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Panasonic HC-WX970 Camcorder Review

What is a Panasonic HC-WX970?

The HC-WX970 is Panasonic’s
flagship 4K consumer-grade camcorder. It’s a restrict indication that packs in a

Leica
Dicomar lens, 20x visual wizz and Panasonic’s 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S.+
optical design stabilisation as good as other functions including HDR
movie mode and a rather peculiar Twin Camera.

There are still
relatively few 4K camcorders to select from, yet a advantages of 4K
recording embody being means to lift 8MP still images from your footage
and giving we a choice to stand closer into a stage during editing
while still maintaining adequate fortitude for a Full HD picture.

The
Panasonic HX-A500 and GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition movement cameras offer this resolution, and Sony’s
FDR-AX100E introduced 4K camcorders for consumers. But Panasonic’s new indication does
mark a change towards 4K going many some-more mainstream, as it brings the
price subsequent £900, compared to a Sony’s £1390 cost tag.

SEE ALSO: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 4K overpass camera review

Panasonic HC-WX970

Panasonic HC-WX970 – Specs and Features

Panasonic ditched the
three-chip proceed it had confirmed for so prolonged in a high-end
consumer camcorders with a HC-W850, and a HC-WX970 continues this. Like a HC-W850, it uses a
single, 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS, yet this time
with a local 18.91 megapixels.

The full fortitude of this sensor is
never used for video or photos, though. Just 8.29 megapixels are required
for a 4K format that a HC-WX970 uses, that is called UHD-1 or
UHDTV. This is radically 4 times a fortitude of Full HD, 3,840 x
2,160. The tip still design fortitude is also 8.29 megapixels.

When sharpened during the
top 4K resolution, a flattering corpulent 72Mbits/sec information rate is used. This
will meant customarily about 30 mins of footage can fit on a 16GB SDXC card.
So you’re going to need utterly a lot of high-capacity media for your
two-week summer holiday in Magaluf.

Panasonic HC-WX970

The
Leica Dicomar lens is pretty quick, charity a good f/1.8 orifice for catchy shoal depth-of-field shots, rising to a still decent F3.6 during a maximum
20x visual zoom. There is an Intelligent Zoom accessible on tip of this,
that uses gangling sensor pixels to yield a zoom. This improves wizz to
25x in 4K mode and 40x in Full HD.

As usual, there’s also digital wizz also available
– adult to a absurd 1,500x which, as is customarily a box with digital zoom, is best avoided.

Panasonic HC-WX970

As facilities go, a HC-WX970’s twin camera is rather an peculiar one. It seemed on a HC-W850 and we’re still not certain who or when you’d use it. It’s a second 5.27-megapixel f/2.2 fixed-focus swivelling camera on a finish of a flip-out LCD. It starts adult Twin Camera mode when we stagger it out of sealed position so we can record
yourself, superimposed into
the categorical frame. You can’t record it as a apart file, either… Knock yourself out, narcissists!

Panasonic HC-WX970 – Design, Controls and Usability

It competence not be a pro-level camcorder, yet a HC-WX970 still manages to container in a healthy collection of facilities that will assistance a fan looking for some-more than usually a point-and-shooter. There’s a headphone mini
jack hollow during a front nearby a lens, and a microphone submit mini jack beneath
a LCD. No appendage shoe is built in, yet a bundled appendage slides
into a behind of a camcorder to yield this trickery when we need
it.

Panasonic HC-WX970

One
repudiation is a viewfinder, that some competence cite to a 3-inch LCD,
particularly in splendid conditions. Panasonic also forsaken a lens ring
we desired so many in a progressing consumer range-toppers with a 2014
models and beyond.

All is not lost, yet as there’s now a control dial subsequent to
the lens that gives we quick entrance to primer focusing, white balance,
shiver and iris. A delegate menu lets we adjust a sharpness,
colour, bearing and white change offset. So there are copiousness of
adjustments available.

Panasonic HC-WX970

In
fact, a HC-WX970 is packaged with primer settings and features, yet one
of a many poignant new ones is an HDR video mode. This doesn’t
work in 4K mode, so if you’re sharpened in this mode, a camcorder will
automatically switch down to Full HD.

In HDR mode, some-more of a detail
is manifest in highlights and shadows, so in this honour it’s like a
more absolute chronicle of a progressing Intelligent Contrast. However, in
our contrast it had customarily softly profitable effects. The HDR mode also
appeared to deliver a really tiny volume of sound in really low light.

Panasonic HC-WX970

Apart
from a modes accessible around a dial nearby a lens, all else is
accessed by a touchscreen LCD. A rotating set
of menu choices on a left-hand apportionment of a arrangement provides record and wizz buttons, as good as quick entrance to a main
settings. There’s also a apart symbol to entrance a extensive
WiFi-enabled features, that embody guard and control of a HC-WX970
with a smartphone, home security, remote playback on a DLNA-compatible
device, and live online streaming around a USTREAM service.

Panasonic HC-WX970 – Image Quality

Panasonic
has always supposing well-developed design peculiarity in a top-end consumer
camcorders, and a HC-WX970 is no exception. The turn of fact in 4K
is a best we have seen from a sub-£1,000 camcorder.
However, a camcorder universe is in a proviso of substantial transition,
as changes during a high finish start to filter down.

Panasonic HC-WX970 4K exam footage

Shooting
in 4K is all really well, yet unless you’re simply anticipating to destiny proof
your video memories, we will wish a ability to watch your footage in
all a eight-megapixel excellence right now. This will meant a 4K TV with
HDMI 1.4 tie is required, or 4K mechanism monitor. The HC-WX970
sports a 1.4-rated Micro HDMI port, with a wire granted in a box, so
we can watch your tender footage with this combination.

Panasonic HC-WX970

A
series of consumer-grade video modifying applications have upheld 4K
editing for a while, too, such as CyberLink PowerDirector. However, it’s
value observant that even a latest chronicle 13 of Adobe’s Premiere
Elements doesn’t. We attempted CyberLink PowerDirector 12 and had no
problems modifying and outputting 4K, nonetheless opening was sluggish.
The formula can be seen above. We have finished as small as probable to
these representation clips other than trim them, to give a best probable idea
of what tender footage looks like, nonetheless YouTube does restrict footage a
lot, introducing artefacts.

Should we buy a Panasonic HC-WX970?

If
you’re feeling a need to adopt 4K video sharpened early, a HC-WX970
provides Panasonic’s common mix of glorious design peculiarity and
comprehensive features. It competence be pricey, yet we get a outrageous volume for
the money.

We’re still watchful for that ideal 4K-shooting stills
camera/camcorder hybrid, that could be on a approach with Canon’s XC10.
But that’s also going to be during slightest twice a price. So, for now,
Panasonic has a many able consumer 4K camcorder on a marketplace for
under a grand. However, make certain we take a demeanour during Panasonic’s other new 4K camcorders before we confirm to buy.

SEE ALSO: Best 4K TVs 2015

Verdict

The Panasonic HC-WX970 is a great
high-end choice for ‘prosumer’ 4K early adopters, with comprehensive
features and good design quality.

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