Newark, NJ—Panasonic introduced the HC-X2 and HC-X20 professional 4K camcorders with a 1.0-inch, 15-megapixel MOS sensor. With professional features, the camcorders also provide weight balance to make them easy to use for event, news and interview photography.
Panasonic HC-X2 and HC-X20 Key Specs
The HC-X2 and HX20 feature a 20x optical zoom, 24.5mm-equivalent wide-angle lens for UHD and Full HD video; 4K autofocus with face detection and higher precision; a 5-axis hybrid OIS+; and a high brightness LCD.
Moreover, for video recording, the camcorders support 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 30p/25p internal video recording and the high-efficiency HEVC codec. They also provide a variety of recording formats, including MOV (QuickTime), MP4 and AVCHD. Super slow motion (120/100 frames per sec) provides a slow-motion effect.
Plus, a 4K UHD VFR (variable frame rate) recording function allows the change of frame rate from 2 to 60/50 fps. As a result, users can produce expressive videos using techniques such as overcranking for a slow-motion effect and undercranking for a quick-motion effect.
The HC-X2, the higher-end model, comes with HLG Gamma mode and 13-stop V Log to produce 4K HDR video content. The camcorder also supports direct connection to Ethernet terminals and simultaneous SDI/HDMI output. Further, it has HD livestreaming capabilities and supports various streaming protocols.
The camcorders’ integrated lens ranges from 24.5mm wide angle to 490mm tele. What’s more, i.ZOOM achieves 24x at 4K resolution and 32x at FHD. In addition, its 4-drive lens system drives the four lens groups independently, achieving the optical 20x zoom as well as a compact body size.
AF & OIS
In addition, enhanced focusing speed, stability and tracking performance for 4K and Full HD video are achieved thanks to face-detection AF/AE and the focus lens drive. And users can activate subject tracking with color recognition by just touching the LCD.
For UHD as well as FHD modes, in addition to OIS (optical image stabilization), electronic image stabilization detects and corrects handshake in 5 axes, including rotational blurring. This provides stronger correction under unstable conditions, such as low-angle and high-angle shooting. Further, the Ball OIS system reduces friction on the drive section, achieving delicate correction even for small-amplitude handshake.
The camcorders also support various bit rates and formats to meet professional needs. Internal recording of UHD up to 29.98p/25p and FHD up to 59.94p/50p in 4:2:2 10-bit high quality is now possible. When set for 10-bit, the camcorders deliver 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output, enabling high image quality capture with an external recorder.
Along with HEVC recording (LongGOP/10-bit 4:2:0/MOV), the camcorders also provide HDR, HLG and V Log. HDR provides a wider brightness range (dynamic range) than conventional SDR and thus renders more natural images without compromising the gradation in bright image areas or dark image areas.
Additionally, the HC-X2 offers HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) shooting mode, one of the standards related to HDR. It also supports V Log, which is available on Panasonic Varicam cinema cameras and Lumix mirrorless cameras, providing 13 stops of latitude. When combined with a V Log compatible camera, color grading provides a uniform image in postproduction.
The built-in Wi-Fi module enables Wi-Fi connectivity using only the main unit. The HC-ROP tablet/smartphone app enables wireless remote control, including camera settings and lens control.
The HC-X2 also uses Ethernet for more stable livestreaming. Conversely, users can connect the HC-X20 to a wired LAN by using a USB Ethernet adapter accessory. Furthermore, RTSP/RTP/RTMP/RTMPS-compatible FHD streaming enables direct connection and streaming of live concerts, sporting events, breaking news, etc., to Facebook, YouTube and other social media. It is also now possible to record while streaming.
Another network feature (HC-X2 only) is USB tethering for streaming using 5G smartphones.
The camcorders’ 3.5-inch, 2.8M-dot LCD monitor has more than double the resolution of the previous model (HC-X1). As a result, it also realizes visibility in bright sunlight with twice the brightness compared to the previous model. The electrostatic touch panel also improves operability when selecting menus.
Since the 2.4M-dot, tiltable viewfinder and LCD output simultaneously, users can also confirm the recorded image in the LCD monitor while viewing it on the EVF. Focus-assist functions are also provided, including expand, peaking and area mode.
The lens barrel features triple manual rings for zoom, focus and iris operations. There are a total of 14 user buttons, nine on the body and five on the touchscreen LCD, that users can allocate for desired functions.
Other features include an ND filter (clear, 1/4, 1/16 or 1/64); gain and AWB selectors; a battery that provides 3 hours and 50 minutes (HC-X2)/4 hours and 25 minutes (HC-X20) of continuous shooting; +48V Phantom power supply/MIC/Line selectable XLR audio input with manual volume; and support for 24-bit linear PCM system (MOV), 16-bit AAC (MP4) or Dolby Audio system (AVCHD) 2-channel audio recording.
Moreover, two SD memory card slots allow for unlimited relay recording; simultaneous recording; background recording; and dual codec recording (HC-X2).
In addition, the camcorders offer broadcast-grade camera image adjustment functions. They include a 16-axis independent color correction function that allows color matching of multiple cameras under the same lighting condition as well as creative image rendering. Plus, a soft skin function makes skin colors appear softly for close-ups. Master detail adjusts the overall degree of contour enhancement while six sets of image quality settings are preset in scene files.
The Panasonic HC-X2 has a suggested retail price of $3,199.99. The HC-X20 has an SRP of $2,599.99.