The Panasonic HC-V100M HD camcorder

The Panasonic HC-V100M HD camcorder sports some great tools to handle your videography challenges

Lightweight and power-thrifty

If size and weight are a consideration, you'd be well-advised to take a close look at the Panasonic HC-V100M. About the size of a can of soda and lightweight enough to carry for long periods of time, the 'V100M is also a power miser, giving you up to 155 minutes of uninterrupted shooting on one charge (with the supplied battery). Going to a family picnic? The generous wide-angle, intelligent 42X zoom and Power O.I.S. image stabilization will work together to infuse your images with the fun and joy of the day. Maybe you're attending a close friend's wedding? The 'V100M's Intelligent Auto Technology scene selector will be key when you show those great low-light clips at the first anniversary bash.

No great shakes

Shooting scenes while on the move? You'll appreciate the Power O.I.S. optical image stabilization. This camcorder has the ability to smooth out bumps, shakes, and shimmies that are part of walking while capturing images. And it really shines when you're shooting from an awkward position, like holding the camera with shaking hands above your head in a crowd.

Vacation accessory

The 'V100M has dozens of other features that make it a must-have while on vacation. How about easy uploading to Facebook™ or YouTube™ with the included HD Writer AE software? Or beautiful 2.1-megapixel still images? In addition to lifelike images, you can really put your audience in the moment with the on-board zooming microphone. An easy-to-navigate touchscreen interface helps you with dialing in menu settings in an instant. And 16GB of on-board flash memory means you'll always have the means to shoot for hours.

Product Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • records high-definition video to on-board flash memory or optional SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards
    • 16GB of on-board flash memory
    • maximum video resolution: up to 1920 x 1080/60i
    Features:
    • 1/5.8" (3.1mm) high-sensitivity MOS image sensor gives excellent low light performance
    • Panasonic f/1.8 - f/4.0 34X optical zoom lens with enhanced "intelligent" zoom to 42X
    • Power O.I.S. (optical image stabilization) with Active Mode suppresses blurring when you're walking or shooting from an unstable vantage point
    • low power consumption means up to 155 minutes of uninterrupted recording with one charge
    • 1-second quick power-on and 0.6-second quick-start ensure you won't miss that fleeting shot opportunity
    • built-in zoom microphone links microphone pickup pattern to lens zoom status
    • 2.7" (230K dots) widescreen touch-panel LCD
    • 32.5mm equivalent wide-angle lens helps you get more of the action in frame
    • captures vibrant 2.1-megapixel stills
    Connections, Supplied Accessories and Dimensions:
    • USB 2.0 high-speed terminal for connection to a computer (cable provided)
    • mini HDMI output (cable not included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
    • includes AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery
    • includes A/V connecting cable
    • includes manual and software DVD
    • 2-1/16"W x 2-3/8"H x 4-7/16"D
    • weight: 6.5 oz. without battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Shoot videos for posterity — or posting online

    From birthday parties to YouTube™ antics, camcorders let you capture moments you can share with friends and family, or the world at large. Most newer camcorders save your videos to built-in digital memory or a removable memory card. Some models come with a built-in hard disk drive that gives you much more storage. For maximum portability, check out our smaller cams that fit into a pocket or purse. For high-def videos that look awesome on your HDTV, go for a slightly larger model with a better lens and image sensor.

    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Flash memory camcorder (black)
    • VW-VBK180 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (3.6V / 1790 mAh / 6.5 Wh)
    • VSK0780 AC adapter with attached 61" DC output cord (DC output: 5V / 1.6A)
    • 64" AC cord
    • 5' AV Multi-cable (with proprietary connection on one end and 6 male RCA plugs--component video / composite video / stereo audio)
    • 2' USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and Mini-B Ver.2.0 on the other end)
    • HD Writer LE 1.1 CD-ROM
    • Owner's Manual
    • Product Registration card
    • Safety Precautions for AC adapter sheet

    Product Research

    General Features
    Video Camera Features
    Battery Information
    Inputs and Outputs Notes
    Software And Computer Information

    General Features

    Recording Media: The Panasonic HC-V100M allows you to record Full HD video and still images on the 16 GB built-in memory, or on optional SD/SDHC/SDXC cards up to 64 GB. SD cards with a Speed Class Rating of 4 or higher are recommended.

    2.7" LCD Screen: The 2.7" (16:9) LCD screen provides excellent viewing clarity. The 230,000-dot LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles providing sharp and detailed images for monitoring or playback. Mirror mode allows you to view a mirror-image of the subject you are shooting in the LCD screen when the screen is rotated 180 degrees, but the image will be normal when recorded.

    Note: The V100M does not include a separate viewfinder.

    Recording Formats: This camera captures video in the following formats:

    • MPEG-4 AVC/H.264: This recording format, commonly known as AVCHD, can record high definition quality images. It is suitable for viewing on a large format TV or for saving to a disc.
    • iFrame: The iFrame format is suitable for playing back or edition on a Mac (iMovie'11). Using iMovie'11, iFrame motion pictures can be imported faster than AVCHD, and the imported file size is smaller than that of AVCHD.

    Image Sensor: The V100M uses a 1/5.8" High Sensitivity MOS sensor. The V100M has a total pixel count of 1,500,000, with 1,300,000-1,120,000 effective pixels for recording 16:9 high definition video and still images.

    Lens: This camera features a Panasonic F1.8 (W) - F4.0 (T) lens with a 34x optical zoom, Auto Iris, and a focal length of 2.38mm to 81mm. The 35mm equivalent focal length is 32.5mm to 1208mm for motion pictures and still images.

    Intelligent Zoom: The camcorder has an Intelligent Zoom (i.Zoom) function that goes up to 42x while maintaining high definition picture quality. Intelligent Resolution technology lets you shoot at high zoom rates while preserving image sharpness.

    Digital Zoom: In addition to the 34x optical zoom, the camcorder has a selectable 90x or 2000x (total) digital zoom. Because the picture is processed digitally, the picture quality deteriorates the more you zoom in. The power zoom lever can be moved slightly for a slow zoom, or moved further for a faster zoom.

    Intelligent Auto Mode: The Intelligent Auto (iA) mode automatically sets the shooting mode that is appropriate for the condition when you simply point the unit to what you want to record. Intelligent Auto Modes include:

    • Portrait: Faces are detected and focused automatically, and brightness is adjusted to make people stand out against the background
    • Scenery: the whole landscape will be recorded vividly without whiting out the background sky, which may be very bright
    • Spotlight: improved quality when subject is brightly illuminated (motion picture recording only)
    • Low Light: for dark scenes, such as at dusk (motion picture recording only)
    • Normal: contrast adjusted automatically for clear images

    Power O.I.S.: Panasonic's Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) with Active Mode helps suppress the effects of hand-shake as you shoot movies and still images. Power O.I.S. allows you to record with minimal blurring, even with handheld shooting while moving or in an unstable posture.

    Face Framing: When Face Framing is activated, the camcorder will recognize up to 15 human faces, and a "frame" appears around each face in the LCD screen. The camcorder sets the focus and brightness on the faces in the scene. Larger faces and faces nearer to the center of the screen take preference over the others. You can register the faces of particular persons, giving them priority focusing and displaying their names when they are recognized by the camcorder.

    Illumination Requirements: The camera records video and photos in normal mode at a standard illumination of 1400 lx. You can record at 1.6 lx in the Low Light mode and approximately 1 lx in the Color Night Record mode.

    White Balance Adjustment: You can set the color balance to the brightness of the recording environment using the following methods:

    • Auto: The white balance is adjusted automatically
    • Sunny Mode: for recording outdoors under a clear sky
    • Cloudy Mode: for recording outdoors under a cloudy sky
    • Indoor Mode 1: for recording indoors under incandescent lights and halogen lamps
    • Indoor Mode 2: for recording indoors under color fluorescent lamps or sodium lamps
    • Manual: You can manually set the white balance using a white card or paper.

    Manual Exposure: When automatic exposure settings fail to give you the images you desire, you can manually set the shutter speed and the iris/gain values. The Shutter Speed can be set between 1/60 and 1/8000 (1/30-1/8000 in Auto Slow Shutter mode). The Iris/Gain value can be set between F16 and F2.0 (0 dB to 18 dB).

    Focus Modes: The V100M focuses automatically for most situations. When auto focus doesn't work, you can switch to Manual Focus and use the left/right arrows to manually focus on the subject.

    Video Camera Features

    HD Video Recording: The V100M records high definition motion images at a 1920 x 1080 resolution onto the built-in 16 GB memory or an inserted SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card. The camera records audio in Dolby Digital 2-channel audio using the built-in microphone. If the video is going to be uploaded to a Mac, it is recommended that it be recorded in the iFrame format with 2-channel AAC audio (960 x 540 resolution).

    Recording Modes: The HC-V100M gives you the choice of four recording modes, three AVCHD modes plus iFrame:

    Recording Mode Resolution Bit Rate Recording Capacity
    16 GB Built-in Memory
    HA 1920 x 1080 17 Mbps 2 hours
    HG 1920 x 1080 13 Mbps 2 hrs 40 min
    HX 1920 x 1080 9 Mbps 4 hrs 10 min
    iFrame 960 x 540 28 Mbps 1 hr 20 min

    Quick Start: The camera will go into standby mode if you close the LCD monitor or push in the viewfinder while the unit is powered on. When the LCD monitor is reopened or the viewfinder is extended, the unit resumes recording mode/pause in approximately 0.6 seconds, allowing you to start recording almost immediately.

    Pre-Rec: The Pre-Rec mode allows recording of pictures and sound to start approximately 3 seconds before the start/stop button is pressed. This helps prevent you from missing a shot.

    Fader: When you start recording, the image and audio will gradually appear, and when you pause or stop recording, the image/audio gradually disappear. You can select a black or white fader, or turn off the fade mode altogether.

    Playback Modes: During playback, you can choose the following operations: Play/pause, rewind, fast forward, stop, skip forward, skip backward, slow-motion, and frame-by-frame. Audio will only be heard during normal playback.

    Still Image Recording: The V100M can record still images at 1920 x 1080 resolution (16:9). You can choose an image quality of Fine or Normal. The camcorder can record approximately 14,000 Fine images on the built-in 16 GB flash memory. When the quality is set to normal, the number of recordable images is larger. In addition, you can create a still image from a recorded movie. The still picture size depends upon the video recording mode: HA, HG, HX: 1920 x 1080, iFrame: 960 x 540.

    Battery Information

    Battery: This unit comes with the VW-VBK180 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.6V/1790 mAh/6.5 Wh). An optional high-capacity battery for this camcorder is the VW-VBK360 (3.6V/3580mAh). The battery can be charged in the camcorder using the supplied VSK0780 AC adapter, or via USB when connected to your computer. The playback and charging times is as follows:

    Battery Model Charging Time Recording Mode Maximum Continuous Recording Time Actual Recording Time
    Supplied VW-VBK180 2 hrs 45 min
    (5 hrs 45 min via USB)
    HA, HG, HX 2 hrs 35 min 1 hr 20 min
    iFrame 3 hrs 10 min 1 hr 35 min
    Optional VW-VBK360 4 hrs 20 min
    (10 hrs 40 min via USB)
    HA 5 hrs 5 min 2 hrs 40 min
    HG, HX 5 hrs 10 min
    iFrame 6 hrs 15 min 3 hrs 10 min

    Inputs and Outputs Notes

    A/V Multi Output: This camcorder features a proprietary AV multi connector output for use with the supplied A/V multi cable (component video/composite video/stereo audio) for displaying the camera's contents on your television. You can use either the component video plugs (red, green, blue RCAs) or composite video plug (yellow) along with the stereo audio plugs (red, white RCAs) to connect the camcorder to your TV. High definition images up to 1080i are output using the component video plugs, and 480i standard images are output using the component or composite plugs.

    HDMI: You can output high definition video up to 1080i and 2-channel audio through the camcorder's HDMI output. A mini-HDMI to HDMI cable is required to connect the camcorder to your HDTV. When connecting to a Panasonic VIERA Link (HDAVI control) compatible TV via HDMI, you can control the camcorder's playback using the TV's remote control. The camcorder is compatible with VIERA Link Ver.5 or earlier.

    USB Port: The camera has a mini-USB version 2.0 jack for connecting to a PC via the supplied USB cable. Connecting the camcorder to a PC via USB allows the computer to access the information on the built-in memory or an inserted SD/SDHC/SDXC card. You will be able to download still images and video files to your computer. You can edit and save your video files onto your computer, then make DVDs of them using the software that is supplied with the camera. The camera can also be used as an external storage device, convenient for archiving, storing and transporting your videos and still images.

    Software And Computer Information

    Included Software: The camera includes HD Writer AE 1.1, which is compatible with Windows operating system only. With HD Writer AE 1.1, you can:

    • copy data to a PC
    • copy in BD/AVCHD format (except iFrame scenes) or DVD-Video format
    • edit movies
    • share movies online
    • play back movies on a PC
    • format discs

    Computer Requirements: HD Writer AE 1.1 works with the following Operating Systems:

    • Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit): Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate (Service Pack 1)
    • Windows Vista (32-bit): Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business (SP2)
    • Windows XP (32-bit): Home Edition, Professional (SP3)

    iMovie: The V100M lets you record videos in iFrame format for downloading and editing on a Mac. With iFrame, the video in the camera is in the same format as used by Apple's iMovie application. Once you have transferred and edited the movie, you can upload the movie to the Internet, as well as share it on YouTube and Facebook in its original high quality.

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Panasonic HC-V100M Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    Perfect!

    Written By Family Mom, Dover, DE on Thursday, December 06, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I absolutely love this camera. I read reviews about how it does not film well without a lot of light... but I have not had any issues outside or inside. I also did not have any problems uploading and organizing on my computer. I do have the new Windows so maybe that is why I don't have the issues, but I plugged it in and it saved automatically in my videos account! Light-weight, easy to use, highly recommend!

    Pros: Lightweight, easy to use, great battery life

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

    Hands off the screen!

    Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 5/11/2012 10:32:00 AM

    The HC-V100M is a compact little camcorder that doesn't skimp on video options. I could see slipping this into my jacket pocket as I head out the door to a party or get-together.

    It has one feature that I really like — navigation of the onscreen icons is done through buttons on the side of the screen. They're basic (left, right, up, down, menu, enter) and intuitive. And they keep my hands off the screen.

    Touchscreens are fine when you have a lot of real estate, but on a small screen like the HC-V100M, a good portion of the screen would get smudged with touchscreen controls. Those six little buttons keep the screen clean and still let me select my options quickly.

    What are the Labs?

    Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Panasonic HC-V100M

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