Choosing the right camcorder for your purpose can be tricky. Panasonic HC-V770 vs Canon Vixia HF R800 are two products from well-known companies that offer excellent Full HD recording at affordable price points. So, in the discussion below, we will discuss how these two models compare to each other to determine which one that is better for your money.
This discussion will cover everything about:
– The size, weight, and ergonomics of each camcorder
– The connectivity options and features on each camcorder
– Which camcorder that has higher zoom levels
– The comparison of their IS performance
– The image quality of Panasonic HC-V770 vs Canon Vixia HF R800
– Which camcorder that is generally more recommended
A digital camcorder like Panasonic HC-V770 and Canon Vixia HF R800 are often chosen over DSLR or mirrorless cameras because it is specifically designed for video recording. It is often dramatically more compact and more lightweight, so you can hold it over an extended amount of time without getting your hands tired. By the way, we have compared Panasonic HC-V770 vs Sony AX33 in a previous article, so check it out if you need 4K recording.
Panasonic HC-V770 measures 2.559 inches x 2.874 inches x 5.472 inches. It weighs about 353 grams. Of the two camcorder models here, it is the bigger and heavier one. Even so, the differences are quite marginal. It is still portable enough to allow comfortable use as well as easy storage and transport.
It follows the standard layout for a camcorder, with a display panel on the left and a handle strap on the right. You can tilt and rotate the display to pretty much any angle, so the shooting position is very flexible. Panasonic HC-V770 feels nice and balanced when held with a single hand, and the controls are all easily accessible.
Canon Vixia HF R800 measures 2.1 inches x 2.3 inches x 4.6 inches and weighs about 235 grams. Indeed, it is noticeably smaller and lighter. It is a decent choice if you really want to get the most compact camcorder which you can bring along wherever and whenever you go.
You can also find a swiveling display panel on the left and a handle strap on the right. However, there is just a minimal number of buttons on the body. Canon Vixia HF R800 may be a bit too lightweight for some people, hence making the handling somewhat awkward.
There is a major difference in the connectivity of Panasonic HC-V770 vs Canon Vixia HF R800. If you want to be able to transfer files wirelessly or control your camcorder remotely through your smartphone, you should choose the Panasonic camcorder. The Canon one doesn’t have any sort of wireless connectivity feature.
Panasonic HC-V770 is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi that runs on the 2.4 GHz frequency. It also has NFC to enable quick and simple pairing with compatible mobile devices. After connecting your smartphone, you can use the Panasonic Image App to transfer files or use the smartphone as a remote control for the camcorder.
Additionally, you can also use your smartphone as a sub-camera for Panasonic HC-V770. The camcorder will then record a video with a smaller scene inside it which shows the footage from the smartphone. This feature is useful when you need to show the subject at different angles.
Other connection ports include the mic input, Micro HDMI output, headphone output, and USB port. There is a cold shoe for attaching an accessory, such as a flash or a boom mic.
Canon Vixia HF R800 doesn’t have any wireless connectivity. It relies only on the standard connection ports, which include the mic input, Micro HDMI output, headphone output, and USB port. Unfortunately, this camcorder doesn’t have an accessory shoe, so you can’t attach a flash or boom mic on it.
The lack of wireless connectivity on Canon Vixia HF R800 may be a major drawback for some people. Besides limiting your file transfer options, it will also prevent you from using a mobile device as a remote control or a sub-camera.
The next notable difference between Panasonic HC-V770 vs Canon Vixia HF R800 is their control methods. Well, both of them come with touchscreen panels, but if you want more precise manual control, Panasonic HC-V770 will be a better choice.
The Panasonic camcorder features a 3.0-inch LCD with touchscreen support. It is responsive and intuitive to use. However, you are not limited to the touchscreen control alone. There are several buttons that will allow you to quickly switch between the modes and turn on/off the Wi-Fi.
More importantly, there is a manual dial on the front side of the unit, just under the lens. It will allow you to quickly access common settings such as focus, shutter speed, sharpness, iris, white balance, saturation, and brightness. This manual dial is very practical and convenient to use. You don’t need to go through multiple menu screens just to access these settings. It is also solid and precise, so making adjustments is really easy.
The Canon camcorder doesn’t offer much in manual control. It relies mostly on the 3.0-inch touchscreen panel. While the touchscreen looks nice and feels responsive, Canon Vixia HF R800 is only suitable for casual users. People who need more extensive control will need to go back and forth through multiple menu screens, and this isn’t convenient.
Lens & Zoom
Panasonic HC-V770 is fitted with a Panasonic zoom lens, which has an F value of 1.8 at wide-angle and 3.6 at tele. The focal length is 4.08-81.6mm (35mm equivalent with 29.5-612mm). There is an automatic cover to secure the lens when not in use.
The optical zoom of the Panasonic model goes up to 20x, which is already good enough for most purposes. In addition, the optimized digital zoom has a maximum level of 50x, and is great when you need extra magnification without compromising the image quality too much. The basic digital zoom can go up to 1500x.
Canon Vixia HF R800 comes with the Canon HD Video Lens. It has an F value of 1.8 – 4.5. The focal length is 2.8-89.6mm (35mm-equivalent with 38.5-1232mm). Note that this model doesn’t have an automatic lens cover, so you may want to get a lens cover to protect it from bumps and scratches.
If you often need to shoot from a long distance, you may find the 32x optical zoom of this Canon camcorder quite handy. It will allow you to get clear and sharp images from far away. The advanced digital zoom goes up to 57x, whereas the basic digital zoom goes up to 1140x.
Panasonic HC-V770 has a more advanced IS system. It is a 5-axis hybrid image stabilization system, which implements a powerful optical mechanism with smart algorithms to suppress blurring. The camcorder also has a special function to detect tilting images and correct them automatically.
The overall IS performance is impressive. It is highly effective in various shooting conditions. Even if you are shooting with bare hands while walking, you will still get sharp and clear images. The automatic image correction is also really useful for proper framing.
Canon Vixia HF R800 comes with the SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer. According to the company, this dynamic system controls movements in various directions, including rotational shakes, horizontal and vertical movements, and rolls. The IS performance is also great; it can reduce vibrations and ensure sharp images when shooting without a tripod. However, there is no automatic image correction for tilting images.
How is the recording quality of Panasonic HC-V770 vs Canon Vixia HF R800? Both models are able to record Full HD (1920 x 1080) videos. In general, Panasonic HC-V770 is better with sharper, brighter images. Canon Vixia HF R800 may have slightly higher frame rate, but the image quality is not as good.
Panasonic HC-V770 is armed with a 1/2.3-inch BSI sensor. Thanks to the backside-illumination, the sensor can have decent low-light performance. The images have good brightness and visibility, even when shooting at night. The colors are solid and accurate, with good contrast levels and shadows.
The image sensor has a total pixel count of 12.76 MP. The effective pixel count when recording a video is 6.03 MP. This is still higher than the resolution of Canon Vixia HF R800. As the effect, you can expect consistently sharp and detailed images from this camcorder. Panasonic HC-V770 supports Full HD recording at 50p frame rate.
Canon Vixia HF R800, on the other hand, comes with a 1/4.85-inch sensor. The size is smaller, and it doesn’t have backside illumination. As the effect, the brightness tends to be lower, and the low-light performance is terrible. Additionally, the total pixel count is only 3.28 MP, so the images aren’t very sharp. Canon Vixia HF R800 supports Full HD recording at 60p frame rate.
Panasonic HC-V770 vs Canon Vixia HF R800
Between these two camcorders, Panasonic HC-V770 is better and more recommended. It comes with a better feature set. You get built-in Wi-Fi which will allow you to use a smartphone as a remote control or sub-camera. It also has a manual dial for quick, precise control. More importantly, it offers much better recording quality.