Panasonic has announced three new 4K 60p camcorders designed to provide mobility, efficiency and affordability for small production houses and news gathering professionals.
The lightweight camcorders are ready to go off-the-shelf, and allow working professionals to respond to events as they happen with capabilities including live streaming support, optical image stabilisation, and super slow-motion recording; as well as the convenience of built-in lenses, long battery life, XLR audio input and ND filters.
A heat-dispersing design that includes a newly developed thin fan makes the new models the industry’s smallest and lightest camcorders[i] with an integrated lens capable of 4K 60p recording. By pulling in air from the rear panel and efficiently dispersing heat from the front panel, reliable, extended shooting is achieved.
The new camcorders – the HC-X1500, the HC-X2000 and the AG-CX10 – will be available in Australia in late March. Recognising the demand for live broadcasts of special events and news, the camcorders offer built-in Wi-Fi supporting HD live streaming. In addition, the AG-CX10 supports the broadcaster-targeted P2 MXF file format, ethernet HD live streaming and has an NDI/HX[ii] compatible IP connection. Connectivity is provided for use as a live camera.
Other capabilities include two manual rings, an ND Filter, plus a built-in LED Video Light on the HC-X2000 and AG-CX10. The camcorders support 24-bit high resolution Linear PCM Audio recording, 4:2:2 10bit internal video recording up to 4K 30p and the new, high-efficiency HEVC codec for 4K 60p recording. High-spec optical performance is achieved with a wide-angle 25mm[iii] LEICA Dicomar lens, and 32x intelligent zoom (i.ZOOM) in 4K recording.
Key features supporting high-quality recording
Powerful optical performance for precise shooting
The camcorders’ integrated lens has a 24x optical zoom ranging from 25mm wide angle to 600mm tele. i.ZOOM achieves 32x at 4K resolution, and 48x at FHD. The 4-Drive Lens System drives four lens groups independently for a powerful zoom in a compact body.
The LEICA Dicomar lens meets the stringent criteria of Leica Camera AG to deliver precise resolution and contrast, producing stunning images while suppressing flaring and ghosts. Two Manual Rings are provided, one for focusing and the other for zoom or iris operation. The rings are different sizes so it’s easy to select and control the right ring at a touch. ND Filters can be selected from 1/4, 1/16, 1/64, and Clear; and the use of glass protects against scorching from sunlight condensation.
5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S. for stable image acquisition
In both UHD and FHD modes, in addition to O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilisation), Electronic Image Stabilisation operates to detect and correct handshake in 5 axes, including rotational blurring, to produce stable images at 24x optical zoom. This provides strong correction under unstable conditions, from low-angle to high-angle shooting. A Ball O.I.S. System reduces friction on the drive section, achieving delicate correction even for small-amplitude handshake.
Super slow-motion recording expands creative expression
FHD mode offers slow-motion recording at 120 fps (for 59.94Hz) and 100fps (for 50Hz). 10-bit recording is supported, and full sensor area images are obtained even at high frame rates. Auto focus can be used during slow-motion recording.
High-performance processor delivers versatile recording modes
Panasonic’s high-performance Venus Engine processor achieves 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording with maximum 29.97p in UHD, and maximum 59.94p in FHD.
When set for 10-bit recording, the camcorder delivers 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output, enabling high image quality capture with an external recorder. New, highly efficient HEVC recording (LongGOP/10-bit 4:2:0/MOV) is also supported for recording 59.94p at a high bit rate of 200 Mbps.
In addition to MOV, MP4, and AVCHD, the AG-CX10 will also support P2 MXF, and AVC-Intra/AVC-LongG codec recording after a free future update (timing to be announced).
High-speed, high-precision AF including Face Detection AF/AE
Superior focusing speed, stability and tracking performance for both 4K and Full HD is achieved thanks to Face Detection AF/AE together with the precise focus lens drive.
In addition, precise subject tracking, with skin tone recognition to distinguish between faces and backgrounds, can be activated by touching the LCD panel.
Features to streamline professional camera work
Versatile network functions expand user workflow
A Wi-Fi module is built-in, so there is no need for a separate wireless LAN module. Using a tablet application HC ROP, wireless remote control, including camera settings and lens control, can be set. RTSP/RTP/RTMP/RTMPS-Compatible HD Streaming allows direct connection and streaming over Facebook, YouTube, etc., of content such as concerts, sports events, and news flashes.
In addition, the AG-CX10 is NDI/HX compatible. When a paid third party activated key (details and pricing to be announced) is downloaded, NDI/HX[v] mode can be enabled. This allows data transmission and camera control via IP connection without an external converter, thanks to the AG-CX10’s wired LAN capability.
Other network features:
- 3G-SDI for connecting to an external recorder (AG-CX10, HC-X2000)
- USB (micro AB) to LAN Conversion Adaptor and USB micro AB-Host Cable included (AG-CX10)
- Compatibility with wired remote controls via the remote terminal
Enhanced viewing and monitoring
A bright video light is built into the handle of the HC-X2000 and AG-CX10, adjustable from 30 percent to 100 percent using the dimmer dial. For shooting in even darker conditions, commercially available infrared (IR lights) are supported[vii]. The 3.5-inch monitor has 2,760K-dot resolution, providing enhanced viewing under bright sunlight. An electrostatic touch panel improves operating ease when selecting menu items. The 1,555K-dot tiltable viewfinder (EVF) and LCD output simultaneously, offering faster image confirmation to improve work efficiency. Also, to support fast, accurate manual focusing, Focus Assist functions include Expand, Peaking and One-push AF. The included battery does not protrude when attached and enables around 4.5 hours of continual operation.
Double SD Card Slot for seamless recording
Two SD memory card slots are provided. With Unlimited Relay Recording, the recording media switches automatically and seamlessly from Slot 1 to Slot 2. Simultaneous Recording and Background Recording are also selectable.
48-kHz/24-bit High Resolution Linear PCM Audio Recording
The handle of the HC-X2000 and AG-CX10 provides +48V Phantom Power Supply/MIC/LINE Selectable XLR Audio Input with manual volume controls, available for each of the 2 channels. Also supported are a 24-bit linear PCM system (MOV/P2 MXF – AG-CX10 only), 16-bit AAC (MP4), or Dolby Audio system (AVCHD) high-quality 2-channel audio recording. The optional handle unit (VW-HU1) is required for the HC-X1500 to access these capabilities.
Optional Handle Unit
A Handle Unit (VW-HU1) has been added as an optional accessory for the HC-X1500. It is easily detached and equipped with a 2-channel XLR Audio Input, audio control, and LED light. Operation of the zoom lever attached to the Handle Unit maintains a constant zoom speed, which can be set in seven steps from the menu.