Panasonic Camcorder HC-W570
The Panasonic HC-W570 camcorder measures 12.5x5.5x6cm and weights 306grams.
It is called a twin camera and that is what it is. The normal lens at the front and a further lens at the far-left-edge of the TFT screen. It seems strange and it can be used or not according to the situation. If you have this pointing at the capturer then you can be in the image showing in the bottom left of the screen, if pointing to the left then that is what is captured and forward then the image to the far left – and beyond – is captured, you cannot have this second lens capture alone and if used it cannot be removed from the main video. Should you wish you can also use this feature with still images.
The screen as stated is pulled out to the left but what it sees is pretty accurate, it adds 10cm to the width; the screen itself is 6.6x3.7cm and is touch control.
There is a huge 90x zoom – 50x is optical - but unless you have a steel grip and are in a vacuum then any reasonable amount of zoom will require a tripod to anchor it.
I tried to capture some video of a railway platform around 200metres away from a bridge it was not a windy day and although I could see details of the people quite clearly keeping them in shot was a nightmare so a tripod is a must with zoom.
When I set up a tripod it was easy to maintain someone in shot as they walked along the platform ideal for spying on someone.
Again from a couple of hundred metres away you could easily focus on a door and capture anyone leaving or coming again no doubt we are all being captured in this way via satellite.
Of course it’s only fair that camcorders can capture still images if digital cameras can capture video. The items are stored in a DCIM folder on the SD card while video is in a sub folder of Private on the same card.
The rear of the camera has the solid battery and just in front of this – on the base – is where any SD card you use slots in, further along the base is the all important tripod screw. The right side has a leather right hand strap to enable the left hand to either be free or to operate the touch screen.
There are two buttons duplicated on the top of the unit near the back zoom and capture.
The unit will automatically turn on when you open the screen and turn off when you close it, the lens cover will open and close in sync with the screen.
The battery charges in situ with a proprietary lead supplied and the port is a slide open function on the right side. There are AV micro USB and mini HDMI ports that become visible when the screen is open together with four well marked touch buttons including a level feature which can be useful.
The Panasonic HC-W570 covers new ground with the second lens and so people will find a use for it and it can extend the amount of capture. It is available from the link below for £324.57 with free delivery.
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