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Panasonic HC-X1 4K Ultra HD Professional Camcorder (Black)
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- Advanced Optical Image Stabilizer (4K/UHD/FHD) and 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S. (FHD)
- Supports 4K, UHD, FHD; 60p/50p/25p/24p
- High-performance LEICA DICOMAR 4K Lens 24mm f2.8-F4.5 with optical 20X zoom (24-480mm).
- 2-channel XLR Audio, Wired/Wireless remote control, triple Manual Rings, user switch, timecode, ND Filter, Live HDMI output.
- Simultaneous 4K UHD/FHD dual codec recording to two SD cards.Focal Length 8.8 - 176 mm
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From the manufacturer
Designed for Professional Recording
Panasonic HC-X1 4K Pro camcorder supports 4K 24p, UHD 60p/50p, multi-format recording and HD super slow-motion. Plus it includes a wide 24mm angle LEICA DICOMAR 4K 20x lens.
4K 1.0 inch MOS Sensor
A effective MOS 1.0 inch sensor (approx. 9.46MP in 4K 24p, and approx. 8.79MP in UHD/FHD) with depth of field and excellent balance between image quality and sensitivity. Even super slow-motion recording is possible.
4-Drive Lens System
The HC-X1 is a 4-Drive Lens System that simultaneously and independently drives 4 lens groups. Lens size and drive range for each of the 4 groups can be efficiently suppressed to optimize image quality and zoom power.
LEICA DICOMAR 4K Lens
The new high performance Leica Dicomar 24mm 4K Lens delivers 24mm* at the wide-angle setting with little distortion. A perfect solution for recording in tight and narrow spaces.
*35mm film camera equivalent at 4K 24p (aspect ratio 17:9). 25.4mm for UHD/FHD (aspect ratio 16:9).
20X Optical Zoom
The optical 20X zoom lens covers the range from 24mm wide-angle to 480mm telescopic (35mm film equivalent at 4K 24p). And the lens can quickly zoom from wide-angle to telescopic.
Precise AF performance is achieved by moving the Micro Drive Focus Unit minutely and quickly. AF can customize by adjusting AF Speed, AF Sensitivity and AF Area to best accommodate the subject type or application.
5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S.
By using hand-shake correction that combines the effects of both optical and electronic image stabilization in HD shooting modes, hand-shake in various directions, including roll rotation, is detected and corrected.
Dual SD Memory Card Slots
Two SD card slots enable unlimited* relay recording by simply changing SD cards, and simultaneous recording and background recording ensures recording reliability.
*The maximum amount of data that can be recorded on multiple SD cards is 96 GB. Recording will not stop even when the data size exceeds 96 GB.
Wireless Remote Control from an iPad
A wireless module (AJ-WM50/AJ-WM30, sold separately) the AG ROP app for iPad* provides wireless remote control over camera settings, picture quality adjustment, REC start/stop and menu settings, and lens. Also displays a thumbnail view and preview to check recorded clips ** on an iPad.
*Free download from the Apple App Store. Supports iOS 7.1, iOS 8.1 and iOS 9.
**Only sub-recording (8 Mbps) of dual codec recording is supported with preview.
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Display Resolution Maximum||1,152,000|
|Item Dimensions||7.68 x 6.81 x 13.6 inches|
|Item Weight||4.41 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||9,700 Watt Hours|
|Lithium Battery Voltage||9.7 Volts|
|Lithium Battery Weight||6 grams|
|Media Type||SD Card|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Shipping Weight||8.95 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Panasonic VW-VBD58|
|Video Capture Resolution||4k|
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|Screen Size||3.5 in||3.5 in||—||1 in||3.5 in||3 in|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS||MOS||MOS||MOS||CCD||CMOS|
|Video Capture Resolution||4k||4k||4k||4k||4K||4K|
The light, compact Panasonic HC-X1 4K Ultra HD professional camcorder has the features, functions and controls to meet and exceed professional video production needs. It supports 4K 24p, UHD 60p/50p, FHD 60p/50p multi-format recording and HD super slow-motion. The X1 includes desirable professional features like; 2-channel XLR Audio, Wired/Wireless remote control, triple Manual Rings, user switch, timecode, ND Filter, twin SD card slots, Live HDMI output and a wide 24mm angle LEICA DICOMAR 4K Lens and optical 20x zoom with amazing 5-Axis O.I.S.
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I'm not a professional videographer/photographer however I've learned a few things over the years as a storm chaser. For many years I've wanted to upgrade into the professional level but found it hard to justify the cash investment. My main camera previously; the Panasonic HDC-HS300 was too light (weight) for hand-held use, I was using it for too many things causing me to miss shots, and it was getting old. I needed another work horse.
I went through a two-month period of a DETAILED research torn between DSLR/Mirrorless vs. camcorder. With storm chasing, low light performance is important and having a full frame sensor DSLR would be ideal; however I decided I wouldn't compromise my workflow to get it. The less time I spend changing lenses and processing the images later, the better. DSLR's have provide no competitive advantage and are not built for video. There are some mirrorless cameras out there touted for video quaility but they all come with compromises lacking basic features that should be in every video camera! I could have settled for 4K consumer camcorders such as the Sony AX100 but it didn't feel like an upgrade/rolling shutter issues. The HC-X1 was my conclusion for one main reason; it fits me and improves my workflow. Very few compromises.
I prefer to set most settings on auto and let the camera do the work. The HC-X1 out of the box does a pretty good job. I recommend setting your user buttons, zoom speed, and calibrating auto focus right away. I tested gain levels and found +12 or less to be preferable,so I set +12db at the high gain preset. There is a learning curve and you want to make sure you start with the right base with your preferences.
FORMATS - I tend to shoot in UHD 30fps mode. I really like it, it "handles" just like HD 1080p from the HS300. I love the .mp4 format which lets me quickly import files to the computer without waiting for import software to fire up. My experience with UHD 60fps had been good but post-processing will get bogged down. That's not really the camera's fault, but my computer is no slouch either. I like the UHD 60fps capability because as mentioned in other reviews, I feel it's future proof. Also flash band compensation can be enabled at that frame rate (as well as 1080p 60FPS I believe). I haven't truly been able to test the flash band compensation on lightning during a thunderstorm, but I'm hoping it produces a much cleaner image when slowed down. Flash banding is a cancer. Lastly, slow motion. I wasn't going to stretch for 120fps + slow motion offered by DSLR/mirrorless. This camera has 120fps at 1080p but I'm not in a big hurry to use it.
STORAGE - I use two Lexar Professional 1000x 128GB SDXC UHS-II/U3 Cards; thus far I haven't filled either up in one shooting. Two 128GB cards will get you about 5HRS of UHD 30fps. This fits my needs perfectly.
LOW LIGHT - I HAVE NOT fully tested low-light capabilities yet so this is a knee jerk reaction. I don't feel there is a major improvement in low light performance over the HS300's 3 1/3" CMOS setup at 0db+ gain in terms of sensitivity. I feel the 4K image provides much more DETAIL, therefore a better image but not necessarily more sensitive. I love the end result. I recently filmed a night-time thunderstorm from a parking lot and felt the camera did a great job capturing what I was seeing in the moment. It was nice to have the capability to increase the gain if needed but it did well at 0/6+db. It's possible I could be understating the performance here.
BATTERY LIFE - The first charge got me through FOUR minimal use chases/shoots. If I had to guess, battery life on the battery provided lasts somewhere between 2-4 hours. I assume this might be something someone shooting professional grade for awhile might expect, but coming from the consumer level it's a magical moment. For comparison I can easily use three batteries on my HDC HS300 in one chase, each lasting between 30-45min. Yea, 2-4 hours is a HUGE deal. I recommend fully draining your battery the first three times before recharging to preserve battery life.
WIDE ANGLE LENS - With the HDC HS300 I attached a wide angle extender to make the best structure/ timelapse/ interval record videos. It was irritating to have to screw and unscrew the adapter whenever the shot "composition" changed. The HC-X1 and it's 24mm wide angle lens is perfect for storms. Bliss. When the sky is too big I use the GoPro and DSLR (ultra- wide angle lens). In comparision to the HDC HS300 I loose a little bit of the zoom/focal range, but I'd rather have a wide image and crop in via post processing or get simply closer to the subject.
AUDIO - The onboard microphone works well for my needs. I prefer the ambient noise and it does a great job in my opinion.
CONCLUSION - Bang for your buck. $3200 will get you a DSLR body then you will spend $3200 more just to get the same focal range as the HC X1. If shooting in uncontrolled environments is your thing, HC-X1 will work. There are a lot of options out there so I recommend finding the camera that fits your needs. I will update this review as I learn more about the camera.
24mm Wide Angle lens
Lens Hood Shutter (as opposed to detachable lens cover)
Dual SD Card Slots
CONS (or compromises)
Touchscreen is dim. Need to use my hand to see the image sometimes.
Zooming in will decrease the exposure (variable aperture). It's acceptable.
But I found it noisy as it's about 6 times smaller then a Full Frame sensor.
Many features/user controls of the DVX200 but with about half the sensor size of the DVX200.
Lens is smaller diameter then the DVX200 and semi parfocal as it won't consistently maintain focus zoom after zoom so I'm returning it.
Want 4:2:2 10 bit out via HDMI and save $2000. Look at the Panasonic: LUMIX FZ2500 Digital Camera, 21.1 Megapixel, 1-inch Sensor, 4K Video, 20X LEICA VARIO-ELMART F2.8-4.5
Same lens and most likely 1" sensor for thousands less!