Digital camcorders aren’t exactly at the top of the list when it comes to rapidly developing technologies and consumer electronics. This is due to the fact that there is typically very little room for innovation, particularly in the intermediate category.
Nevertheless, in spite of this reality, manufacturers continue to launch brand-new midrange camcorders each year. It seems that even consumers with limited financial resources who do not consider the video-capturing capabilities of their smartphones to be enough nevertheless opt to purchase genuine digital camcorders.
Additionally, the cost of technology continues to decrease, which is one reason why the specifications of these intermediate items continue to improve year after year despite the fact that their initial prices have not changed. The Panasonic HC-V380K is a little bit distinct in that it has a considerably different model number, which places it closer to the upper midrange part of the market, and it also has a different pricing when it first goes on sale.
Concerning the Panasonic HC-V380K and Its Features
One of the many Panasonic camcorders that boast a greater zoom range than the entry-level and higher-end models is the Panasonic HC-V380K. This model is only one of the dozens available from Panasonic. One of the most important features that the vast majority of smartphones are missing is optical zoom and even those few that do exist pale in contrast to the Panasonic HC-V380K.
It is true that smartphones excel in several categories, such as the size of their displays and the number of third-party applications available, but let’s face it: most people want to get as near to the action as possible. The HC-V380K enables users to accomplish just that, in addition to a number of other unique features that should appeal to a certain audience that has very particular requirements.
In spite of the fact that the Panasonic HC-V380K has a higher launch price than the Panasonic HC-V270K did the previous year, Panasonic still considers the V380K to be the successor. As a result, both models are going to be compared to determine what has changed.
When compared to the Panasonic HC-V270K
The Panasonic HC-V380K and HC-V270K are both powered by the same battery; however, the newer model is a little bit larger and weighs around a tenth of a pound more than the older model. The primary reason for this becomes immediately apparent as the side panel is opened and the screen is seen for what it is.
It now has a screen that is 3 inches diagonally, making it comparable in size to the more modern Panasonic camcorders. It might seem like a trivial adjustment, but it actually makes a major difference since it not only makes the live previews appear larger and broader, but it also makes it simpler to navigate the menus because it relies on touch.
Tests have shown that the HC-V380K has a battery life that is 10 minutes longer than the HCV270K, despite the fact that both batteries are exactly the same.
The optical zoom has been increased from 50 times to 62 times, which is another feature that caused the Panasonic HC-V380K to be slightly larger. This feature could very well be the primary reason to consider upgrading from an older low-end model, as it forced the manufacturer to make the camera a bit larger.
Because of the additional headroom on the optical front and the fact that both versions still have a 90x intelligent zoom, the video quality improves slightly beyond 50x when you zoom in farther than that. The Hybrid Image Stabilization technology continues to perform its function in managing such high zoom levels and has not undergone any significant changes in this regard.
The final major update features an element that is a little bit more gimmicky but is unquestionably welcome since it makes use of the capabilities of the smartphone. The HC-V380K can connect to up to three different smartphones at once and access the camera lenses on those devices by using the Wi-Fi that is built right into the camcorder.
While connected, you will have the ability to activate the camera on your smartphone, and the live preview will appear as a little overlay on top of the live footage that is being captured in real time by the Panasonic HC-V380K. Picture-in-picture video eliminates the need for a separate camera unit, such as the one found in the Panasonic HC-W580, and adds a great deal of flexibility to the recording process. Picture-in-picture video
Connecting three active cell phones is a more unusual scenario, but if you do it, you can capture a scene and have three different perspectives on it all at once.
The Panasonic HC-V380built-in K’s Wi-Fi may be used for a variety of other fascinating purposes as well. Using the Panasonic Image App on your smartphone allows you to not only have direct control over the camera but also transmit the live image from the camcorder to the screen of your smartphone. Because the essential features of the camcorder are easily accessible, you do not require the presence of another person if the camera is installed in some location.
The vast majority of rival camcorders are equipped with this capability as well; however, only the HC-V380K has the ability to connect to the Internet and transmit live footage straight to the live streaming service Ustream. Because of this mode, the Panasonic HC-V380K may also serve admirably as a camera for surveillance or a baby monitor.
The HC-V380K offers a “Level Shot” option, in addition to its remarkable 5-axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer, which is a highlight of this camera. This simply detects if the camcorder is tilted and corrects it for you automatically if it is. You may add artistic touches to your movies by utilizing one of the several in-camera Creative Controls. Alternatively, if you are a beginner and want excellent video quality, you can choose the Intelligent Auto Plus setting instead.
The performance of the Panasonic HC-V380K is virtually identical to that of the company’s midrange cameras from the previous year, with the exception of a little enhancement to the camera’s battery life and a discernible increase to the image quality at higher zoom levels.
There is nothing that can beat a comfortable camcorder that does not have a great optical image stabilization system, and the one that the HC-V380K uses is great. The 28mm wide-angle lens is still impressive, and while this camcorder cannot record 4K video like other smartphone models surprisingly can, there is nothing that can beat that.
Panasonic V380 Specifications
|Sensor Type||1/5.8″-Type MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Resolution||Actual: 2.51 Megapixel|
Effective: 2.2 Megapixel
|Focal Length||2.06 to 103mm|
|35mm-Equivalent Focal Length||28 to 1740mm at 16:9 Video; O.I.S. Standard Mode, Level Shot Function OFF|
28 to 1740mm at 16:9 Photo
34 to 1766mm at 4:3 Photo
33.6 to 1714mm at 3:2 Photo
|Maximum Aperture||f/1.8 to 4.2|
|Media/Memory Card Slot||Single Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC|
|Video Format||1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (50 Mb/s MP4)|
1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (28 Mb/s MP4)
1280 x 720p at 30 fps (9 Mb/s MP4)
1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (28 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (24 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (17 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (13 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (5 Mb/s AVCHD)
960 x 540p at 30 fps (28 Mb/s iFrame)
|Still Image Support||JPEG|
10 MP (4224 x 2376)
2.1 MP (1920 x 1080)
7.7 MP (3408 x 2272)
2.0 MP (1728 x 1152)
7.4 MP (3408 x 2272)
.3 MP (640 x 480)
Dolby Digital 2ch
|Display Type||Articulating LCD|
|Shutter Speed||1/8000 to 1/30 Second in Video Mode|
|Image Stabilization||Optical & Digital|
|Scene Modes||Preset: Yes|
|White Balance Modes||Auto|
|Built-In Light/Flash||Light – No|
Flash – No
|Tripod Mounting Thread||1/4″-20 Female|
|Video I/O||1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRRS A/V Output|
1 x Mini-HDMI Output
|Other I/O||1 x Micro-USB (USB 2.0) Output|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)|
|Battery||Rechargeable Battery Pack, 3.6 VDC, 1940 mAh|
Max Runtime: 1 Hours per Charge
|Charging Method||AC Adapter|
|Power Adapter||5 VDC|
|Power Consumption||Recording: 5.4 W|
Charging: 7.7 W
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||2.4 x 2.4 x 5.1″ / 60 x 62 x 129 mm|
|Weight||8.89 oz / 252 g (Body Only)|
|Package Weight||1.4 lb|
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||7.5 x 5.55 x 3.65″|
Although the Panasonic HC-V380K is no longer manufactured, you might still be able to locate it through independent dealers. Zoom enthusiasts should consider the price to be acceptable, and they may even discover that they prefer the bigger display. The addition of the Wireless Multi Camera is the cherry on top.
Pros & Cons
- More zoom.
- The Wireless Multi Camera system is quite awesome and straightforward to set up.
- Bigger screen size.
- Slightly more expensive than the currently reduced HC-V270, in particular.
- There were no significant improvements to the video performance.