Panasonic AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder

Panasonic AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder

Panasonic AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder

B&H # PAAGUX180 MFR # AG-UX180PJ
Panasonic AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder

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Product Highlights

  • 1.0" Type CMOS Sensor
  • 4K 24P, UHD 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
  • FHD Slow Motion Recording at 120 FPS
  • UHD/FHD Dual Codec Recording
  • 16-Axis Color Correction Function
  • 8.8 to 176mm 20x Optical Zoom with OIS
  • 3 x Manual Lens Control Rings
  • IR Night Shooting
  • Dual Codec Recording in UHD/FHD
  • Relay, Simultaneous, and Background REC
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Format: DCI 4K, UHD, FHD

DCI 4K, UHD, FHD UHD, FHD, SD
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You Pay: $2,995.00

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Panasonic AG-UX180 overview

  • 1Description

The Panasonic AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder records DCI 4K (cinema 4K) at 24p, UHD 4K at up to 60p, and FHD up to 120p (when set to 59.94Hz standard). The camera is switchable between the 59.94 and 50Hz frame format, which is analogous to NTSC and PAL. This allows the camcorder to integrate seamlessly with a wide range of current broadcast video systems in place around the world. Featuring an integrated 20x optical zoom lens and a 1" type sensor, the camera records in DCI 4K, UHD, and HD in MOV, MP4. The camera is also capable of recording HD in the AVCHD format. The 16-axis color correction functionality enables precise color adjustment not normally available on a camcorder.

The AG-UX180 offers a bevy of other professional-level features, including dual XLRs with phantom power, SMPTE time-code generation, gamma settings for eight 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 camcorder features both a high-quality 3.5" OLED touch screen and a full-color LCoS 0.45" viewfinder with 1,770,000 dots of resolution. It incorporates two SD slots that allow for simultaneous recording in UHD and HD (DCI 4K can only record to one SD card). You can also choose relay recording, which allows the recording to shift from one card slot to the other as the card fills up. Panasonic's background recording allows you to record continuously on one card, while starting and stopping the recording on the first card. Dual Codec recording is available allowing you to record UHD on one card and HD video on the second.

Panasonic Optical Technology
The integrated Leica Dicomar 20x zoom lens was designed specifically for professional HD video production and features a 24mm equivalent focal length on the wide end of the zoom when recording DCI 4K for a 24-480mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range. The lens combines four lens groups and incorporates Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and when shooting in HD it supports 5-Axis Hybrid image stabilization.
Intelligent Zoom
The i.Zoom function increases the zoom range in FHD to 30x while maintaining highresolution. When the zoom reaches the 20x optical zoom limit it switches seamlessly to i.Zoom.
Digital Zoom
The AG-UX180 is equipped with 2x, 5x and 10x digital zoom. Using the 20x optical zoom and i.Zoom together, the digital zoom will extend the range to 60, 150, and 300x without affecting exposure.
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, able to adjust either focus, zoom, or iris directly without having to select a control surface.
Intelligent Auto Focus
Features high-speed focusing, high-precision focus tracking, and high-focusing stability.
Customizable Auto Focus
You can adjust the AF speed, sensitivity and area width to fine tune the AF functionality to your tastes or the needs of the shot. The speed can be set from 1 to 7, the higher the number the faster the AF. The sensitivity likewise can be adjusted in steps from 1 to 10, with the higher value corresponding to being able to track faster-moving subjects. The adjustable area width can be adjusted to fine tune the auto focus selection.
Manual Focus
To assist you in setting and confirming focus, the following features are included:
  • Focus Assist (Expand and Peaking) - You can select from enlarging a part of the image to check the focus, or engaging focus peaking, which highlights the sharpest part of the image in a solid color. You can select to engage either or both functions simultaneously.
  • One-Push AF - Temporarily activates AF when you are in manual focus mode, when you press the Push AF button.
  • Manual Focus Assist - For quick and accurate focus, this mode fine tunes the focus adjustments you make using the focus ring.
  • Focus Transition - Allows you to set up to three preset focus position. A single touch will shift the focus from one of the presets to the another. You can set how long each transition takes from 2 to 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, and 90 seconds. You can also set the transition to delay 0, 5, or 10 seconds from when you initiate it.
  • Area Functions - Enables you to touch the LCD screen and have the camera adjust focus to make that area sharp (can also be used for Auto Iris and screen brightness).
ND Filter
The AG-UX180 features a four-position (OFF, 1/4 ND, 1/16 ND, 1/64 ND) optical neutral density filter wheel.
16-Axis Independent Color Correction Function
This function provides an independent effect to each of the 16 phases of video images. It enables color matching of multiple cameras under the same lighting conditions as well as creative image rendering.
Skin Detail Adjustment
Skin Detail smooths out fine detail on the face of your subject.
Eight-Mode Gamma
Drawing upon the technology of the high-end VariCam line, the UX180 features 8 selectable gamma modes including two cine-like gammas:
  • HD NORM - for standard HD recording
  • SD NORM - for standard SD recording
  • FILMLIKE 1 - Reproduces more gradation in highlight areas than when shooting in HD
  • FILMLIKE 2 - Reproduces more gradation in highlight areas than when shooting in FILMLIKE 1
  • FILMLIKE 3 - Reproduces more gradation in highlight areas than when shooting in FILMLIKE 2
  • Cine-Like D - The Cine-Like mode shifted to prioritize dynamic range
  • Cine-Like V - The Cine-Like mode shifted to prioritize contrast
  • Still-Like - Setting to match images captured with still cameras

 

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.
High-Quality, Multi-Format Professional AVCHD PH Mode
The AG-UX180 uses the AVCHD recording format and also supports the high-image-quality PH mode. AVCHD complies withMPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile motion-picture compression technology. Boasting a compression efficiency that ismore 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 AG-UX180 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
Select from 59.94 Hz or 50 Hz to support video production systems used around the world.
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 Timecode Recording and Synchro
The built-in SMPTE timecode 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.
Other Recording Modes
Pre-Rec continuously stores in standby mode up to 4 seconds of HD video, 3 seconds in UHD, 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.
Scene File / User File
The camera 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. Up to eight sets can be stored on an SD memory card.
Simplified Waveform & Vectorscope
The AJ-UX180 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 AG-UX180's color EVF uses a 0.45", approximately 1,770,000 dot-equivalent OLED display. It delivers bright, detailed, high-resolution images and a high response speed. The AG-UX180's LCD monitor has a 3.5", 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 be displayed on the viewfinder and monitor.
SDI (24PsF) Output and Auto Rec
  • Outputs images up to 4K 24p, UHD 60p and UHD 50p
  • Outputs analog signals for video and audio monitoring.
XLR Input for Pro-Quality Audio
In addition to the internal high-performance stereo microphone, the AG- AC160 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.
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.
UPC: 885170294936
In the Box
Panasonic AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder
  • 7.28V 43Wh Battery for DVX200 (5,900mAh) stufrwqvbffessdbdcfcyrueueybd
  • Battery Charger for AG-VBR & Other Batteries
  • AC Adapter
  • Microphone Holder Kit
  • Eye Cup
  • Lens Hood
  • Input Terminal Cap
  • AC Cable
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Panasonic AG-UX180 specs

    Sensor
    Type 1.0"-type MOS
    Effective Pixels DCI 4K: 9.36 MP
    UHD: 8.79 MP
    Lens
    Zoom 20x optical zoom
    Focal Length: 8.8 to 176mm
    35mm Equivalent
    DCI 4K: 24 to 480mm
    UHD: 25.4 to 508mm
    Minimum Object Distance (M.O.D.) Approx. 3.3' / 1 m
    Filter Diameter 67mm
    ND Filter Off, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16
    IR Filter On/Off
    Camera Features
    Signal System 59.94i 50i
    Color Sampling External Output
    UHD 59.94/50: 4:2:0 8-bit
    FHD: 4:2:2 8-bit

    Internal Recording
    4:2:0 8-bit
    Recording Formats DCI 4K - 4096 x 2160 MOV or MP4
    Compression Method: LongGOP
    FPS: 24p (bit rate 100 Mb/s)
    Audio: LPCM

    UHD 4K - 3840 x 2160 MOV or MP4
    Compression Method: LongGOP
    FPS: 59.94p/50p (bit rate: 150 Mb/s)
    FPS: 29.97p/50p/23.98p (bit rate: 100 Mb/s)
    Audio: LPCM

    Full HD - 1920 x 1080 MOV or MP4
    Compression Method: All-Intra
    FPS: 59.94p/50p/29.97p/50p/23.98p (bit rate: 200 Mb/s)
    Audio: LPCM

    Full HD - 1920 x 1080 MOV or MP4
    Compression Method: LongGOP
    FPS: 59.94p/50p (bit rate: 100 Mb/s)
    FPS: 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/23.98p/59.94i/50i (bit rate: 50 Mb/s)
    Audio: LPCM

    Full HD - 1920 x 1080 AVCHD
    Compression Method: LongGOP
    FPS: 59.94p/50p (bit rate: 25 Mb/s)
    FPS: 59.94i/50i/23.98p (bit rate: 21 Mb/s)
    FPS: 59.94i/50i (bit rate: 17 Mb/s)
    Audio: AC3

    1440 x 1080 AVCHD
    Compression Method: LongGOP
    FPS: 59.94i/50i (bit rate: 5 Mb/s)
    Audio: AC3

    1280 x 720 AVCHD
    Compression Method: LongGOP
    FPS: 59.94p/50p (bit rate: 8 Mb/s)
    Audio: AC3

    720 x 480 AVCHD
    Compression Method: LongGOP
    FPS: 59.94i (16:9/4:3 bit rate: 9 Mb/s)
    Audio: AC3

    720 x 576 AVCHD
    Compression Method: LongGOP
    FPS: 59.94i (16:9/4:3 bit rate: 9 Mb/s)
    Audio: AC3
    Gain L/M/H selector switch
    Standard mode: 0 dB to 24 dB (Adjustable in 1 dB steps) (Automatic setting can be assigned to L/M/H)
    Extended ON: -3 dB to 24 dB (Adjustable in 1 dB steps) (Automatic setting can be assigned to L/M/H) 30 dB and 36 dB switched (when assigning [S. GAIN] to the USER button)
    Color Temperature ATW, ATW LOCK, Ach, Bch
    Preset: 3200, 5600K
    VAR: 2000 to 15000K
    Shutter Speed 59.94 Hz
    60i/p mode: 1/60, 1/100, 1/120, 1/180, 1/250, 1/350, 1/500, 1/750, 1/1000, 1/1500, 1/2000, 1/3000, 1/4000, 1/8000 second
    30p mode: 1/30, 1/50, 1/60, 1/100, 1/120, 1/180, 1/250, 1/350, 1/500, 1/750, 1/1000, 1/1500, 1/2000, 1/3000, 1/4000, 1/8000 second
    24p mode: 1/24, 1/48, 1/50, 1/60, 1/100, 1/120, 1/180, 1/250, 1/350, 1/500, 1/750, 1/1000, 1/1500, 1/2000, 1/3000, 1/4000, 1/8000 second

    50.00 Hz
    50i/p modes: 1/50, 1/60, 1/100, 1/125, 1/180, 1/250, 1/350, 1/500, 1/750, 1/1000, 1/1500, 1/2000, 1/3000, 1/4000, 1/8000 second
    25p mode: 1/25, 1/50, 1/60, 1/100, 1/125, 1/180, 1/250, 1/350, 1/500, 1/750, 1/1000, 1/1500, 1/2000, 1/3000, 1/4000, 1/8000 second
    Slow Shutter 59.94 Hz
    60i/60p mode: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30 second
    30p mode: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15 second
    24p mode: 1/2, 1/4, 1/6, 1/12 second

    50.00 Hz
    50i/50p modes: 1/2, 1/3, 1/6, 1/12, 1/25 second
    25p mode: 1/2, 1/3, 1/6, 1/12 second
    Synchro Scan Shutter 59.94 Hz
    60i/p mode: 1/60.0 to 1/249.7 second
    30p mode: 1/30.0 to 1/249.7 second
    24p mode: 1/24.0 to 1/249.7 second
    50.00 Hz
    50i/p mode: 1/50.0 to 1/250.0 second
    25p mode: 1/25.0 to 1/250.0 second
    VFR Recording Frame Rate 59.94 Hz
    30p: 2/15/26/28/30/32/34/45/60 fps
    24p: 2/12/20/22/24/28/36/48/60 fps

    50.00 Hz
    25p: 2/12/21/23/25/27/30/37/50 fps
    Super Slow Motion 59.94 Hz
    FHD: 120 fps
    50.00 Hz
    FHD: 100 fps
    Sensitivity [HIGH SENS.]
    1080i 59.94:F11 (2000 lx, 3200 K, 89.9 % reflect) 1080i 50: F12 (2000 lx, 3200 K, 89.9 % reflect)
    Minimum Subject Illumination 0.2 lx (F2.8, gain 18 dB, Manual slow shutter 1/2S in [HIGH SENS.] mode)
    LCD Monitor 3.5 type LCD color monitor, Approx. 1,150,000 dots
    Viewfinder 0.39 type OLED (organic EL display) Approx. 2,360,000 dots, video display area: approx. 1,770,000 dots
    Memory Card Slot 2 x SDHC/SDXC slots
    Recording Media SDHC memory card (4 GB to 32 GB), SDXC memory card (48 GB to 128 GB), UHS-I supported
    Maximum Recording Time 128 GB Card MOV/MP4
    DCI 4K (100 Mb/s): 160 min (approximately)
    UHD (200 Mb/s): 55 min (approximately)
    UHD (100 Mb/s): 110 min (approximately)
    FHD (200 Mb/s): 80 min (approximately)
    FHD (100 Mb/s): 160 min (approximately)
    FHD (50 Mb/s): 320 min (approximately)

    128 GB Card AVCHD
    PS (25 Mb/s): 660 min (approximately)
    PH (21 Mb/s): 750 min (approximately)
    HA (17 Mb/s): 17 hours (approximately)
    SA (9 Mb/s): 34 hours (approximately)
    HE (8 Mb/s): 35 hours (approximately)
    HE (5 Mb/s): 56 hours (approximately)
    Interval Recording 1 sec / 10 sec / 30 sec / 1 min / 2 min interval, maximum 168 hours (1 week) recording (PH 1080/24p mode is fixed)
    Video Outputs 3G/HD/SD-SDI: 1 x BNC 0.8 V [p-p], 75 Ω
    1080p: 59.94 (LEVEL-A/50.00p LEVEL-A)
    1080PsF: 29.97/25.00/24.00/23.98
    1080i: 59.94/50
    720p: 59.94/50

    HDMI: 1 x Type A (VIERA Link not supported)
    2160p: 59.94/50/29.97/25.00/24.00/23.98
    1080i: 59.94/50
    720p: 59.94/50
    480p: 59.94
    AV: 1 x connector
    Audio Signal 48 kHz/16-bit, 2 channel
    MOV/MP4: LPCM
    AVCHD: Dolby Digital
    Headroom: 12 dB
    Audio Bitrates PH mode: 384 kb/s
    PM/HA/HE mode: 256 kb/s
    Audio I/O Input
    High impedance: LINE/MIC/MIC+48V (switchable SW)
    LINE: +4 dBu/0 dBu (switchable menu)
    MIC: −40 dBu/−50 dBu/−60 dBu (switchable menu)

    Output
    SDI: 2 ch (LPCM) switchable gain: 0 dB/−6 dB/−12 dB
    HDMI: 2 ch (LPCM)
    AUDIO OUT: 1 x AV connector, Output level: 600 Ω, 316 mV
    Headphone: 1 x 3.5 mm diameter stereo mini jack
    Speaker: 1 x 20mm diameter
    Other I/O Connections Timecode
    I/O: 1 x BNC
    Input: 1.0 V to 4.0 V [p-p] 10 KΩ
    Output: 2.0 V ± 0.5 V [p-p] low impedance

    USB 3.0 Host
    Standard-A connector, 9-pin, external media device connection, bus power supported

    USB 3.0 Device
    Micro-B connector, 10-pin, Mass storage function (read only)
    DC In
    12 VDC (11.4V to 12.6V) EIAJ Type4
    Power Requirements 7.28 VDC via battery
    12 VDC via AC adapter
    Power Consumption 19.7 W when LCD monitor is used
    Operating Temperature 32 to 104 °F (0 to 40°C)
    Operating Humidity 10-80% (no condensation)
    Dimensions (WxHxD) 6.8 x 7.7 x 13.6" (173 x 195 x 346 mm) excluding protrusions
    Weight Approx. 4.4 lb (2 kg) excluding battery and accessories
    Packaging Infostufrwqvbffessdbdcfcyrueueybd
    Package Weight 10.5 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 18.3 x 13.2 x 11.2"

    Panasonic AG-UX180 reviews

    AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 24.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent quality video I'm a freelance videographer working on small to medium projects, my clients can't afford C700's or REDS, etc. and the UX180 is a great addition to my tools given my budget. I currently use DSLR's with Canon glass shooting 1080. This is my first real 4K camera and I'm very pleased. What drove me to this model was the 4K, sensor size 120fps and more than 30 min record time. I did a 1080 test with my 70D and Canon 35mm 1.4 and the UX180 at 1080 and it was better than the 70D. I've done some testing in various lighting conditions and the video quality is great. It was easy to set up and I really like all the programmable buttons. One of the reasons I picked the UX180 was the 120 fps at 1080 which I tested and really like the results. I haven't done a lot with it this first week but plan to put it to the test.
    Date published: 2017-01-02
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great image, versatile formats, some design frustrations I purchased the UX180 to replace my AC160A. I like the AC160A, but thought it was a good time to upgrade to something with a sharper image. Originally I was evaluating the UX180 as a 4K camera, but it's better to consider it as an HD camera, and think of the 4K as icing on the cake. The reason? First, there is some serious lag on the viewfinder and LCD when in 4K mode, because of the 4K processing. That can make it difficult to manually focus on a moving object because the results of what your hand is doing on the focus ring is shown to you about half a second later. It takes some getting used to. Same lag difficulties on iris adjustments. This processing lag is not nearly as bad in HD mode. But the auto focus is pretty good if youre into that sort of thing. I'm old school, all manual, all the time. Secondly, regarding the 4K, it's good, but not GH4 good. Which is fine, I didn't expect it to be, but when you get used to a certain image quality, it's hard to downgrade. But again, it's not fair to compare the UX180 image to 4K cameras with bigger sensors. Compare it instead to cameras with the typical 3-small sensor setup, that's where it shines. When shooting with the UX180 in HD mode, side by side with the AC160A, the UX180 is noticeably sharper. And of course WAY sharper in 4K mode. Color science is almost identical. They match up very well. In terms of sensitivity, they are about the same. The AC160A's lens opens up more than the F2.8 on the UX180, but the UX180 is cleaner, so you can turn up the gain more. The UX180 maintains a sharper image in low light, so it gets a slight win. I love the wide angle on the UX180. Why has it taken this long to get a 24mm lens on a camcorder? It's fantastic! The lens is great overall, great image quality throughout the range. The AC160A had strong vignetting on the telephoto end. None of that on the UX180. Image stabilization is fantastic on the UX180, especially in HD mode. The great stabilization, coupled with the wide angle lens and the placement of the LCD, makes the UX180 one of, if not the best handheld cameras I've ever used. Very stable images. A pleasure to use. The LCD has a nice sharp image, but is impossible to see outdoors. The viewfinder is good, but it's not bright enough. If I could make it brighter, It'd be great. Now, this gets me to one of my greatest disappointments with the UX180, the auto viewfinder shut-off. I like having both the LCD and viewfinder on simultaneously. Cant do it with this camera. I think its because it cant process all the pixels to drive both at the same time. There is a switch to lock the LCD on, or auto for when your eye approaches the viewfinder, it kicks on. I hate this. There is a delay to the process that slows me down, because I put my eye to the viewfinder and it takes half a second for the viewfinder to kick on (yes you can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor, it didnt help my situation). Then I wait for my eye to adjust to the brightness of the image because my eye was staring into a black void, then wait while my eye focuses. The whole process adds like 2 seconds, which doesnt sound like much, but it gets old really quick when you need to check the viewfinder fast. The best solution I can hope for, via a firmware update, is to let the user lock the viewfinder on, like with the lcd. I see a bright external on camera monitor purchase in my future. Other observations: I really miss the manual zoom. Panasonic has had it since the DVX100. My shooting style evolved around that feature. I would quickly snap in manually to adjust my focus and snap back out. It was so fast and reliable, its one of the big reasons I stuck with Panasonic through the years. The UX180 has a fast zoom, not nearly as fast as a manual snap zoom, but I think itll suffice. Losing the manual zoom has helped with the smoothness of the power zoom. Much improved over the abruptness of the AC160A and HMC150. Better stops and starts. Not broadcast quality level, but better. Highlights can sometimes look a little wonky, weird color shifts. Noticeable on highlight gradients (puffy cloud contours will take on weird blue hue-shifts, etc.) I tried in vain to dial this out with the scene file adjustments, to no avail. Ive just been spoiled by the Canon C-series highlight rolloff. I like all of the recording options, something to cover every situation, AVCHD up to 60p 4K. Very versatile. The 120fps slow motion is useless, bad image quality. The 4K 60p is where its at, use that for slo-mo. Plenty of customization options to help you get the camera the way you want it. Very extensive. Perfect size, not too small or too big. Good weight. Battery attachment is deep, so going with the big bulky battery wont cause it to stick out too far. Dont expect extreme shallow depth of field with this camera. Which is good, because chasing focus is not fun. I would compare the depth of field characteristics resembling the look of a broadcast 2/3 camera with an F1.8 lens. Think of the look of Live News ENG. If you punch in, youll have no trouble getting your background out of focus and helping your subject pop. I havent gone too in depth with audio testing. Ive shot one interview so far with it, and no issues popped up, sounded fine. In summary, you get a lot of camera for the money. Its a camera that I can recommend.
    Date published: 2017-02-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Panasonic is closing the gap.... One of Aesop's Fables chronicled the story of the six blind men standing around the elephant. Each was asked his perception of what he was touching with his hand. Many different opinions. The same with the reviews of any camera. Even if a camera had a full frame sensor, a 11-600mm zoom, shallow depth of field, XLR sound, 8k and you could hold it in your hand, there would still be reviewers with 2 or 3 stars. I believe the secret to camera happiness is to first decide what is going to be the mission of the camera. Run and gun, doc, cinema look, etc. No camera does or will do everything and if you are serious about your craft, then you will most probably need two or more cameras and some fine glass. This camera is very versatile. The Panasonic AG-UX180 is a wonderful all purpose camera. Great video out of the box, easy menu settings, great form factor, etc. All good stuff. Panasonic professional support seems to be the last to know when a new camera is introduced. Some friendly and helpful people there and not quite sure why they stay mired in last place when it comes to coaching up their professional support people before the rollout of any new camera. Senior management could easily fix that. But sooner or later they get up to speed and if you can deal with that minor irritant, then buy this camera.
    Date published: 2017-01-31
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fine camcorder for a wide variety of shooting Panasonic loaned me an AG-UX180 for a couple of weeks, and I have since posted a review of the camera on YouTube. Here are some thoughts I have on the UX180, which is a pretty nice camera. In case you are wondering, the AG-UX180 and HC-X1 are nearly identical. The only difference is that the UX180 has BNC HD-SDI and timecode connectors, and the HC-X1 has neither of those. Otherwise, the two cameras are identical. If you don't need HD-SDI and/or timecode, save a few bucks and get the HC-X1. I really liked using the UX180. It's a good size for stable handheld shooting, although having a shoulder pad of some sort would make it better for longer shoots. The 20x lens with its smooth zoom control is a delight if you are used to shooting with dSLRs. I shot exclusively at UHD 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), and the widest shot the lens can get is about 25.4mm. At the telephoto end, it's a bit more than 500mm -- nice! The optical image stabilization works well, although it gets a bit dicey at 500mm telephoto. The autofocus works better than any other autofocus I've used -- terrific. I did all my shooting at 100 Mbps using one of the internal SD card slots. This results in 4K/30p video. The UX180 also has a 150 Mbps setting for 4K/60p, but I did not try it as my SD card would not accept it. I looked all through the menus to see if there was a V Log or similar setting, but could not find such a setting. That said, the UX180 has better dynamic range in 4K than my Panasonic ZS100 and GX8 cameras. Not a lot of extra dynamic range, but some. The images looked really good. There are two viewfinders/displays: a pull-out 3.5-inch display at the front of the camera and an eyepiece electronic viewfinder at the back. The 3.5-inch display is a touchscreen, and the touch capability worked really well -- it was a snap to go through menus and set up the camera the way I wanted. However, the 3.5-inch display was dim and hard to see in bright daylight. The eyepiece viewfinder is bright, clear and sharp, so I used it more than I thought I would. The battery that came with the camera was good for 4-5 hours of continuous use. Panasonic provided a power supply and charger, and I believe that the power supply will run the camera when you plug it in. This could be useful in situations where the camera is on a tripod and power is nearby. The UX180 has an integrated shotgun mic mount that worked perfectly with my prosumer Audio-Technica shotgun mic. My mic has a stereo 3.5mm connector and the UX180 has XLR audio connectors, so I used an adapter and my mic worked fine. If you find my review video on YouTube, you can see a brief interview I did with this setup. The Panasonic AG-UX180 is sharp, flexible, easy to use and a good value. I thought it had decent sensitivity in darker scenes, but it is not as good as my Panasonic GX8 in the dark. (The GX8 has a Micro Four-Thirds sensor, while the UX180 has a 1-inch sensor that is somewhat smaller.) Although I have a long video background, I've gotten used to adjusting camera sensitivity using ISO. It took a bit of getting used to the UX180's sensitivity/gain adjustment instead of tweaking the ISO. The Panasonic AG-UX180 is not for everyone, but it is a good camcorder for documentary, news, corporate, event, government and feature shooting. My biggest complaints are that it has no shoulder mount and the 3.5-inch display was dim. If Panasonic had let me keep it, I would be happily shooting with the UX180 right now instead of typing this. I recommend the Panasonic AG-UX180. With its clear 20x lens, good wide-angle, reasonable weight, XLR audio and SD card recording, it is flexible and its video looks very good.
    Date published: 2016-11-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best 4K camcorder out there right now. Just bought this and used it a few times. This 4k camcorder has everything you need except 4:2:2 color space internal recording which some TV station may require. 16x zoom from 24mm equivalent covers pretty much everything you want. Autofocus is fast and accurate you can leave the camera in auto focus mode all the time with confidence. Monitor and viewfinder is high resolution and easy to see focus. Dual SD card slot is great for simultaneous recording in case of SD card failure on one card. Very clean at +12db. I set my gains at 0db, 8db and 16db. If your client don't care about 4:2:2, this is the perfect 4k camcorder for event coverage right now. Battery that come with can record 3.5hrs.
    Date published: 2017-03-09
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great camera, terrible LCD viewfinder I use this camera for ENG at a local news station in Philadelphia. The camera has done everything I needed it to do. No problems except the LCD Viewfinder. It is terrible while using it in the daylight. I bought a viewfinder cover but that didn't help either. You have to use the eye piece to see anything. Another problem with the viewfinder is you cant turn it so you can see it from the side. Its either in front or the back, but no side view.
    Date published: 2018-01-12
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great value for the cost If you are a Panasonic shooter there is a certain comfort level in picking up a camera like the UX-180 and finding that the overall design philosophy allows you to start using the camera rapidly. However, beneath the familiar exterior are some extremely powerful features that you will struggle to master without reading the manual. Also, take advantage of the free download Panasonic is offering of Barry Green's book on the UX- 180. The Barry Green book will probably make you a better shooter, even if you are not using this camcorder. One very annoying thing - tip up the electronic viewfinder if you don't intend to use it. There is a sensor that picks up your proximity, and will shut down the LCD if the viewfinder is in the down position. it's an annoying feature.
    Date published: 2017-03-27
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from LCD COULD BE A DEALBREAKER. It looks like the geniuses at Panasonic went out of their way to create a screen that is completely unusable outdoors. A better choice of terms would be to call it a mirror, making it virtually useless outside. Forget adding a hood....more appropriately would be to wear dark clothing and paint your face with black ink before you could begin to see the LCD screen outside. Even then you are waisting your time.
    Date published: 2017-05-12
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