Best 4K camera the 12 top cameras for shooting 4K movies
Want to know what the best 4K camera is? Whether it’s movies you want to make or high-resolution video content you’re keen to create, the ideal 4K camera for you is sure to be found in our list.
The best 4K cameras cover a broad spectrum. You’ve got a choice of different sizes, specs and price brackets to consider. With 4K being a very common spec now, you’ll find models all the way from beginner-friendly and highly portable mirrorless models all the way up to professional-level models that have been certified as good enough enough for Netflix.
If all of that sounds a little bit much to get to grips with, don’t worry, we’ve tested all of the top 4K cameras in to help you discover which is best for both of your budget and your needs.
And if budget is your primary concern, then you might want to consider holding off on any purchases until Amazon Prime Day We’re expecting lots of lovely discounts from a range of manufacturers, including those with a penchant for 4K video.
Choosing the best 4K camera isn’t always an easy task. You need to be aware of a number of factors. Although this is a roundup of 4K cameras, 4K itself is no longer the class-leading spec it once was. We’re now seeing an increasing number of models capable of shooting footage at up to 8K. The average person may not need that kind of resolution, but it depends on the kind of work you’re doing. Most enthusiast videographers will likely find aspects other than resolution to be more important.
One such factor is high frame rates, which you’ll need to create smooth video. The best 4K cameras can record at 60fps or faster, with many giving you the option to also drop resolution to shoot at fps for slow-motion footage.
Other factors to consider may come down to your skill level, and how you shoot your videos. Image stabilisation is a must if you’re trying to capture b-roll handheld, but is less of an issue if you’re already using a gimbal. Tracking autofocus comes in handy for enthusiasts who are upgrading, but anybody who is used to dealing with manual tracking may find it less beneficial.
A large sensor is great for those who like to video in low light conditions, while the physical controls of the camera are worth taking into consideration as well. Easy to access controls, a tilting touchscreen and an ergonomic handgrip are all useful tools.
Let’s not forget about accessories too. Particularly important for videographers, most of the best 4K cameras include ports for attaching external microphones and headphones, but those requiring specific peripherals, such as a battery grip, or hot-shoe attachment should make sure to check compatibility before you buy.
Almost all of the top 4K cameras support log profiles, such as V-Log, giving leading videographers the opportunity to adjust color grading in post-production. The top-of-the-line models can also record bit video internally, resulting in a greater depth of color, but with the trade off of larger file sizes.
Our list below contains everything every amateur videographer or experienced enthusiast might be looking for. There’s something here for every skill level and expectation, so you’ll almost certainly find the right one here for you.
We’ve chosen the Sony A7S II as our current pick for the best 4K camera of the moment. This full-frame model offers fantastic low-light capability, a fully-articulating touchscreen and 4K recording at up to fps. We’ve also been very impressed by the recent announcement of the Panasonic GH5 II, along with the development announcement of the Panasonic GH6. A long-favoured brand with video creators, these could be the cameras to reinvigorate the Micro Four Thirds market.
However, there are plenty of other models out there that might suit you better. Whether that’s because they’re smaller, cheaper or more powerful - the list below contains the best 4K cameras from video stalwarts Panasonic and Sony, as well as very convincing alternatives from the likes of Nikon, Fujifilm and the niche brand Blackmagic.
Best 4K cameras at a glance:
- Sony A7S III
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
- Panasonic Lumix S1H
- Panasonic Lumix GH5S
- Panasonic Lumix GH5
- Panasonic Lumix S5
- Fujifilm X-T4
- Canon EOS R5
- Sony A
- Panasonic Lumix G9
- Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Best 4K cameras in
The Sony A7S III is almost definitely the best hybrid camera you can currently buy. It keeps resolution low and caps the output at 4K (as opposed to the 6K/8K capabilities of some other models), with the ambition to be the best 4K camera you can buy.
As well as stunning output, up to fps shooting for super-smooth recording, there's a host of other highlights on offer here too. There's the ability to capture bit raw over HDMI (plus a full-sized HDMI port), a stunningly high-resolution viewfinder, and a fully-articulating screen with an improved touch-interface.
Videographers will also enjoy other ports such as a headphone and microphone socket, compatibility with the XLR-K3M hot-shoe accessory from Sony, for up to four audio inputs.
This is a pricey camera, make no mistake, but if you want something that does the job extremely well - we don't think you can get better than this.
2. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro
A compact, versatile videography tool for enthusiasts
Sensor Size: Super 35
Lens: Active EF mount
Monitor: inch tilting touchscreen, 2,K dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: N/A
Movies: 6K at 50fps
User level: Enthusiast/expert
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic image quality+Huge, bright tilting screen
Reasons to avoid
-Not for beginners-No real stills abilities
A substantial upgrade over the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, the 6K Pro is a fantastic, relatively affordable tool for the professional videographer. With improved battery life, a brighter screen that’s now tilt-adjustable, plus the option of adding an OLED electronic viewfinder, the 6K Pro is a compact yet adaptable maestro.
Its 6K sensor is the same as before, which means you still get exceptional 6K footage at up to 50fps. The Super 35 format is smaller than full frame, but large enough to handle low-light situations with ease, while built-in ND filters mean you can happily film in bright sunlight with wide open apertures. Plus the sheer breadth of formats, profiles and resolutions available make the 6K Pro a properly flexible camera for editors.
That said, it’s clearly not a camera for casual users: its controls might be simple, but there’s no image stabilization, no tracking autofocus and stills performance remains rudimentary. But as a first professional video camera, the 6K Pro is a fantastic package for the price, with superb image quality and relative accessibility making it one of the most rounded enthusiast options.
2. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
90s looks, but packed with the latest tech
Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds
Lens: Micro Four Thirds
Monitor: inch touchscreen display
Maximum continuous shooting speed: N/A
Movies: 4K at 60fps
User level: Expert
List of Panasonic camcorders
This is a list of Panasoniccamcorders.
- 1Professional standard definition models (MiniDV)
- 2Professional high definition models
- 3Consumer high definition models
- HDC-DX1, HDC-SD1 ()
- HDC-SX5, HDC-SD5, HDC-SD7 ()
- HDC-SD9, HDC-HS9 ()
- HDC-SD, HDC-HS ()
- HDC-HS, HDC-SD, HDC-TM
- HDC-HS, HDC-SD
- HDC-HS, HDC-TM, HDC-SD ()
- HDC-HS, HDC-TM, HDC-SD ()
- HC-V, HC-VM ()
- HC-X, HC-XM ()
- HC-X, HC-XM ()
- HC-X ()
- HC-V ()
- HC-W, HC-V ()
- HC-WX, HC-VX, HC-V ()
- HC-VXF, HC-VX ()
Professional standard definition models (MiniDV)
Panasonic AG-DVX ()
Main article: Panasonic AG-DVX
Introduced in , AG-DVX was Panasonic's first affordable 3CCD digitalprogressive scancamcorder. Equipped with a 10x Leica Dicomar lens, sensor was a 1/3 inch, , pixel 3CCD. DVX boasts better specs and picture quality than its physically larger predecessors like AG-DVC7 or DVC Includes 2 native XLR microphone inputs. Two revisions, namely DVXA and DVXB, were introduced in and , respectively.
Panasonic AG-DVC30 ()
Introduced in , AG-DVC30 was a 3CCD prosumer model. Essentially a step-down version of the renowned DVXa, it is physically more compact, but uses a smaller (1/4 in.) CCD and lacks the true progressive scan mode. Also, XLR microphone input is not included by default; a 2-channel XLR adapter was offered as additional accessory. Features SNS mode - Panasonic's version of Nightshot and OIS - Optical Image Stabilization.
Professional high definition models
AG-HVX, AG-HVXA (, )
The AG-HVX is a fixed-lens hybrid camcorder released in December for 60Hz market and April for 50Hz market. The camcorder allows file-based recording onto P2 cards, as well recording SD footage onto traditional MiniDV cassettes.
The imaging section employs a 3CCD system with 1/3inch sensors, each having about , photosites. High definition resolution is achieved by both horizontal and vertical spatial offset or pixel shifting, though the effective resolution does not exceed lines either horizontally or vertically.
The camcorder is capable of recording in several standard-definition and high-definition video formats. The image is always scanned progressively at × resolution, then is downsized to target frame size.
- DVCPRO HD: p (×), i (× for 60Hz regions, × for 50Hz regions) at Mbit/s
- DVCPRO i for 60Hz regions, i for 50Hz regions at 50 Mbit/s
- DVCPRO: i for 60Hz regions, i for 50Hz regions at 25 Mbit/s
- DV: i for 60Hz regions, i for 50Hz regions at 25 Mbit/s
All formats can be recorded onto P2 cards. Only standard DV video can be recorded to MiniDV tapes. In p mode the camcorder offers variable shooting rates for overcranking/undercranking.
The updated model, AG-HVXA, was released in late May Among other changes, the HVXA featured improved CCDs and an adjusted lens. These changes improved image quality in addition to providing a wider angle of view.
The camcorder is popular with independent and professional film and television companies. The BBC used the HVX to shoot all their coverage of the and Olympics, the Fox network is using P2 exclusively at all network owned-and-operated stations, Raycom has over 85 HVXs at their 21 television stations; NDTV (New Delhi TV), the largest private producer of news and entertainment in India uses several dozen HVXs and New York 1 uses the HVX for all its one-person news crews (over 25 reporters).
The AG-HPX can be thought of as the AG-HVXA without a tape deck. The camcorder employs the same imaging section as the AG-HVXA, and is similar to it in terms of physical appearance, layout of controls and functionality.
Compared to the AG-HVX/A, the AG-HPX is smaller and about pound lighter. The lens thread size is reduced from 82mm to 72mm, and field of view is wider. The camera offers more frame rates for overcranking/undercranking. There are more focus assist options, including focus assist bar and focus assist graph. New functionality includes a waveform monitor and vectorscope. Revised neutral density filter offers three settings (1/4, 1/16, and 1/64) instead of two (1/8 and 1/64) for finer control.
The AG-HPX also contains an SDI (HD/SD) output terminal enabling the serial transfer of uncompressed video and audio data.
The Panasonic AG-HPX is a popular, highly regarded, versatile P2 HD camcorder debuted at the NAB trade show. It is notable for a number of features records on three 23" progressive CCD's and utilizes a menu structure similar to the HVX The camera records at i/p/50/60/25/30/24fps p/25/30/60/24fps as well as standard definition progressive and interlaced in PAL and NTSC. Variable frame rates are available for undercranking and overcranking. Sensitivity is rated at f10 at lux. It is related to the Panasonic Varicam.
Panasonic's cine-like gamma curves are included: Cinegama-V for video out and Cinegamma-D for film out.
Released in , this camcorder was nothing more than the consumer model HDC-SD1 rebadged and restyled for the professional market. Although it acquired a professional price tag (to reflect the removal of restrictions on the commercial licensing of the AVCHD technology), the blow was softened by the inclusion of a 40GB portable disc drive. (See HDC-SD1 for more details.)
The AG-HMC is an AVCCAM camcorder released in The camcorder employs the same imaging section as the AG-HVXA and the AG-HPX, and is very similar to these models in terms of physical appearance and functionality. The major difference is recording media (Secure Digital cards versus P2 cards) and encoding format (AVCHD versus DVCPROHD).
Video is recorded to an SDHC memory card in p, i and p formats with data rate up to 24 Mbit/s. A supplied 8GB SDHC card holds about 45 minutes of video recorded at highest quality setting. The camcorder can record up to 12 hours continuously, provided that a memory card has sufficient storage space.
The camcorder has different model numbers for different markets:
- AG-HMC/AG-HMCP is the North American version, which supports only 60Hz scanning.
- AG-HMC/AG-HMCE is the European version which is switchable between 50Hz and 60Hz scanning rates, thus providing "world" capability out of the box.
- AG-HMC/AG-HMCEN is the Australian version of the camera that supports only 50Hz scanning.
- AG-HMC/AG-HMCMC supports only 50Hz scanning.
- AG-HMC/AG-HMCER supports only 50Hz scanning.
- AG-HMC is the Asian version, which supports only 60Hz scanning.
The AG-HMC40 is an AVCCAM camcorder released in
The camcorder shares some components with the HDC-HS/HDC-TM/HDC-SD consumer series, in particular the 1/inch 3MOS imaging system, the 12× Leica Dicomar lens and the inch touch-sensitive LCD screen. Video is recorded onto a Secure Digital card in p, i and p formats with data rate up to 24 Mbit/s.
The AG-HMC40 includes an automatic built-in neutral density (ND) filter. When the iris closes down from fully open position – either manually or automatically – it closes to f/, then the ND filter activates to absorb light while keeping iris at f/ After filter is fully engaged, the iris continues to close. Unlike Canon camcorders, which report constant aperture value when the ND filter is being engaged, the HMC40 reports virtual aperture values. That is, F means "f/, no ND filter", F means "f/, 1/6-stop ND", F means "f/, 1/3-stop ND", etc. With the ND filter fully engaged the camera displays F, which in reality means "f/, 2 and 1/2-stop ND". The operation of the automatic ND filter is fully transparent for a user, does not require use of an external ND filter, and allows achieving shallow depth of field.
- AG-HMC40/AG-HMC40P/AG-HMC40U is a North American version, which supports only 60Hz scanning.
- AG-HMC41/AG-HMC41E is a European version, which supports only 50Hz scanning.
- AG-HMC45 is an Asian version, which supports only 60Hz scanning.
The 60Hz version records in the following formats: /60i, /30p (over 60i), /24p (native), /60p, /30p (over 60p), /24p (Native). The 50Hz version records in the following formats: /50i, /25p (over 50i), /50p, /25p (over 50p).
The Panasonic AG-HPX is a 1/3″ ENG format 3-CMOS P2 HD camcorder
The Panasonic AG-HPX is a 1/3" ENG format P2 camcorder.
The AG-AF was the first professional 4/3" type video camcorder optimized for high-definition video recording.
Targeted at the video and film production communities, the AF delivers the shallow depth of field and wider field of view of a large imager, with the flexibility and cost advantages of use with a growing line of professional quality, industry standard micro 4/3-inch lenses, filters, and adapters. The camera offers full and HD, native /24p recording, variable frame rates, professional audio capabilities, and compatibility with SDHC and SDXC media.
The design of the AF’s 4/3" type sensor affords depth of field and field of view similar to that of 35mm movie cameras in a less expensive camera body. Equipped with an interchangeable lens mount, the AF can utilize an array of low-cost, widely available still camera lenses as well as film-style lenses with fixed focal lengths and primes.
The AF incorporates a 4/3" type, MOS imager. The camcorder records /60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and /60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) in AVCHD’s highest-quality PH mode (maximum 24Mbit/s). Ready for global production standards, the camcorder is 60Hz and 50Hz switchable. The AF maximizes the potential of its high-resolution imager with built-in ND filtering and dramatically reduced video aliasing. Standard professional interfaces include HD-SDI out, HDMI, time code recording, built-in stereo microphone and USB The AF features two XLR inputs with +48V Phantom Power capability, kHz/bit two-channel digital audio recording and supports LPCM/Dolby-AC3. This newest Panasonic AVCCAM camcorder is the first to enjoy the benefits of advanced SDXC media card compatibility in addition to existing SDHC card support. (SDXC is the newest SD memory card specification that supports memory capacities above 32GB up to 2TB). With two SD slots, the AF can record up to 12 hours on two 64GB SDXC cards in PH mode.
Released Fall 
Released Fall 
2/3" P2 Camcorder with native full HD sensor
AJ-PX Camera ()
2/3" ENG style P2 camcorder.
The AG-DVX was released in the Fall of It features Leica Dicomar 4K F~F zoom lens, time-code in/out, 3G HD-SDI and HDMI (4K) video outs, easy focus and zooming, and programmable user buttons.
The DVX will record 4K ( × ) / 24p, UHD ( × ) / HD ( × ) 60p / 50p / 30p / 25p / 24p in either MP4 / MOV file formats. There are two SD card** slots, facilitating backup and relay recording. For professionals working worldwide, the camera’s master frame rate is selectable between Hz (Hz) / Hz / Hz.
Consumer high definition models
HDC-DX1, HDC-SD1 ()
The HDC-DX1 and the HDC-SD1 models were the first Panasonic AVCHD camcorders, released in The HDC-DX1 recorded onto an 8cm DVD with maximum data rate of 12 Mbit/s, the HDC-SD1 recorded onto an SDHC memory card with maximum data rate of 13 Mbit/s. The HDC-SD1 was the first consumer high definition camcorder to record to solid-state media. Both models featured the ability to record channel Dolby Digital sound. An external microphone could be connected but this only worked in 2 channel mode.
Both models recorded interlaced video only with frame size of × pixels and pixel aspect ratio of , similarly to HDV i camcorders. This apparently came about because the processing chips could not be made at this time which could process the full × video (which was available from the sensors).
The camcorders were equipped with 1/4-inch 3CCD sensor block. Other camcorders either use a single CCD system, or a CMOS system, or a 3CCD setup with smaller sensors. Relatively large sensors with low pixel density provided good light sensitivity, while pixel shifting technology allowed obtaining high resolution.
Prosumer features included threaded lens barrel for attachments, external microphone jack, manual control of aperture, shutter speed and gain, zebra for exposure control and focus assist for manual focusing.
Although both models were sold through consumer outlets, the cameras were described by Panasonic as "Professional broadcast camera system".
Although these models were discontinued when the HDC-SX5 and HDC-SD5 were released, the HDC-SD1 was re-released as the AG-HSC1 aimed squarely at the professional market. Apart from some minor restyling and a change to the colourspace (to match professional requirements), this new offering was otherwise identical to the consumer version. The AG-HSC1 was however, bundled with a portable 40GB battery operated hard drive, the VW-PT2ZP which was able to import video directly from a SD card.
HDC-SX5, HDC-SD5, HDC-SD7 ()
The HDC-SX5, the HDC-SD5 and the HDC-SD7 represented the second generation of Panasonic AVCHD camcorders. The HDC-SX5 was a hybrid model, which allowed recording onto either an 8-cm DVD or onto a built-in hard disk drive. The HDC-SX5 was the last Panasonic AVCHD camcorder to record onto DVD media. The HDC-SD5 and the HDC-SD7 used Secure Digital memory cards as recording media. The HDC-SD7 was the smallest high definition camcorder at the time of its release.
The HDC-SX5 and SD5 only featured standard stereo sound recording. The HDC-SD7 retained channel sound. Neither model permitted the connection of an external microphone.
In the process of miniaturization Panasonic reduced the size of the lens and of the sensor block compared to the first generation of AVCHD camcorders. The lens thread size has been reduced from 43mm to 37mm, the sensor size has been reduced from 1/4-inch to 1/6-inch, but the 3CCD setup has been preserved.
Compared to the first generation, full × recording has been added to recording modes, and the maximum data rate has been increased from 13Mbit/s to 17Mbit/s.
HDC-SD9, HDC-HS9 ()
The HDC-SD9 and the HDC-HS9 were the updated versions of the HDC-SD5 and the HDC-SX5, respectively. The cameras had the same lens, sensor block, and the input/output connectors as the preceding models. The location of the connectors was revised, and the menu joystick was moved from the back of the camcorder to the left side, inside the LCD cavity. The HDC-SD9 recorded onto Secure Digital memory cards, while the HDC-HS9 recorded onto a built-in hard disk drive. Starting from this series, Panasonic dropped support of DVD media in its AVCHD camcorders. sound was recorded, but an external microphone was not an option.
The largest functional difference of the new models is the ability to record progressive video. The 50Hz version of the camcorder can shoot frame/s progressive video, recording it within an interlaced stream using the progressive segmented frame technique. The 60Hz version is able to shoot and record native frame/s progressive video. However, both progressive modes can only be used in conjunction with the x.v.color mode and will exhibit too much saturation levels on displays that do not support this color mode.
HDC-SD, HDC-HS ()
The HDC-SD and the HDC-HS, released in , signified Panasonic's switch from CCD to CMOS technology. Traditionally for Panasonic, these camcorders used a 3-sensor setup, which was called 3MOS. As in the previous generations, the 1/6-inch sensors used pixel-shift technology, having , effective pixels each.
The HDC-SD recorded to a removable SDHC memory card only, while the HDC-HS was also capable of recording onto a built-in 60GB hard disk drive. These camcorders also feature a built-in viewfinder not present in the smaller models above.
The format of the recorded AVCHD video has been slightly revised and some editing packages will not recognise it.
Interlaced video was the main recording format for both camcorders, though there was an option of recording progressive video. The 50Hz versions were capable of shooting frame/s progressive video, recording it within interlaced stream using progressive segmented frame technique. The 60Hz versions were able to shoot and record native frame/s progressive video, which was an unusual feature for a consumer camcorder though it is only available with x.v.color.
The camcorders offered the same frame size and quality settings as earlier models. An 8GB SDHC card (supplied only in some markets) holds up to one hour of video recorded at highest quality setting.
In these models Panasonic brought back features that had been lost from prior AVCHD models, like external microphone jack and accessory shoe. They also introduced a manual focusing ring and a headphone socket.
HDC-HS, HDC-SD, HDC-TM
The HDC-HS improve the HDC-SD/HDC-HS in two major aspects. Following complaints about the noise from the smaller sensors in low light, this model uses larger sensors, though not quite as large as the HDC-DX1 and SD1's sensors. They, are only slightly smaller at 1/ inch (mixture of fractions and decimal by Panasonic). They have a slightly noticeable worse noise performance compared to the DX1 and SD1 but much better than the 1/6 inch 3CCD sensor camcorders. The sensors are also 3 megapixels each (previously megapixels) and consequently using pixel shift technology is not necessary anymore to achieve high definition images. The camera features vastly improved resolution when used to take still pictures (up to megapixels). The optical image stabiliser has been improved and now features two modes of operation for video mode and four for still photo mode.
A special Digital Cinema mode allows shooting progressive-scan video at film-like rates—25p or 24p, depending on region. Video shot in progressive mode is recorded in interlaced container by using either progressive segmented frame technique for 25p mode or pulldown for 24p mode.
Progressive mode is mentioned in neither the camera specification nor the operating manual.
The HDC-HS features a GB hard disc drive for storage. There was also a GB HDD version, the HDC-HS The HDC-TM is a new departure and features a built-in 32GB of Flash memory instead of a hard disc drive (The 'TM' in the model number stands for 'Twin Memory' as this model takes FLASH memory cards as well). This model has been slightly restyled compared with its stable mate.
The HDC-SD records video to a SD FLASH card only. It had fairly limited distribution as it only existed as a European model (HDC-SDEG).
The 5 microphones used to pick up the surround sound have also been revised, and the new model features better (though nowhere near perfect) directivity of the recorded sound.
Each camcorder also features an accessory shoe. It is built in on the HDC-HS but is an attachable accessory on the HDC-TM
These are lower cost versions of the HDC-HS and HDC-TM respectively. The former has a smaller hard disc drive of 80 Gb, but the viewfinder and accessory shoe have been removed. The latter does not have any built in memory, viewfinder or accessory shoe.
This is identical to the HDC-TM except for a larger 64 GB built in Flash memory and being coloured grey instead of black.
This camera is a limited-edition model. In the UK, only have been sold.
HDC-HS, HDC-TM, HDC-SD ()
Panasonic's camcorders add p60 or p50 progressive recording mode (depending on region) by using a proprietary variation of the AVCHD format.
The lens has been revised to provide a shorter focal length, though the optical zoom range remains unchanged. The focal length is now –mm instead of the 4–48mm of the previous model (effectively a magnification of times). The lens gains one third of a stop in speed at the wide angle end only as a result. The specification is otherwise identical to the previous model.
Pixel shifting has been reintroduced, but only to provide still pictures with up to Megapixels of resolution.
The storage capacity of the hard disc drive in the HC-HS has been increased to GB. The inbuilt FLASH memory of the HDC-TM remains unchanged at 32GB. The HDC-SD only records to SD, SD-HC or SD-XC FLASH memory cards.
A 'lite' version of the HDC-SD Apart from the following variations, it is identical to the HDC-SD
- No electronic Viewfinder.
- No microphone or earphone connectors.
- Dolby digital audio (in lieu of Dolby ).
- A inch LCD monitor (in lieu of 3inch).
- No accessory shoe.
- No manual zoom/focusing ring.
Essentially a HDC-SD, but supplied with a 3D lens adaptor, the VW-CLT1 and a HDMI cable (mini). This model featured HYBRID OIS image stabilising system combining optical and electrical components, not available in the previous line-up. The 3D effect is somewhat less than real life because the lenses are much closer together than the interocular distance of the eyes. The camera when fitted with its 3D lens only records in side by side (SbS) format. The resolution of the image is consequently less than a full HD image.
Released in February , the HDC-SD66 supports p/50i AVCHD video recording, 25× optical zoom and capturing 5 megapixel still photos.
HDC-HS, HDC-TM, HDC-SD ()
Panasonic's camcorders succeed the previous year's HDC-xx series with very little change. They retain the same 3xCMOS 1/ inch sensor, EVF and lens. The LCD touchscreen is slightly larger with an increase in resolution. Performance is similar, low light sensitivity a bit better. Adds support for an optional 3D lens attachment.
The hard disc drive in the HDC-HS is slightly reduced in size from the HDC-HS to GB. The inbuilt FLASH memory of the HDC-TM is unchanged at 32GB.
A 3D adaptor is available for this camcorder, the VW-CLT1 though the 3D effect is rather poor because the distance between the lenses is substantially less than the interocular distance of the eyes.
HC-V, HC-VM ()
Released in , these models support p video recording at 50 frames per second (stylized as /50p or p/50p) and have 38× optical zoom.
Its 3 megapixel CMOS image sensor enables up to 50 times total zoom, assisted by lossless digital zoom (branded as intelligent zoom / iZoom), or full-resolution (× pixel) still images while recording.
Other recording modes are /50i (Interlaced video) with four selectable bit rate levels, and a p/25p mode which uses intra-frame coding rather than inter-frame coding.
The HC-VM variant has additional 16 GB of internal storage.
The OIS Lock feature allows fixing the optical image stabilizer rather than following the camera pan, which helps fixing the camera's canvas on far subjects while zoomed in.
The PRE REC feature allows buffering video footage shortly prior to initiating the video recording. The buffered video footage gets stored upon actuating the recording button. PRE REC is used to help prevent missing out a moment without having to actively record continuously.
The built-in LED lamp can be used to illuminate photos and video recordings. It can manually be toggled, as well as be set to automatically activate where needed.
The resistive touch screen's brightness can optionally automatically adapt to the surrounding brightness measured through the image sensor.
The video player interface allows frame-by-frame navigation of recorded footage and extracting still photographs from video frames using the photo button on the top.
The new Shooting guide feature can display hints during video recording such as warning the user for panning too quickly, and the new Quick Start option keeps the lens cover open for up to five minutes after closing the foldable screen to enable video recording more rapidly when opening it again.
HC-X, HC-XM ()
Panasonic's camcorders succeed the previous year's range, once again with very little change. A hard disc option has been dropped from the range. The focal length of the lens has been reduced (mm to mm), effectively a magnification of on the original lens (as of the series) or approximately from the series. The same size of sensors are used, though the pixel shifting has been revised to provide a maximum still resolution of 16 Megapixels.
The LCD panel and the electronic viewfinder have a much larger pixel count. The LCD panel also features a 'glasses free' capability of viewing shot 3D footage made either with the optional 3D adaptor or simulated from 2D footage. The camera is able to output a simulated 3D picture from its HDMI port but only in side by side (SbS) format. The 3D adaptor for these models is the VW-CLT2 - substantially improved and much more expensive than its predecessor, though the 3D effect is still rather less than real life (because the two lenses are closer together than the distance between the eyes). The camera records 3D from the adaptor in either full 3D or SbS mode.
Both models accept SD, SD-HC and SD-XC FLASH memory cards. In addition, the HC-XM also features 32GB of built in FLASH memory.
A 'lite' version of the HDC-X model.
The HC-X is similar but is missing the electronic viewfinder; has a smaller LCD panel (3 inches -v- inches); is slightly smaller; only records sound in Dolby stereo instead of Dolby Digital and lacks an external microphone input and a headphone output. This camera also accepts the VW-CLT2 3D adaptor, though the LCD panel does not support a 3D display mode.
HC-X, HC-XM ()
Released in , the HC-X/HC-XM improve on the HC-X series by adding wifi capability (including support for control by a smartphone) and increasing the sensor size from three 1/" MOS to three 1/" MOS with back side illumination and increased pixel count. The stability controls also gain a gravity sensor. The focal length of the lens has been revised such that the 35mm equivalent focal length remains the same as its predecessor, at - mm.
Once again the M designates a built-in 32GB of flash storage and the VW-CLT2 is used for recording in 3D.
The HC-X was released in , with Panasonic claiming it to be the first camcorder capable of recording 4K (p) at 60p/50p frame rates onto an SD card. Unlike others in the HC range the HC-X is a larger unit appearing closer in design to the AG-AC90 professional camcorder. Panasonic USA's site refers to the image sensor as being 1/" MOS. The European site claims a total pixel count of megapixels versus the USA/Canada's megapixels, however both have the same megapixels (), megapixels () effective pixel count in both video and still picture modes.[original research?] Other features include wifi, dual SD card slots, 20x optical zoom, 40x intelligent zoom (in x or lower record modes) and 2/5/10x digital zoom. Focal length is ― mm, resulting in a 35mm equivalent of ― mm () or ― mm ().
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July )
The HC-V and HC-VM were unveiled at CES , with a somewhat similar design as the HC-V, but extended optical and digital zoom and added functionality. It supports 50 times optical zoom; lossless digital zoom is supported up to times.
The resolution of the image sensor has increased to 10 megapixels (×).
The HC-V adds NFC and WiFi connectivity support.
HC-W, HC-V ()
The HC-W/HC-V models released in introduce a new lenses, sensor, engine combination. The new four-drive lens system allows a 20x optical zoom level vs 12x optical zoom in HC-X which has a similar body size. A single 1/" MOS with back side illumination sensor replaces the 3MOS sensor last seen in HC-X They can record video at fps, which then appears in the 60 fps video file as a slow motion sequence, with no sound. The HC-W has a sub-camera built into the edge of the display which can be rotated to capture a second angle, superimposing over the main image.
HC-WX, HC-VX, HC-V ()
The HC-WX/HC-VX models released in allow recording 4K at 30 fps. The HC-V model has the same 1/" MOS with back side illumination sensor, but only allows recording full HD. The video can be recorded using High Dynamic Range (HDR), which combines two images taken with different exposures to reduce over- and underexposure. HC-WX has a sub-camera built into the edge of the display.
HC-VXF, HC-VX ()
The HC-VXF/HC-VX models released in allow cropping full HD video out of a 4K recording. The difference between the two models is that HC-VXF has a tiltable viewfinder.
The HC-WXFK is an iteration released later in the same year, equipped with additional WiFi connectivity for allowing remote control through software on a mobile phone, and a surround sound microphone. It is able to capture Megapixel ( x ) still photos. after p (4K) video recording, Megapixel (×) still photos can be captured simultaneously.
Optical zooming is supported up to 20 times. With lossless digital zoom, described by Panasonic as "Intelligent Zoom", zoom levels of up to 25 times and 40 times can be achieved at p and p respectively.
HDR video can be captured at up to p (Full HD).
It also is equipped with an additional Megapixel rotateable sub camera attached to the tiltable screen.
Its firmware allows extracting Megapixel still photos from p video frames, zooming and cropping the video footage, and adding effects such as additional stabilization and dolly zoom.
Panasonic has announced three new 4K 60p professional camcorders that they claim are the industry’s smallest and lightest. The new camcorders are the HC-X, HC-X and AG-CX
While camcorders may sound antiquated in todays S35 and full frame world, there is still very much a place and demand for small, all-in-one cameras like these.
The new cameras all have a 1/type (inch) MOS Sensor and a fixed F ― 24x Leica Dicomar Lens.
The new models feature functions, such as two manual rings, an ND Filter, a built-in LED Video Light, and bit high Resolution linear PCM audio recording. They have 1/4, 1/16, 1/64, OFF settings for ND.
The models also feature a high-precision AF and the ability to record bit Internal recording using the HEVC codec. Various recording formats can also be selected. Built-in Wi-Fi supports HD Live Streaming using just the camcorder.
The AG-CX10 supports the broadcaster-targeted P2 MXF File Format, including AVC-Intra and AVC-Intra50 which will come to the camera via a future update in Summer It is also equipped with Ethernet HD Live Streaming and an NDI|HX compatible IP connection function, with connectivity provided for use as a live camera.
Small & Lightweight
The camera bodies weigh approx. kg ( lb) (body only, excluding handle, lens hood, battery, and accessories), and kg ( lb) (including handle, lens hood, battery, and eyecup).
24x Optical Zoom
The integrated lens offers a 24x optical zoom that ranges from a 25mm* wide angle to mm* tele. The i.ZOOM achieves 32x at 4K resolution, and 48x at FHD. The 4-Drive Lens System drives the four lens groups independently.
Two Manual Rings are provided, one for focusing and the other for zoom or iris operation. The Manual Rings are designed with different sizes so the appropriate ring can be controlled without error. ND Filters can be selected from 1/4, 1/16, 1/64, and Clear.
* 35mm camera equivalent.
The lens provides Face Detection AF/AE together with a focus lens drive. Face Detection. In addition, subject tracking with color recognition can be activated by just touching the LCD panel.
5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S.
For both UHD and FHD modes, in addition to O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization), Electronic Image Stabilization operates to detect and correct handshake in 5 axes, including rotational blurring.
A heat-dispersing design including a thin, newly-developed fan has enabled the design of the industrys smallest and lightest camcorder with integrated lens capable of 4K 60p recording. By pulling in air from the rear panel of the camera and efficiently dispersing heat from the front panel, reliable, extended shooting is achieved. This probably the same technology Panasonic uses in S1H.
bit internal recording
The Venus Engine, the same technology used in the LUMIX cameras is incorporated in these camcorders. This enables bit internal recording with a maximum p in UHD and a maximum p in FHD.
When set for bit recording, the cameras can output 4K 60p bit over HDMI. The HEVC recording (LongGOP/bit /MOV) is also supported for recording p at a bit rate of Mbps. As for file formats, in addition to MOV, MP4, and AVCHD, the AG-CX10 also supports P2 MXF for Broadcast applications. The AVC-Intra/50 codec support is planned for the future. Recording by all P2 formats requires a microP2 card.
In FHD mode, slow-motion recording at fps (for Hz)/ fps (for 50 Hz) is possible. bit recording is supported, and full-frame images with the image area uncropped are obtained even at high frame rates. Autofocus can also be used even during Super Slow-motion Recording.
The cameras have both SDI and HDMI outputs.
Integrated LED Light
A built-in video light can be controlled by an adjustable dimmer dial that built into the handle*1, allowing brightness to be adjusted from 30% to %. For shooting in even darker conditions, commercially available IR lights*2 are supported for IR (Infrared) Shooting.
*1 The optional handle unit (VW-HU1) is required for HC-X
Monitor, Battery, and audio
The inch monitor has 2,K-dots of resolution and Panasonic claim it is bright enough to be used outdoors in direct sunlight.
Both the monitor and viewfinder can be used at the same time.
Focus Assist functions Include Expand, Peaking and One-push AF.
The included battery enables approximately hours of continual operation, while a Handle Unit (VW-HU1) has been added as an optional accessory. It can be easily detached and it is equipped with a 2-channel XLR Audio Input, audio control, and LED light. The speed of the zoom control that is attached to the Handle Unit can be set in 7 steps from the menu.
Wi-Fi & Streaming
A Wi-Fi module is built-in, so there is no need for a separate wireless LAN module. Using a tablet application HC ROP, wireless remote control, including camera settings and lens control, can be set. RTSP/RTP/RTMP/RTMPS-Compatible HD Streaming allows direct connection and streaming over Facebook, YouTube, etc., of concerts, sports events, and news.
In addition, the AG-CX10 has an NDI|HX mode thanks to the wired LAN capability so data transmission and camera control by IP connection can be obtained without an external converter.
Other Network Features:
- 3G-SDI for connecting to an external recorder (AG-CX10, HC-X)
- USB (micro AB) to LAN Conversion Adaptor* Included (AG-CX10)*
- Compatibility with wired remote controls via the remote terminal.
* USB micro AB-Host Cable (included) is necessary for the connection.
Price & availability
The new models will be available to purchase at the following recommended retail prices: AG-CX10 at $2, USD/ £2, RRP (available from April ), HC-X at $2, USD/ £1, RRP, and HC-X at $1, USD/ £1, RRP (both available from March ).
The Panasonic VW-HU1 Detachable Handle Unit for the HC-X is $ USD.
For the full specifications of all the camcorders click below.
Matthew Allard is a multi-award-winning, ACS accredited freelance Director of Photography with 30 years' experience working in more than 50 countries around the world.
He is the Editor of Newsshooter.com and has been writing on the site since
Matthew has won 41 ACS Awards, including four prestigious Golden Tripods. In he won the Award for Best Cinematography at the 21st Asian Television Awards.
Matthew is available to hire as a DP in Japan or for work anywhere else in the world.
Panasonic HC-X 4K Ultra HD 60p/50p Professional Camcorder, 20x Optical Zoom,Black
More Attractive Features
- 2-Channel XLR Audio Input Terminals
- Triple Manual Lens Rings
- High-Speed, High-Precision AF
- Blur-Free Imaging Anytime, Anywhere
- 0 Lux Night Mode to shoot clear, detailed images even while observing wildlife in the dark (0 lux)
- WiFi with NFC: Remote Shooting; One-Touch NFC Connection; Easy QR Code Connection
- Professional-Quality Functions: Histogram Display; Zebra Pattern; Color Bar Monitor; Picture Adjustment; Focus Peaking; Focus Expand; 4K Video Editing; Auto-Switch/Simultaneous Recording
- 20x Zoom with 4-Drive Leica Dicomar Lens System
- ND Filters
- Illuminating LED Ring
Professional panasonic camera 4k
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