Panasonic HC-X1000 boasts 4K Ultra HD recording at 60p


September 3, 2014

Panasonic's HC-X1000 is the first camcorder capable of recording 4K ultra HD video at 60 fps onto an SD card (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

Panasonic's HC-X1000 is the first camcorder capable of recording 4K ultra HD video at 60 fps onto an SD card (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

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Panasonic has announced the HC-X1000, the first camcorder capable of recording 4K ultra HD video at 60 frames per second onto an SD card. Intended as a bridging camera for 1080p shooters looking to take the step into 4K production, the X1000 brings a host of pro features to the table, including twin XLR audio inputs, built in ND filters, a 20x zoom, high speed autofocus Leica lens and a pop-out protected touch screen. With dual SD card slots, it also introduces a new "background recording" mode that constantly lays down footage on the secondary card so you never miss anything.

With US pricing set at US$3,499, the X1000 looks like a strong contender in the camcorder game. Sony's FDR-AX1, for example, has a similar level of specification, but it's a thousand dollars dearer and requires XQD cards instead of SD cards to handle the giant 4K, 60p data stream.

The X1000 is field-ready, with a host of tasty inclusions, like three manual lens rings (zoom, focus, iris), infra-red night mode and some very impressive image stabilization capabilities that virtually eliminate hand-held image shake and blur.

Its dual SD card slots can be used for conventional instant-backup double recording or sequential recording that cuts over from one card to the other when the first runs out. But there's also "background recording" mode – an interesting idea that keeps the secondary card recording at all times, while using the primary card as a select-cuts recorder.

While there's not a huge call for 4K media at the moment, using this extra resolution can give shooters additional options in post processing. Shooting wider than necessary opens up a bunch of image stabilization options in post, or you can crop, zoom, compose and pan using 1080p windows that take up as little as a quarter of the full 4K frame.

The HC-X1000 has its own Wi-Fi transmitter built in, allowing users to connect, control and monitor the camera from a smartphone or tablet through the Panasonic Image app available for iOS and Android.

Perhaps the only let-down is the X1000's tiny 1/2.3-inch image sensor, even if it does boast very impressive 8-megapixel resolution. The sensor is the same size as the one used in a GoPro 3, nearly 8 times smaller than a Micro Four Thirds sensor and more than 30 times smaller than a full frame 35 mm sensor.

But this has always been the trade-off with camcorders – the convenience of excellent autofocus, electronic zoom and fully field-ready audio and equipment levels, versus the low-light excellence and fast glass but extremely fiddly shooting experience of a DSLR or Micro Four Thirds camera.

The HC-X1000 is expected to begin shipping in mid-October with global pricing to be available closer to the release date.

The video below introduces the new camcorder.

Product Page: Panasonic HC-X1000

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade. All articles by Loz Blain
1 Comment

This does have Focus Peaking and Focus Expand which increases magnification up to 10x with a quick, multifunction dial control. But I didn't see on the product page whether the Expand option only works in paused mode. If you're shooting live events you can't interrupt to check focus.

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