The new Panasonic AG-UX180 and AG-UX90 are being billed as the successors to the AVCCAM series and, at $4000 and $3000, will make a definite grab for the entry level of the 4K market when they launch in Q3 this year.
Just a few years ago Panasonic had absolutely no 4K offerings, at a time when almost everyone else was announcing 4K gear at nearly every trade show. All of which is a good demonstration of the adage that good things come to those that wait, because Panasonic has just announced another two cameras to be added to its 4K line-up, taking the total to six.
These are, starting at the top end, the VariCam 35, VariCam LT, the also announced AK-UC3000 4K camera system (see below), the AG-DVX200, and now the two newcomers.
What we have so far from Panasonic is very much a preview of what’s coming, without too much specific detail, but what’s important here is that we now know how Panasonic intends to round-out its 4K professional range.
The new cameras are, according to Panasonic, the successors to the AVCCAM series. There’s a Premium and a Standard model, with the AG-UX90 sporting a 1-Type MOS sensor, optical 15x zoom and UHD 30p recording. The AG-UX180 has a 1-type MOS sensor, optical 20x zoom and UHD 60p recording.
These will be handheld cameras with “sensitivity equivalent to that of conventional handheld cameras”.
The press release we have from Panasonic is couched somewhat in the future tense, but it does give a clear indication that the cameras are scheduled for release in fall (autumn) 2016, which, we’re guessing, might coincide with Amsterdam’s IBC in September (and, conveniently, Photokina shortly afterwards).
Interestingly, the two are intended to support Variable Frame Rate (VFR) recording, from 2-60fps, in full HD. Elsewhere Panasonic says the UX series will support recording up to 4K (4096x2160, 24p only) and UHD (3840x2160) using SD Memory Cards as recording media. The top-end AG-UX180 will also support dual codec recording (UHD2/FHD), IR recording in low light, and 3G SDI/HDMI2.0 output.
Pricing for the AG-UX180 and AG-UX90, as we've already mentioned, is pegged at $4000 and $3000.
Coming in at considerably more, around $37,000 no less, is the UC3000. Targeted at studios, the UC3000 is equipped with a large, full-UHD resolution single MOS sensor with an internal conversion lens that outputs a UHD signal up to 3840/2160/59.94p. A B4-mount accommodates the gamut of existing 2/3-inch lenses to take the sting out of the price somewhat.