Ahead of IBC and Photokina, Panasonic drops a prosumer ENG-style camera that shoots 4K 60p internally at a budget-friendly price.
Before the HDSLR revolution, the fixed-lens compact ENG camera was king for prosumers and low-budget productions. There was the Sony PD150 camera, which recorded to miniDV tapes, at 29.97 interlaced. The PD150 was actually the first camera I used in film school. I remember the stir caused by Panasonic, when it released the DVX100, the first ENG shooter at its price range to feature 24p recording and progressive frames (sort-of). By the time I finished at USC, the new, hot prosumer camera was the Panasonic HVX200, which upped the ante by recording HD in 24p.
With the AF100, Panasonic went away from the fixed lens form factor, opting for an interchangeable lens format, to lure those that had discovered the joys of swapping lenses. Since then, Panasonic hasn't released a meaningful prosumer, fixed lens camera under $5000, or at least one that ticked enough boxes for users.
Now, Panasonic returns to the fixed-lens, compact ENG style with the announcement of the HC-X1000, with at least one stand out feature, and priced to sell. The HC-X1000 sports internal 4K recording at 24p, 30p, and 60p (24p and 30p at 100mbs, 60p at 150Mbps) to SDHC and SDXC cards, as well as PAL recording at 25p and 50p, for our European friends. Of course, there's also a variety of 1080 recording options, including a 200Mbps ALL-I (all intraframe compression) 60p setting. The camera has the usual bells and whistles of this body style, with three ND filters, manual controls for irs, focus, and zoom, XLR inputs, analogue audio dials, and more. The glass is a Leica Dicomar with 20x optical zoom.
That's great, but what does it cost?
The MSRP for the Panasonic HC-X1000 is $3499.99 and it is currently up for pre-order at BH Photo. The expected release window is at the end of October, so if you're interested in this camera, you won't have long to wait. And as an extra incentive, BH Photo is throwing in a 64GB Panasonic Gold Series SDXC card, a $129.99 value, to sweeten the deal.
While we at RedShark have wondered if the fixed lens camera is dead, the all-in-one form factor definitely has its advantages. Sometimes, you just want to grab a camera and go, and not have to mess with a thousand accessories. And the Panasonic HC-X1000 represents a tremendous value, if the specs hold up as well in use as they do on paper.
Here's the BH Photo First Look at the Panasonic HC-X1000. And don't miss the full press release from Panasonic on Page Two!
Full Press Release
Berlin, September 3rd 2014 – Panasonic is today launching the HC-X1000, its first prosumer camcorder capable of recording 4K 60p/50p video images on an SD card. Featuring a LEICA Dicomar Lens alongside a new BSI Sensor, and Crystal Engine Pro 4K, the HC-X1000 produces stunning, lifelike images in Ultra HD 4K resolution. In addition, the camcorder packs a wide variety of professional features and functions and a 20x optical zoom lens into an extremely compact body, enabling the most nimble and mobile shooting as the scene unfolds.
With versatile file formats - including AVCHD, MOV and MP4 - and high bit rates, the HC-X1000 is ideal for a wide range of shooting applications. In addition, features and functions such as three manual rings, 2-Channel XLR Audio Input Terminals, ND Filters, and Dual SD Card Slots demonstrate how the HC-X1000 is designed to meet and exceed professional requirements.
Mobile, Ultra HD video in 4K
Ideal for shooting high quality documentaries and events, the HC-X1000 records in QFHD resolution (3840 x 2160) and Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) formats which produce smooth flowing 60p/50p images.
The HC-X1000’s 1/2.3” BSI Sensor offers increased readout speed which makes it possible to handle large-volume 4K data at 60 fps/50 fps, suppressing the rolling shutter distortion that often occurs when shooting moving subjects.
In addition, the high speed Crystal Engine Pro 4K processes the massive volume of data required for 4K shooting quickly and accurately, while a new noise reduction system achieves clear images with minimal noise even when shooting in extreme low-light situations.
Featuring a high-performance lens, which has passed all of LEICA’s stringent inspection standards in areas such as resolution and contrast, the HC-X1000 is able to render sharp, crisp images and produce the distinctive nuances and subtle shading that LEICA lenses are renowned for. Three ND filters (1/4, 1/16, 1/64) are built into the lens to suppress the amount of incident light in different shooting environments. This allows you to shoot at a slow shutter speed in bright daylight for example, or fully open the lens to attain high resolution and a shallow depth of field.
Versatile and high bit rate recording
Featuring versatile recording formats, bit rates and editing options, the HC-X1000 is ideal for a wide variety of prosumers and professionals. AVCHD format is available alongside MOV and MP4 for quick and easy editing, and Full HD recording employs ALL-Intra compression for a maximum bit rate of 200 Mbps, bringing outstanding quality to the image production.
The HC-X1000 has also been designed with cinematographers in mind - its 4K video supports not only QFHD resolution (3840 x 2160) for TV broadcasting, but also Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) for movie production.
The superb 4K recording capabilities offered by the HC-X1000 also provides a lot more flexibility in the editing suite. 4K allows you to crop your composition and choose the perfect frame, as well as zoom 200 percent while maintaining HD quality; turn stationary footage into panning shots; tilt and level the footage; or easily stabilise your film.
Ergonomic design with professional features and functions
The HC-X1000 boasts an ergonomic design, with covers to prevent operating errors while shooting, and a button layout that's designed for easy operation wherever you’re filming.
In spite of the HC-X1000's compact body, it features a wide variety of manual controls to enable fast and intuitive camera work, including a focus ring, iris ring, a zoom ring on the lens barrel, and an illuminating LED ring to easily verify that recording is in progress.
The HC-X1000’s versatile 3.5” Slide-Retractable Touch LCD serves as a high definition, 1,152,000-dot monitor and menu-setting touch panel. When not in use, it slides into the front handle for extra mobility and safety. It also rotates 270 degrees vertically for easy high-angle, low-angle and self-interview shooting.
In addition, the HC-X1000’s two built-in SD card slots provide extra flexibility and peace of mind. Using two slots enables you to record the same data onto both SD cards at the same time, meaning you can easily swap between them and never have to worry about losing the data. Additionally with Auto-Switch Recording, when the first card reaches full capacity the system automatically and seamlessly switches to the second card. Furthermore, with Background Recording, you can set the SD card in Slot 2 to record continuously from the moment a recording event starts, and record only necessary scenes onto the SD card in Slot 1 by turning REC on and off. This eliminates the worry of not recording important scenes that take place while the REC switch is turned off.
The HC-X1000 also sports a 2-channel XLR audio input terminal for external microphones or line recording with a +48 V phantom power supply, enabling the use of professional-spec, high-performance sound recording equipment.
For more information, please visit http://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/cameras-camcorders/camcorders/hd-camcorders/hc-x1000e.html