The Panasonic NV-GS15 is the cheaper version of the NV-GS120, but you wouldn't pick it to look at them. It is not until you start to use it that you discover why it is $600 cheaper than its big brother with the three CCD's.
The single, 800,000 (400,000 effective) pixel CCD produces average picture quality and certainly nothing that would compare with the 1.62 million (1.02 million effective) of the NV-GS120.
This was particularly noticeable in changing light conditions and the NV-GS15 did not handle the move from indoor shooting to bright sunlight very well on its default settings. While the problem was sorted out after some minor adjustment and alterations to the exposure and brightness settings, it didn't bode well for the camera straight out of the box.
This low image quality also impacted on the 24x optical zoom -- the most powerful of any of the cameras -- which wasn't shown to its full capability because of the low quality CCD.
One of the biggest disappointments with both Panasonic cameras was the inability to transfer video from camera to PC using the USB 2.0 connection. When you unpack the camera and find a CD containing USB drivers and a separate instruction booklet on how to use the USB you could be excused for being hopeful that it did more than allow you to transfer still images (which are only 640 x 480 any way), but it doesn't.
The NV-GS15 does come with drivers to turn it into a web cam and when used for this purpose it doesn't do a bad job.
Like all of the other cameras in the lab, it comes with a remote control that allows you to star in your own home videos and have complete control over the recording.
The Panasonics were the only cameras to come with a DV head cleaner tape to ensure you're always getting the best out of your camera, but like the others recording tapes are not included.
At $1319 the NV-GS15 was one of the cheapest cameras we tested and it showed in terms of video quality. It was easy to use and well designed but lacked anything that made it stand out from the crowd.