TOY BOX: Tiny camera is a big hit for Panasonic

The first camcorder I bought when my son, now 19, was little came with its own suitcase and made me look like part of a TV news crew. I still loved it. Now Panasonic has come out with its latest digital video camera and it's so cool, I like it even more.

The first camcorder I bought when my son, now 19, was little came with its own suitcase and made me look like part of a TV news crew. I still loved it. Now Panasonic has come out with its latest digital video camera and it's so cool, I like it even more.

The Panasonic SV-AV 100 weights about five ounces and can easily fit in a pocket. Yet it takes movies in MPEG2 or MPEG4 format and can do still photos too. Cables let you attach it to a TV or a computer.

Playing movies on the TV was cool. Using the computer wasn't as much fun because the software supplied was clunky and would never blow the picture up to fill my 17-inch monitor.

Using the camera was relatively intuitive. I only had to read the instructions once to find out that the AC power cord had to be plugged in to view movies on TVs and computers - the camera's tiny battery couldn't supply enough power.

This is a hot gadget, so hot it scored me points with my girlfriend's parents when I showed it to them. Thanks Panasonic.

Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to toybox@prweek.com

  • John N. Frank writes Toy Box. He is the Chicago-based Midwest bureau chief for PRWeek

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