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Panasonic HC-X1000 Always Shoots In 4K, Can Downsample To 1080p

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

B&H took a first look at Panasonic‘s new 4K HC-X1000 camcorder this week, and it has some pretty cool features, including an always-on 4K imaging design which can dedicate one processing engine to downsampling the image to 1080p, while the other hands off the 4K image for maximum quality even when downgrading the image. And that’s pretty cool.


The heart of the X1000 is that it uses the same Venus engine as the Panasonic GH4, though it doesn’t have just one, but two of them. And Panasonic has decided to have the camera always shoot in ultra high definition, and then use that extra Venus engine to down sample when a shooter doesn’t need 4K.

“The way it handles 1080 is really nicely done,” says Steve Gladstone of B&H. And Panasonic rep Matt Frazer says that was the idea from the very beginning. The result is that they don’t have to crop the image, thereby preserving the entire field of view. “This camera is still capturing 4K all the time, and in the camera, we can subsample that content into a proper 1080 image,” said Frazer.?The trade off is that there is a bit of noise invited to the party, but because you’re downsampling, the grain shrinks as well, meaning you hardly notice the noise, even though it’s there.

Other benefits is that users can save to .MOV with PCM for max quality (200mb at 1080 codec) and record with AVCHD. And max out at 150mbps at at 60p for 4K. The X1000 has two XLR mounts, zebra patterns, histogram, and also analog level controls, which is a nice way to adjust the audio on the fly without having the navigate a touch screen interface. It also has the ability to shoot in that low light green tone infrared that CNN was famous for during the Gulf War in the 90s. “Now, with an IR emitter, you can shoot in zero light,” Frazer said. Now that’s not like the 7s which can overexpose in low light and have a workable ish image, but it’s cool for the right shot.

Other features include a 1.2 dot viewfinder. Redesigned LCD screen which has been moved higher up to allow for shoulder use without an external monitor. It also has a Zoom ring, Lens ring, and focus ring. All are electronically linked, but you can also adjust them manually. A very nice design option.

“We can move four different lens groupings inside the camera … it allows us to bring the lenses closer to gether and still get the high quality resolution, without throwing on an ND filter,” Frazer said. It has dual CD card slots, so that at 1080 content, you can record to both simultaneously. ?But they can also do background recording, which will continue to record while the primary recording stops and starts. That’s huge!

The camera will be priced at $3499.99, per B&H. Check out the result of the first look in the video below.

Hat tip: Ray

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