Panasonic HC-VX870K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder

Panasonic HC-VX870K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder

Panasonic HC-VX870K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder

B&H # PAHCVX870 MFR # HC-VX870K
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Product Highlights

  • 4K Ultra HD Video and 25.9MP Stills
  • 1/2.3" Back-Illuminated MOS Sensor
  • 20x Optical Zoom / 50x Intelligent Zoom
  • HYBRID OIS 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • 1080p Slow Motion Video up to 240 fps
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range) Video Recording
  • Capture 4K Frame Grabs from Video
  • Twin Cam with Wi-Fi and NFC Connectivity
  • IR Night Mode
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  • Extend Your 1-Year Warranty To 3-Years For Free. Offer ends: MAR 31 '18
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Panasonic HC-VX870 overview

  • 1Description

Not only can you capture Ultra HD 4K (3840 x 2160) with the HC-VX870 4K Ultra HD Camcorder from Panasonic, but you can superimpose a secondary video image from your smartphone's camera via a Wi-Fi connection. In this way, covering two camera angles at once within a single recording becomes possible. Other notable features include a 20x optical zoom lens with a 29.5 to 626mm equivalent focal length - giving you a wide angle when zoomed out, a substantial amount of telephoto when zoomed in, and a lot to work with in between. For slowing fast action, the HC-VX870 captures 120 fps native slow-motion at 1080p resolution, which can be slowed down even further using in-camera interpolation - giving you a 240 fps final video.

Through their lens design partnership with Leica, Panasonic incorporated a Leica Dicomar 20x optical zoom lens with four separate optical groups and a maximum aperture of f/1.8. To keep excessive image vibration to a minimum, for steadier handheld shooting, the HC-VX870K features Panasonic's HYBRID O.I.S.+, which combines optical and digital image stabilization to provide 5-axis correction. Adjustable settings allow you to find a stabilization mode most appropriate for the kind of shooting you are doing. From OFF for tripod work, to Normal for regular handheld work, all the way up to Strong for those times when things really get shaky.

The HC-VX870's Wi-Fi does more than let you capture video from your phone's camera as a secondary camera angle. You can preview a live image on your mobile device using the Panasonic Image App and change camera settings. If the camera has Internet access, you can even upload web-friendly copies of videos and photos directly to social media websites. Plus, there's a Baby Monitor function which lets you use the camera like an IP surveillance camera, viewing a remote feed across the Internet.

Twin Camera Operation
The HC-VX870 you can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and use that as the secondary camera. With this functionality you can shoot from alternate distances or angles for a variety of picture-in-picture images.
HDR (High Dynamic Range) Movie Mode
By combining two images taken with different exposure times, the HDR Movie function suppresses blown highlights and blocked shadows for crisper, clearer videos. With HDR you can maintain gradation in your images in difficult shooting situations, like when your subject is back-lit.
Baby Calendar / Stop-Motion Animation Assist
Set the baby's name and birthday to display thumbnail images of scenes recorded on and around that date, making it easy to find the scenes you want. By moving the subject slightly and shooting still images, you can create a unique animated slideshow. Previously taken photos are displayed with an onion skin effect for easy layering.
Creative Control
Built-in filter effects including Miniature, 8mm Movie, Silent Movie, and Time Lapse Recording let you match your video recordings to the shooting situation.
Full-HD Slow Motion Video
The HC-VX870K records Full-HD (1920 x 1080) video at 120 fps. For a more dramatic slow motion effect the of the Crystal Engine's Intelligent Frame Creation interpolates frames to achieve an equivalent of 240 fps. You can easily switch to slow motion while recording with a simple touch on the LCD screen.
High-Speed Precision Autofocus
The image sensor has a 60 fps readout enabling quick focusing speed, stability, and tracking performance.
Level Shot Function
Level Shot automatically detects and corrects tilting in images. It can be adjusted to three different levels-OFF, Normal or Strong-depending on shooting conditions.
5-Axis HYBRID OIS
Stabilized on 5 axes (pan, tilt, and roll axes, plus horizontal and vertical directions), the HYBRID OIS suppresses blurring in your videos when not using a tripod or other stabilizer.
Multi-Manual Dial
Several in-camera functions can be controlled by the Multi-Manual Dial these features include:
  • Focus
  • White Balance
  • Shutter Speed
  • Iris
  • Sharpness
  • Color Saturation
  • Brightness
Wi-Fi Functionality
  • One-touch Connection - NFC lets you instantly connect a smartphone or tablet to the camcorder with just one touch. Even without an NFC phone, QR codes are provided to make Wi-Fi settings.
  • Remote Shooting / Remote View - The "Panasonic Image App" lets you use a smartphone or tablet as a real-time remote to control the camcorder from a distance. View photos and video directly from the camcorder on a smartphone or tablet, and upload to a social networking site.
  • Real-Time Broadcasting - You can live-stream events on USTREAM as they are being recorded in Full-HD resolution (requires a wireless access point).
  • Baby Monitor - Check on the baby anytime from anywhere with a smartphone or tablet. Push Notification sends an instant alert when the audio sensor detects the baby waking or crying (requires a wireless access point).
  • Home Monitoring - When you are away from home, your camcorder can record high-quality live video and you monitor and speak to your family or pets at home from your smartphone or tablet.
  • Auto Transfer (Wireless PC Copy) - Images are transferred from your camcorder to your PC via the wireless access point at home.
  • Highlight Playback and Easy Share - You can enjoy Highlight Playback with a smartphone or tablet right after shooting. Favorite scenes can be shared on SNS with simple drag and drop operation.
  • Wireless TV Playback - An access point at home can be used to transfer data wirelessly to the TV or a tablet in the living room, or other rooms in the house (requires a wireless access point).
UPC: 885170229464
In the Box
Panasonic HC-VX870K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder
  • Lens Hood
  • AC Adapter
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Micro HDMI Cable
  • Shoe Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty on Parts
  • Limited 90-Day Warranty on Labor
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Panasonic HC-VX870 specs

    Camera
    Sensor 1-Chip 1/2.3" MOS
    Backside Illumination Yes
    Sensor Resolution 18.91 MP
    Effective Pixels 8.3 MP (16:9 Video)
    6.1 MP (16:9 Video)
    8.3 MP (16:9 Photo)
    7 MP (3:2 Photo)
    6.2 MP (4:3 Photo)
    Optics
    Focal Length 4.08 - 81.6mm
    35mm-Equivalent Focal Length 30.8 - 626 at 16:9 4K
    37 - 752 at 16:9 Full HD-Level Shot Function Off or Normal
    30.8 - 626 at 16:9 Photo
    34.5 - 690.3 at 3:2 Photo
    37.6 - 752.8 at 4:3 Photo
    Maximum Aperture f/1.8 - f/3.6
    Zoom Optical: 20x
    Intelligent: 25x 4K
    Intelligent: 40x (in HD)
    Digital: 60x
    Digital: 1500x
    Filter Size 49 mm
    Recording
    System NTSC
    Recording Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Video Format 3840 x 2160p at 30 fps (72 Mb/s MP4)
    1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (50 Mb/s MP4)
    1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (28 Mb/s MP4)
    1280 x 720p at 60 fps (9 Mb/s MP4)
    1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (28 Mb/s AVCHD)
    1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (24 Mb/s AVCHD)
    1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (17 Mb/s AVCHD)
    1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (13 Mb/s AVCHD)
    1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (5 Mb/s AVCHD)
    960 x 540p at 30 fps (28 Mb/s iFrame)
    Aspect Ratio 16:9
    Slow Motion Mode 120 fps Recorded at 1920 x 1080p
    Still Image Resolution JPEG: 25.9 Megapixel, 6784 x 3816 (16:9)
    JPEG: 14 Megapixel, 4992 x 2808 (16:9)
    JPEG: 2.1 Megapixel, 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
    JPEG: 20 Megapixel, 5472 x 3684 (3:2)
    JPEG: 10.6 Megapixel, 3984 x 2656 (3:2)
    JPEG: 2.0 Megapixel, 1728 x 1152 (3:2)
    JPEG: 20.4 Megapixel, 5216 x 3912 (4:3)
    JPEG: 10.9 Megapixel, 3808 x 2856 (4:3)
    JPEG: .3 Megapixel, 640 x 480
    Channels 5.1-Channel
    Audio Format AAC
    Dolby Digital 2ch
    Dolby Digital 5.1
    Display
    Display Type LCD
    Touchscreen Yes
    Screen Size 3"
    Screen Resolution 460,800 Dots
    Rotation Opening Angle: 90°
    Turning Angle: 270°
    Exposure Control
    Shutter Speed 1/30 - 1/8000 Second ()
    Shooting Modes Auto
    Low Light
    M (Manual)
    Miniature Effect
    Night
    Time-Lapse Movie
    Features
    Image Stabilization Optical & Digital
    Scene Modes Preset: Yes
    Lux 1400 (Standard Illumination)
    2 (Low Light Scene Mode)
    1 (Night Mode (Color))
    0 (Night Mode)
    White Balance Modes Auto
    Cloudy
    Custom
    Daylight
    Indoor 1
    Indoor 2
    Creative Effects Yes
    Built-In Mic Yes
    Built-In Speaker Yes
    Built-In Light/Flash Light - Yes
    Flash - Yes
    Wi-Fi Yes, 802.11b/g/n
    Accessory Shoe 1 x Cold
    Tripod Mount 1/4" - 20
    Input/Output Connectors
    Outputs 1 x Micro-HDMI (Type D)
    1 x A/V
    1 x USB 2.0
    Microphone Input Yes
    Headphone Jack Yes
    General
    Menu Languages English
    French
    Spanish
    Traditional Chinese
    Battery Rechargeable Battery Pack, 3.6 VDC, 1940 mAh
    Max Runtime: 1 Hours per Charge
    Charging Method AC Adapter
    USB
    Power Consumption Recording: 7.6 W
    Charging: 7.7 W
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 2.6 x 2.9 x 5.5" / 65.0 x 73.0 x 139.0 mm
    Weight 12.452 oz / 353 g
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.9 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 8.8 x 5.9 x 4.1"

    Panasonic HC-VX870 reviews

    HC-VX870K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 15.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome quality for the price I purchased this camera in July of last year and I've been very happy with it since I purchased. The video quality is awesome, especially viewed on my 4K computer. The audio quality is great too, even with the microphone built into the camera, no need to purchase an external. My only gripe is the low light qualities after dark, outdoors, isn't as great as I would like it. However if you have some street-lights or something you are shooting under, you will be fine. If I could go half stars, I would say 4.5/5 just because of the lower light issues I have.
    Date published: 2016-01-06
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbelievable 4K quality Since 2006 I purchased top consumer HD camcorders every year from B&H and this one is by far the best one yet first of all it has countless settings night vision recording and let me tell you the Leica lens alone is worth the purchase of the camcorder this high end lens system makes a huge difference in image quality especially at full 20x optical zoom and as for the 4K quality if you've been to an electronic store watching the 4K TVs on display Then that is the kind video quality that this camcorder can produce keep in mind you need to learn the settings before getting the described results but once you do this will be far superior than anything you see on HD TV or at theaters in video quality! I want to thank B&H photo for being the top online electronic store to me always taking care of my issues never failing me
    Date published: 2015-03-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best camcorder I've used - Tried two weeks (compared with Sony ax33) - Image quality is great - Very light and compact - Image stabilization works well - Amazing zoom range - Low light performance is a little bit worse than Sony ax33
    Date published: 2015-05-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from No remorse I went back and forth on choosing a camera and I am very happy with this camera. Pros: Sharp image, great zoom, and very good on board sound. I purchased this video camera to record a wedding. I haven't gotten that far yet, but I tested all the shots I might need. Nature scenery, Medium Light indoors, zoomed all the way in, 240 frames per second, low light, and slow motion. It preformed well on all these. I have recorded a couple live concerts with great success. The flashing and low lights occasionally confused the auto focus, but only momentarily. I was expecting the loud bass to overpower the sound. Even in front of the PA The sound was of very usable quality. The 240 frames a second is just an incredible feature. I captured a butterfly's tongues dipping into flowers sweet nectar reservoirs and droplets of water from a waterfall 100 feet away. The camera is very capable for the avid aspiring videographer. cons: Before I begin. This is the only sections of reviews I read. I'd rather a huge list of cons. I want to know where the limit of my device will be before I buy. There are always limits. This is Prosumer. I would love for it to be a ten thousand dollar camera. Its not, it is the price I payed for it. That being said here is my list of cons. They take away many of the manual features a professional camera has. As a control freak I miss control features. Switching between manual modes and auto modes is clunky because it is all done on a touch screen with sub menus. The auto-focus works great, but sometimes i want to control this manually. The control of the manual focus is located on the bottom left. It is a small wheel. It is difficult even with a tripod to adjust focus without causing disturbance. If the focus ring was around the lens and one was to use their entire hand to steadily change focus I think I would be more satisfied. There is just something about using one finger on a small diameter wheel that seems poorly designed. No view finder. I knew this when i bought it. The asymmetry of having the screen out bugs me. You can flip it around and nest it into the side of the camera, but then it is hard to look at your subject and also know the camera is looking there as well. I dislike how the 240fps is not always available. You have to stop recording, change modes, begin recording then hold down a button on the screen in order to record. I do not like having to hold my finger on the screen while also trying to steady, pan, or zoom. I think it would benefit greatly if the touch screen function was removed. That being said I refuse to upgrade to a smartphones because I just don't like touch screen. I want buttons that i can feel. To many words on the camera. I had to cover my camera in electrical tape to hide all the words. Sure some of them are there to help user know what to push, but I like stealth. I don't like advertising for brands. If they want to put the name of the lens, the camera, the microphone, the this, and the that I feel like they should pay me. I'm not supporting brands with free advertising. Unless they are supporting me financially. I'm sure other things bug me,but at this point you probably know I'm just picky. Honestly this is a good buy for someone who wants to make high quality videos, doesn't want to micromanage every setting, doesn't have an aversion to touch screens, and doesn't mind having text written all over things.
    Date published: 2015-08-23
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not the feeling of TM900 I fully agree with Mr. Styles Further more there is a lag in the earphones when recording. I sent the camera fr warranty to fix this lag, but when i returned yesterday the lag is still there even if it is somewhat less. I do like the picture quality.
    Date published: 2015-05-14
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Autofocus problems I bought this camera because it had great reviews, fast autofocus and good low light performance. However, I returned it after a few days. I think it's important to share my experiences because there are so many rave reviews about it (or its predecessor).After I had charged the battery, the first thing I did was a test of the room I was in. Focusing on a bookshelf about 20ft away with plenty of contrast, it seemed fine. Then I tilted the camera up very slightly, with the bookshelf still occupying at least 60% of the screen, and it went completely out of focus and stayed out of focus, even after I panned around to give it other things to focus on.I thought this was perhaps a fluke of the room. I took the camera on several test runs, and in various low light situations, it would randomly loose focus, without having moved the camera. That is, one minute it was focused on an object and the next it was completely blurry, no movement or panning. I had to stop the video and restart the camera to force it to focus.I tried multiple settings to try to stop this from happening, but it occurred under all settings, using autofocus. The only reason it didn't get 1 star is because in outdoor, bright conditions the picture was nice and crisp. But even under those conditions, it struggled with exposure if I was in shade and pointed it towards very bright sunlight. It took a long time to adjust to the lighting conditions and also had numerous focus problems in that situation.One of the other reasons I bought the camera was for the infrared night mode. In this mode, it also went randomly out of focus, under the same conditions. I had to turn off the camera and when it came back on, the night mode setting had to be reset every time. 10 minutes later, I could resume filming.A couple of other things were troubling, but if it had auto-focused in those situations, I may have kept it. The other issues I had were:1) The menus were laborious. I had to go into the menus over and over to apply settings. The screen items are very tiny, and apparently I have fat fingers, because I had a really hard time having it register what I was pressing on. So, in addition to having to redo menu items repeatedly, I also went places in the menu I didn't want to go. This is a pressure screen by the way, not touch. As far as I can see, all the Panasonics have this, so if you're used to it or don't change settings very often, it's a different situation. I've seen a stylus used with the screen, which is fine if you want to carry a stylus around.2) There is no viewfinder and no way to turn the screen off. You can close it while filming, but without a viewfinder, that is a little pointless. Many of the cameras are like this - I'm just pointing out that this one is as well. For this price, however, I think it should have a viewfinder.Realizing that this wasn't going to meet my needs, I took it back to the store. After showing the clerk footage and explaining the autofocus problem, he told me that I would have this autofocus issue with all camcorders, even expensive professional ones, and that I would have to use manual focus. I was a little skeptical because of how poorly it had performed, but had not bought a camcorder in several years so wasn't sure of the current state of camcorder technology.I decided, instead, to buy 2 different camcorders in the hopes of having them meet my needs. Even though I was prepared to spend a fair amount if I had to, I decided to try out the Canon Vixia HF R600, a camcorder that is $ cheaper. And the result? It didn't have the same autofocus problems in the exact same situations. The menus were far easier to navigate, and even without night vision, it could pick up a lot of detail in low light conditions provided the exposure was ramped up. Yes it is a slightly lower quality picture in low light, but at least it's in focus, and I can put the other $ to good use.I will be reviewing the Canon HF R600 in detail once I've had more time to use it. I will also probably eventually post sample footage of the focusing issue with the VX870 as it compares with the Canon.
    Date published: 2015-05-17
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disapointed My needs are for run/gun video and slow motion in a well lit studio environment. First of all I have been using a Panasonic HDC-TM900 for nearly 4 years and would give that camera 5 stars. I was hoping the HC-VX870 would be a 4K upgrade to the TM-900, but it falls short. I use a shotgun mic for my videos, and on this camera Panasonic places the mic jack inside the the camera, which requires the user who wants to plug in a mic to flip out the screen first, so every time you want to close the flip out screen you have to unplug the mic from the jack. This is a really bad design! Next the SD card placement is on the bottom rear, which causes me to have to dismount my camera from the rig I use anytime I need to change out the SD card (and with 4K recording, SD card changes are much more common than with HD). Slow Motion.... Disappointed. While it does shoot 120FPS it drops the audio and the manner in which it records in a higher frame rate is clumsy. You have to go through several menu screens to select the slow motion recording, once you're in the slow motion setting, you have to touch the flip out screen and hold it down to get the higher frame rate and it is governed to only 3 bursts per segment.... to get more you have to stop recording and start again. On top of this, the camera zooms in while in slow motion mode forcing the camera operator to have to step back pretty far to capture the whole scene. The actual slow motion does look pretty good, but given the other downsides.... I find it to be more trouble than it's worth. I've also noted a good deal of focus drift in many of the segments when the camera is physically walked in close to a persons face. It wants to focus on the background more then the close up face. I've tested this in various modes, it does do better in auto (iA mode), but I like to shoot in manual and set my own white balance, so for my purposes I am getting too many out of focused closeups. Mind you I am shooting with the same settings and methods I used with the TM-900, but with this camera those same methods are resulting in subjects being out of focused when the camera is up close to them. As far as the look & feel of this camera... it looks okay, but has a very cheap feel about it, the old TM-900 feels much more solid than this camera. The shoe adaptor it in the top rear of the camera, I don't use a shoe adaptor very often, however when I do, I want it to be up front and to the side like the old TM-900. The overall image has good color and looks sharp when not up close to a subject. I've been a staunch Panasonic guy for years, but this particular camera falls short of what I have come to expect from Panasonic. I would not recommend this camera to anyone who's needs are similar to my own. I will be returning this camera and looking to exchange it for the Sony FDR-AX33.
    Date published: 2015-04-03
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from 1920x1080@25p mode missing I use the camera for casual recording of events and concerts. There are lot of features and I am satisfied with the camera in general. The one thing I am missing is a Full HD (1920x1080) 25p mode. That seems most natural for the record and store behavior without much editing. There are modes around it like 1920x1080@50i, 1920x1080@50p, 3940x2160@25p, 1280x720@25p, but the most natural mode is missing.
    Date published: 2015-05-29
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