The Panasonic GS400 or the Panasonic PV-GS400 as it was also known as, was released by Panasonic in 2004. This digital video camera featured 3CCD technology, 4 megapixel capabilities for still images and a Leica Dicomar lens. The camera features a smart design and the manual controls a pleasure to use. It also offers 3 chip imagery, optical zoom and a big LCD among other features.
There’s a reason why the Panasonic GS400 is considered a highly advanced consumer camera. This has to do with the features and functions of the camera itself. It has a 12x optical zoom complete with optical stabilizer, LCD screen measuring 3.5 inches, manual control for most every function, 3 chip capture capability and more.
Despite all of the above mentioned assets, the camera is still considered a consumer camcorder – Why? The reason may lie in the fact that even though the camera features 3 chip capture, the size of the chips, large for a consumer camcorder, are quite small according to professional standards. Factor in the correlation between chip size and low light performance and you have a good idea why the Panasonic GS400 does not quite meet with professional approval.
The layout of the Panasonic GS400 is more handycam in style and it has a metallic silver finish of high quality. It measures 3 inches in height, 3 inches in width and 7 inches in depth. The total weight of the camera at 1.5 pounds makes it quite a solid device and you are going to need both hands to operate it!
The Panasonic GS400 has a 4 megapixel digital camera capabilities, 3 image sensors, backlight, optical image stabilizer, macro zoom, 5 mode auto exposure, high speed shutter, 3.5 inch LCD screen and web camera functionality. Leica Microsystems, the microscope specialist designers, designed the lens and it goes under the trade name Leica Dicomar. The lens has a 12x optical zoom, focal length of 3.3-39.6 mm, filter dia of 43 mm and 700x digital zoom.
Recording with the Panasonic GS400 is in dual modes, SP and LP. The SP or short play is 60 minutes duration and the LP or long play is 90 minutes duration. Pulse code modulation was used for the audio recording and still images taken in JPEG format with different resolutions. Audio dubbing is only possible in the short play mode. The camera’s functionality allows taking a still shot while continuing to record moving pictures and does not require recording mode changes. The camera also features wind noise reduction and a counter.
Secure digital memory card slot that accepts multimedia cards and the capability to hold 99 still images are some of the other features of the Panasonic GS400. Various jacks including headphones, microphones, USB, audio and video are provided for.
The Panasonic GS400 is rather heavy to wield with poor low light and still image capability and the point and shoot is not quite upto scratch. However, it does offer great value for a consumer camcorder at a reasonable price.