Panasonic will soon introduce a prosumer 4K camcorder with better low-light performance, faster autofocus and a wider viewing angle than its predecessor.
The HC-X1 was introduced on Wednesday at the IFA trade show in Berlin and will be available later this year.
At the top of the new-feature list is a 1-inch image sensor — a considerable improvement on the 1/2.3-inch sensor in the two-year-old HC-X1000. The larger image sensor allows the camera to collect more light, which means better low-light performance, but at a cost.
The extra data captured by the image sensor still needs to be processed in real time, and that can cause problems with autofocus, especially during fast-moving events like sports, Panasonic said. The answer is a new autofocus system that can analyze the data and still work fast enough for sports.
In front of the image sensor, Panasonic has a Leica lens with a 24mm field of view and 20x optical zoom. That compares to a 29.5mm lens on the HC-X1000 and means the camera can capture a wider swath of the scene in front of it compared with its predecessor.
The rest is what you’d expect from a camera in this class: three manual rings on the lens barrel for zoom, focus and iris; XLR audio inputs; 3.5-inch display and OLED viewfinder; focus assist; neutral density filters and white balance.
It will be available worldwide from December. In the U.S. it will cost $3,199 and in Europe it will cost €3,199.
That price is a hike from the roughly $2,100 the predecessor HC-X1000 is currently selling for, but it’s a cheaper beginning price. When the HC-X1000 debuted, it had a list price of $3,499.
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Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.