Panasonic HC-V180 500X Digital Zoom Test

My first personal video camera was a Sony CCD-SP9 Video 8 camcorder.  It had a maximum zoom of X6.  Whoo Hoo!  😉   It was huge and weighed a ton.  It was the latest and greatest for it's time and I paid about $1,000 for back in 1992.  Fast forward to today.  Now you can buy the Panasonic HC-V180 for under $200 and it has a X50 optical zoom, a X90 intelligent zoom and up to a X500 digital zoom.   It takes ultra clear full HD video and it only weighs half a pound and can fit in the breast pocket of my shirt.  We truly have come a long ways. 

But the question remains; how good is all that zoom capability?  Well, I had a chance to put the zoom on the HC- V180 to the test on a recent trip through New Mexico.  I stopped at a road side picnic area just south of Nogal, New Mexico on highway 37.  I took a walk back in the woods to stretch my legs and saw a mountain far in the distance north of my position.  Using google earth a determined that the mountain was called "Carrizo Peak".   Using the Polaris Navigation GPS android app on my Galaxy S5 Active smartphone, I determined that I was approximately 10 miles from the peak.  It was a clear day and the conditions were perfect for my to put the zoom on the HC-V180 to the test.   

This video is the test I performed on that day.  I think you will be surprised by how well this little camcorder did. 


Here is a list of the products used in the making of this video.