By site editor Dan Chung:
2014 is clearly the year of the 4K camera. The new Panasonic HC-X1000 is a conventional camcorder design but with 4K recording at up to 60fps at 150Mbps or alternatively HD recording at up to 200 Mbps in ALL-I mode. It can record in different file formats with MP4, MOV and AVCHD all offered depending on the resolution and frame rate.
B+H Photo have had an early look at the camera and produced the video above.
The HC-X1000 has a 20x optical zoom lens coupled with a 1/2.3” BSI Sensor. Clearly it will not have the look and feel of a large sensor camera but this is balanced against the convenience of having everything required for 4K run-and-gun shooting in a small package. Features include a 3.5” flip out LCD screen, dual XLR audio inputs, Internal ND filters and separate control rings for focus, iris and zoom.
As the B+H video points out the smaller sensor will produce a noisier image in low light than most large sensor camcorders, but when recording in HD the image will benefit from better noise levels thanks to in-camera downscaling of the 4K image to HD (rather than pixel binning or a sensor crop to achieve the HD).
One thing that isn’t yet clear is whether this is a world camera that can shoot both PAL and NTSC or whether, like the GH4, the frame rates are determined by the region you purchase it in.
Orders are being accepted now from B+H at $3499.99 US.
This from Panasonic:
Berlin, September 3rd 2014 – Panasonic is today launching the HC-X1000, its first prosumer camcorder capable of recording 4K 60p/50p video images on an SD card. Featuring a LEICA Dicomar Lens alongside a new BSI Sensor, and Crystal Engine Pro 4K, the HC-X1000 produces stunning, lifelike images in Ultra HD 4K resolution. In addition, the camcorder packs a wide variety of professional features and functions and a 20x optical zoom lens into an extremely compact body, enabling the most nimble and mobile shooting as the scene unfolds.
With versatile file formats – including AVCHD, MOV and MP4 – and high bit rates, the HC-X1000 is ideal for a wide range of shooting applications. In addition, features and functions such as three manual rings, 2-Channel XLR Audio Input Terminals, ND Filters, and Dual SD Card Slots demonstrate how the HC-X1000 is designed to meet and exceed professional requirements.
Mobile, Ultra HD video in 4K
Ideal for shooting high quality documentaries and events, the HC-X1000 records in QFHD resolution (3840 x 2160) and Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) formats which produce smooth flowing 60p/50p images.
The HC-X1000’s 1/2.3” BSI Sensor offers increased readout speed which makes it possible to handle large-volume 4K data at 60 fps/50 fps, suppressing the rolling shutter distortion that often occurs when shooting moving subjects.
In addition, the high speed Crystal Engine Pro 4K processes the massive volume of data required for 4K shooting quickly and accurately, while a new noise reduction system achieves clear images with minimal noise even when shooting in extreme low-light situations.
Featuring a high-performance lens, which has passed all of LEICA’s stringent inspection standards in areas such as resolution and contrast, the HC-X1000 is able to render sharp, crisp images and produce the distinctive nuances and subtle shading that LEICA lenses are renowned for. Three ND filters (1/4, 1/16, 1/64) are built into the lens to suppress the amount of incident light in different shooting environments. This allows you to shoot at a slow shutter speed in bright daylight for example, or fully open the lens to attain high resolution and a shallow depth of field.
Versatile and high bit rate recording
Featuring versatile recording formats, bit rates and editing options, the HC-X1000 is ideal for a wide variety of prosumers and professionals. AVCHD format is available alongside MOV and MP4 for quick and easy editing, and Full HD recording employs ALL-Intra compression for a maximum bit rate of 200 Mbps, bringing outstanding quality to the image production.
The HC-X1000 has also been designed with cinematographers in mind – its 4K video supports not only QFHD resolution (3840 x 2160) for TV broadcasting, but also Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) for movie production.
The superb 4K recording capabilities offered by the HC-X1000 also provides a lot more flexibility in the editing suite. 4K allows you to crop your composition and choose the perfect frame, as well as zoom 200 percent while maintaining HD quality; turn stationary footage into panning shots; tilt and level the footage; or easily stabilise your film.
Ergonomic design with professional features and functions
The HC-X1000 boasts an ergonomic design, with covers to prevent operating errors while shooting, and a button layout that’s designed for easy operation wherever you’re filming.
In spite of the HC-X1000’s compact body, it features a wide variety of manual controls to enable fast and intuitive camera work, including a focus ring, iris ring, a zoom ring on the lens barrel, and an illuminating LED ring to easily verify that recording is in progress.
The HC-X1000’s versatile 3.5” Slide-Retractable Touch LCD serves as a high definition, 1,152,000-dot monitor and menu-setting touch panel. When not in use, it slides into the front handle for extra mobility and safety. It also rotates 270 degrees vertically for easy high-angle, low-angle and self-interview shooting.
In addition, the HC-X1000’s two built-in SD card slots provide extra flexibility and peace of mind. Using two slots enables you to record the same data onto both SD cards at the same time, meaning you can easily swap between them and never have to worry about losing the data. Additionally with Auto-Switch Recording, when the first card reaches full capacity the system automatically and seamlessly switches to the second card. Furthermore, with Background Recording, you can set the SD card in Slot 2 to record continuously from the moment a recording event starts, and record only necessary scenes onto the SD card in Slot 1 by turning REC on and off. This eliminates the worry of not recording important scenes that take place while the REC switch is turned off.
The HC-X1000 also sports a 2-channel XLR audio input terminal for external microphones or line recording with a +48 V phantom power supply, enabling the use of professional-spec, high-performance sound recording equipment.