Panasonic HC-WX970M 4K HD Camcorder
- 4K Ultra HD video recording, deliver true-to-life images for a wide variety of shooting situations, in extremely high detail with LEICA Dicomar lens.
- 4K Photo mode enables 8-megapixel high-quality photos can be extracted from a high-resolution 4K (3840 x 2160) video footage.
- Enjoy picture-in-picture recording by two camera: Main Camera & Sub Camera
- Improvement of Sub Camera operation with Retractable Tilting ±20°, Retractable Panning 270° and 2x Electrical Zoom.
- Сonnect a second Smartphone video camera wirelessly for a
- Picture-in-picture effect and flexible shooting angle
- HDR (HighDynamicRange) Movie Crisp, clear detail in both bright and dark areas
- HYBRID O.I.S.+ 5-axis shake reduction function
- Level Shot function automatically detects and corrects the tilting of captured images.
- Infrared rays and IR-LED lighting let you shoot in the dark (0 lux) in Night Mode
The HC-WX970 is Panasonic's flagship 4K consumer-grade camcorder. It's a compact model with Leica Dicomar lens, 20x optical zoom and Panasonic's 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S.+ optical image stabilisation as well as other functions including HDR movie mode and the rather odd Twin Camera.
There are still relatively few 4K camcorders to choose from, but the benefits of 4K recording include being able to pull 8MP still images from your footage and giving you the option to crop closer into a scene during editing while still retaining enough resolution for a Full HD picture.
The Panasonic HX-A500 and GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition action cameras offer this resolution, and Sony's FDR-AX100E introduced 4K camcorders for consumers. But Panasonic's new model does mark a shift towards 4K going much more mainstream.
Panasonic ditched the three-chip approach it had maintained for so long in its high-end consumer camcorders with the HC-W850, and the HC-WX970 continues this. Like the HC-W850, it uses a single, 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS, but this time with a native 18.91 megapixels.
The full resolution of this sensor is never used for video or photos, though. Just 8.29 megapixels are required for the 4K format that the HC-WX970 uses, which is called UHD-1 or UHDTV. This is essentially four times the resolution of Full HD, 3,840 x 2,160. The top still image resolution is also 8.29 megapixels.
When shooting at the top 4K resolution, a pretty chunky 72Mbits/sec data rate is used. This will mean only about 30 minutes of footage can fit on a 16GB SDXC card. So you're going to need quite a lot of high-capacity media for your two-week summer holiday in Magaluf.
The Leica Dicomar lens is reasonably quick, offering a nice f/1.8 aperture for arty shallow depth-of-field shots, rising to a still decent F3.6 at the maximum 20x optical zoom. There is an Intelligent Zoom available on top of this, which uses spare sensor pixels to provide a zoom. This improves zoom to 25x in 4K mode and 40x in Full HD.
As usual, there's also digital zoom also available – up to a ridiculous 1,500x which, as is usually the case with digital zoom, is best avoided.