It's NAB! The most wonderful time of the year for videographers. Panasonic is taking the occasion to announce a couple of new developments, one of which is a feature update to an existing product.
First, the new hardware. Panasonic's introducing the HX-A1, an action camera that's designed to be wearable. While it can't capture 4K footage like the A5000, it still packs quite a few features into its unique body. It's got tough credentials, and is waterproof to 5 feet without a case, shockproof to 5 feet, dustproof, and crushproof to boot. Did we mention that this little thing is only 1.6 ounces?
With its 0 Lux Night Mode, you can use an external IR light source to record in darkness. Of course, WiFi is built-in and it'll be compatible with other Panasonic camcorders, letting you use this as a secondary video source. We don't know when the HX-A1 will be available, or how much it'll sell for, but we'll keep you posted.
Next, for pros, we've got the AG-DVX200 camcorder, a fixed-lens Four-Thirds 4K-capable unit. Clad in carbon fiber, this new video camera looks like it's got just about everything you'd want from an ENG camcorder, including 13x optical zoom. Panasonic is touting its shallow depth of field (thanks to that bigger-than-average sensor and f/2.8-4.5 aperture) and wide dynamic range (about 12 stops when using V-Log). Moreover, it can outdo other 4K-shooting Panasonic cameras by rocking full 4K/60p right out of the box. It also has the controls you'd want in a form factor that makes sense—a built-in top handle, swiveling screen, three manual control rings, and physical audio levels.
It won't be cheap when it launches in the fall, with a price that Panasonic is hoping will come in under $5,000. Save your pennies!
We're unabashed fans of the high-performing Lumix GH4, and, now, Panasonic's giving it a nice shot in the arm with an upcoming firmware update. Not only will the GH4 support anamorphic lenses (compatible with 2.39:1 and 2.35:1 aspect lenses), but it'll also be able to snap shots at a whopping 1/16000th of a seconds using its electronic shutter. This 2.2 version firmware is slated for later on this month.
Stay tuned for first impressions of some of these products from the show floor at NAB 2015!