Even though sales are down, Panasonic continues to innovate in the camcorder space, and this year they've brought five new models. In 2015, we saw Panasonic push the envelope with its wholly unique Twin-Cam camcorders, which featured a second, wide-angle lens on the end of the LCD screen. Now the company is iterating on the idea.
HC-WXF991 and HC-VX981
This year, Panasonic has readied a new, 4K-capable Twin-Cam model, dubbed the HC-WXF991. This new model pushes its innovative 4K functionality just a bit further, and you can get much of the benefit in Panasonic's other new 4K camcorder, the HC-VX981, but without the added camera.
• Twin-camera equipped (WXF991 only)
• Tilting electronic viewfinder (WXF991 only)
• BSI CMOS sensor
• 4K/30p in MP4
• WiFi and NFC connectivity
• 20x optical zoom with image stabilization
• MSRP TBA
The 4K magic doesn't stop at the sheer number of pixels in play. These camcorders feature 4K photo burst shooting (it's effectively a 30 fps burst mode), and even let you crop 4K footage to HD in-camera, or add pans and zooms after the fact without importing your footage to a computer. Both models can even stream from a companion smartphone app to add another picture-in-picture source wirelessly.
Panasonic also refreshed its HD-capable camcorders with some minor spec-bumps. The W580, V380, and V180 all share 50x optical zoom. The cheapest, the V180, leaves out WiFi and a few other features for cost-cutting. Stay tuned for further information about these entry-level HD camcorder models.