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Panasonic AG-AC90 AVCCAM Handheld Camcorder + 32GB SDHC CARD
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- Three 1/4.7" Full HD 2.19MP MOS Sensors Fixed Lens with f/1.5 and 12x Zoom Ratio
- Native 1920x1080 60p, 60i, 30p and 24p Nano Surface Lens Coating Reduces Flare
- Dual SD Memory Card Slots Five-Axis OIS Improves Handheld
- Pixel Shifting Technology Intelligent 25x Digital Zoom Function
- AVCCAM HD Recording Modes Two-Channel XLR Audio Inputs
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|Optical Sensor Technology||MOS|
|Package Height||9.7 x 11.3 x 16 inches|
|Shipping Weight||7.85 pounds|
|Video Capture Format||avchd|
The Panasonic AG-AC90 AVCCAM Handheld Camcorder features 1/4.7" 3MOS sensors, with 2.19MP each, to capture Full HD 1920x1080 resolution video. Variable frame rates record HD video at 60p, 60i, 30p, and 24p. The camera's fixed lens has a 12x zoom ratio, up to f/1.5 brightness, a 35mm equivalent of 29.8-357.6mm and manual control rings for focus, zoom and iris. In addition, Nano Surface Coating works to reduce ghosting and flare.
The AG-AC90 has two SD card slots for expanded memory or simultaneous recording to both cards for an instant back-up. A five-axis image stabilizer improves stabilization for handheld shooting, and 4x pixel shifting technology helps to create a sharper image. An Intelligent 25x digital zoom function makes automatic adjustments of edge, gradation and detail.
Professional AVCCAM HD recording modes include PS mode, which records 1080/60p at 28 Mbps. Additionally, PH mode averages 21-24 Mbps, and HA mode clocks in at approximately 17 Mbps. Finally, for extended recording times, HE mode uses approximately 6 Mbps. The AG-AC90 is compatible with Panasonic's ultra high-speed UHS-1 series of memory cards, as well as SDXC and SDHC cards.
In addition to the built-in microphone, two XLR audio inputs provide an interface for professional grade, external microphones. Audio Channel 1 and Channel 2 feature individual level controls and input selection.
PanasonicAG-AC90 AVCCAM Handheld Camcorder
2 x AC Cable
CD-ROM (Operating Instructions)
AV Multi Cable
2 x Input Terminal Cap
Microphone Holder Adaptor
Bonus 32GB SDHC CARD
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Top Customer Reviews
Update: The O.I.S. (optical image stabilization) works like a charm but the wind canceling feature is only fair.
My only complaint so far is the plastic external microphone adapter bracket is VERY fragile and breaks easily. A replacement is $30 and is just the same and just as flimsy and isn't worth the money. I ended up making my own bracket out of metal. See the attached image - it is relatively simple to fabricate.
However if you don't want to follow the link. Here is what I like about it. and what I don't
Record on a micro card - I can easily get this into my computer for editing fairly quickly
The picture looks terrific to me.
I'm happy it has enough pro features to please me - White balance - xlr mic inputs and mic volume adjustment- ability to manual focus and open iris
I love the remote control - being able to zoom and start and stop record with it ROCKS! At least for me as I do my own standups it looks great if I can control it from in front of the camera.
still has consumer grade annoyances - dumb menus and sometimes hard to find what you are looking for in there.
You will need a shotgun mic because the on-baord one is good for ambiance but not that great for recording someone talking in front of you.
I don't think you can change the lens I'm still looking into it
Front heavy - I needed a more heavy duty tripod to handle it.
Overall, I'm pleased and glad I purchased it. It will serve my purposes until I can afford a broadcast one.
Here are some pro's and con's. I believe the pro's completely outweigh the cons, thus the cons are more for your awareness than criticism or faults with the camera.
* Great touchscreen LCD. It is very bright as well and decent in direct sunlight.
* Great stabilizer. Very impressive. Maybe the best I've ever used.
* Great price. This unit is comparable to Canon and Sony cameras costing a couple hundred dollars more.
* Digital zoom virtually lossless at 2x. This means you've basically got a 24x zoom lens. Great for events.
* Autofocus superior to AC series, which had problems with speed and finding focus and required (not free) firmware upgrades.
* 3 Chips. This is nice to see when Canon has moved to single chip with XA-10 and XA-20 series in it's class.
* Over and undercranks at 1080, including time lapse. This is a really nice feature that you used to have to hack in the HVX and HPX series.
* Two card slots. Many cameras today are coming with one single slot, so this is nice to see.
* 3 rings on lens (focus, zoom, iris). I like having these on the lens, and the AC90 does.
* Dual XLR inputs, on-board surround microphone works surprisingly well for capturing ambient sound (not dialog though).
* Intelligent Auto setting handy. I use the camera in manual, but for many the IA setting could be very useful.
* Surprisingly good dynamic range. It's not a Sony F5, or a Canon 1D DSLR, but it outperforms my old HVX200 in high contrast situations I believe.
* No ND filters. The camera compensates for this electronically. How well does it work? Fairly well. But if you're trying to get pro footage and want to shoot with the iris open, you are going to need to buy and use an ND filter in sunlight.
* Smaller chips. This camera has 1/4.7 sized chips. These are pretty small. Panasonic compensates by making them backside illuminated to help in low light. The iris on the lens is also very fast at f1.5, helping out as well.
* Camera has no composite out. So if you're on a multi-camera shoot, you're going to need an HDMI to composite converter.
* The camera is somewhat front heavy. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of.
* The 3 lens rings are electronic, not physical. They are also a tad stiff, even after use. If you're walking around with one hand on the lens and another on the zoom rocker you could get some unwanted stops/starts.
* Lens zoom rings aren't entirely smooth, especially the iris. You can sometimes see it step when adjusting slowly. Focus is a little like this as well if you are picky enough. Zoom ring tends to be slow for my taste, but the rocker on the handle is excellent.
* Some buttons on the side are a bit exposed and could be bumped. In more expensive Panasonic cameras these are often covered by a door or somewhat blocked by a flip-out LCD. Not here. Though the audio controls are protected by a door.
* It's a bit light and plastic. But so is everything else in this price range today, right?
Other things to know:
Despite the small chips, the camera is pretty decent in low light. I believe because of the fast f1.5 lens and noise reduction it's almost on par with the AC130 and Canon XF100, which have bigger chips. Almost. Again, don't compare it to a Sony F5 or a Canon C500, or anything else costing much more.
The camera's size is smaller than the AC series, or Canon XF100, and about the same size as the Sony NX70. It's bigger than the Canon XF10 or 20, or JVC HM150, but still fits nicely in most any bag and has a good form factor.
If you're a Final Cut Pro editor the footage was seamless into FCPX. You're going to have some workarounds with FCP7. Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 (and I thus assume CC) were seamless as well. I did not try it with PC oriented programs.
If you buy one, pick up at least two SD cards, an extra battery, and an ND filter plus a polarizer for bright conditions outside. You'll thank yourself later.
Again, for the price, I believe this is the best prosumer camcorder on the market today. The picture quality is great, it has a lot of very useful features, the shortcomings are fairly small, and the price is unbeatable.
The camera is what I wanted. Great low light, great clarity, and great range. I compared to the Canon XA25 I just bought at work, and the AC90 is my camera of choice. The low noise in low light conditions is excellent. Most of my shoots are in low light (auditoriums and music halls). The 12x zoom is good enough, but the image quality on the screen is the main point of this camera. On an 80 inch Sharp LCD, the 1080 60p picture of the AC90 with low indoor light is far superior to the Canon XA25. I can read the letters on the signs next to the stage with the AC90, while the Canon picture was brighter, it was fuzzy, and the text was not readable.
I did return the camera I purchased from a Marketplace seller, as it was not the USA model, and did not carry a USA warranty. Beware of this. Amazon handled the return to my satisfaction. Thank you Amazon.
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