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Panasonic boosts 4K shooting with HC-X1000 camcorder

Panasonic HC-X1000

The X1000 4K camcorder offers semi-pro features inside a small, handheld body

Panasonic is taking aim at the semi-pro 4K market with its brand-new HC-X1000 camcorder. With a range of high-end features all packed into a small case, the company is hoping that this model will make 4K shooting more accessible and easier.

One of the most impressive things about the HC-X1000 is its size. Stylistically, it looks similar to the semi-pro Z10000 3D camcorder, but the X1000 is both shorter and lighter (170x160x315mm vs 195x145x350mm and 1.55kg vs 1.6kg). It’s also considerably smaller than the Sony FDR-AX1 4K camcorder and weighs almost 1kg less. At this sort of size, the X1000 is both comfortable to carry around and use, and more flexible in the way that you shoot with it.

As you’d expect from a semi-pro video camera, the X1000 is bristling with features. There are three manual rings on the front, for focus, zoom and aperture, giving you quick manual access to the main controls. These don’t have stop points, unfortunately; we’re told that adding these would have made the camera a lot bigger.

A 1,226K EVF and 1,152K 3.5in LCD gives you two options for framing and reviewing shots, plus the LCD flips up and tucks into the handle to prevent it from getting damaged when it’s not in use. A Leica Dicomar F/1.8 lens is used, with a 20x optical zoom. There’s also a manual switch to engage a ND filter (options for ¼, 1/16 and 1/64), further letting you control light.

Panasonic HC-X1000 specs

Of course, it’s recording quality that’s really going to get people excited, and the X1000 should deliver here thanks to its 1/2.3in sensor. It supports Cinema 4K (4,096×2,160) at 100Mbit/s, 4K UHD (3,84×2,160) 50p at 150Mbit/s, and Full HD 50p at 200Mbit/s. Recording is to SD cards, with U3 cards recommended.

Dual SD card slots gives you flexible recording options. You can use them to record the same footage to both cards for a backup, or for continuous recording where the second card is used when the first one fills up. A third mode lets you record continuously on Slot 2, while Slot 1 lets you record scenes using the REC button. This way, you get all of the footage between your selected scenes, just in case you missed something important.

Power OIS helps stabilise your shots, while an additional Hybrid mode can be used in Full HD mode, using the extra resolution available to digitally stabilise the shot without reducing quality. The X1000 can be controlled via smartphone or tablet using the Panasonic app. NFC is built-in for easy connection, but the screen can also display a QR code for phones that don’t have NFC.

In the test footage that we’ve seen, the camera produced some impressive results. Viewing on a 4K TV, every bit of detail on a close-up of a flower was visible. In a woodland scene, it was possible to see tiny flies moving around in the background of the image: detail that just wouldn’t be possible when using an HD camcorder.

The X1000 will go on sale priced at £2,599. We’ll bring you more information and a full review once samples are available.

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