It is early September 2014, which means IBC is almost upon us. In the weeks before the event we’re bound to see a few new camera announcements. This year it has actually been a rather plentiful year, and we’ve been a bit spoilt by a landslide of new camera announcements as manufacturers are eager to beat each other to market and get their “First 4K camera in …..” before the other guys.
Panasonic have been working hard on getting 4K incorporated in many of their Pro and consumer models. I was lucky enough to see a fully working model of their flagship digital cinema camera – the Panasonic VariCam 35 4K in a demo presentation recently, a 4K 120fps monster gunning for the Alexa, F55/F65 prime spot.
Arch nemesis Sony have gone 4K crazy with their camera announcements this year by announcing at least 10 (just kidding, but seems like it) new cameras this year and almost all of the are either 4K or “4K Ready” just like the PXW-X70. Earlier in the year we saw Panasonic square it off against Sony by announcing rivalling 4K mirrorless cameras the GH4 – “the 1st Mirrorless camera to feature 4K recording” and Sony A7s – “the 1st Full Frame 4K mirrorless camera” both looking to win over videographers and DSLR shooters and get them shooting in 4K for less than $4K.
Panasonic have just announced their ENG-style semi-pro entry into the 4K game with the new Panasonic HC-X1000 4K camcorder. Sporting familiar ergonomics and design, the camera is “the 1st prosumer 4K 50/60p recording on an SD card” and has the following features:
- 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor (8.85 MP)
- 2 x Crystal Engines Pro 4K
- 4K DCI (4960 x 2160) at 24p – 100Mbps IPB
- 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at 50p/60p – 150Mbps IPB
- 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at 25/30p – 100Mbps IPB
- Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 24/25/30/50/60p – 200Mbps ALL-Intra or 100/50Mbps IPB
- MOV/MP4/AVCHD recording
- SDXC cards x 2 – for continuous and back-up recording
- Built-in ND filters – 1/4, 1/16, 1/64
- Dual XLR inputs – LPCM/AAC audio
- 20x Leica Dicomar f1.8-f3.5 Zoom lens
- 3 lens control rings – Iris, Zoom, Focus (no hard stops, electronically linked)
- Image Stabilisation: C4K/UHD by POWER O.I.S.
- Image Stabilisation: 1080p/lower – 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ with Active Mode
- 3.5″ Slide-retractable LCD with Touch Screen
B&H have a first look at the new HC-X1000 4K Camcorder:
Some of the neat features of this camera are that it can shoot both in DCI compliant Cinema 4K – 4096 x 2160 as well as UHD standard 3840 x 2160 with the latter at frame rates up to 50/60p, which is impressive for a prosumer camcorder.
The top LCD screen sports an interesting “slide-retractable design”, which can come in handy. I like the RECORD button covers as well as the audio controls plastic covers. The illuminated LED ring, which glows red when recording as well as IR recording capabilities complete the package. All in all, a solid package 4K camcorder with all the functionality one would expect, and the benefit of 4K downsampling (not sensor cropping or pixel-binning) for very clean Full HD images.
Videographers, live event shooters or even high-end hobbyists and those looking for an entry level 4K camera with a decent on board codec and professional features like XLR audio inputs, built-in ND filters and independent lens control rings will find the HC-X1000 a viable option for their productions.
The camera is priced at $3,497.99 over at B&H. UK price is expected at £2,599 and the camera is said to start shipping in mid-October.
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