Panasonic HC-X1000 Black 4K Digital Video Camera
- 4K DCI & UHD Video/ 8.8MP Stills
- 1/2.3" MOS Sensor; 2 x Venus Processors
- Leica Dicomar 20x Optical Zoom Lens
- Switchable between NTSC and PAL
- Individual Focus, Zoom & Iris Lens Rings
- Power O.I.S, & Hybrid O.I.S.
- 0.45" EVF / 3.5" LCD Touch Screen
- Records MP4, MOV, AVCHD to SDXC Cards
- Simultaneous/Relay/Background Recording
- Wi-Fi / NFC Connectivity
The options for highly versatile and remarkably powerful 4K video shooting on a relatively moderate to downright modest budget keep growing these days and numerous pro or semi-pro camcorders and cinema cameras for the middle-ground are coming out all the time. The HC-X1000 from Panasonic is one of these and it creates quite a well-designed balance between doing HD video production work and slipping right into 4K UHD and Cinema 4K shooting.
Housing an impressive amount of power in relatively compact body, the HX-X1000 delivers a reliable familiar form factor with great functionality across the board. In addition to this, some excellent processing power with Venus technology and a slightly smallish but still very decent ½.3 inch MOS sensor combine with a very good 20x Leica lens do their joint work to offer you some superbly versatile video at 4K resolution or in HD
In simple terms, despite a small number of defects, the HC-X1000 is a robust, well rounded 4K UHD camcorder that has plenty of power and comes in at a price we can’t complain about too much at all. Panasonic has cut costs on their X1000 but not in ways that do any major damage to overall quality or performance metrics.
We’ll start with the most basic feature of the X1000 which we find appealing: its ability to shoot 4K UHD video at 60fps. While this is a basic requisite of any serious professional 4K cinema production camera, it’s not nearly so common a feature on such an affordable pro-sumer model like the HC-X1000. Even otherwise excellent and in some ways superior 4K UHD camcorders like Sony’s extremely well designed and pricier PXW-FS5 only manage to pull off 4K UHD video at a max rate of 30fps and here is the more affordable and somewhat older HC-X1000 with the ability to do the same at 60p. What’s more, this camcorder also shoots cinema grade 4K footage with a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels and it can manage even this video resolution at 24fps. Thus, you get both rock solid superior 4K UHD (3840 X 2160) shooting at a remarkably good frame rate and Cinematic DCI 4K shooting at the frame rate most cameras can only manage with 4K UHD.
Next up, there is the sheer versatility of the shooting formats in the X1000. This little powerhouse can manage video capture in MP4, AVCHD and MOV codecs for a wide range of different needs and preferences. Combine this with the above-mentioned high level shooting rate and all the other resolutions in which the camcorder is capable of shooting and you get some great video production flexibility, though with some caveats as well, which we’ll get to in our next section.
Other not so major but very useful features of the X1000 which we really liked included the fact that the camera comes packaged with two 64GB SD cards right in the box. This is a money saver for sure and easily knocks about $200 off the price of getting started with recording. On top of this, the battery life which the X1000 manages with moderate shooting sits at a very respectable 6 hours. Now of course those 6 hours probably won’t be reached if you’re grabbing your video at a constant full blown DCI 4K or 4K UHD resolution , but for HD shooting with some 4K video capture interspaced with it, long battery life is definitely one of the X1000’s stronger points.
Moving back into performance specs, the single most outstanding physical feature of the HX-X1000 definitely has to be its lens. We simply love this built-in piece of technology. For one thing, it offers all-around Leica quality of design and most crucially, it delivers an absolutely superb 20x zoom that’s definitely to be enjoyed and used to the max for its high versatility.
In comparison to the 3X zoom on the included lens which comes with the Sony FS5, the X1000’s is a beast. A 5-axis hybrid image stabilization system which uses both software and hardware-based stabilization techniques creates some fantastically steady shooting results even at very high zoom with high resolution and even the maximal telephoto zoom during handheld shooting comes out looking stable thanks to this camcorders superb stabilization architecture. To top things off in this area, the autofocus of the X1000 is very usable indeed, even if it doesn’t offer perfection or the kind of superior performance we’ve seen in other camcorders.
Finally, to top things off, the X1000 is nicely compact and easy to handle. It’s total body weight of just over 3 lbs has been beaten out by the also highly pro-sumer level FS5 from Sony with its slightly less than 2 lbs of weight but the X1000 is still an easy carry even for prolonged handheld shooting, and its overall physical design and handle make it easy to manipulate even during fairly clumsy positioning or while moving quickly in the field.