Panasonic HC-X1000 4K Camcorder

Panasonic announced this week the release of the HC-X1000 camcorder. The HC-X1000 is a consumer/prosumer camera loaded with pro features. Like, really pro features.

When talking about pro features, the hot topic these days is resolution, and the HC-X1000 doesn’t disappoint. Capable of 4K, UHD, or 1080p in a number of frame rates and codecs, the HC-X1000 is already bouncing off the glass ceiling of sub-$4000 camcorders.

Now, frame size doesn’t necessarily mean resolution or image quality, so it should be mentioned that the camera puts a 4K 8-MP 1/2.3-inch BSI sensor to work by ALWAYS shooting in 4K.

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That’s right. This consumer camera is always shooting in 4K, regardless of the captured footage.

No line skipping. No cropping.

What this means, is that when shooting in 1080p the camera is capturing 4K and scaling down the video internally. The HD image is created from true 4K, meaning ultimate sharpness in the 1080p shots while maintaining the same perspective as a 4K image.

So about those formats. When recording in 4K, the camera can record Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) at a true 24 fps using the MP4 codec and LPCM audio. It can also shoot in UHD (3840 x 2160) in MP4 at 59.94, 29.97, and 23.98 (23.976) fps, or with Full HD recording available using the MP4, MOV (Quicktime), or AVCHD Progressive codec.

Again, that’s right. A consumer camera shooting in UHD at 60fps. Bitrates? Try 4K at 150Mbps and 2K at 200Mbps. The sensor has other tricks too, like kicking butt at night, with a 0 lux night mode.

When using the quicktime format, it’s possible to choose between inter-frame compression or all-intra-frame compression. The difference is that the all-intra-frame compression means that each frame is compressed individually, regardless of any information from adjacent frames. While this method means less power to play back and edit footage, it comes at a high file size price versus inter-frame compression.

The HC-X1000 captures this footage to two SDXC card slots, and uses either simultaneous recording to both cards for an instant backup, or a relay recording system such as the one found on Sony prosumer cameras, where recording automatically rolls over from a full card to the non-full card. The operator can swap out a full card before the recording rolls over again, therefore allowing pretty much unlimited recording time. Panasonic also upped the ante with a cool feature they call “Background Recording”, which allows the operator to record continuously on one card, while starting and stopping recording on the other card. This allows for capturing selects while keeping a record of an entire event, just in case something too good to miss comes up when not rolling on the select slot.[image:blog_post:51216]

Panasonic packed the HC-X1000 with pro features, such as zebra, histogram, multi-stage ND filters, peaking, multiple image stabilization systems, and more. Two XLR audio inputs with manual and auto controls allow for professional audio capture and monitoring. A 20x 4-drive Leica Dicomar optical zoom lens gives plenty of options for long-throw or tight shots, and – just like the pro cameras – has three independent adjustment rings for focus, zoom and iris control.

Toss in smartphone control through wi-fi or NFC, and a unique illuminating LED ring to show standby and recording modes, this thing is slammed full of features professionals come to expect and will give consumers a camera future proof enough to get started in 4K without breaking the bank.

The HC-X1000 will land in stores in the next month or so for a cool $3,500.

Russ Fairley is a producer, editor and motion graphic designer who enjoys writing for Videomaker. He has also written for About.com (Lifewire.com), RedShark News, Modern Drummer Magazine, and others. He is an Adobe Certified Expert, Adobe Community Leader, and co-founder of After Effects Toronto, Canada's largest motion graphic user group. Fairley is the creator and editor of ProductionWorld.net, a popular production news website.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This camera is on my short list for one to buy in the near future. The review by Russ Fairley strikes me as having been done without actually having one with which to do a "field test." Am I correct? I'm also interested in knowing software and computer requirements necessary for editing.

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