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Panasonic HX-WA10 review

Will waterproofing and Full HD recording combine to make the ultimate consumer camcorder?

Panasonic hx wa10 closed view

Although the pistol-style camcorder isn't to everyone's taste, we're glad to see it being given new life under Panasonic's banner. The HX-WA10's waterproofing sets it apart from the other options, aiming to offer a reasonably high-quality underwater camcorder.

We liked:

Under the right conditions, you can get some really great video out of the WA10. It handles motion well at 1080p, there's a minimum of artefacting and there's a noticeable bump in detail going from 720p to 1080p.

The 60fps mode is also a brilliant addition for the price, offering the chance to really have some fun with the camera. The same is true for the waterproofing, and we were massively impressed with the quality of footage taken while submerged. The iA and face tracking work incredibly well, making it easy to get great shots.

We disliked:

There are some niggles with the video quality we need to point out, including the odd wobble while it tries to stabilise your hand's shake. It suffers from the perennial problem that consumer camcorders have, where wide shots can appear a bit soft because the sensor is simply too small.

We wish the grip was a little chunkier too, since it would be easier to hold, and the position of the controls at a right-angle to the screen is terrible ergonomically.

Verdict:

Overall, we're mightily impressed by the HX-WA10. You're paying something of a premium for the waterproofing features, but we'd say they're worth it. It's safe underwater, it's easy to use and it produces some excellent video. We do recommend investing in a tripod to go with it, but as a fairly small, reasonably light consumer camera, it's absolutely worth your time.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Camcorder
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Number of Image Sensors1
Effective Image Resolution11.9 Megapixel
Effective Video Resolution11.9 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Recording MediaMemory Card
Image StabilizationElectronic
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom120x
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size6.6 cm (2.6")
Video FormatsAVCHD
Recording FormatsFull HD
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker, Flashlight
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3"
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Maximum Frame Rate25 fps
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Audio ChannelsStereo
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camcorder Resolution16.8 Megapixel
Maximum Video Lines1080
Interlaced ScanYes
Progressive ScanYes
USBYes
Longest Shutter Speed1/30 Second
Shortest Shutter Speed1/10000 Second
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)41.50 mm to 498 mm
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height123.7 mm
Width92 mm
Depth41.2 mm
ColourBlue
Video SystemPAL
Minimum Illumination3 lux
Focal Length6.80 mm to 34 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Audio FormatsAAC
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelHX-WA10
Product NameHX-WA10 High Definition Digital Camcorder
Aperture Rangef/3.5 to 3.7
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberHX-WA10EB-A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

Even with its light weight and slim design, the HX-WA10 renders images in breathtaking, Full-HD (1920 x 1080) beauty. BSI (Backside Illumination) sensor technology has improved the sensitivity of the CMOS sensor, making it possible to shoot images with high-resolution Full-HD quality even in dimly lit areas.

Package Contents
  • HX-WA10 High Definition Digital Camcorder
  • AC Adaptor
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Software Media
Display Resolution230000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)232 g
White Balance Modes
  • Auto
  • Manual