the camera is mounted on a tripod. The only thing I noticed as a negative was the LCD screen does seem a little crowded with information. This is a very stylish camera and great fun to use. I looked at the more professional Sony and Canon but for price and convienent operation, you cannot do better than this camera.. With the convience of video and still capability, this camera will probably replace all of my cameras. If you want to save the memories and have fun doing it, You'll love this camera....
This camcorder is like a dream come true with its functuality and performance. I've bought two of these after buying two of the Multicam PV-GS200 which were phenomenal in every aspect of the word.
Unfortunately unlike the Panasonic PV-GS200 I cannot honestly give this five stars due to the tape door mechanism problem which is common for this model. My first GS-250 lasted just shy of six weeks even with gentle care before the dreaded tape door problem appeared and would not go away. Fortunately despite not being able to use the tape drive, I'm using all of them as live feed cameras through a video mixer thus producing some spectacular results.
This said, I can feel justified giving this model GS-250 four of five stars.
This is a well-rounded advanced amature Mini-DV camcorder. It's got some good qualities that make it stand out from the typical consumer grade camcorders. It's been around for a couple years and has come down from a price at introduction of about $1000, and as of this writing (5/08) can be had for $350. The following are some of the pro's and con's of the camera in my opinion. I'm more of a film camera guy and this has been my second camcorder purchase; my first was a consumer level Samsung MiniDV model from several years ago.
- Close focusing ability is pretty good; you can retain focus almost until your subject hits the housing of the lens.
- Field of view is wider than most camcorders at the wide end of things.
- 3ccd sensor gives you much better color fidelity especially when you've got good light.
- Image Stabilization! This is really nice, and once you've used a camera with IS, you'll never want to go back to not having it.
- I find the ergonomics and intuitiveness of use to be pretty good.
- Low light performance is adequate but not stellar. You'll want a camcorder with a physically larger sensor than this one's 1/6" sensors for really low light performance.
- Not much optical telephoto range. Depending on your filming style and subjects you may or may not care about this.
- It is a MiniDV camera, so the media is obviously a little less convenient than DVD or memory card camcorders.
- Don't even bother with still images.
In short, I'd recommend it because it provides the best video quality at its price point in a handy and intuitive package.
This is one of the best digital camcorders I've ever used. I decided to buy this 3CCD marvel after the replacement model ( PV-GS300 )wasn't as good as the camera it was replacing. Panasonic's 3CCD system coupled with a Lecia Dicomar lens provides a beautiful color representation with stunning clarity. The camera also boasts a 10X optical zoom and optical image stabilization which is a very nice feature. It also has a zoom microphone and 12 and 16 bit audio modes which are good features also. Also the built in digital camera feature is also a nice feature and works nicely. Another stand out feature of the GS250 is it's manual operation. It has a manual focus ring and other manual setting that are very useful if you know how to use them. The only con of the GS250 is it's night performance which isn't that good due to it's relatively small CCD's. At night you lose some of the color representation and the night features don't help alot. Overall this is magnificent camera that does a very good job! So if your in the market look into the Panasonic PV-GS250!