Panasonic HC-W850 – The Camcorder for Selfie

The Panasonic HC-W850 is a Full HD camcorder that relies entirely on the excellent quality of the image and the exclusive function of double recovery.

The Panasonic HC-W850 is a mid-sized camera, equipped with a sensor reotro illuminated BSI MOS 12.76 megapixels (effective 6.03 MP for video and photo), a graphics engine Crystal Engine Pro, a 20x optical zoom (29.5 – 612 mm equivalent) with an extension of up to 50x smart, a Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC, a weight of 360 g (without battery). It is also capable of recording Full clip HD 1080 / 50p MP4 format high bit rate of 50 Mbits per second.

Already these key features to make it clear that it is made of the Panasonic HC-W850, but the real gem is the second sensor built-in touch screen, which allows you to shoot themselves and anyone near the video operator.

Panasonic HC-W850: Video for ” Selfie “

This feature is not so unexpected, perhaps. The so-called ” selfie ” have become the dominant fashion in social media, and lacked precisely something that clear also shoot video in addition to photographs. If the main sensor of the Panasonic HC-W850 is 1 / 2.3 “, the secondary has a size contained in 1/3 “, with a resolution of 5.3 megapixels, and the ability to rotate the optics of about 270 degrees compared to the touchscreen to whose end is inserted. Flexibility of use is very wide: you can also count on the natural inclination, on two axes, the touch screen, but putting in the account a less precise and comfortable control of the camera.

Panasonic HC-W850-2

The freedom to combine the shooting is impressive: the main scene and the person on the side of the operator, tele and wide-angle optics with the second revolt in front, or main scene and operator, etc.. To enable the secondary recovery, just turn the small optics outside the closed position, displaying a second window picture-in-picture on the main screen, in the position selected by the user (preset in the lower left of the screen).

The recovery selfie is not so fast, requiring about three seconds to enable, so running the risk of losing important moments. When you view the videos on the TV, the child window is displayed by default in the lower left corner, with a result that surprised the first few times, and that in any case proves to be fun and rewarding.


Beyond the second sensor that could make it look like an expensive gadget for lovers of social media, the Panasonic HC-W850 hides a soul very serious inside. You can choose from more bitrate for shooting in Full HD format, relying on a maximum of 50 Mbit/s in MP4 format, a value that goes far beyond the category average. For this type of product and price range, it is difficult to exceed 25 megabits per second. The advantages are obvious: the camera captures more information, which translate into greater detail and fidelity of the shooting.

The Panasonic HC-W850 is capable of recording AVCHD clips also in the traditional format, with a bitrate of 25 Mbit/s, which offers a good compromise between quality and space on the SD memory card. Registering a 50 Mbit/s, you will get movies very bulky, literally devouring memory cards (SDHC and SDXC) more capacious. The choice of format MP4 to 50 Mbit/s, in contrast, is a clear winner for the most incisive details and more accurate colors, with a yield beyond expectations.

Panasonic HC-W850-3

It is in the outdoor shooting in bright light. The Panasonic W850 leaves almost speechless for the overall quality, detaching from the net anyway good yield in AVCHD format at 25 Mbits/s. If the details are very high, it is inevitable for a little noise in the dark areas and shadows are more closed, and a light phenomenon of purple fringing in backlit, where the camera does not go into crisis by returning a scene well defined. Only in the sudden changes of the light sensor is not revealed particularly reactive, recovering still in a relatively short time.

If the definition and color fidelity are impressive for a camera in this class, but the audio does not disappoint, with a multi-channel 5.1 surround microphone that records a sound quality, clean and returns a remarkable sense of depth. Although it is far from the quality rendered by a dedicated external microphone, in an environment with multiple sound sources – for example, a party, with people talking and background music – the feeling of being surrounded by audio played on the home television (even more if it is connected to a Dolby multichannel).

Finally, this camera can also capture images high resolution of 24 megapixels (12 megapixels with simultaneous acquisition of the video shoot) and in JPG format. Unfortunately, the high compression in the acquisition phase penalizes the overall performance, and a lower resolution and JPG compression would have been preferable in exchange for a better details.

Panasonic HC-W850: Controls and Ergonomics

The Panasonic HC-W850 is controlled almost completely with the large touch screen 3 “, with a resolution of 460,800 points. Unfortunately, it is below average by today’s standards and does not allow you to enjoy ” on board ” of the very definition of the shoot MP4 to 50 Mbit/s.

The colors are bright and vivid. The control interface is simple and intuitive, in the tradition of Panasonic: The icons are simple, with small size, and do not bother shooting. The sensitivity and precision at the touch are average, confirming the impression that Panasonic has invested more on the sensor, primary and secondary, which touch on the screen.

Panasonic HC-W850-4

There are very few manual controls, limited to the essentials: power button on / off, zoom lever, button to capture a still image and little else.

Zoom and Stabilization

The zoom, which in practice has been limited mainly to the 20x optical to take advantage of the highest quality, it is fluid, accurate and quiet, as well as prove to be very sensitive in the speed control in the transition from one extreme to another. Only getting closer to full extension (612 mm equivalent), it becomes difficult to obtain without shooting, a feature common to all cameras with a horizontal grip. Still has to be made about the stabilization Hybrid OIS, which acts on five axes and helps in most situations to capture stable shots, even when capturing still images with the zoom extended.

The hybrid processing stabilizer is based on an acceleration sensor, and a gyro, which not only helps to reduce camera shake and blurred, but also to correct the skew of the image when it is enabled Level Shot, which is useful when shooting in an unstable position or uncomfortable.


The connection to the TV is via a traditional HDMI port, but there are A / V connectors, a USB port to dump files directly on an external hard drive and a dedicated microphone input, particularly appreciated by the most demanding videographers. The Panasonic HC-W850 can also count on NFC connectivity, to connect a smartphone or tablet compatible with a simple touch, even if it is taking advantage of the Panasonic Image App and free Wi-Fi that the camera is at its best: the mobile device becomes a real remote control to control the camera remotely, thanks to a minimal interface and intuitive.

Also shooting video and still can be displayed on the screen of your smartphone or tablet, and possibly shared on your favorite social networks, or you can enable the real-time streaming of movies through the platform Ustream. Becomes particularly useful Highlight Playback function, which automatically creates a collage of photos with the best scenes of the video, ready to be shared online.

There is also an integrated front light to help when shooting in low light. Too bad for the lack of audio output that connect stereo headphones, thus accurately controlling the audio levels while recording. Last but not least, there is an external slide on the back of the camera, which you can hang up, when necessary, a directional microphone (connected to be dedicated) or an LED light, so as to improve the control of lighting or audio capture.


As you can imagine, the Panasonic HC-W850 seems to be created to take advantage of selfie fashion and social media in the world of shooting on the move. It is surprising and impressive in other areas, such as the excellent image definition, full connectivity, which also includes Wi-Fi and NFC, and the slide to connect external equipment such as a microphone or a lighting system more powerful than that built-in video camera that makes it particularly attractive for the average advanced video storytellers. Only the price is slightly above average for the class, reflecting the quality and versatility of which he is capable.

Where to Buy Panasonic HC-W850 Camcorder

Value of Money

PROS : Clear images and crisp, clear sound and deep, Well-implemented function dual camera, Simple and intuitive interface.

CONS : Delay in the rating of the second camera, touch screen and touch-sensitive poorly defined, relatively high price.

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