Newark, NJ—Panasonic Corporation introduced the HX-A500, billed as “the world’s first 4K/30p wearable camera.” The waterproof device provides Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity to a smartphone or tablet to quickly share the high-res images and 4K video online. The main unit is separate from the lightweight lens unit, which weighs just over an ounce, so users can comfortably mount the lens at face level for hands-free point-of-view shooting.
The A500 comes standard with the newly designed main unit with a 1.5-inch color LCD. As well as permitting users to check their movies on location, it also allows them to change various settings. Operations are performed using the joystick beneath the LCD, with visual feedback from the LCD. Other imaging tech includes: a 1/2.3-inch BSI image sensor engineered for high-sensitivity shooting with less noise in images shot indoors, at night or in dim lighting; and a Crystal Engine Pro+ to handle the super-resolution 4K video recorded at 30 frames per second. Plus, the A500 can shoot up to a max. 160º ultra wide angle for an immersive view.
Waterproof for 30 minutes in nearly 10 feet of water and dustproof, the A500 complies with IPX8 and IP5X standards. It also offers tilt correction and image stabilization; available with Full HD in standard resolution, its level shot and image stabilizer functions let users capture easily viewable, fast-action sequences. In addition, users can shoot at high frame rates in three resolutions: 1,920×1,080 pixels at 60 fps; 1,280×720 HD at 120 fps; and 848×480 pixels at 240 fps. They can then play back the video in slow motion, either for effect or, for instance, to check out a golf swing.
The wearable A500 comes with a head mount that’s supported in three places: at both ears and at the back of the head. This increases support and makes wearing the camera feel more natural. Also included is an armband-style case with a flip-top design to make it easier to put in and take out the main unit.
For instant sharing, users with NFC-enabled smartphones only need to enable Wi-Fi to contact the control unit and the phone. Or, they can broadcast in real time via UStream, so distant family members can get a live view of family events. Plus, using the Panasonic Image app, highlighted scenes can be edited in one clip and uploaded to the Internet after shooting with automatic selection of highlighted scenes.
A variety of optional accessories will be available for the A500, including a clip mount, a multi belt, a tripod mount, a handlebar mount and a multi case. Panasonic’s HX-A500 will be available in the U.S. beginning in July. $399.99. panasonic.com