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Panasonic PV-DV953 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

alaTest has collected and analyzed 47 reviews of Panasonic PV-DV953 Mini DV Digital Camcorder. The average rating for this product is 4.0/5, compared to an average rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. Reviewers really like the battery and image quality. The price and portability also get good views, but some have doubts about the zoom.

usability, portability, price, image quality, battery


We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Panasonic PV-DV953 Mini DV Digital Camcorder is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 74/100 = Good quality.

See all Panasonic Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 47 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

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Consumer review by: ( review summary for Panasonic PV-DV953 Mini DV Digital Camcorder


alaTest has collected and analyzed 15 user reviews of Panasonic PV-DV953 Mini DV Digital Camcorder from The average user rating for this product is 3.9/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on Reviewers are impressed by the design and image quality. The price and portability are also appreciated. There are some critical views about the durability.

usability, portability, price, image quality, design


87% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the product: Panasonic PVDV953 MiniDV Camcorder with 3.5" LCD, 3CCD, and 16MB SD

Jun, 2015

Expert review by: PC Magazine (

Panasonic PV-DV953


The only three-CCD camcorder in the roundup, the Panasonic PV-DV953 ($1,499 direct) offers a strong range of features and is ideal for tripod use. It produced very good video and still-image quality under optimal lighting conditions, but quality...

Jun, 2004

Expert review by: Bryan Hastings (

Panasonic Palmcorder PV-DV953


Photograph: Rick Rizner

Apr, 2004

Expert review by: Bryan Hastings (

Panasonic PV-DV953


Bristling with features, the PV-DV953 offers great-looking video and plenty of controls for the serious videographer.

Although it is on the expensive side, the PV-DV953 is a great choice for the serious videographer.

Apr, 2004

Expert review by: (

Panasonic Palmcorder PV-DV953


Cars made by Japanese-owned companies encompass full-size, intermediate, compact, and subcompact designs, and much the same can be said about MiniDV camcorders. Popular MiniDV camcorders run smaller than the VHS behemoths of yore, but even these...

Three-CCD color fidelity; compact design; competitive price; decent still-photo quality; large flip-out LCD.

Auto-exposure responsiveness; lack of mechanical controls for oft-used adjustments; zoom control; suboptimal low-light performance.

This model is a capable and easy-to-use three-chip MiniDV camcorder for advanced videographers who prize portability.

Nov, 2003

Expert review by: Robin Liss (

Panasonic PV-DV953 First Impressions Camcorder Review - Panasonic MiniDV Camcorders


The PV-DV953 is a revolutionary quality camcorder, breaking the barrier on price for entry level three chip camcorders (the camcorders which produce the best quality image), carrying a low MSRP of $1,499. Panasonic announced the PV-DV953 at the 2003...

Jan, 2003

Consumer review by: (

"Awesome Home Videos, Great Buy"


Top quality videos, even indoors with moderate light. Full featured, easy to operate. Supplied with long lasting battery. Excellent 3.0 meg photo is a great option when you need a pix of a memorable moment. Large display keeps the kids thrilled with see

None, sketchy manual on downloading movies via firewire (which has to be bought separately) and no movie making software (the free Microsoft Movie Maker softare I downloaded is working fine).

Sep, 2004

Consumer review by: (

"Awsome camera, not built for big hands..."


I love my PV-DV953. Amazing video quality, and the stills are fantastic (after some tweaking on the exposure). So far, very sturdy (dropped from 3ft by my 3 yr old) and reliable. Buy the bigger battery, you will be happy you did.

Standard battery life is pretty lame (less than an hour for mine). I have big hands, the form factor was made for "normal" sized hands. Workaround: I have trimmed back my finger tips to fit the camera better.

Jul, 2004

Consumer review by: DrPhilro (

From a Semi-Pro: Every bit as good as a GL2


Crisp Picture, Great colors, Easily comparable to the GL1/2

Haven't figured out how to dump from computer to camera yet.

Jul, 2004

Consumer review by: (

"great cam, shines even in low lite( w/ lil tweaking)"


This cam is a dream come true, it really rocks, no kidding! Now, most of the folks here and on other dv sites whine about bad low lite performance of this cam. Well if you manually dial down the contrast the grain would practically disappear w/o any visib

i had beef with grainy look in low lite situations, but i think there' a way to beat it

Jul, 2004

Consumer review by: tiggiler (

If you can find one, I definately recommend you buy it.


Ease of Use - Menu and buttons laid out very well

Low Light Recording - Can be a little dark - Minor Con

Jun, 2004

Product Specifications

New from Panasonic is the latest 3-mega pixel, 3CCD Palmcorder Multicam digital camcorder/digital still camera, model PV-DV953, which features Panasonic's most advanced video technologies with a new smaller, slimmer design, SD Memory Card capability and the much-acclaimed Leica Dicomar lens. Continuing the technological advances of the highly prized PV-DV951 and PV-DV952, the PV-DV953 represents Panasonic's most advanced consumer camcorder. Like its predecessors, this new model is intended for those who appreciate the ease-of-use of a consumer model but demand high-end features found on Panasonic's professional models. The PV-DV953 continues to incorporate the sophisticated Leica Dicomar lens, which has become known for its ability to capture and finely render the most delicate nuances of light and shade. Boasting an imaging system backed by broadcast technology, this year's model features the same type of 3CCD system used in Panasonic's celebrated professional camcorders. Individual CCDs are used to reproduce the red, blue and green colors that compose an image for vivid, true-to-life pictures with remarkable depth and presence. PV-DV953 features a unique MagicWire wired remote with buttons for record start/stop, zoom in/out, and Photoshot (still picture), which makes it easy to hold the camcorder in one hand and activate major features via the remote in the other hand. As with all 2003 Panasonic Digital Palmcorder Camcorders, the 3 mega pixel PV-DV953 features a 10x telescopic optical zoom lens and a 700x digital zoom1 that allows for amazing 700: 1 clear, close-ups from wide angle to full telephoto zoom. The top of the line camcorder also adds a Tele-Jump Zoom for instant 1.5x zoom with no picture deterioration. The PV-DV953 includes a zoom microphone to capture accompanying audio, even when recording from a distance, as well as an SD voice recorder2 that allows recording of important voice messages directly onto an SD memory card. Thanks to Panasonic's Progressive PhotoShot mode, this high-end model also doubles as a digital still camera with the ability to record still pictures with higher resolution, finer details, and smoother image contours than the normal PhotoShot function. Capturing the image data and temporarily storing it in two separate field memories and then combining them with no time lag, this advanced feature achieves 1.5 times the resolution of standard-recorded stills for a crisp, clear image. Resulting images can then be downloaded to a PC3 from an SD memory card or from a mini DV tape. A MagicPix feature helps users shoot full color video and still images in extremely low-light situations. And, MPEG 4 Internet Movie, which records MPEG 4 moving images onto an SD memory card, lets you easily transfer video clips with audio to a PC. To help take the jitter out of hand-held video taping and compensate for unintentional hand and camcorder movement the PV-DV953 goes beyond the normal digital image stabilization and employs an Optical Image Stabilizer system that uses two movable lenses and two fixed lenses to detect even the slight shaking. This results in clear, sharp images that are free of picture degradation.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific

Camcorder Features

Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:3.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):8.9cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Low light / Portrait mode / Sports mode / Spotlight / Surf & snow

Flash Memory

Form Factor:SD Memory Card
Storage Capacity:16MB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Panasonic Palmcorder

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.6
Max Focal Length:28.5mm
Min Focal Length:2.85mm
Optical Zoom:10
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Sensor Resolution:800Kpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/6"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):4.2 mm ( 1/6 ) / 4.2 mm ( 1/6" )
Optical Sensor Type:3CCD
Sensor Qty:3CCD

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Analog Video Format:NTSC
Digital Scene Transition:Black fader
Digital Zoom:700
Media Type:Mini DV
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Gain-up / Mirror / Mix / Mosaic / Multi-image screen / Negative / Picture-in-Picture / Sepia / Solarization / Strobe / Trail / Wipe
Still Image Format:JPEG


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic