Panasonic has unveiled its new camcorder range , which includes the new flagship model the Panasonic HC-X920.
Updating last year’s Panasonic HC-X900, the X920 features the same core features such as using three sensors – one each for red, green and blue light – a high-speed wide aperture lens and a host of manual controls but now everything has been cranked up a notch.
For a start, the three sensors are now back side illuminated, making them more sensitive to light, for improved image quality. This Panasonic has dubbed 3MOS System Pro. The new model also gets inbuilt Wi-Fi for quick uploading of your shots, though it does miss out on NFC (Near Field Communication) as featured on many of the new mid-range models – this is useful for quick transfer of Wi-Fi settings among other things.
Panasonic HC-X920 Specs
Elsewhere the X920 retains the X900’s 10x optical zoom lens which has a focal length range equivalent to 29.8-368.8mm, with it maintaining a still speedy f/2.8 maximum aperture at its telephoto end. Thanks to the 9.15MP sensor having greater resolution than is required for Full HD shooting the camcorder can also use a ‘intelligent zoom’ mode that crops into the sensor for an equivalent to 23x zoom, without loosing resolution.
Further enthusiast features include a control ring that surrounds the lens which gives quick access to adjusting manual settings such as shutter speed and gain. There’s also a high-quality electronic viewfinder (EVF) for easier shooting when in bright situations, plus inputs for external microphone and headphones (for audio monitoring). Meanwhile an inbuilt microphone array offers 5.1 surround sound recording.
Another key feature is a tilt sensor which shows onscreen whether you’re holding the camera level or not. The camera will also shoot up to 14.7MP still images and includes a powerful flash.
Panasonic HC-X920 Release Date and Price
The Panasonic X900 was one of our top camcorders of last year and the X920 looks set to build nicely on its feature set – a shame though it is that the X920 misses out on NFC. Available from February the X920 is yet to get an official launch price but expect it to be around the same £800-900 as the X900.
Incidentally, Panasonic has chosen not to replace the X800, which used the same 3MOS system as the X900 (for excellent image quality) but missed out on many of the other extra features. Panasonic decided to drop the 800 series as it felt the market had separated into enthusiasts that simply wanted it all and those that would accept compromises across the board. This makes the X920 the only camera in the new range to use three sensors.