Last year at NAB, Panasonic revealed its concept for a 4K varicam camcorder. And what a concept it was, with a large sensor and a revolutionary Android-based user interface. It looked like a genuinely new and refreshing idea for the incoming era of 4K or Ultra High Definition
Unfortunately, that was the last we saw of it. This year, the only 4K camera on display was this one, an obviously consumer model, hidden in a dimly-lit glass case, and absolutely no-one we spoke to knew anything about it. It might as well have been an old DV camera with the label scrubbed off. (This camera was either the same or similar to one shown at CES in January, where it was said to have recording resolutions of 4096 and 3840 x 2160 with a single HDMI output).
Conspicuous absence of anything new to do with 4K
You can understand Panasonic not wanting to get into the Cinema/RAW competition when for some time now they've been concentrating on the possibly more lucrative ENG market, but such a conspicuous absence of anything new to do with 4K - apart from the merest mention that their H.264 variant AVC-Ultra has a 4K mode - really makes you wonder what direction they're headed. Panasonic had a seminal role in the adoption of HD, which makes their absence from the 4K arena all the more poignant.
If anyone from Panasonic is reading this and can give us more details of Panasonic's 4K roadmap, we'd be happy to publish the facts.
Also about Panasonic: Why don't they bring out a camcorder based on the GH3?