Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Out and about with the Panasonic HC-X1000 in 4K mode today. In 4K mode 3840 x 2160 50P at 150MB/s you get truly stunning HD pictures almost the best I have seen out of a 1/2.3″ sensor.


This is a video still of one of my dogs and not only are the colours accurate but the lack of noise reduction seen in many 1/3″ cameras is fantastic.


This wee camera is out performing many 1/3″ cameras twice its size though remember it has a 1/2.3″ chip…in 4K alone, I have a few more tests and filming to do plus I am keen to see how it performs in HD 200MB/s mode.

I am ultra impressed with the 4K 50p pictures on the HD timeline, this is a common theme with 4K capable cameras giving you wonderful HD pictures but the 50p mode is a killer, not many 4K cameras produce 50p pictures and Panasonic have cracked it with this blend of stunning 4K 50p and a little known secret 4:2:0 8bit pictures.

HC-X1000 bird 2


Double click on this pigeon to see the 1920 x 1080 still frame.


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.

19 thoughts on “Panasonic HC-X1000 Review…Ongoing

  1. Thanks for your initial review on the HC-X1000. However, you mention several times about the 1/3″ sensor. This Camcorder has a 1/2.3″ sensor, which is quite a bit smaller than a 1/3″, as a result there have been some complaints about it’s low light performance. I look forward to reading your ongoing review.

    HDW : 1/2.3″ (6.17mm x 4.55mm) is bigger than a 1/3″ sensor (4.8mm x 3.6mm)

  2. Dear Philip,
    Any chance to upload original 4k/50p footages(low light stuff if possible)?
    Big TKS in advance

  3. I heard this camera is very poor in low light. Is this true?

    HDW : I will find out for you…just shot 9dBs in 4K mode and looked at it on a Samsung monitor (Full HD) it looks good but that will be reserved for a kids dance show with mixed concert lighting this Saturday.

  4. So… Buy a 4K camera that only has a single 1/2.3″ sensor, and squeeze the output into an HD timeline, or buy a 3 x 1/3″ sensor camera that only does HD. All else being equal, which one will give better results?
    Great reviews Philip.

    HDW : I only report my findings, I don’t use charts etc. I use my eyes, 1/3″ sensors come with noise reduction circuits which is clearly visable in the footage, the HC-X1000 with 1/2.3″ 4K sensor is being reduced down to HD therefore reducing the noticeable NR as well.

  5. Hi Phil
    Many of your photos feature that Manfrotto head. Just curious, do you prefer it to your Miller Compass?

    HDW : Reason…The Manfrotto plate is cheap as chips and I have spare plates and 3 tripods, the Miller is heavy and expensive but the best tripod by far. My reviews don’t warrant the Miller most cameras are suited to the lighter Manfrotto head.

  6. Been waiting for this review all month and it will tell me if this camera is for me I’m sure. Can you make sure you have some indoor footage as well as outdoor in bright daylight? I film mostly dance shows in theatres and so for me that is what this camera would be purchased for more than anything.

    Many thanks

    HDW : I am waiting till next Saturday (6th Dec) to film at a dance show alongside Graeme who is covering the show this will be interesting footage for the review.

  7. Is 4K/UHD 8 bit 4:2:0 ?

    What is the highest quality HD (1920×1080) color sample? 8 bit 4:2:2 ? 8 bit 4:2:0 ? 10 bit 4:2:2 ?

    HDW : Highest is 422 10bit

  8. Dear Philip.

    Thank you very much for your regular reviews. I appreciate all the effort that goes into them.

    The low light question is valid given the competition – I also struggle to see how this camera can deliver enough DOF, especially in 4k.

    Await the review with interest.


  9. Hi, Mr. Philip Johnston, I hope you can comment on the image quality between Sony’s x70 and this camcorder, both are 4k, probably a major difference in sensor size and cam size, but how would you compare the overall image quality in terms of codec, being one a 10 bit 422 and the other 8 bit 420? The Panny’s picture looks very compromising and v sharp looking though, thanks v m

  10. I mean the Panasonic’s picture is fantastic and looks very PROMISING, looks very sharp as well

  11. Thanks for the review. I noticed that you said the still pictures were recorded at 4:2:0 8bit. In the 4K Video mode, is it recorded in 4:2:0 8 bit also or is it 4:2:2 10 bit ? Thanks very much! Your input is appreciated.

    HDW : The still is from the timeline the camera only records 420 8bit but if you go on the GH4 theory… if you film 422 8bit in 4K it equates to 422 10bit on an HD timeline then the same should be possible with the X1000.

  12. Would be interesting to see how it compares to the PXW-Z100 or the FDR-AX1 which have the same size sensor and similar specs. For me in the theatre my FDR-AX1 is over 2 stops slower than my NX5 and considerably less sensitive than my NX30. I do not find it a capable camera in the theatre other than shows with lots of light. Most shows it spends most of the time at 18db or more if I let it with a wide shot of the stage and at f2.8 zoomed to get full stage the lens will ramp to about f2.8 or so. Full stage so that I can crop as needed the whole point for me getting the camera in 4K. I don’t think the X70 is as sensitive as the NX30 either but will have fine detail that can be exposed in post. At 15db the AX1 produces a nice image with more detail when scaled to HD than the other cameras I have. The difficulty in really low light makes focusing more difficult and the image starts to soften maybe with noise reduction at higher gains.

  13. Hi Philip

    For your review of the X1000, can I ask for something to be included…

    In order to edit the 4K footage on a FCPX “HD” timeline, I was wondering if you can take three 20 minute 4K clips and make a Multicam file to see how well it plays and edits, and which codex would play best. I don’t know what Mac you have, but I’m guessing its something like my iMac – 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 – 32GBs Ram – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2048 MB.

    All the best

  14. Hello Philip. Thank you for this ongoing review. Can you please help me with a question. Did you find in this camera an option to do fast motion on 4K or a VFR option? Thank you.

    HDW : No is the quick answer, the fact it does 4K 50p is as much I would expect from any 4K camera…OK its at 150MB/s so its not a FS7 but for general 4K to HD editing its far more cost effective than most 4K cameras around.

  15. Have had a look at the specs now and it seems to be very close to the FDR-AX1. Low light spec is 4 lux with 30db gain and 1/25,1/30 shutter. I would say very similar to the FDR-Ax1. Maybe the same sensor !!! At least it seems to have all the buttons and interfaces working from day one !!! As editing guide. I can edit one track of 60P 150Mbps XAVC-S using Edius 7.4 on my i7 4790K PC realtime native file. With multicam 3 tracks of AVCHD and one track of 30P 3840×2160, 60Mbps. When converted to HQX intermediate files will of course play just fine in multicam at all frame rates.

  16. Great reviews as usual. I have the hmc151 …thinking of changing to the hcx1000 – if you have experience with this camera would you say this would be a wise choice. I like so much about this new camera but realise I may need an led panel for lowlight situations! It looks v sharp with a great stabiliser (much better than the 151)

  17. I am taking Philips review even further with a few reviews of my own about the X1000, and its up against a 151! The first vid is ….

    Low light is a mixed bag and the next vid will be up in a few days, same playlist as video above. I’ll also do a video about how the camera handles on the field and the last will be all about editing the 4K footage on a normal HD editing computer.


  18. Hi Philip,
    If lens is 4,5 to 81 mm (30,9 mm equivalent 35mm focal, etc.) it seems the unit only uses 1/3″ of total 1/2.3″ surface …

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