Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


mm-cams1hmc71-sideWhy do camcorder manufacturers feel the need to bring out “Walter Mitty” camcorders ?  

Time and time again over the years we see a camcorder design that should have never left the toilet paper it was designed on, why do the broadcast design teams feel the urge to bring out a camcorder that is so far from being professional let alone broadcast that you cringe when you see them displayed at trade shows.

Is there a yearly competition between manufacturers in Japan to design the ugliest, plastic, cheap looking camcorder they can. Take the Panasonic HMC71 it may reach the right price bracket £1800 but it looks no more professional than a gray shoe box. This good old shoulder mounted AVCAM quasi modo is partly responsible for the lack of interest in the far better HMC151. 

You see… people don’t forget basic, poor designs like the HMC71 and associate it with the HMC151 as they say tarring it with the same brush therefore people ignore the 151 as being semi domestic when it isn’t. So you see by cheapening the AVCAM from the start has a knock on effect for sales in the future for better are bolder AVCAM products.

If you are designing camcorders for professionals then please do not bring out poorly designed, grey shoe boxes with plastic lenses, leave them for the domestic boys or better still leave the design in your head.

PS. This is not a dig at Panasonic but the HMC71 is current and hits all the wrong notes.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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