Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Just out of the box the Panasonic AG-AC160…I look forward to producing a full in-depth review of this fantastic AVCCAM camcorder, the first of a new breed of solid state cameras from Panasonic.

I have had very little time to play with the AC160 today but here are a couple of frames from me messing about this evening. Firstly the camera copes very well in mixed lighting, the shot above has 5000K LED down lighters giving an almost daylight light, the fridge light on my wifes face is as good as 3200K.

I caught the coloured fridge door magnets and was pleased to see how natural the colours were especially is such mixed lighting. I have done some preliminary low light tests but nothing very scientific so I will refrain from comment till I have done further testing.

I hope to give the camera a thourough run-through over the next few days and produce a video review by the end of the week. We hope to have a bit of a coo by interviewing an old Celtic Lisbon Lion player as part of the review.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

7 thoughts on “New Panasonic AG-AC160 arrives in Glasgow

  1. Really looking to forward to this. Any chance you could give a brief example of the digital zoom during your review? I’m interested to see how the 2x holds up. Also what frame rates the DRS works (the 250 only works in 60i) and 60p playback. The brochure says you can’t playback 1080 60, seems a bit strange.

  2. I had a good look at the 250 camera at IBC this year. Loved the lens, the AVC Intra codec is a cracker – interested to hear how it perform in low light and noise characteristics as it uses the 370 chipset which has mixed reviews.

    Overall, it is a chunky camera and not ideal for hand held use for long periods and I was shocked at how plasticky it was and I wonder how robust it would be in the field? The rear memory card slot especially looked very flimsy and looks like it would break very easily.

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts.


  3. This looks like great cam if the lens has manual focus (not the infinite electronic one). I can’t wait to see first tests. Please if you can test if it is easy to reach zoom control on lens with your left hand when camera is mounted on a tripod. It would be great if you can compare it with JVC HM750 in low light. For last 16 years I am working with full size shoulder mount cams and I have never used hand held cam so If I buy this cam I am looking a way to fit this on my shoulder or buy JVC hm750. I have tried the HPX370 and it’s great cam for the price but the P2 cards are just too expensive.

  4. Anybody used to PRO ENG shoulder camera will find this camera hard to use.
    Lens is a problem-hard to use for quick manual controls….NON Constant F-stop does NOT help.
    It is also SLOW in Low Light. I wanted to buy one but find it to slow to work with. Will keep my heavy F330.

  5. Anyone who uses a shoulder mount will always be un-happy using a hand held camcorder so that’s not an issue.
    Lens is fine a lot more easy to use than you are making out and for £300 plus vat you can’t expect a constant f stop lens.
    Don’t know what you mean by “slow” in low light, granted its not as good as an AF101 in low light but that’s to be expected.

  6. Looks klike a good piece of kit, I am currently deciding between this and the Sony HXR-NX5E
    Your review of the Sony was great but I still can’t decide.

  7. Panasonic tend to give you more bang for your buck than Sony. I know that APTN (one of the world’s biggest wholesalers of news content) have just upgraded all of their equipment to P2 cameras. Now this new AC160 promises solid state storage, without the exorbitant cost of P2 cards. The 22x zoom is also very attractive, as is its ability to identify a face and auto-expose/auto-focus on it (great for one-man-band VJs shooting their own standups). I’m also interested in how it performs in low light (also good for VJs who can’t carry lighting gear to remote locations.)

    The only thing that’s stopping me buying this camera right now is that I haven’t seen any reviews. I’m checking this website every day, and Philip’s opinion is much anticipated!

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