HX-WA03: Active Lifestyle Full HD Camcorder

  • Comfortable grip design fits firmly in your hand
  • Waterproof, Freeze proof, Dustproof sealed body suits an active lifestyle
  • 16 Megapixel photo capture modes for sharp looking pictures


HX-WA03 is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 8.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great camera I took my HX-WA3 on a recent trip to Aruba and was thrilled with the ability to take it with me on the beach without worrying about sand or water getting into it. The manual that comes with the camera is good, but the Advanced Features manual is definitely worth downloading. The battery life and time it takes to recharge were very good and I only had to recharge once because I wanted to make sure I don’t run out of power during a snorkeling trip. It was great taking this camera with us on the boat and being able to film my daughter during her first snorkeling adventure. I have wonderful underwater videos of her swimming around and feeding the fish. I loved the pistol grip, as it was easy to use and easy to switch from video to pictures. The only issue I had with this camera was taking stills. The camera takes a little longer to focus and it takes some getting used to until you figure out if it actually took the picture. The few times I asked other people to take a picture of my daughter and I, they weren't able to do it. Overall, I have amazing pictures and videos from my trip and it was great to have the peace of mind that the camera wouldn't get damaged by sand or water. I will not go on any more vacations without this little gem!
Date published: 2013-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great camera This camera is great. It does everything that I expected it to and more and on top of it all it's waterproof. Love the fact that I can easily shoot video and instantly switch to taking pictures and love the fact that I can take pictures while shooting video. This way you get the best of both worlds. The camera is very easy to operate, the user interface is great and very intuitive and I was able to start using it within minutes of unpacking it. It is very compact, like the pistol grip design and how comfortably it fits in my hand. The waterproof design is great. Spent two week on the beach with my 1 year old son where we used the camera extensively. It was taken under water, covered with sand and it still works great. On top of it all, the quality of the pictures and videos is amazing. There are many different shooting modes and the pictures and videos came out great in all modes. Overall, I am very pleased with this camera. I have been using it pretty much daily taking pictures and videos and don't have anything negative to report.
Date published: 2013-08-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great item! I have really been enjoying using this camcorder. As a mom with a million things in my bag, this was perfect to capture my kids all the time, being 2-in-1. You cannot beat the fact that it's a camcorder and a digital camera in one. The camera is sleek, fits comfortably in my (small) hand, and the bright orange color makes it so easy to spot. There aren't that many buttons which makes it uncomplicated and mistake-proof. I had to play around a couple times to find the 'delete' function, but it's simple. There are some very cool color options - black& white, sepia, and the option of keeping it all black&white but having one color highlighted. Once I recorded video and took photos, I uploaded on my MAC. I couldn't believe how great everything looked. The colors came out so clear, vibrant, as well as people looking soft. I highly recommend this camera. I can't wait to take it to the beach!
Date published: 2013-08-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Photoshop - incompatible I am very disappointed in the camcorder. I have had an order in the system at my dealer for several months waiting for its release. I do extensive International travel. Lots of photos and some video. I liked the style and ease of use of this camera. Shot some practice videos at the local zoo. Playback is great on the unit and on the provided software. I use Adobe Photoshop Premier 11 for video editing. The videos from this camcorder are NOT compatible with Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements 11). We shot the same video with 2 different brands of camcorders. Tried playback on 2 different computers. One playback was perfect. The playback with Photoshop is a series of hesitations. Checked with both Panasonic and my dealer. Fortunately the dealer will take it back in exchange for another brand. This Panasonic WA-03 is unacceptable for use with Photoshop. There is no mention or warning of this incompatibility in the Panasonic Manual for the unit.
Date published: 2013-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Perfect Little Camcorder To Take On The Go The first thing that impressed me about the camcorder was the size. It's very compact. It fit easily in my small purse and even in my pocket. It also fit in my hand very easily. It wasn't bulky or awkward. There are plenty of different camcorder and camera settings for the more advanced user but, there are also simple menu settings for a novice like myself. Initially I was intimidated by all the buttons and options and then I saw the 'simple' setting which allowed me to just point and shoot or record. As I get more accustomed to the settings I'll play with them for different effects. The camcorder takes clear video with pretty clean sound. I felt more comfortable recording with it than with a point and shoot camera or with my phone. The design makes the it fit naturally in your hand and you're able to keep it steady. It took some time to adjust to taking photos since the viewer is on the side of the lense as opposed to directly behind it on a traditional camera. Also, I was trying to take some pictures of the NYC skyline from a rooftop but, the breeze made the adjustable screen shake, making it hard to capture a clean clear picture. I wouldn't recommend taking photos with it in a windy setting. I did take it on a boat and felt comfortable with the water splashing on it occasionally since it is waterproof. That's a big plus to be able to take it on a boat or the beach or even in the snow knowing you can capture great footage without worrying about water damage. In all it's a great little camcorder. The price is perfect and I'm happy with it. i would recommend it as I said, for someone who just wants to pack something compact to capture the day. You don't have to carry around a huge camera bag or worry about draining your phone battery just to capture video or photos. I wish we could upload sample videos and pictures.
Date published: 2013-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic value Design/aesthetics The Panasonic HX-WA03 comes with a component a/v cable, charger, and manual in addition to the camcorder. I was immediately impressed with the appearance, quality materials. Mine was primarily black in color with burnt orange metallic accents. The size of the camcorder is about what I expected from looking at pictures online. It is lightweight but has enough heft to instill a sense of confidence in build quality. Ergonomics The shape is well suited for handheld recording, built similar to a radar gun. The viewfinder is generously sized with perfectly acceptable resolution and brightness for use in broad daylight. When in use, the screen flips out and swivels about 270 degrees, convenient for recording from difficult angles. The controls are simple and straightforward, I think it would be easy for pretty much anyone to pick up and begin using within a few minutes. The buttons are nicely positioned and intuitive for use with your thumb- the zoom button being centered and flanked by separate buttons to take stills and to record. The menu button and toggle to navigate through the menus are also well positioned. Flip the screen out and several other buttons are available to view your pictures, turn the unit on, enable intelligent auto, and enable the variety of art modes. The menus are easy to navigate with use of the toggle. Nothing too complicated to intimidate novice users. Notable inclusions were the ability to change resolution, picture size, image stabilization, video stabilization, in addition to basic settings including exposure, iso setting and metering. Features The camcorder records in 1080p and allows for a variety of different video and picture resolutions and sizes. Image and video recording stabilization as a feature is a plus and comes in handy. I was impressed with all the different art modes, including sepia, HDR, and other creative effects. You have the ability to do both 180 and 360 panoramic pictures although I would have appreciated the ability to access this option without having to go into the menu, toggle down, and turning it on. Using the panorama could be a bit easier, the camcorder is a bit temperamental- not moving at just the right speed and alignment resulted in some failed attempts before getting it right. I suppose with practice, you may get used to what it wants. Honestly, I’m happy to even have this feature. One feature I especially liked was the ability to take a picture in the midst of recording a video, I think this would come in handy often. The included flash is also a plus. The key feature for this camera for me was the ability to take the camera under water to a depth of 5 meters. It is also reportedly freeze-proof and sand-proof, although I didn’t get a chance to try out this particular feature. I carefully read the provided precautions regarding use in/near water and sand and proceeded to dunk the camcorder in my 50 gallon freshwater fish tank to capture my fancy-tail guppies in all their glory. The camera demonstrated no evidence of malfunction and the ability to tilt the screen was essential. The under water video quality was better than I expected, I am looking forward to trying this out at the beach and while snorkeling. Performance/video quality I am able to flip open the screen and begin recording within 1-2 seconds, very good for impromptu recording. The video quality was overall impressive. Colors were pleasingly saturated and natural. Video was also pretty sharp, as much as can be expected for a camera expected to be waterproof, capable of taking stills, panorama, etc. Autofocus was overall good, although a tad slow when in zoom. The image stabilization did a pretty good job although I didn’t do much head to head comparison with it on vs off. Low light recording resulted in noticeable noise as expected but still yielded very usable footage. Conclusion: Overall, I am very pleased with this camera. The image quality was impressive with pleasing saturated colors and good sharpness. The ergonomics are where this camera really shines. I feel that most people, even those less savvy with cameras, could pick it up and start using it pretty quickly. The user interface is uncluttered and intuitive. The HX-WA03 packs an impressive array of features, with panoramic shots, image stabilization, ability to take stills while video recording, and various useful art modes. To top it all off, the camera can be taken under water and is supposed to be sand/dustproof, opening up all sorts of fun opportunities for recording. I highly recommend it for anyone with an active lifestyle and for those who want to pick up a camcorder and start recording quality videos without a fuss.
Date published: 2013-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great value if you like to shoot digital video I've tested the HX-WA3 for just a week but did get to put it through its paces. First, the video is superb. The camera is easy to use and it even shoots very acceptable stills. To utilize all of the camera's features you must download the "Advanced Features" manual since the one that comes with the unit is just too basic. The viewfinder is more than adequate and while the controls look complicated at first, they aren't once you have used them for a while. It takes some practice to shoot holding the camera in one hand. The zoom is very effective but it has no speed control so the transitions from wide angle to telephone are abrupt. I've learned to live with that. Only about 10X of the 18X zoom are truly optical but 10X is plenty if you do a little planning. It is also easy to tip the camera slightly when shooting with the pistol grip design. I've glued a tiny bubble level to the top of my camera and that really helps. Battery life and recharge time are more than adequate and I've found it easiest to simply recharge it via the USB cable plugged into my PC or laptop. When you stop shooting, it is necessary to change your grip slightly and when you do, you will change the camera to subject alignment. Knowing that, you can compensate in editing. Read that manual and find the "wind cut" feature. It does a great job of cutting down annoying wind blast. I wish many professional cameras had that feature. Ditto with the stabilization feature. Turn it on and forget it. Jitter is really minimized. If you really enjoy shooting video, you'll definitely want to install the optional SD card. I used a 32 GB card and that allows me to shoot more than I could ever use. Also, if you want to preview your video on a TV, you'll need an HDMI cable with a micro HDMI connector at one end. If you aren't picky, you can use the component video cables that come with the camera. I shoot at 1080/30 frames and component video doesn't do that kind of resolution justice. While it isn't mentioned anywhere in the specs, this camera does have a sturdy tripod socket in the base of the pistol grip. I used that to mount the camera on the bridge of my boat and then shot a 7.5 minute video sequence of our boat leaving the dock and heading out into the ocean in a light mist and aganst a 10 MPH wind while we were going about 10 MPH right into it. The video is as good as I could have shot with my professional equipment. There is no wind blast and even "hands off" at the widest zoom setting, the video is remarkably clean as is the sound of us talking. Put this innovative and inexpensive little camera in your pocket and shoot really good video wherever you go.
Date published: 2013-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from awesome cam you can go anywhere with this bad boy from land to sea,rain or shine totally great..
Date published: 2013-02-22
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  • What support content is available for my product?

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    • Email Contact - For email inquiries, send them to, you will receive a response within 24-48 hours.

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    • Service Request - If you need a product repaired and is NOT a TV, Microwave, Vacuum, or Massage Chair, you can use our Online Repair Request. There, you will be able to get a repair estimate, pay online, and track the repair status.
  • Is there any way to place a protective film on the touch screen?
    Yes, a protective film can be placed on the touch screen.
  • Is there any software for the Max that will work with the camcorder?
    Yes, you would be able to use iMovie for videos and iPhotos for pictures.
  • Is there a camcorder that records video that does not split into multiple videos when the file size exceeds 4GB?
    All of the Panasonic camcorders maximum file size is 4GB.
  • Is there a camcorder that is compatible with a 128GB SDXC SD Card?
    There are no camcorders compatible with a 128GB SDXC SD Card.
  • Is the camcorder compatible with Mac OSX?
    The camcorder is compatible with Mac OSX. To import the videos use iMovie software.
    Note: Videos recorded in 1080/60p is incompatible with iMovie.
  • I saw a notice on Panasonic's web site that a firmware update was available for my camera. What is a "firmware update" and is it important that I install it?
    Panasonic may occasionally add a new feature to the camera, or if we discover a minor problem after the camera started selling Panasonic may issue new firmware to make the necessary changes. Any new firmware release includes a description of the changes it makes. If you are having the problem it corrects, or if you want to add the new feature, follow the instructions and install the update. You should always begin the firmware update usong a fully charged battery.
  • I have used the wrong charger cable, now my camcorder doesn't turn on. How can I fix this?
    You will be required to send it to our Service Center to have the camcorder repaired. Click the below link and submit a new repair request.
  • How do I fix my LCD screen when it is freely swinging in and out while in use?
    You will be required to send it to our Service Center to have the camcorder repaired. Click the below link and submit a new repair request. Click Here
  • How do I combine two scenes, because when I pause the video when recording it creates a different scene?
    You are able to combine both of the scenes into one by using the HD Writer software that is provided with the camcorder. To use the software however, you will require an Operating System no earlier than Windows XP
  • How do I clean my camcorder?
    Before cleaning, detach the battery or pull out the AC adaptor from the AC outlet, and then wipe the product with a dry soft cloth.
  • How do I adjust the volume during playback?
    To adjust the volume during playback, you would be required to use the zoom lever. Turn the zoom lever to the right to increase the volume or to the left to decrease the volume
  • How can videos and pictures be transferred to my PC without using the supplied software?
    Connect the camcorder to the PC via USB cable. After camcorder and PC are connected, drag and drop the files to the specified folder.
    Note: The files that are drag and drop cannot be edited, burn or playback using the supplied software.
    It is recommended to use the supplied software to transfer the pictures and videos to the PC.
  • How can the error message "Check card" be resolved when inserting SD card.
    Confirm the SD card is not in "LOCK" position.
    Check if the SD works in the PC. If yes, format the SD card using the PC and reinsert the SD card.
    If the issue persists try to use a different SD card. If the issue remains on all of the SD cards the camcorder needs servicing. Click the link below and submit a new repair request:
  • How can I maximize my SD Card?
    The maximum amount of space will be achieved when all previous photos have been deleted. The actual number of photos your card can hold will vary depending on the size, resolution and content of the photos.
  • How can I fix the camcorder when it beeps twice and powers off even when fully charged?
    There appears to be a problem with the internal components of the unit. The camcorder needs to be serviced. Click the link below and submit a new repair request.

  • How can I fix LCD screen picture loss and vertical lines?
    There appears to be a problem with the internal components of the unit. The camcorder needs to be serviced. Click the link below and submit a new repair request.

  • How can I fix a loose LCD screen?
    The LCD screen is required to be serviced. The service center is where the camcorder needs to be sent. Click the link below and submit a new repair request.

  • How am I able to correct the error message that my laptop does not find the new equipment whenever I connect my Camcorder to the laptop?
    Make sure that you are using the supplied USB that comes with the Camcorder. Then, attempt to connect the camcorder to a different USB port. Also, you may try to connect to a different PC to determine whether the issue is with the PC or camcorder.
  • How am I able to adjust the volume during playback?
    In order to, adjust the volume during playback, you are required to use the zoom lever. Turn to use the zoom level right to increase the volume or to the left to increase the volume.
  • Does the camcorder have an upgrade conversion kit or a trade in value?
    There are no upgrades kits or trade in values for the camcorder. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • Does software come with this camcorder?
    HD Writer VE 2.0 You can copy the motion/still picture data to the HDD of PCs or write to media such as Blu-ray discs, DVD discs or SD cards using HD Writer VE 2.0, which is the software installed in the supplied CD-ROM. Refer to the operating instructions of HD Writer VE 2.0 (PDF file) for details on how to use it.
  • Can this camera be connected to a PC?
    Yes, to any PC capable of recognizing a mass storage device. Windows 7/Windows Vista/Windows XP/Windows 2000/Windows Me. Mac, OS X v10.1 ~ v10.7.
  • Can the time and date be displayed when files are transferred to a PC?
    Unfortunately, the date and time is not transferred when the videos are imported to the PC.
  • Can the camera's menu be shown in any other language?
    Cameras sold for the US market generally support English and Spanish. Portugese is also now supported in some 2012 models.
  • Can the camcorders Date/Time stamp shows the date and time when it is transferred to a PC?
    The date and time are transferred when videos are imported to the PC. When using the provided editing software you can go in the porperties of the video thumbnail (right click on the video clip), which displays the video clip spec.
  • Can the camcorder record in 24P mode?
  • Can I view my pictures on my TV screen?
    You can view pictures on a TV screen by connecting your camera to your TV with the AVcable.
  • Can I use this camcorder as a webcam?
    No, you cannot use this unit as Webcam.
  • Can I transfer videos without connecting the camcorder to the PC?
    The videos will need to be recorded on an SD card a placed into a SD Card reader to import the videos to the computer.
  • Can I record in PAL?
    No, NTSC only.
  • Can I leave the battery attached when I store the camera?
    Storing the unit with the battery attached may result in a discharged battery. This may result in you not being able to use the battery the next time you want to use the camcorder.
  • Can I increase the time that the camcorder pre-records up from 3 seconds?
    No. currently the pre-record feature is set to 3 seconds before you press the [record] button.
  • Can I go back and time stamp my photos after I have copied them to my PC?
    If the photo was not modified in any way (including renaming it) you should be able to copy it back to the original location on the SD card and use any feature the camera would offer. Once the photo was modified or altered, this would not be possible.
  • Can I get the time and date to show on my video when I import it to my computer?
    Yes, the date and time is displayed under every thumbnail title. The date and time is not displayed on the video playback.
  • Can additional languages be added to the camera?
    The camera is unable to add additional languages.
  • Am I able to use the Panasonic software with a different brand camcorder?
    The Panasonic software was meant to be only used with videos recorded by supporting Panasonic camcorders.
  • Am I able to transfer videos to the computer using the USB cable?
    Unfortunately, it is not possible to transfer videos to your computer using a USB cable. A video clip can be transferred directly to your PC (Personal Computer) via a DV Interface Cable (i.LINK) using products and software from a number of video editing software companies such as Windows Movie Maker. In order to transfer videos, your PC is required to have a DV terminal.
  • Am I able to record with this camcorder for a continuous 3 hours? Also, am I able to record with a LCD screen closed using a smartphone or tablet to operate?
    Yes, the camcorder is capable of continuous recording for 3hrs if the camcorder is connected to an AC adapter and there is sufficent recordable space available on the memory.
  • Why is my computer unable to detect the camcorder?
    Follow the steps below to correct the problem 1. After re-inserting the SD card into this unit, reconnect the supplied USB cable. 2. Select another USB terminal on the PC. 3. Connect the supplied USB cable again after restarting the PC and turning the unit on.
  • Why does the video divide after continuous recording for a long time?
    Video files greater than 4GB are automatically divided.
  • Why does the product not turn on after using the wrong charger?
    The Camcorder needs to be sent to the Service Center to be repaired. Click the link below and submit a new repair request:

    Note: Panasonic is not responsible for 3rd party failure

  • Why does a long recording split the video into 2 different folders?
    Video files that are higher than 4GB are automatically divided.
  • What type of lenses do Panasonic camcorders use?
    Panasonic camcorders use Leica lenses which are made out of high quality glass.
  • What size SD Card can I use in my Camera?
    Cameras with a manufacturing date of 2006 or before can use Standard Sd Cards ( 2GB Max ) only. Models manufactured from 2007 thru 2009 can use Standard SD Cards and SDHC Cards ( Max 32GB ) Cameras Manufactured 2010 and later can use all SD Cards up to and including SDXC cards (64GBMax ).There is no firmware update that willincrease the maximum size of the SD Card for allowable usage.
  • What size and type memory card can I use in my camcorder?
    Panasonic camcorders use a SD (Secure Digital) card. There is the Standard SD, and also the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity), and SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) Card Formats that can be used.
    • In 2007, camcorders can use up to a maximum of 4GB SDHC Card.
    • In 2008, camcorders can use up to a maximum of 8GB SDHC Card.
    • In 2009, camcorders can use up to a maximum of 32GB SDHC Card.
    • In 2010 to current, camcorders use up to a maximum of 64GB SDXC Card.

    Depending on the specific model of your camcorder. Refer to the owner's manual for the type of card to be used. Recording video also requires a fast memory card and so Class 6 cards up to the newer Class 10 cards are recomended.

  • What should I do if my camera won't turn on?
    First, ensure that the batter is fully charged, keeping in mind that the charge indicator light turns off after charging is complete (approximately 90 minutes). A depleted battery will usually cause the camera to power on, and then quickly off. If your battery is more than a year old, it may need to be replaced.
  • What is O.I.S?
    O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilizer) helps to reduce the effects of shake during the recording while walking, or holding the unit and recording the subject while using zoom.
  • What is AVCHD?
    AVCHD stands for Advanced Video Coding High Definition. AVCHD is the format for recording and playback of High Definition Videos.
  • What can I do to resolve freezing when transferring videos to Windows XP?
    Confirm that your camcorder meets the spec of your PC when transferring the video. Refer to the operating manual for the specification.
  • There are vertical/horizontal lines in my LCD screen. What do I do?
    We suggest you remove the battery and after a short wait, replace it. If this does correct the issue the camera will need to be sent in for service. Please click here for assistance.Click Here.
  • The LCD screen on my camera is blank. What do I do?
    We suggest you remove the battery and after a short wait, replace it. If this does correct the issue the camera will need to be sent in for service. Please click here for assistance.Click Here.
  • My lens cover won't open or close. What do I do?
    We suggest you remove the battery and after a short wait, replace it. If this does correct the issue the camera will need to be sent in for service. Please click here for assistance.Click Here.
  • My camera won't power on. What can I do?
    If you have a second battery, try it to see if you can power on the camera. If you don't have an extra battery and you're sure the battery you have is fully charged then the camera may need to be serviced. Click Here.
  • Is this model camcorder compatible with Mac OS X?
    Yes, the camcorder is compatible with the Mac OS. You will be required to use iMovie11 in order to import the videos, however any videos recorded in 1080/60p is not compatible with iMovie.
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