Panasonic introduces two professional 4K 60p camcorder equipped with 1.0-Type (1.0-inch) sensor and offering 24.5mm wide-angle (35mm equivalent) and optical 20x zoom.
Panasonic is paving the way for a future when smartphones are able to devour more of the imaging market. The HC-X2 and HC-X20 now announced are compact professional 4K camcorders that were developed around a 1.0-type (1.0-inch) sensor, to be able to offer the rich features and performance demanded by professionals, but with an excellent weight balance that makes them easy to use for news, interview, and event photography.
Panasonic states that the HC-X2 and HC-X20 offer further enhanced video performance and expandability in anticipation of the market for handheld camcorders with an integrated lens that can be quickly adapted to any site that is expected to remain in stable demand without being replaced by digital SLR cameras and smartphones. It’s not hard to imagine this is what Panasonic was talking about when they announced their partnership with Leica under the name L2 Technology and the promise of a new imaging world.
Here is the information shared by Panasonic regarding the new Panasonic Pro 4K 60p camcorders:
The HC-X2/X20 offers optical performance that will capture any subject with features such as a 20x optical zoom, 24.5mm wide angle for both UHD and FHD, 4K high-precision AF with new face detection and higher precision, 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+, high brightness LCD, and more.
For video recording, the camcorders support 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 30p/25p internal video recording and the new, high-efficiency HEVC codec. They have been equipped with a wide variety of recording formats for the best selection. Super slow motion (120/100 fps) and VFR (2 to 60 fps) allow for a wider range of video expression.
They are also equipped with numerous features such as simultaneous display on the LCD monitor and EVF, Triple Manual Rings, 2-Channel XLR audio input terminals, ND filter, dual SD card slots, unlimited time shooting, built-in Wi-Fi, and more to meet various needs in the professional video production field.
The HC-X2, a higher-end model, is newly equipped with HLG Gamma Mode and 13-stop V-log for use in the production of 4K HDR video content, which is expected to increase in the future. The HC-X2 also supports direct connection to Ethernet terminals and simultaneous SDI/HDMI output and is equipped with HD live streaming capabilities and supports a variety of streaming protocols. HLG is a standard jointly developed by NHK and the BBC. It is standardized as ARIB STD-B67 or ITU Rec. 2100.
The HC-X2 is the ideal camcorder for medium-scale news gathering and streaming that can be used to build professional workflows, and the HC-X20 as a camcorder for small-scale independent interviews and events.
Optical performance for precise shooting
The integrated lens offers a remarkably powerful, optical 20x zoom that ranges from 24.5mm* wide angle to 490mm tele (35mm equivalent). i.ZOOM achieves 24x at 4K resolution, and 32x at FHD. The 4-Drive Lens System drives the four lens groups independently, thus achieving the optical 20x zoom and compact body size.
High-speed, High-precision AF with Face Detection AF/AE
Superior focusing speed, stability and tracking performance for both 4K and Full-HD is achieved thanks to Face Detection AF/AE together with the precise focus lens drive. Face Detection AF/AE provides precise focusing and sufficient exposure for subjects. In addition, subject tracking with color recognition can be activated by just touching the LCD panel enabling precise tracking.
5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ Enables Stable Image Acquisition
For both UHD and FHD modes, in addition to OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), Electronic Image Stabilization operates to detect and correct handshake in 5 axes, including rotational blurring. This provides strong correction under unstable conditions, such as low-angle and high-angle shooting. The Ball O.I.S. System reduces friction on the drive section, achieving delicate correction even for small-amplitude handshake. This produces beautiful images with suppressed handshake even at high, 20x optical zoom.
High-sensitivity 1.0-type (1.0-inch) 4K Sensor for Superb Image Quality
The 1.0-type (1.0-inch) MOS sensor (approximately 15.03 effective megapixels) is capable of recording at UHD (3840 x 2160) without cropping and offers a moderate depth of field and an excellent balance between image quality and sensitivity. The file format can be selected from versatile and easy-to-use MOV (QuickTime), MP4 and AVCHD.
High-Quality Recording with Versatile Modes
The camcorders support a variety of bit rates and formats to meet professional needs. Internal recording of UHD up to 29.98p/25p and FHD up to 59.94p/50p in 4:2:2 10-bit high quality is now possible. When set for 10-bit recording, the camcorder delivers 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output, enabling high image quality capture with an external recorder. New, highly efficient HEVC recording (LongGOP/10-bit 4:2:0/MOV) is also supported for recording UHD 59.94p/50p at a high bit rate of 200 Mbps, in addition to MOV, MP4, and AVCHD file formats.
HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) /V-log for HDR Video Production (HC-X2 only)
HDR is an image display technology that provides a wider brightness range (dynamic range) than conventional SDR. HDR renders more natural and true-to-life images without compromising the gradation in bright image areas or dark image areas. The HC-X2 is equipped with HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) shooting mode, one of the standards related to HDR. In addition, it supports V-Log, which is also available on the Panasonic VARICAM cinema camera and LUMIX mirrorless cameras, providing 13 stops of latitude. When combined with a V-log compatible camera, color grading provides a uniform image in post-production.
Super Slow Motion and 4K (UHD) VFR (2 to 60/50 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-X2/X20 is also equipped with a 4K (UHD) VFR (variable frame rate) recording function that allows the change of frame rate from 2 to 60/50 fps (Selectable frame rate depends on the recording forma). 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.
Versatile Network Functions Expand the User’s Workflow
The built-in Wi-Fi module enables Wi-Fi connectivity using only the main unit. The HC-ROP tablet/smartphone app enables wireless remote control, including camera settings and lens control.
The HC-X2 is equipped with Ethernet for more stable live streaming, and the HC-X20 can also be connected to a wired LAN by using a USB Ethernet adapter (sold separately).
RTSP/RTP/RTMP/RTMPS-compatible FHD streaming enables direct connection and streaming of live concerts, sporting events, breaking news, etc. to Facebook, YouTube, etc. It is also now possible to record while streaming.
Other Network Features (HC-X2 only):
- USB tethering enables streaming using 5G smartphones.
Functions and Designs Supporting Pro Camera Work
The 3.5-inch LCD monitor has a high resolution of approximately 2,760k dots, more than double that of the previous model (HC-X1), and realizes excellent visibility even in bright sunlight with twice the brightness compared to that model. The electrostatic touch panel also improves operability when selecting menus.
Since the 2,360K-dot tiltable viewfinder and LCD output simultaneously, the image being recorded can also be confirmed in the LCD monitor while viewing it on the EVF, thus improving work efficiency. Also, to support fast, accurate manual focusing, Focus Assist functions are equipped, including Expand, Peaking and Area Mode. For shooting in even darker conditions, commercially available IR lights (recommended: 850-nm wavelength light) are supported for IR (Infrared) Shooting.
The lens barrel features Triple Manual Rings for zoom, focus and iris operations. There are a total of 14 User buttons, nine on the body and five on the LCD touch panel. These User buttons can be allocated with desired functions.
The ND filter can be set to Clear, 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 included battery is designed to be integrated into the camera, not protruding from it, and can provide approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes (HC-X2)/4 hours and 25 minutes (HC-X20) of continuous shooting.
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.
- 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. Note that 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.
- 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 (HC-X2 only): Records images simultaneously in two different formats, such as Main (UHD/FHD) and Sub (FHD), etc. This achieves an efficient workflow. Note that only MOV format is supported.
48-kHz/24-bit High Resolution Linear PCM Audio Recording
+48V Phantom Power Supply/MIC/LINE Selectable XLR Audio Input with Manual Volume is equipped for each of 2 channels. Also supported is a 24-bit linear PCM system (MOV), 16-bit AAC (MP4), or Dolby Audio system (AVCHD) high-quality 2-channel audio recording.
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 softly and beautifully. Especially effective when recording the 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.
- Variety of Gamma Modes: The gamma setting can be selected from eight modes including two CINE-LIKE gammas. In addition to the eight modes, the HC-X2 is also equipped with HLG and V-log. This allows the user to achieve the most suitable gradation according to the specific video production need.