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Panasonic HC-X900 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £898
inc VAT

Produces footage with fantastic colour reproduction, but it isn’t that different from last year’s model


3x 1/4.1in CMOS sensor, PAL, 1920×1080, 12.0x zoom, 482g

The improved five-axis image stabilisation adds a further axis to the HDC-SD900’s horizontal, vertical, pitch and yaw stabilisation – roll control, which corrects for your hand rolling from side to side as you walk. The stabilisation is superb; when fitted to our lab’s camera shaker and with the image stabiliser turned on, the only thing you could detect was the faintest murmur of movement. With it off, the footage looked as if the camera had been placed on a bouncy castle.

One of the HC-X900’s main selling points is that it can be used in conjunction with the optional VW-CLT2E 3D conversion lens (price TBC), which splits light entering the camcorder’s lens to hit either side of the sensor to create a left/right 3D image. Attaching the adaptor is simple, and it doesn’t adversely affect the balance of the HC-X900. Once attached, you have to perform a minimal amount of configuration (positioning two crosshairs between four lines to calibrate the camcorder) and you’re good to go.

Panasonic HC-X900 with 3D

You can play the 3D footage back directly on the camcorder’s glasses-free 3D display, one of the most notable additions to this year’s model, but a slightly-puzzling one given that the 3D lens is an optional extra. Still, it’s very handy for composing 3D shots, though as usual the viewing angles for the 3D effect are very tight.

To view 3D footage properly, you’ll want to plug the camcorder straight into a 3D TV or monitor over HDMI. Viewing your footage in 3D is a pleasant novelty, but the small distance between the adaptor’s lenses means the effect isn’t very pronounced; you only really get the 3D effect when filming objects pretty close to the lens, such as railings, trees, and opening doors. It’s a simple way to experiment with 3D, though. The X900 can also upscale 2D footage to 3D during playback on the camcorder’s screen or on your TV, but the effect isn’t very convincing.

Filming with the HC-X900 is a pleasure, and it’s easy to get great footage with little effort. We’ve yet to see this year’s high-end rivals from Sony and Canon, but they’ll certainly have a fight on their hands. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that if you’re not worried about the auto-stereoscopic 3D screen, you can get similar video quality from last year’s HDC-SD900, which as we went to press was available for a bargain £616.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****


Optical zoom 12.0x
Digital zoom 700x
Sensor 3x 1/4.1in CMOS
Sensor pixels 3,050,000
Widescreen mode native
LCD screen size 3.5in
Viewfinder type colour
Video lamp No
Video recording format AVCHD 2.0
Video recording media SDXC
Sound Dolby Digital 5.1
Video resolutions PAL, 1920×1080
Maximum image resolution 3027×2270
Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied none
Flash yes


Digital inputs/outputs mini HDMI out, mini USB
Analogue inputs/outputs A/V out
Other connections charge jack, microphone, headphone, accessory shoe (cold)
Battery type Li-ion
Battery life 1h 22m
Battery charging position camcorder
Size 67x72x150mm
Weight 482g

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £898

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