The new Panasonic HC-X1 Ultra HD Professional Camcorder, announced at IFA 2016, is developed to meet and exceed professional video production needs, while it offers a wide view of the world, with a newly integrated lens system which boasts the industry’s widest angle at 24mm and 20X zoom.
In response to the rising demand for 4K video content, the Panasonic HC-X1 4K camcorder helps create attractive and beautiful 4K videos. The effective 1.0-type (inch) MOS Sensor (9.46 megapixels at 4K24p/8.79 megapixels at UHD, FHD) offers an appropriate depth of field and excellent balance between image quality and sensitivity. The HC-X1 can record in 4K24p (4096 x 2160), UHD 60p/50p (3840 x 2160) or FHD 60p/50p (1920 x 1080).
For the global business of professional users, says Panasonic, the system frequency can be flexibly selected from 59.94 Hz, 50.00 Hz and 24.00 Hz. The file format can be selected from versatile and easy-to-use MOV (QuickTime), MP4 and AVCHD. The variety of recording modes with selectable image quality, frame rate and bit rate settings respond to a wide range of applications from cinema production to online distribution.
Along with the sensor Panasonic introduces a new Leica DICOMAR 4K lens with the industry’s widest angle 24mm (for a camcorder with integrated lens, according to a Panasonic survey), and optical 20x zoom. The lens allows low-distortion, wide-angle shooting without the use of a wide conversion lens, thus supporting professional video production. The association with the 1.0-type (inch) allows the system to realize the world’s first (again, for a camcorder with integrated lens having a 1-type (inch) or larger sensor and according to Panasonic survey) optical 20x zoom. Quick zooming is possible from wide-angle to telephoto. The 4-Drive Lens System individually drives each of the four lens groups to minimize the drive range of each lens group and provide optical 20x zoom with its small body.
The X1 includes desirable professional features such as 2-channel XLR Audio, Wired/Wireless remote control, triple manual rings, a user switch, timecode, ND Filters and twin SD card slots. Additionally the X1 offers Live HDMI output. The X1 has amazing 5-Axis O.I.S. for 4K 24p recording, UHD 60p/50p recording, dual codec recording (UHD and FHD) and IR shooting. While offering high image quality and advanced functions allowing the user record images exactly as intended, it boasts high mobility and operational ease only a handheld camcorder can provide and streamlines workflows to support professional video production.
The lens barrel features Triple Manual Rings for zoom, focus and iris operations. There are a total of 13 user buttons, nine on the body and four on the LCD touch panel. These user buttons can be allocated with desired functions. The 3.5-type (inch) monitor built into the handle section can be pulled out and turned 270 degrees in the vertical direction for high-angle, low-angle and selfie shooting. The EVF is a high-resolution (approx. 1,769,000 dots) color OLED display with superb color reproduction. What’s more, the HC-X1 is equipped with a wealth of focus assist functions to support quick and accurate manual focusing, such as MF Assist, One-Push AF, Expand/Peak, Focus Transition and Area Function.
The ND filter can be set to OFF, 1/4, 1/16 or 1/64. Gain selector and AWB selector are also provided. The controls are designed and engineered to meet the needs of video professionals. The correction area was expanded to approximately 900% (except 4K 24p mode) of the conventional area to strongly correct low- and high-angle shots (compared with Panasonic’s AG-AC160). In FHD mode, a 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S. + that adds electronic image stabilization to optical image stabilization detects and corrects 5 axes, including the roll rotation.
The Micro Drive Focus Unit has achieved stable and high-speed AF with excellent tracking performance to ensure accurate focusing, which is extremely important in 4K shooting. The AF operation settings are customizable. By adjusting the speed, tracking sensitivity and area width, the user can program the AF operation exactly as intended in accordance with the subject type and application.
Some of the features of the Panasonic HC-X1
Super Slow Motion and VFR (2 to 60 fps)
The Super Slow Motion function records HD images at a high speed of 120 fps (59.94 Hz)/100 fps (50 Hz) to provide a slow-motion effect. The HC-X1 is also newly equipped with a VFR (variable frame rate) recording function that allows the change of frame rate setting in ten steps from 2 to 60 fps. This lets the user produce creative and expressive videos using techniques such as overcranking for a slow-motion effect and undercranking for a quick-motion effect.
Professional Interfaces for Smooth System Operation
The Panasonic HC-X1 is equipped with two channel XLR audio inputs with switchable +48V phantom power supply/MIC/LINE and manual volume. It records high-quality sound in two channels using either a 16-bit linear PCM system (MOV/MP4) or Dolby Digital system (AVCHD). When mounted with the wireless module (AJ-WM50/AJ-WM30, sold separately and not available in all areas), an iPad installed with the AG ROP can be used for wireless remote control of camera settings, lens control and others.
The HC-X1 also offers expandability for users in commercial video production, such as the wired remote terminal, OSD level meter, 1-kHz test tone output and headphone output (3.5-mm-diameter stereo mini jack).
Double SD Card Slot and UHD/FHD Dual Codec Recording
Two SD memory card slots are provided. The recording media switches automatically and seamlessly from Slot 1 to Slot 2. By changing a full SD card with a new SD card, images can be recorded continuously for many hours.
- Unlimited* Relay Recording: Data is recorded continuously by automatically switching the recording SD card from Slot 1 to Slot 2. By changing the full SD card with a new SD card, images can be recorded continuously for many hours.
- Simultaneous Recording: Identical data is recorded onto cards in both slots in this highly redundant recording mode.
- Background Recording: One SD card can be set in Slot 2 to record continuously, and another SD card can be set in Slot 1 to record necessary scenes by turning REC on and off.
- Dual Codec Recording: Records images simultaneously in two different formats, such as Main (UHD/FHD) and Sub (FHD), etc. This achieves an efficient workflow.
* Maximum file size that can be recorded over multiple SD cards is 96 GB. Recording will not stop even when the data size exceeds 96 GB.
Broadcast-grade Camera Image Adjustment Functions
- 16-Axis Independent Color Correction Function: Allows color matching of multiple cameras under the same lighting condition as well as creative image rendering.
- Soft Skin: Makes skin colors appear soft and beautiful. Especially effective when recording a person up close.
- Master Detail: Adjusts the overall degree of contour enhancement.
- Scene File: Six sets of image quality settings are preset in scene files. Parameters in each set can be changed flexibly. One set can be saved in the main unit, and up to eight sets can be stored on an SD memory card.
- 8-Mode Gamma: Gamma setting can be selected from seven modes including two types of CINE-LIKE gamma. This allows the user to achieve the most suitable gradation according to the specific video production needed.
LCD/EVF Displays That Assist Shooting
- Waveform and Vectorscope Display: WAVE (Waveform) and VECTOR (Vectorscope) can be easily displayed on a sub screen of the LCD monitor.
- ZEBRA: Two zebra patterns are built in. The level can be changed from 50% to 105% in 5% steps.
- Marker (Y Level): The brightness level in the center of the image is displayed in percentage.
- Level Gauge: Horizontal or vertical tilting of the camcorder can be checked on the LCD and viewfinder.
- A Safety Zone Marker and Center Marker can be displayed.
The HC-X1 will be available in December at $3199.99.