September 07, 2014

Panasonic HC-X1000 4K camcorder

Panasonic’s new HC-X1000 Ultra HD 4K camcorder is its first prosumer model that can record 4K 60p/50p video on an SD card.

It can record both UHD (3840x2160) at 50/60p and Cinema 4K (4096x2160) at 24p in MP4 at up to 150Mbps (50/60p) or 100Mbps (24p), plus .mov or MP4 in HD, which can use all-Intra compression for a maximum bit rate of 200Mbps, as well as AVCHD (1080p) at up to 28Mbps. Even if you are shooting for HD, recording in Ultra HD can be useful during editing, as you can then zoom in to a one-quarter crop without losing any HD resolution, or pan across the picture to follow movement.
The HC-X1000, which weighs 1.55kg, has a compact Leica Dicomar 20x optical zoom lens. The optically stabilised four-group f/1.8-f/3.6 lens goes from a not-very wide 29.5-600mm (35mm equivalent) in 17:9/4K mode, and 30.8-626mm in 16:9/UHD mode (there is also a 40x intelligent zoom for shooting HD).

The camera uses a new backside-illuminated 1/2.3-inch sensor, with high-speed Crystal Engine Pro 4K LSI processing and a new noise reduction system that is claimed to achieve “clear images with minimal noise even when shooting in extreme low-light situations.”
It has a 1,152,000-dot 3.5-inch retractable LCD touch screen for monitoring and menu setting that slides neatly into the front handle when not in use. It also rotates 270º vertically for high-angle, low-angle and self shooting.

Other features include: three manual rings for zoom, iris and focus (there is also auto focus using the touch screen as well as normal auto focus); 2-channel XLR audio inputs for microphones or line in, with +48v phantom power (it also has a built-in stereo microphone); three neutral density filters (1/4, 1/16 and 1/64 ND); focus peaking and 10x focus expand for easier focusing; zebras and histogram for exposure; and dual SD memory card slots (for simultaneous or relay recording).

There is also an illuminated LED ring behind the lens, which shows when it is recording - it is more easily viewable from around the camera than the usual little LEDs.

Its minimum illumination is 4 lux (with Super Gain 30dB, and Shutter 1/30), while a 0-lux night mode allows shooting in the dark, picking up infrared.

It has 2.4GHz WiFi (IEEE 802.11b/g/n), so that it can be remotely controlled and monitored from a phone or tablet using Panasonic’s Image App, which can be connected quickly via NFC or QR code.

The HC-X1000 comes with: an AC adaptor, two AC cables; a 5,800mAh rechargeable battery pack and battery charger; an HDMI cable; USB cable; microphone holder; shoulder strap; eye cap; two input terminal caps; and users can download HD Writer XE2.0 editing software (for Windows).

By David Fox

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