Panasonic has announced two professional 4K camcorders which offer the rich features and performance demanded by videographers, coupled with an integrated lens design that makes them ideal for news, interviews, weddings/events and single operator/small scale TV productions.
The new HC-X2 and HC-X20 models offer impressive optical capabilities and stunning 4K video capture as well as functions and customisable controls that streamline video production and workflow.
For excellent results whatever the shooting situation, the camcorders include features such as a 20x optical zoom, 24.5mm[i] wide angle for both UHD and FHD, 4K high-precision AF with face detection, 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+, high brightness LCD, and more.
To deliver stunning content, the new models support 4:2:2 10-bit internal video recording up to 4K 30p and the high-efficiency HEVC codec. A wide variety of recording formats are available, while super slow motion (120/100 fps) and VFR (2 to 60 fps) allow for a wider range of video expression.
There is an array of features to satisfy professional video production needs, including simultaneous display on the LCD monitor and EVF, triple manual rings, 2-Channel XLR audio input terminals, ND filter, dual SD card slots, unlimited shooting time, built-in Wi-Fi, and more. The HC-X2 also includes direct connection to Ethernet terminals, simultaneous SDI/HDMI output, has HD live streaming capabilities and supports a variety of streaming protocols.
Aaron Waters, Product Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic, said: “Our new camcorders ensure ultra-sharp 4K video up to 50/60 frames per second in 10-bit. The 20x optical zoom lens incorporates powerful image stabilsation and built-in neutral density filters, supporting a variety of professional shooting requirements.”
The professional camcorders are available in late October.
Key Capabilities include:
The 1-inch type MOS sensor (approximately 15.03 effective megapixels) is capable of recording at UHD (3840 x 2160) without cropping and offers a moderate depth of field and an excellent balance between image quality and sensitivity.
The camcorders support a variety of bit rates and formats to meet professional needs. Internal recording of UHD up to 29.98p/25p and FHD up to 59.94p/50p in 4:2:2 10-bit quality is available. In 10-bit recording, the camcorders deliver 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output, enabling high image quality capture with an external recorder. HEVC recording (LongGOP/10-bit 4:2:0/MOV) is also supported for recording 59.94p at a high bit rate of 200 Mbps.
The integrated lens has a powerful optical 20x zoom ranging from 24.5mm* wide angle to 490mm* tele. i.ZOOM achieves 24x at 4K resolution, and 32x at FHD.
In both UHD and FHD modes – in addition to OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) – Electronic Image Stabilisation operates to detect and correct handshake in 5 axes, including rotational blurring, to produce stable images at 20x optical zoom. This provides strong correction in 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.
The Super Slow Motion function records HD images at a high speed of 120 fps (59.94 Hz) and 100 fps (50 Hz). The HC-X2/X20 are also equipped with a VFR (variable frame rate) recording function that can be set in ten steps from 2 to 60 fps. This lets the user produce creative and expressive videos using techniques such as overcranking for a slow-motion effect and undercranking for a quick-motion effect.
The HC-X2 is equipped with HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) which allows for high dynamic range video shooting with minimal need for editing, thanks to its broadcast-ready colour gamut format. In addition, it supports V-Log, providing 13 stops of latitude. Designed with consistent colour management and an easier post production workflow in mind, the recorded footage is easily matched with both V-Log L and V-Log footage from LUMIX and Varicam cameras.
Superior focusing speed, stability and tracking performance for both 4K and Full-HD is achieved thanks to Face Detection AF/AE together with the 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.
A Wi-Fi module is built-in, so there is no need for a separate wireless LAN module. The HC-ROP tablet/smartphone app enables wireless remote control, including camera settings and lens control. The HC-X2 is equipped with Ethernet for more stable live streaming, and USB tethering for streaming using 5G smartphones. The HC-X20 can also be connected to a wired LAN by using an USB Ethernet adapter (sold separately).
RTSP/RTP/RTMP/RTMPS-compatible FHD streaming enables direct connection and streaming of content such as live concerts, sporting events, and breaking news to Facebook, YouTube, etc. It is also now possible to record while streaming.
The 3.5-inch LCD monitor has a high resolution of approximately 2,760k dots, providing enhanced viewing in bright sunlight. The electrostatic touch panel also improves operability when selecting menu items.
The 2,360K-dot tiltable viewfinder 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 Area Mode. For shooting in very dark conditions, commercially available infrared (IR) lights[ii] are supported. When capturing video outdoors or in bright light, the ND filter has Clear, 1/4, 1/16 or 1/64 settings. Gain and White Balance can be changed in camera.
The lens barrel features triple manual rings for quick zoom, focus and iris operations. There are 14 customisable buttons, nine on the body and five on the LCD touch panel, which can be assigned to different functions to improve workflow.
The included battery does not protrude when attached and can provide around 3 hours and 50 minutes (HC-X2)/4 hours and 25 minutes (HC-X20) of continuous shooting.
There are two SD memory card slots to suit various recording scenarios, depending on the user’s workflow or project requirements. Benefits available include:
Unlimited Relay Recording: Video can be continuously recorded by hot swapping SD cards. When the SD card in one slot reaches capacity, the camcorder will automatically switch to the other card, allowing users to exchange the full card with a new one while continuing to shoot.
Simultaneous Recording: The same data is recorded simultaneously onto two cards as backup against data loss.
Background Recording: The SD card in Slot 2 can be set to record continuously, while the SD card in Slot 1 will only record when the REC button is pressed.
Dual Codec Recording (HC-X2 only): Records images simultaneously to separate cards in two different formats, such as Main (UHD/FHD) and Sub (FHD), etc. This improves workflow for users who want to edit videos quickly or want to use the same video for different applications.
The camcorders offer +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), 16-bit AAC (MP4), or Dolby Audio system (AVCHD) high-quality 2-channel audio recording.