The new Panasonic HC-X1 could be the perfect camcorder for anyone thinking of taking video recording more seriously. Why? Well how about…
The high-end sensor
Inside the Panasonic HC-X1 is a 1-inch type sensor with approximately 9.46 million pixels which enables it to record 4K (4096×2160) footage at 24p. Naturally, lower resolution video such as Ultra High Definition (3840×2160), Full HD (1920×1080) and HD (1080×720) can also be recorded at a variety of frame rates, including 120fps high quality slow-motion playback for extra drama.
What’s more, having a 1-inch type sensor means that it’s possible to control depth of field, so if you want to blur backgrounds for more creative shots, you can. And with ND Filters built-in, you can use wide apertures or motion-blurring slow shutter speeds even when working in bright conditions.
That wide-angle 20x zoom lens
The Panasonic HC-X1 has a compact Leica Dicomar 4K lens with a wide-angle focal length equivalent to 24mm – perfect for shooting in tight spaces. There’s also a 20x optical zoom, which takes the lens to the equivalent of 480mm, which makes it ideal for shooting distant details. There’s even a digital zoom which extends the range to 30x – the equivalent of a monster 720mm.
Helpfully, for a lens with such long reach, there’s an Optical Image Stabiliser (OIS) built-in to reduce shake in UHD, Full HD and HD footage.
The pro-level controls
Three manual control rings on the lens give intuitive professional-level control over focal length (zoom), focus and aperture, enabling smooth, easy adjustment. It’s also possible to customise the camera’s controls to your shooting style as up to 44 functions can be allocated across a total of 13 User Buttons.
In addition to the 1,769,000-dot OLED viewfinder, there’s a 3.5-inch touch-sensitive screen built in to the handle ready to be pulled out for use. This can be turned through up to 270 degrees for easier viewing and finger-tip control of the menu. Of course, it’s also useful for composing scenes when shooting at awkward angles.
It’s also possible to customise the operation of the autofocus system, tailoring the AF speed, sensitivity and area width according to the subject and scene. The intelligent autofocus system is capable of adjusting the focus precisely and quickly, even following the subject if you need it to.
The two SD card slots
These double card slots can be set to enable continuous recording, with the X1 switching seamlessly from one card to another. The full card can then be replaced with a clear card to act as an overflow for the second card. Alternatively, the camera can be set to record to both cards simultaneously. It’s even possible to use one card to record individual scenes, while the second records continuously.
Those pro-grade audio connections
Audio is as important as the visual aspect of video – and the X1 has two XLR channels so you can connect two professional-level mics. An on-screen display and 3.5mm headphone port allow you to ensure that the sound levels are correct in-camera.