Every so often a camera comes along that changes the goalposts, the Panasonic HC-X1000 is one of these cameras. If I am totally honest until the AF101 three years ago Panasonic was not on my radar.
Most of my colleagues within the Glasgow-Stirling area have all been Sony owners till the latest crop of Panasonic cameras, now the balance has moved over to owning PX270, AC160, AC130 and AC90’s within the last 2 years…why the dramatic shift.
Two reasons…Sony have produced a load of cameras over the last 2 years deciding that we were all going to buy them, but the over priced SxS media that plagues the more professional end of Sony’s camera range and the lack of dual card slots (early models) has been a major turn off.
Panasonic scored a goal two and a half years ago by not only introducing dual card slots in all models but standardising on SD cards for their media leaving expensive P2 to the broadcast end of the market.
Sony’s XQD started off as a domestic format but has been taken over by the professional side with the dissadvantage of professional pricing further ailenating the user who just wants affordable easy to buy SD media.
Enter the latest offering from Panasonic the HC-X1000 once again sticking to SDXC cards allows the user to produce 4K 50p pictures that downscales to 444 10bit on an HD timeline.
Who delivers in 4K……..no one but large budget filmmakers and video trade shows like BVE, so what’s the point in 4K, the answer lies in the way 4K gets compressed to HD once again till the advent of Sony’s F5 and Red One no one could produce 4K 50p without spending a fortune.
So why would anyone buy a 4K camcorder like the HC-X1000…simple…it’s 4K to HD is simply stunning, finally we are getting a glimpse of whats on offer over the next few years and delivering in 4K is not what the x1000 is all about.
A 3840 x 2160 picture is 4x bigger than HD which is why the original 420 8bit converts to 444 10bit compressed onto an HD timeline…not a quality many of us have seen from a £2300 semi pro camcorder.
Just under two years ago I was banging on about all cameras having a minimum of 50MB/s as most cameras were stuck on 28-35MB/s, now we are getting 4K 50p 150MB/s cameras. The first of these amazing 4K SD media cameras was the Panasonic GH4 once again with stunning 4K internal footage recorded onto an SDXC class 10 speed 3 card but sadly stoping short of the magical 50p frame rate.
Panasonic are proving SD technology is up to the mark way beyond their competitors, building on a customer base who have been crying out for low cost media, dual slot simultaneous recording and bigger optical zoom lenses and the best of it is a magical new formula that allows stunning HD footage from an 8bit 420 camcorder thanks to 4K 50p @ 150MB/s.
Other features the HC-X1000 has that are not covered in the review are…
Pre Record in both HD and 4K giving you a 5 sec buffer at the start of every recording.
Simultaneous dual record mode, very useful for back up.
Time Lapse Record from 1sec, 10secs, 30secs, 1m and 2mins (Note this is disabled if you have Pre-Rec set to on)
Infra Red mode
Synchro scan via shutter speed (Starting at 1/50 scroll down to 1/6 then the next position will be 1/50.1 you can dial out annoying monitor flickering.
System Frequency (PAL or NTSC)
Lastly if you want to switch off the blue ring light go to Other Function down to Ring LED (Blue) and switch it off.
PS. One of my readers asked me about the sound “can you switch the sound to Audio Auto Gain” this is menu driven in the Record Setup menu, scroll down to Audio level CH1 or CH2 and switch to AUTO or Manual. You also have the ability to switch the ALC ON & OFF separately.
I tested this with the AUTO set to on and using a RODE reporter mic did a horse racing commentary raising my voice up and down with no apparent detection of the sound pumping.