Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder

BH #PAHCVX981K • MFR #HC-VX981K
Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder
Key Features
  • Ultra HD 4K Video at 24/30 fps
  • 1/2.3" BSI MOS Sensor
  • 20x Leica Dicomar Optical Zoom Lens
  • Wireless Multicamera Support
Combining Ultra HD 4K video recording with in-camera 4K cropping and editing tools, the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder offers simple yet powerful operation to enable users of all levels to capture high-quality UHD 4K and Full HD video. The camcorder is packed with advanced features including an HDR Movie Mode to retain more highlight and shadow information, and a Wireless Multicamera function that lets you add and record up to two picture-in-picture video feeds from mobile devices connected via Wi-Fi. This gives you the ability to capture multiple angles and viewpoints simultaneously for a unique video experience.
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Panasonic HC-VX981K Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Wireless Multicamera
  • 3In-Camera 4K Cropping and Editing Tools
  • 44K Photo Mode
  • 5HDR (High Dynamic Range) Movie Mode
  • 65-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+
  • 7Level Shot Function
  • 8Wi-Fi Functionality

Combining Ultra HD 4K video recording with in-camera 4K cropping and editing tools, the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder offers simple yet powerful operation to enable users of all levels to capture high-quality UHD 4K and Full HD video. The camcorder is packed with advanced features including an HDR Movie Mode to retain more highlight and shadow information, and a Wireless Multicamera function that lets you add and record up to two picture-in-picture video feeds from mobile devices connected via Wi-Fi. This gives you the ability to capture multiple angles and viewpoints simultaneously for a unique video experience.

The camcorder features a 1/2.3" backside-illuminated (BSI) MOS sensor with an 8.29MP effective resolution that combines with a Crystal Engine 4K image processor to support UHD 4K video at 24/30 fps and 1080p video up to 60 fps. The camera is also able to take up to 25.9MP interpolated still images, and offers the ability to extract still photos directly from your 4K video frames using the 4K Photo Mode. It also adds 4K editing tools that allow you to perform in-camera cropping, zooming, panning, tracking, and stabilizing to your 4K footage. The edited video is saved in 1080p resolution.

Optically, the camcorder utilizes a Leica Dicomar lens that provides a 20x optical zoom range and a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 30.8mm at the wide end. Intelligent zoom boosts that range up to 40x for Full HD and 25x for 4K recording. To keep excessive image vibration to a minimum, for steadier handheld shooting, the HC-VX981K features Panasonic's HYBRID O.I.S.+ which combines optical and digital image stabilization to provide 5-axis correction. It can then be combined with Panasonic's Level Shot function to produce clearer, level, and more stable looking handheld footage.

The camcorder's built-in Wi-Fi supports the Wireless Multicamera feature, along with other functionality through the Panasonic Image App. These functions include remote camera control, live image monitoring, and file uploading directly to social media sites. Once connected to your smartphone, you can even live stream video using USTREAM to share moments and events with your friends and family as they are being recorded. Additionally, there's a Baby Monitor function which lets you use your smartphone to quickly check in on a sleeping baby in another room when both the camcorder and mobile device are connected to the same home network.

Wireless Multicamera

Wireless Multicamera enables picture-in-picture recording using Wi-Fi connected mobile devices. You can connect up to three mobile devices at a time and use two of them to record picture-in-picture images. This makes it easy and fun to capture multiple angles and viewpoints at once.

In-Camera 4K Cropping and Editing Tools

Built-in editing tools allow you to crop your 4K video and add effects such as zooming, panning, tracking, and stabilizing. The edited videos are saved at 1080p resolution.

4K Photo Mode

Pause and extract 4K (8.29MP) still images from 4K video frames using the 4K Photo Mode.

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.

5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+

Stabilized on 5 axes (pan, tilt, and roll axes, plus horizontal and vertical directions), the HYBRID O.I.S+ suppresses blurring and jitters in your videos when not using a tripod or other stabilizer.

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.

Wi-Fi Functionality

In addition to Wireless Multicamera, the camera is also able to take advantage of remote control and image sharing from a smartphone or tablet using Panasonic's mobile app. Once connected to your smartphone, you can even live stream video using USTREAM to share moments and events with your friends and family as they are being recorded.

Built-in Wi-Fi also enables you to take advantage of the Baby Monitor feature, which lets you use your smartphone to quickly check in on a sleeping baby in another room when both the camcorder and mobile device are connected to the same home network. You also can speak to your baby via your smartphone or have a notification sent to you when the camera detects that your baby is crying.
UPC: 885170266285

Panasonic HC-VX981K Specs

Camera
Sensor Type1/2.3"-Type CMOS Sensor
Sensor ResolutionActual: 18.91 Megapixel
Effective: 8.3 Megapixel
Optics
Focal Length4.08 to 81.6mm
35mm-Equivalent Focal Length30.8 to 626mm at 16:9 4K (Level Shot Function OFF)
37 to 752mm at 16:9 Full HD (Level Shot Function Off or Normal)
30.8 to 626mm at 16:9 Photo
34.5 to 690.3mm at 3:2 Photo
37.6 to 752.8mm at 4:3 Photo
Maximum Aperturef/1.8 to 3.6
ZoomOptical: 20x
Intelligent: 25x 4K
Intelligent: 40x (in HD)
Digital: 60x
Digital: 1500x
Filter Size49 mm
Recording
SystemNTSC
Media/Memory Card SlotSingle Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video Format3840 x 2160p at 24/30 fps (72 Mb/s MP4)
1920 x 1080p at 24/60 fps (50 Mb/s MP4)
1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (28 Mb/s MP4)
1280 x 720p at 30 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)
Still Image SupportJPEG
25.9 MP (6784 x 3816)
JPEG
14 MP (4992 x 2808)
JPEG
2.1 MP (1920 x 1080)
JPEG
20 MP (5472 x 3684)
JPEG
10.6 MP (3984 x 2656)
JPEG
2.0 MP (1728 x 1152)
JPEG
20.4 MP (5216 x 3912)
JPEG
10.9 MP (3808 x 2856)
JPEG
.3 MP (640 x 480)
Audio FormatAAC
Dolby Digital 2ch
Dolby Digital 5.1
Display
Size3.0"
Exposure Control
Shutter Speed1/8000 to 1/24 Second in Video Mode
1/2000 to 1/2 Second in Photo Mode
Features
Image StabilizationOptical & Digital
Scene ModesPreset: Yes
White Balance ModesAuto
Cloudy
Custom
Daylight
Indoor 1
Indoor 2
Creative EffectsYes
Built-In MicYes
Built-In SpeakerYes
Built-In Light/FlashLight - Yes
Flash - No
Accessory Shoe1 x Cold
Tripod Mounting Thread1/4"-20 Female
Input/Output Connectors
Video I/O1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRRS A/V Output
1 x Mini-HDMI Output
Other I/O1 x USB Micro-A (USB 2.0) Output
WirelessWi-Fi 4 (802.11n)
General
BatteryRechargeable Battery Pack, 3.6 VDC, 1940 mAh
Max Runtime: 1 Hours per Charge
Charging MethodAC Adapter
USB
Power Adapter5 VDC
Power ConsumptionRecording: 7.1 W
Charging: 7.7 W
Dimensions (W x H x D)2.6 x 2.9 x 5.5" / 65 x 73 x 139 mm
Weight12.38 oz / 351 g (Body Only)
Packaging Info
Package Weight1.8 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)8.9 x 5.9 x 4.1"

Panasonic HC-VX981K Reviews

Mighty little camera

By John
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-07-08

I wasn't sold on this camera before I got it. Just seemed too small to be able to compete with larger ones. Once I started shooting and saw the results I was EXTREMELY happy I bought this. For run and gun shooting this works fantastic. External mic jacks allow me to hook up wireless mic and capture outstanding sound. I'm so happy, I might have to buy another one.

Good image quality - Not so strong built

By Fernando
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2019-12-18

I upgraded to this 4K camcorder from a HD Panasonic. I've used it for a week and my experience is that the image quality is very good and the camera features are very useful. The camera is mostly plastic and it feels not very robust, compared to my previous camera that included metal parts. The pro is that is very light. So far I had a very good experience. This camcorder is a good recommendation for a prosumer user that wants to upgrade to 4k video.

Good image, not so good ergonomics

By Dan
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2019-11-23

I've had this camera for over a year. I have several other cameras including the GH-4 DSLR that a lot of people are using for video. I keep this camera in my car as all I have to do to start shooting is swing the viewfinder open and press the record button. It is quite easy to use and is one of not too many small cameras to record 4k. The cons: 1) the viewfinder is difficult to see when shooting in daylight, especially when the sun is against your back. 2) The ergonomics are terrible which, granted, is really nothing new with just about any video camera. It is nearly impossible to do a smooth zoom because the zoom lever falls way short of the tips of my fingers. 3) As would be expected with a compact camera, the built-in microphone picks up the inevitable noise your hands make when holding the camera and moving it. The camera does have a separate mic jack, so that needn't be a concern if you purchase a separate mic. Other than that, it is quite a good camera. Be sure to use a screw-in lens filter to guard the built-in lens.

great little camera for the price

By Harold
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2019-09-23

It lacks creative controls, but then again, that's not what it is for. Set to auto, it works quite well.

Best bang for your buck

By Jason
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-04-09

Ive been using Panasonic camcorders for several years now and each one keeps getting better. This camera has solid optical stabilization, good auto focus and all the things i look for in a camera. Only one small complaint i have it on the V770 that i came from, this model doesnt allow you to turn on the led light from the main screen. You have to go into the menu which is a paid, but not a deal breaker.

Best 4k cam for the money!

By Raymond
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-03-18

The camera is awesome. Plain and simple. It just needs light to excel. Indoor or out I get some real fantastic HD video providing its well illuminated and overall am very happy with it. I also own a Sony ax53 and Panasonic Tm900.

Wonderful Video

By David
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-01-07

We use this camera for live casting our Sunday Service. LAst Sunday, the first time we used it, a viewed commented on how real the video felt to her. She said it was just like being there. We had to go to YouTube to find out how to get clean HDMI, but it was not hard to do and the clean video is great. Looking forward to get to know the wireless capabilities of this camera.

Great Quality

By Sydnie
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-10-06

Both sound and video are very sharp. Works with laptop well too.

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question

can the video light be turned off?
Asked by: Anonymous
There is a setting in the set-up menu where you can set the light to OFF.
Answered by: Andrea O.
Date published: 2018-08-27

Can I connect a remote control to this camera for ...

Can I connect a remote control to this camera for zooming?
Asked by: reyson arturo
This camcorder does not have a port for a wired remote however you can download an app to control this camcorder wirelessly from a smart phone or tablet.
Answered by: Jabari
Date published: 2021-02-05

question

how can i make sure the light does not turn on(override)?
Asked by: Anonymous
There is a setting in the set-up menu to set the light to off. When light setting is set to AUTO, the camera will activate the light when it senses it is needed.
Answered by: Andrea O.
Date published: 2018-08-27

question

Does this camera has headphone out for monitoring? Line out over AV out will not do the job....Canon camcorders have that option.
Asked by: Hernan H.
I do not undestrand why the responses from William D. and Jon B. are marked Inaccurate . There is an 85 mv, 32 ohm stereo minijack entrance for headphones monitoring, and it is located exactly as they say, on the right side, closest from the front end (lens), just ahead of the hand strap. It has a cover and the cover is marked with the headphones sign !!
Answered by: Gustavo V.
Date published: 2018-08-27

question

What about the specs of the slow motion mode? Or has this feature been removed?
Asked by: Anonymous
The Camera's slow motion mode is a faux 60fps conformed to 24p in camera. It uses MP4 28mbps to do this. You would get better results to shoot in MP4 50mbps 60fps and then use editing software to conform the footage to 24p. The Slow motion mode is designed for consumers who don't know any better.
Answered by: Doug V.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

What's the difference between this model and last year's HC-VX870K model? They seem identical when using the Compare tool.
Asked by: Kareem
I think in-camera editing.
Answered by: Lewie B.
Date published: 2019-02-15

¿Can I do Facebook lives or recording using ...

¿Can I do Facebook lives or recording using programs like Xsplit connecting this camcorder by USB port? ¿full HD?
Asked by: Anonymous
You cannot connect this camcorder to a computer through USB for live streaming. However you can connect it to an HDMI Capture Device for streaming. The Magewell USB Capture HDMI Gen 2 is even compatible with XSplit. https://bhpho.to/2bflouA
Answered by: Joseph
Date published: 2019-07-28

question

What is the aperture range (f-stops)?
Asked by: Martin
The Maximum Aperture f/1.8 - f/3.6
Answered by: James B.
Date published: 2018-08-27
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