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Panasonic HC-W850 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £699
inc VAT

Great image quality, but the secondary camera sensor may be of little interest to many


1/2.3in BSI MOS sensor, PAL, 1,920×1,080, 1,280×720, 20.0x zoom, 360g

Our outdoor footage recorded in the 50Mbit/s MP4 format had the edge over that recorded in the 25Mbit/s format, but only by a small amount. Image quality was good in general, but if looked closely we could see jagged edges on plants, walls and other objects, along with a bit of mosquito noise around the same objects. We were impressed by the tremendous amount of detail recorded by the HC-W850. We could see the veins on plants, water staining on brick walls and the discolouration of individual bricks. Even trees in the distance looked natural, and not just a patch of different shades of green. This is impressive for a camera at this price.


With a resolution of 460,800 dots, the HC-W850’s resolution isn’t high by modern standards, yet it looks great, with bright, vivid colours and plenty of detail. The icons and menus are typical Panasonic, and while that means icons don’t obscure your view of your subject, the menus and icons are looking old-fashioned. The touchscreen isn’t particularly responsive, either, and we sometimes had to press menu items a couple of times before something happened. We could live with it, but we prefer the touchscreen and menus of certain Canon camcorders, such as the Canon Legria HF R48.

Panasonic HC-W850

Although it has an 8 in its name, the HC-W850 is bears closest resemblance to the Panasonic HC-V720, due to its sensor size, zoom range and connection ports, rather than the HC-X800. The HC-V720 is £300 cheaper at the time of writing, and although the HC-V720 is a great camcorder for £400, we’d pay more to get the HC-W850. The sub-sensor may only ever be a novelty for many owners, but the HC-W850’s image quality, connection ports, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC support make it a much better buy.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****


Optical zoom 20.0x
Digital zoom 1,500x
Sensor 1/2.3in BSI MOS
Sensor pixels 6,030,000
Widescreen mode native
LCD screen size 3.0in
Viewfinder type none
Video lamp Yes
Video recording format AVCHD, MP4
Video recording media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Sound 5.1 surround
Video resolutions PAL, 1,920×1,080, 1,280×720
Maximum image resolution 6528×3672
Memory slot SD
Mermory supplied none


Digital inputs/outputs mini HDMI out, micro USB
Analogue inputs/outputs A/V multi output, 3.5mm microphone input
Other connections charge jack, accessory shoe (cold)
Battery type Li-ion
Battery life 1h 44m
Battery charging position camcorder
Size 73x65x139
Weight 360g

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £699

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