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Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder

B&H # PAAGAC160A Mfr # AG-AC160APJ
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You Pay: $3,915.00
Product Highlights
  • 1/3" 2.2 MP 3MOS Sensor
  • 1080/60p and 1080/50p Recording
  • Expanded Focus Assist
  • Turbo Speed One-Push Auto Focus
  • Integrated 22x Lens / 28-616mm Equiv.
  • 3.45" 1920 x 480 LCD
  • Variable Frame Rate Recording at 1080p
  • 1080p60 / p30 / p24 / 720p60 + 60/50 Hz
  • Dual SD / SDHC / SDXC Card Slots
  • AVCHD/Standard Definition DV Recording

The Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder is an upgraded version of the AG-AC160. The upgrade consists of the addition of 1080/60p and 50p recording (max. 28Mbps in PS mode), expanded focus assist functionality, and a "turbo speed" one-push auto focus function.

60p/50p capture capacity gives you excellent control over slow-motion. Shooting in 60p, you can play back 24p for a 2.5x slow-motion effect. With expanded focus assist you can zoom in on an image to check focus. And one-push auto focus affords the option of very quickly attaining focus in circumstances requiring on-the-go focusing.

As for other features, the AG-AC160A is a high-definition workhorse of a professional handheld camcorder that integrates seamlessly with a wide range of current broadcast video systems in place around the world. With an integrated 22x zoom lens and a 1/3-type 3MOS three-element imager, the camera captures AVCHD video to two SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots as 1080p60, 1080p30, 1080i60, filmic 1080p24, and 720p60.

But that's not it for frame rates: for creative slow-/fast-motion effects, overcranking and undercranking are possible at a variety of rates between 2 and 60 frames per second. For worldwide compatibility, the AC160A also captures a variety of 50 Hz video signals for easy integration with PAL projects and video systems.

The AC160A features Panasonic's professional-level PS implementation of AVCHD. It's a top-quality choice at a max rate of 28 Mb/s; several other data rates will conserve card space as you capture hours of HD video. For projects that require standard-def capture, the AC160A has you covered with DV recording, which can then be output via its 6-pin IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port. For high-def output, the HD-SDI terminal puts out HD signals including 1920 x 1080 at 24PsF.

The AC160A offers a bevy of other professional-level features, including dual XLRs with phantom power, SMPTE time-code generation, gamma settings for seven different scenarios, and manual control rings for iris, zoom, and focus. To monitor the status of all settings, and to perform critical focusing functions, the AVCCAM camcorder features both a high-quality 3.45" LCD screen and a full-color LCoS 0.45" viewfinder with 1,226,000 dots (852 x 480 x 3 [RGB]) of resolution.

(Current owners of the AC160 can simply have the upgrades added to their cameras. The 60p/50p capacity upgrade is free and you can perform it yourself, but the other two additions would include a hardware modification and are offered for a total of $300 at a Panasonic Authorized Service Center.)

New Upgrades over the AG-AC160
The AG-AC160A is an upgraded version of the AG-AC160. The upgrade consists of the addition of 1080/60p and 50p recording (max. 28Mbps in PS mode), expanded focus assist functionality, and a "turbo speed" one-push auto focus function. 60p/50p capture capacity gives you excellent control over slow-motion. Shooting in 60p, you can play back 24p for a 2.5x slow-motion effect. With expanded focus assist you can zoom in on an image to check focus. And one-push auto focus affords the option of very quickly attaining focus in circumstances requiring on-the-go focusing
Panasonic Optical Technology
The high-performance 22x zoom lens was designed specifically for professional HD video production. Sharing the wide-angle capability found in the DVX and HMC series, the lens offers some additional telephoto capability for a 28-616mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range. The lens combines 18 elements in 12 groups and adds an ultra-high refractive (UHR) glass element, a low-dispersion element, and aspheric elements – technologies that combine to raise the resolution. This 22x zoom lens covers a wide field of view, from wide-angle to telephoto, without a conversion lens
Manual Control Rings
Three manual rings – mechanical (cam-driven) zoom, focus, and iris – allow you to operate as if you've got an interchangeable-lens camcorder, for fine, tactile control over the parameters of the captured image
Optical Image Stabilization
To compensate for any shaking of the operator's hand, the AC160A features an optical image stabilizer (OIS)
High-Sensitivity, Low-Noise 3MOS Image Sensor
The 1/3-type 2.2 Mp 3MOS sensor features the same Ultra Luminance Technology (ULT) that's incorporated in Panasonic's shoulder-mount P2 HD broadcast camcorders. This sensor maximizes the performance of the lens and the signal processing circuit in standard conditions
Digital Zoom
This can be assigned to a user button for digital zooms of 2x, 5x, and 10x. In combination with the optical zoom, this function provides a telephoto capability up to 220x
ND Filter
The AC160A features a four-position (OFF, 1/4 ND, 1/16 ND, 1/64 ND) optical neutral density filter wheel
18-Bit Digital Signal Processor
The AC160A's high-performance 18-bit DSP handles rendering processes such as gamma and detail-enhancement functions with uncommon precision
Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS)
The DRS function automatically suppresses blocked shadows and blown highlights in scenes that involve wildly varying contrast levels (such as indoor vs. outdoor elements in the same frame). DRS estimates a gamma curve and knee slope to match the contrast of each pixel and applies them in real time, producing excellent gradation for each shade and minimizing blocked shadows and blown highlights
Seven-Mode Gamma for Rich Gradation
Drawing upon the technology of the high-end VariCam line, the AC160A features gamma functions for seven shooting scenarios, including two cinema modes: HD NORM (for standard HD recording), LOW (flattens out a high-contrast scene); SD NORM (for standard SD recording); HIGH (softens contrast and expands the tone of dark parts, making an image brighter); B.PRESS (sharpens the contrast compared to LOW); CINE-LIKE D (prioritizes dynamic range); and CINE-LIKE V (prioritizes contrast)
Three-Position Gain Selection
There is a 3-position gain selector, with L, M and H settings. To each setting you can assign a gain value of 0, +3, +6, +9, +12 and +18 dB. There is also a Super Gain of +24 dB and +30 dB, accessible via a user button only
Other Camera Image Settings
Three values (A/B/Preset) of white balance are selectable with an auto-tracking white function. The preset can be set to 3200K, 5600K, and VARIABLE, which ranges between P2.4K and P9.9K. As with gamma, matrix setting includes a Cine-Like mode. H & V detail levels are adjustable, as are detail coring and skin-tone detail. That's not all: chroma level, chroma phase, color temperature, and master pedestal are all adjustable as well. The camera offers four settings for knee point: Auto, Low, Mid, and High
Focus Assist Function
A convenient Focus Assist button expands the center of the LCD screen, allowing you to check for correct focus quickly & easily. A Focus Bar that indicates the focus level can be displayed on the LCD, and the focus-in-red display shows the focus area. These two display functions help you to focus quickly and accurately. A face-detection function is also provided, and area auto focus and area auto iris are possible
High-Quality, Multi-Format Professional AVCHD PH Mode
The AC160A uses the AVCHD recording format and also supports the high-image-quality PH mode. AVCHD complies with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile motion-picture compression technology. Boasting a compression efficiency that is more than twice that of the MPEG-2 system (such as HDV), this advanced video file format delivers superb image quality and low data rates. The PH mode was developed for AVCCAM by Panasonic exclusively for high-quality professional video production. This mode boasts a maximum AVCHD bit rate of 24 Mb/s (average: 21 Mb/s) and records 1920 x 1080 Full-HD images. The AVCHD PH mode is also compatible with multiple HD formats, such as 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97p, 1080/23.98p and 720/59.94p
Linear PCM Recording for High-Quality Sound
The AC160A supports uncompressed 16-bit Linear PCM 2-channel digital audio recording with PH mode for high-quality sound. Other modes employ Dolby Digital 2-channel audio recording
59.94 Hz / 50 Hz Switchable
The AC160A lets you select 59.94 Hz or 50 Hz to support video production systems used around the world
DV Recording Mode
The camera records SD video as a DV-format file (AVI Type 2) for added flexibility. Standard DV output (FireWire/IEEE 1394) lets you ingest files to a PC or Mac
Double-Slot SD Card System
Not only can you record continuously on two SD/SDHC/SDXC cards (up to 64 GB), relay recording lets you seamlessly record images onto two memory cards consecutively for added data security, and simultaneous recording records the same images onto two different memory cards to increase reliability when recording. The slot to be used can be switched during normal recording, and clips can also be copied between the 2 slots 1
SMPTE Time-Code Recording and Synchro
The built-in SMPTE time-code generator lets you select the Drop Frame/Non-Drop Frame and Free Run/Rec Run modes and preset. User bits are also provided. Connecting two cameras with a TC preset in/out (video out) connector allows the slave camera to synchronize with the master camera
Variable Frame Rate Recording at Full HD 1080p
The Variable Frame Rate (VFR) function is inherited from the Panasonic VariCam, which is widely used for producing movies, TV series, and TV commercials. These frame rates can then be laid over a standard 30fps timeline in post-production to create a wide range of film-camera-like slow-motion and fast-motion effects. The AC160A's VFR function supports Full-HD (1920 x 1080) progressive mode
Other Recording Modes
Pre-Rec continuously stores in standby mode up to 3 seconds of HD video, and this pre-record cache is only recorded to the P2 card once you press Record. This helps you get the shot every time, even if you "miss" the crucial moment by a couple seconds. Interval Rec gives you automatic intermittent recording based on a set interval and recording time (1 sec, 10 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min) only in 1080/24p. Rec Check checks the beginning and end of the last recorded clip. If you don't like it, Last Clip Delete enables one-button delete of that last clip. Scenes can be marked with up to 100 Index flags per clip (AVCHD mode only). Time Stamp appends the date and time onto recorded images, which is a crucial feature for evidential images
Area Focusing and Area Iris Functions
Using the function knob (cursor key), you can select a desired area in the frame and set it as a target zone for focusing, iris adjustment, and YGET (brightness measurement). This increases shot-composing flexibility. In addition to the above three modes, there are two other modes: simultaneous focusing/iris adjustment and simultaneous focusing/YGET
Scene File / User File
The AC160A features a Scene dial that allows you to choose an appropriate matrix of settings instantaneously. You can modify the six preset files if you'd like, one set of which can be stored internally in the camcorder. Four more sets can be stored on an SD memory card. As for user files (camera setting values), one file can be stored internally, and four more sets can be stored on an SD card
Simplified Waveform & Vectorscope
The AC160A has waveform and vectorscope display functions for analyzing a captured video signal on the LCD
Three User Buttons
A total of three user buttons can be set to trigger any selection of 16 different camera functions: INH, FACE DETECT, WFM, EVF DTL, D.ZOOM, DRS, S.GAIN, ATW, ATW LOCK, SHOT MARK, INDEX, LAST CLIP, BACKLIGHT, SPOTLIGHT, BLACKFADE, and last but not least, WHITEFADE
High-Quality Color Viewfinder and LCD
The AC160A's color EVF uses a 0.45", approximately 1,226,000 dot-equivalent (852 x 480 x 3 [RGB]) LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) display panel. It delivers bright, detailed, high-resolution images and a high response speed. The AC160A's LCD monitor has a 3.45", approximately 921,000-dot (1920 x 480) high-resolution panel. Various markers and grids can be displayed on the monitor/viewfinder, and with Mode Check, a list of the camera's settings can also displayed on the viewfinder and monitor
Stylish Design Boosts Mobility
Even with the high-powered zoom lens, the integrated camera and recorder sections are compact and stylish. Shifting the handle grip and LCD position forward (toward the lens) compared to the design of previous generations has improved the weight balance and visibility for handheld shooting, enabling a comfortably wide view. The magnesium-alloy die-cast chassis also excels in ruggedness and durability
Low-Angle Shots and Interviews
The upper part of the handle grip contains both the Rec Start/Stop button and a lens zoom speed control (three speeds). This design assures easy shooting even at low angles. The LCD monitor's mirror mode is convenient for shooting interviews that need to be monitored by one of the subjects of the shot
SDI (24PsF) Output and Auto Rec
The AC160A is equipped with an HD/SD SDI output terminal for outputting HD signals, including 1080/24PsF, or down-converted SD video signals (selectable from the menu). The terminal also supports Auto Rec to enable backup recording in link with Rec Start/Stop when a Panasonic recorder equipped with the same function, such as the AG-HPD24, is used. Embedded audio is also supported
XLR Input for Pro-Quality Audio
In addition to the internal high-performance stereo microphone, the AC160A comes equipped with two-channel XLR audio input terminals with a 48V phantom power supply. The internal microphone, external microphone, or line input can be selected for each channel. Large, easy-to-use level dials are also provided
HDMI Digital HD Output Terminal
The AC160A is equipped with an HDMI output terminal for digital transfer of high-quality HD video and audio signals
Down-Converted SD Video Output
The AC160A has an internal down-converter so it can output SD (480/576) signals from SDI, VIDEO OUT, or HDMI (progressive only). The 16:9/4:3 aspect conversion mode can be selected from three types (side crop, letterbox, squeeze)
Workflow Versatility
The Panasonic AVCCAM family enables tapeless recording, which means faster-than-real-time transfers to Windows & Mac computers for nonlinear editing – whether via a USB 2.0 connection or by offloading SD/SDHC/SDXC cards via a card reader. This allows for a speedy workflow and no time-consuming digitizing. For DV editing, simply connect the camcorder to a computer via the IEEE 1394-compliant (FireWire) 6-pin output terminal
Zebra
Select any two zebra levels from 50% to 105% (in 5% steps)
USB 2.0
The type mini-B USB port allows for connection to a PC in device mode
Remote Terminal
Enables remote operation of iris, focus, Rec Start/Stop and index functions
Color Bar
Outputs a color bar signal and test tone
Tally Lamps
Tally lamps are provided on the front and rear of the AC160A
Image Sensor 1/3 type progressive, 3MOS, 2.2 million pixels
Effective Pixels 1920 x 1080
Lens Panasonic lens with optical image stabilizer, motorized / manual mode switching, 22x zoom, F1.6 - 3.2 (f=3.9 mm to 86 mm / 35 mm equivalent: 28 mm to 616 mm, 16:9)
Filter Diameter 72 mm
Optical Color Separation Prism system
ND Filter OFF, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64
Minimum Shooting Distance Approx. 3 ft (approx. 1 m)
Gain Selection 0 / +3 / +6 / +9 / +12 / +15 / +18 / +24 / +30 dB (+24 and +30 dB are to be allocated only for USER SW)
Color Temperature ATW, ATW LOCK, preset 3200K, preset 5600K, preset VAR, Ach, Bch
Digital Zoom 2x / 5x / 10x (to be allocated on USER button, switching by pushing the button)
Minimum Luminance 0.4 lx (when F1.6, +30dB of gain, and 1/30 sec. of shutter speed)
Shutter Speed Preset:
50i/50p mode: 1/50 sec.(OFF), 1/60 sec., 1/120 sec., 1/250 sec., 1/500 sec., 1/1000 sec., 1/2000 sec.
25p mode: 1/25 sec., 1/50 sec.(OFF), 1/60 sec., 1/120 sec., 1/250 sec., 1/500 sec., 1/1000 sec., 1/2000 sec.
60i/60p mode: 1/60 sec.(OFF), 1/100 sec., 1/120 sec., 1/250 sec., 1/500 sec., 1/1000 sec., 1/2000 sec.
30p mode: 1/30 sec., 1/50 sec(OFF)., 1/60 sec., 1/120 sec., 1/250 sec., 1/500 sec., 1/1000 sec., 1/2000 sec.
24p mode: 1/24 sec., 1/50 sec(OFF)., 1/60 sec., 1/120 sec., 1/250 sec., 1/500 sec., 1/1000 sec., 1/2000 sec.

Synchro Scan:
SYNC SCAN TYPE = sec.
50i/50p mode: 1/50.0 sec. to 1/250.0 sec.
25p mode: 1/25.0 sec. to 1/250.0 sec.
60i/60p mode: 1/60.0 sec. to 1/249.8 sec.
30p mode: 1/30.0 sec. to 1/249.8 sec.
24p mode: 1/24.0 sec. to 1/249.8 sec.
SYNC SCAN TYPE = deg.
All mode: 3.0 deg. to 360.0 deg. (by 0.5 degree step selectable) (default = 180.0 deg.)

Slow:
(VFR on SCENE FILE need to be "OFF".)
50i/50p mode: 1/6 sec., 1/12 sec. and 1/25 sec.
25p mode: 1/6 sec. and 1/12 sec.
60i/60p mode: 1/8 sec., 1/15 sec. and 1/30 sec.
30p mode: 1/8 sec. and 1/15 sec.
24p mode: 1/6 sec. and 1/12 sec.
File Format AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264
DV: AVI Type2
Recording Media AVCHD:
SD memory card: 512MB, 1GB, 2GB (FAT12, FAT16)
SDHC memory card: 4GB, 6GB, 8GB, 12GB, 16GB, 32GB (FAT32)
SDXC memory card: 48GB, 64GB, up to 2TB (exFAT)
*PH/HA mode requires Class4 or faster Card / VFR recording requires Class6 or faster

DV:
SD memory card: 512MB, 1GB, 2GB (FAT12, FAT16)
SDHC memory card: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB (FAT32)
SDXC memory card: 8GB, 64GB, up to 2TB (exFAT)
*DV recording requires Class6 or faster
Recording Video Format 50 Hz mode:
PH mode: 1080/50i, 1080/25p (over 50i), 720/50p and 720/25p (over 50p)
HA, HE mode: 1080/50i only
PM mode: 720/50p

59.94 Hz mode:
PH mode: 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97p (over 59.94i), 1080/23.98p, 720/59.94p, 720/29.97p (over 59.94p), and 720/23.98p
HA, HE mode: 1080/59.94i only
PM mode: 720/59.94p

The AG-AC160A features 1080/60p and 1080/50p HD recording formats in new PS mode at max of 28Mbps
Transmission Rates AVCHD:
PH mode: approx. 21 Mbps (VBR, max 24 Mbps)
PM mode: approx. 8 Mbps (VBR)
HA mode: approx. 17 Mbps (VBR)
HE mode: approx. 6 Mbps (VBR)
Interval Recording AVCHD:
OFF / 1 sec. / 10 sec. / 30 sec. / 1min. / 2 min.
*Recording mode needs to be set in "PH 1080/25p" or "1080/23.98p"
Maximum continuous recording duration is 168 hours (7 days)
Frame Rate AVCHD:
50 Hz mode:
1080/25p: 2 (0 dB gain fixed, manual focus) / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 30 / 32 / 34 / 37 / 42 / 45 / 48 / 50 fps
59.94 Hz mode:
1080/23.98p or 1080/29.97p: 2 (0 dB gain fixed, manual focus) / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 30 / 32 / 34 / 36 / 40 / 44 / 48 / 54 / 60 fps
Video Out AVCHD:

SDI x1, .8Vp-p, 75 Ω, HD/SD auto-detect, but none-converting between HD/SD
HDMI x1, type A (1080i / 720p)
Pin jack x 1, 1.0Vp-p, 75 Ω, 480/60i (59.94Hz) or 576/50i (50Hz)

DV:

SDI x1, 480/60i (59.94Hz) or 576/50i (50Hz)
Pin jack x1, 1.0Vp-p, 75 Ω, 480/60i (59.94Hz) or 576/50i (50Hz)
FireWire IEEE 1394 6-pin x1
Audio Compression AVCHD:
PH mode: Dolby Digital/2ch, linear PCM switchable
PM/HA/HE mode: Dolby Digital/2ch

DV:
Linear PCM (Digital 2ch)
Audio Sampling Frequency AVCHD / DV: 48 kHz
Audio Quantization AVCHD / DV: 16 bit
Audio Bit Rate AVCHD:
PH mode: 384kbps PM/HA/HE mode: 256kbps
Built-In Microphone Stereo microphone
Audio In 3-pin XLR x2 (Input 1, Input 2)
Line / Mic switchable, high-impedance
Line: 0 dBu
Mic: -40 / -50 / -60 dBu (selectable in menu)
Mic Power: +48V ON/OFF switchable
Headphone: 3.5 mm stereo mini jack x1
Headroom 12dB
Audio Out Pin jack x2 (ch 1, ch 2), output: 316 mV, 600Ω
SDI: 2 ch (linear PCM)
HDMI: 2 ch (linear PCM)
5.1ch (Dolby Digital)
Built-in Speaker Round built-in speaker: .78" (2 cm) x1
Remote Camera remote:
2.5 mm super mini jack x1 for ZOOM and recording START/STOP
3.5 mm mini jack x1 for FOCUS and IRIS controls

INDEX remote:
2.5 mm super mini jack x1
TC Preset In: 1.0 to 4.0 Vp-p, 10 kΩ
Out: 2.0±0.5 Vp-p, low impedance

They double as video out
USB 2.0 Mini B type connector
LCD Monitor 3.45" LCD color monitor (8.76 cm)
Approx. 921,000 pixels (16:9)
Viewfinder .45 inches, LCD color viewfinder (1.14 cm)
Approx. 1,226,000 pixels (16:9)
Power Supply DC7.2 V (using battery)
7.3 V (using AC adaptor)
Power Consumption 11.8 W (when recording)
Operating Temperature 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
Operating Humidity 10% to 80% (no condensation)
Dimensions 7 x 7.69 x 17.25" (18 x 19.5 x 43.8 cm) excluding protrusions
Weight Approx. 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg) excluding battery and accessories
Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder
  • AC Adapter/Battery Charger
  • AC Cord
  • DC Cord
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Hood
  • Hand Strap
  • CGA-E/625 7.2V 5800mAh Battery
  • Wireless Remote Controller with Battery
  • Microphone Holder
  • 4 x Microphone Holder Screws
  • Microphone Holder Adapter
  • Eye Cup
  • Shoulder Strap
  • CD-ROM
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
    (Extends to Up to 3 Years with Online Registration)
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    PanasonicAG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder
     
    4.5

    (based on 14 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (8)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (5)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    91%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Zoom range/performance (18)
    • Great picture quality (13)
    • Easy to use (9)
    • Image stabilization (8)
    • Good in low light (6)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • HD shooting (10)
      • Weddings (9)
      • Documentaries (8)
      • Travel (7)
      • Movies/short films (6)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Pro videographer (11)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (11)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Outstanding camera for general use

      This is one of the few remaining cameras with both 1394 output and a video time stamp. The time stamp must be on the video when its recorded for admisibility as evidence.Read complete review

      This is one of the few remaining cameras with both 1394 output and a video time stamp. The time stamp must be on the video when its recorded for admisibility as evidence.
      If you don't do legal ideo you probably don't care.

      Very feature rich with excellent focus assist options. I haven't been able to get a good dynamic range test but it looks like its around 10 stops in the best case.

      The documentation that it ships with is the "Basic Manual" a good book and a DVD with more informtion.

      Overall a lot of bang for the buck if you shoot: legal, training, event, nAure or action video. The varriable frame rate and intervalumeter are particularly nice. Probably not for you if you want a cine camera. The Blackmagic or the GH3 would probably be better choices.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Servo very noisy

      This has to be a defect with this cam, but, the servo was very, and, I mean very noisy. With the kind of work I do, if I didn't attach separate...Read complete review

      This has to be a defect with this cam, but, the servo was very, and, I mean very noisy. With the kind of work I do, if I didn't attach separate mic/s, my work would be markedly flawed. Panasonic, makes good cams, I don't know what happened to this one. Because of this defect, I can only give this a 3 star. A servo on it's own shouldn't have such a high volume in the recorded material.

      Reviewed by 14 customers

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Simply stunning images

      By Simpleton Peck

      from Chicago, IL

      Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

      I have owned this camera for a little over a month and had a chance to really put it through the paces. First test after getting familiar with the setting and experimenting with it at home on my dogs was a live concert at a bar. We all know how dark and random the stage lights can be and the 160A performed like a champ. When I went through the footage the next day I was shocked how crystal clear the results were. I thought it looked like something that would be broadcasted on live television. I couldn't have asked for better quality. I was floored!

      The next test for the camera was at the NARBC reptile show. Lighting in the room was good and once again the image quality was amazing. I expected it though in a well lit room. Very very pleased. I have yet to take it outside and do any outdoor/nature shots since the weather has been rainy and cold, but I don't expect to be disappointed.

      If I had one knock on the camera, it would be the servo motor noise when recording in a super quiet room. I know that is rare to film in such situations, but it is a disappointment none the less. My Canon XA10 has super quiet zoom, so this is a little disappointing. I have read that this is common on a lot of servo motor zooms on other companies cameras as well.

      Overall, I am very happy with my purchase and would highly recommend this camera to friends or other videographers.

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      (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder b

      By Tech9

      from Trinidad and Tobago

      About Me Pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Zoom range/performance

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • HD Shooting
        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Movies/Short Films
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

        Haven't had the chance to fully learn of all the settings and put it through it's paces yet but so far so good.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Not all cameras are created equal, but..

        By Frederic Segard

        from Montreal, Canada

        About Me Pro Videographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Good Image Stabilization
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Zoom range/performance

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • HD Shooting
          • Movies/Short Films
          • Travel
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

          In all fairness, there are no one perfect camera. Each has it's use. I've been a long time shouldermount cameraman, and I've started to use DSLRs for beauty shots a lot. But for run and gun, quick and easy stuff, especially for low budget clients, nothing beats this little camera. And by little, I mean that it pack a lot of features for the price. It's light, wide enough, a long zoom reach, good audio (XLR), and most importantly, has HDSDI out if AVCHD is not enough for a particular project. Sure it doesn't have a large sensor like every one wants these days. But sometimes, a small sensor is what is needed. I don't always want shallow depth of field. Going in guerrilla means that you can't always be checking in on your focus like you'd have to on a C300. Having a deep depth of field is a boon at times.

          I've previously owned the HPX370 with a wide lens. It's basically the same sensor block. So as far as the image is concerned, it's very similar (aside from lens differences and the codec limitations).

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Camera

          By SteveK

          from Orlando, FL

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Good in Low Light
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Zoom range/performance

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • HD Shooting

            Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

            Fantastic all around camera. Great color, clean image in low light, very versatile I/O ports and easy full manual operation. Bonus is the best lens on a fixed lens camera that I have ever used. Goes from nice and wide to a great telephoto. I had been a die-hard Sony user (Umatic, BetaCam, DVCam, XDCam) for over 20 years but my excellent Panasonic rep insisted I try it and gave us one for a couple weeks to run through it's paces. After that, we bought 2. Over a year of use and they are holding up well. You can spend plenty more on a camera but if you have the freedom to pick your own format, don't have to supply footage to the BBC, and want to just go out and make money, this camera is a fine all around choice.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Good camera for a journalist

            By beyazzenci

            from New York NY

            About Me Pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Zoom

            Cons

            • Poor In Low Light

            Best Uses

            • HD Shooting

            Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

            As a journalist who travels extensively, I use AG-AC160A to cover news reporting. This equipment is very easy to carry and operate. Also, its video quality is excellent for my job.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Camera

            By RavensCourtFilms.

            from DFW

            About Me Pro Videographer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Sound
            • Great Zoom
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Zoom range/performance

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Home Movies
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

              Just started using this camera for some reality based interview shots and it is very nice. Not to heavy, long battery life, great image for the dollar amount, and plenty of features to help get the shot I needed in every situation. Highly recommend having one around if you film events, run and gun style, interviews, etc. I ran the camera for three hours straight, recording clips on and off, it never got hot or had a single issue. This is a new camera for a company I am working with and am now considering adding one to my personal camera collection.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excellent Camera

              By Tigerten

              from Conroe, TX

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Very Adjustable
              • Zoom range/performance

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • Education
                • Movies/Short Films
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

                This camera can do amazing footage, especially when you take the time and learn what the camera can do. Good low light sensitivity for 1/3" chips. The 22x zoom can reach out and get a distant subject. It will excel in interviews, ENG, nature and sports shooting. Works well with an AF 100 as a B-Cam.

                Camera is well-balanced, but tips the scales at about 6 pounds. It is also larger the HMC 150 and the AF 100, mostly because of the zoom lens. A good tripod and XLR microphones are a must. A good investment for anyone who wants good shots.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Big Bang for Buck

                By Hollywood

                from Covington WA.

                About Me Pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Great Zoom

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

                  Love it

                  Share this review

                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  A good camera.

                  By DDH Media

                  from Nacogdoches Texas

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • HD Shooting
                    • Home Movies
                    • Movies/Short Films
                    • Travel
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

                    This camera has some features that allow for a lot of creative latitude. The variable frame rates and shutter synchronization options are compelling features allowing for some artistic stylization while shooting. Some of the features, while intriguing, can be destructive to the over all quality of your picture such as the gain options for shooting in low light. This option tends to introduce noise in the picture, so if you are looking for a crisp image, make sure you have plenty of light. On the other hand if you are not concerned about a perfect picture, then this camera will indeed shoot in dimly lit areas. For the money, the ability to shoot at multiple frame rates (including up to 60fps) at 1080p along with the variable frame rates and synchro shutter options, you can't go wrong. The XLR inputs, dial your own white balance and dual SD Card slots are great to have as options as well, so I would say this is an all around good deal.

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                    • No

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Servo very noisy

                    By Donna

                    from Fort Lee

                    About Me Pro Videographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Great Zoom

                    Cons

                    • Poor Sound

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

                      This has to be a defect with this cam, but, the servo was very, and, I mean very noisy. With the kind of work I do, if I didn't attach separate mic/s, my work would be markedly flawed. Panasonic, makes good cams, I don't know what happened to this one. Because of this defect, I can only give this a 3 star. A servo on it's own shouldn't have such a high volume in the recorded material.

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                      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Outstanding camera for general use

                      By Jerry_R

                      from Divide, Co

                      About Me Pro Videographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Feature rich
                      • Good in Low Light
                      • Great Picture Quality
                      • Great Zoom
                      • Lots Of Good Features
                      • Menues Are Easy To Use

                      Cons

                      • Complicated To Operate

                      Best Uses

                      • Documentaries
                      • HD Shooting
                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Legal
                      • Training
                      • Travel
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

                      This is one of the few remaining cameras with both 1394 output and a video time stamp. The time stamp must be on the video when its recorded for admisibility as evidence.
                      If you don't do legal ideo you probably don't care.

                      Very feature rich with excellent focus assist options. I haven't been able to get a good dynamic range test but it looks like its around 10 stops in the best case.

                      The documentation that it ships with is the "Basic Manual" a good book and a DVD with more informtion.

                      Overall a lot of bang for the buck if you shoot: legal, training, event, nAure or action video. The varriable frame rate and intervalumeter are particularly nice. Probably not for you if you want a cine camera. The Blackmagic or the GH3 would probably be better choices.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Amazing image for the price

                      By SylvanVideo

                      from Fairfax, CA

                      About Me Pro Videographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Great Picture Quality
                      • Great Zoom
                      • Large Clear LCD

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Documentaries
                        • HD Shooting
                        • Travel
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

                        I've been shooting docs in the field for a number of years, and for the last few years I'd been using a Panasonic AG-HMC150 camcorder. This AG-AC160 produces a better image, has a better viewfinder, allows more control of the look, and has several new features that make it a real upgrade from the HMC150. A little bulkier then my previous camera, but for the kind of field work I do, this camera is excellent. The 22X lens is a real plus, as is the "dial your own" white balance.
                        It seems that Panasonic actually listens to the feedback we field guys give them. 4 stars!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        AG AC 160A Feed back

                        By Shack

                        from Texas

                        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Good in Low Light
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • Great Sound
                        • Great Zoom
                        • Large Clear LCD
                        • Zoom range/performance

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

                            Primarily use the 160A for outdoor production - very pleased so far. easy to use the iris and this camera is amazing good in low light situations.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (4 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Linda imagen, auto foco no muy bueno

                            By Leonardo

                            from Montevideo, Uruguay

                            About Me Pro Videographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy to Use
                            • Good Image Stabilization
                            • Great Picture Quality
                            • Great Sound
                            • Great Zoom
                            • Large Clear LCD
                            • Zoom range/performance

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Documentaries
                              • HD Shooting
                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Movies/Short Films
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder:

                              I bought this camera about a month ago at the store. Before purchasing it I was well informed of the problem with Autofocus in version 160 and 160A upgrade in trying to fix it. I found that the problem persists in the 160A. Autofocus is useful in some work, but with this camera forget it, not reliable! The image obtained and performance is very good, the manufacturing material is mostly plastic and it shows that they wanted to make it more economical. To my mind it is not 100% reliable as if it was its predecessor AGDVX100b that I already have.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                              Required item: Recording media is not included. A memory card is required to record your footage.

                              SanDisk -  8GB Extreme Plus UHS-I SDHC Memory Card (Class 10)
                              • You Pay: $17.41
                               

                              Batteries & Power Adapters

                              Show more >

                              Always keep a spare battery handy so you won't get caught without power.

                              Panasonic -  VW-VBG6 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 5400mAh)
                              • You Pay: $165.00
                               
                              Watson -  VW-VBG6 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 4800mAh)
                              • You Pay: $69.95
                               

                              Capture your desired angle of view with a quality conversion lens.

                              Impact -  DVP-WA70-72 72mm .7x Wide Angle Converter Lens
                              • You Pay: $229.95
                               
                              Raynox -  HDP-9000EX 1.8x High Definition Telephoto Conversion Lens
                              • You Pay: $899.95
                               

                              Microphones & Audio Adapters

                              Show more >

                              Focus your sound with a high-quality microphone. Audio quality can make or break your video.

                              Azden -  SGM-P II Shotgun Microphone Kit
                              • You Pay: $159.95
                               

                              Bags & Cases

                              Show more >

                              Carry, organize and protect your investment with quick access to your gear.

                              Pearstone -  Pro Camcorder Case with Wheels
                              • You Pay: $139.95
                               

                              Tripod, Sliders, Dollies, & Cranes

                              Show more >

                              Stabilize the your footage and eliminate handheld fatigue with the support you need.

                              Magnus -  VT-3000 Tripod System with Fluid Head
                              • You Pay: $129.95
                               

                              Zoom & Focus Controllers

                              Show more >

                              Control your camcorder from a distance, and eliminate hand-vibration in your footage.

                              Magnus -  VC-20-SCP LANC Zoom Controller & Sony AVR Adapter Cable Kit
                              • You Pay: $79.95
                               

                              Underwater & Night Vision

                              Show more >

                              Capture great-looking footage underwater or in the dark.

                              Ewa-Marine -  VPX Underwater Housing for Panasonic AG-HPX170, HPX171, HPX250, AC130, or AC160 Camcorder
                              • You Pay: $850.00
                              Usually ships in 2-4 weeks i This is a special order item. Est. arrival at B&H is 2-4 weeks (subject to availability). Your order will be charged at the time of shipment.
                               
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