Review: Panasonic HX-WA30 Camcorder

By Mike Wheeler

As camcorders Panasonic’s HX-WA30 is a pretty funky looking unit and not your typical recording device.  It’s made to be held in your hand with a grip-like stance so is uber portable and slim compared to some of its counterparts.

By Mike Wheeler

As camcorders Panasonic’s HX-WA30 is a pretty funky looking unit and not your typical recording device.  It’s made to be held in your hand with a grip-like stance so is uber portable and slim compared to some of its counterparts.

The one we tested was blue, which added to its form factor, with some nice lines and reasonably solid build – we wouldn’t go so far as to call it trendy, but it’s certainly is a nice looking device.

Its LCD screen is not a touch-enabled, but is tucked nicely into the grip part of the unit, and comes out at a right-angle, which you swivel to 90 degrees so it is at a level plain when you shoot. Strangely, when you bring the screen out you can swivel it to 180 degrees. Why? We have no idea – it would be a rare occasion when you would be pointing the camcorder forward while looking down on the screen from above. Not only is it awkward, we just don’t see the point. Still, this is a minor complaint.

Operation is very easy and straightforward with one of the best things we love about this device – all the important stuff – record, zoom in and out, and take a picture – can be achieved by using your thumb. It has a dual security measures to access the battery/SD card/USB port section, which is just under the palm of your hand on the grip. You have two strategically placed clips to move to one side in order to get into the area.

One feature that we really liked is its wifi connectivity. Not only can you upload pics and clips to your social networking sites, if you download the Panasonic Image app you can use your smartphone or tablet to remotely control the camcorder. We’re not too sure we would use it that often, but still a handy feature to have nonetheless, especially if you want a family portrait and there’s no third-party around to take the shot for you.

You also get the option of putting the device in slow-motion or continuous mode, which can be a lot of fun when mucking around with the settings or wanting to do some interesting/funny shots with the kids.

You will need the SD card as there is not a lot of internal memory, with four snapshots and two 15-second videos being our lot. This capacity is pretty much standard these days with camcorders at this price point. The hardware needed for more storage would up the cost.

Overall we like this little unit from Panasonic. It is light and small, offers ease of use, and offers enough features and a price point that will make it competitive amongst its contemporaries.

Pros: Simple to use; good wifi features;
Cons: Lack of storage; not too sure of the point of the screen being able to turn 180-degrees

3.7 Shacks Out Of 5

RRP
$399

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