Panasonic NV-GS150: test and review

The more rounded the NV-GS150 are rather attractive. This camcorder is not a major overhaul of the Panasonic range, but taking only one hand is facilitated.

Contrary to expectations, the ring mounted at the end of the lens barrel is not devoted to the development as the NV-GS400, but control an opening / closing a protective flap device the lens cap that replaces the previous Panasonic camcorders. This protection is set up with a quick flick.

The complete revision of the menu, which is a more intense use of graphics and color, is one of the major new features of Panasonic camcorders. Easier to activate, even in manual mode, it is seen coupled with a clickable Four-way joystick with a touch reminiscent of analog control of the XBox. This new physical interface also serves as a shortcut when the main menu is not displayed.

For a tri-CCD, the NV-GS 150 is very compact.

One push of the joystick lights blue neon on it and shows a circular icon in the lower right corner of the screen. In order to make them more intuitive, independent functions (replay, white balance, shutter speeds) are associated with different cardinal points, any new pressure on the joystick changes the feature set associated with the corresponding shortcut. Thus, the white balance controls are not available in video mode, as to display controls, they are not in camera mode, etc. This simplifies navigation, especially compared to what we had seen on previous Panasonic models.

Furthermore, the optical viewfinder would have been improved steerable and not simply extensible.

manual controls galore

Equipped with a Leica Dicomar optical, the NV-GS150 is one of the smallest tri-CCD camcorders we’ve reviewed. Apart from its built-in flash for digital photography, the body of the NV-GS150 is relatively sober, devoid of devices controls such as those related to the sharpness or the shutter speed. For most manual controls, Panasonic is set on its new joystick. Some purists may have nostalgia for the series of buttons and switches under the fingers, but newcomers should appreciate this approach.

Unfortunately, the automatic mode of the NV-GS150 is not as refined as that of Sony camcorders. Although the interface has undergone significant improvements, the Panasonic automatic adjustments are still a little slow and the joystick is less efficient than hybrid touchscreens Sony.

The Accessory, electrically powered, allowing the non-battery connection device, but this at the cost of recording time of the smaller camcorder.

This is one of the few camcorders to feature a built-in flash for photo mode.

Panasonic is known for its flexible manual controls. On the NV-GS150, focus, shutter speed, white balance, zoom, and controls the gain of the opening are fully customizable. It is perhaps not a key point for most users, but it is a vis-à-vis competitors asset camcorders. Note however that the focus using the joystick is not as easy as with a ring.

To get started quickly, the NV-GS150 features a Quick Start Mode that puts it in standby rather than extinguish the implementation goes well from 5.4 to 2 seconds. With a weakness, however: the zoom returns to the default value instead of maintaining its earlier position. Accordingly, taking into account the time needed to restore the zoom position, the restart is not very fast. Moreover, it consumes energy thereby reducing the battery life.


Allowing both taking videos and pictures, the NV-GS150 offers a satisfying range of resolutions photography (1760×1320, 1280×960, 640×480) and a burst mode that allows up to 10 photos in sequence (but by definition only 640×480). The images obtained are of satisfactory quality when taken in daylight. However, due to the limited scope of the built-in flash, night pictures show a significant grain.

With the tri-CCD, the videos filmed during the day are quite correct and rich in color, however the night scenes are mediocre – this is the weak point of this camcorder. Even with slow shutter speeds, night mode often give vague results.