Panasonic's New HC-X2 & HC-X20 Mobile 4K 1.0" Sensor Camcorder09/07/2022
Panasonic has upped its camcorder game with the release of two new 4K 1.0"-type sensor models aimed at the fast-paced workflow of on-the-go videographers—the HC-X2 and the HC-X20 Mobile Camcorders. The X2 and the X20 are chock-full of features designed to make your location capture quick and easy while maintaining high-performance video standards. Pro functions shared by both cameras include a 20x optical zoom with a 24.5mm wide end, up to 10-bit 4:2:0 UHD 4K60 and 10-bit 4:2:2 4K30 recording, Face Detection Autofocus, Auto Exposure, HEVC recording, livestreaming, built-in Wi-Fi, and dual XLR audio inputs.
With a 1.0"-type, 15MP sensor, the HC-X2 and the HC-X20 offer greater resolution than earlier Panasonic AG and HC models and are more suitable for high-end projects than the current HC-X1500 camcorder. V-log grading and pro interfaces like LAN and SDI (BNC) ports make the X2 a better choice for connecting to components like external recorders or switchers and combining Canon camera footage (including VariCam and Lumix) from multicamera events. Travel vloggers and other independent shooters will appreciate the more budget-friendly X20, which shares most of the X2 functions while forgoing the V-log and multicamera features.
Dual-Codec Recording/Dual SD Card Slots
Thanks to dual card slots, the X2 and the X20 offer relay, simultaneous, and background recording options. The X2 steps up its game with dual codec recording where images are recorded simultaneously in UHD 4K and full HD (50 Mb/s) or full HD (100 Mb/s or higher) plus full HD (8 Mb/s) to create an efficient post-production workflow.
The HC-X2 sports pro interfaces like SDI (BNC) video ports, embedded SDI audio, and BNC timecode in/out. The RJ45 GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) port can provide a network connection using a router and the USB port can be linked to your smartphone or tablet for tethering.
HDR and HLG
High dynamic range (HDR) and hybrid log gamma (HLG) recording with 13 stops of latitude when using V-log let you capture a range of natural-looking images and highlight details.
Simultaneous SDI and HDMI Output
The X2 can output SDI and HDMI simultaneously at all but the lowest resolutions for connecting to recorders, switchers, and external monitors. Note that only the EVF or the LCD screen will work when outputting SDI and HDMI simultaneously.
Shared HC-X2 and HC-X20 Features
ENG and live-event camera operators know that sometimes you only have one chance to grab THE shot and then it’s on to the next! Additional features shared by both models that help you get the footage you need range from a well-balanced shoulder mount to optical image stabilization and advanced autofocus options.
Precision 4K Autofocusing
Autofocus (AF) is available in resolutions up to 4K and is made possible by rapid, fine movements of the Micro Drive Focus Unit (one of four lens groups). Color recognition has been added to Face Detection AF, improving tracking when a subject’s face moves from side to side.
Individual focus, iris, and zoom rings make it easy to shift focus quickly in the moment. Focus control is further defined using Nonlinear, Linear, and Set modes. Nonlinear matches the focus movement to the speed with which you rotate the focus ring. Linear adjusts the focus at a constant speed and you can use Set for selecting a focus when in Linear mode. There is also face detection AF, color peaking, and 1-touch AF when using manual mode.
OIS+ Image Stabilization
5-axis Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) help smooth out your handheld, telephoto, and low-mode shots. The three available modes consist of Normal (standard), Stable (for fixed frame shots), and Pan/Tilt options.
Integrated ND Filters
Built-in clear and three ND filters (1/4, 1/16, 1/64) enable you to dial in compensation quickly when shooting in fast-changing light levels and reduce exposure levels to achieve a shallow depth-of-field look.
High-Quality, Versatile Recording Modes
Multiple recording modes include highly efficient HEVC recording, high bit-rate options up to 200Mb/s UHD 4K60 in Long GOP 10-bit 4:2:0 MOV, 100Mb/s UHD 4K60 in Long GOP, 4:2:0 10 bit, MP4, and variable frame rates (VFR) ranging from 2 to 120 fps.
An integrated Wi-Fi module on the X2 and the X20 offers both camera control and livestreaming at resolutions up to 1080p60 using a separately available mobile router. Use your tablet with the downloadable HC ROP app for wireless control of up to eight cameras.
Pro Image Adjustments
Image adjustments include 16-axis color correction, plus professional “paint box”-type functions such as detail, skin detail, chroma level, chroma phase, master pedestal, gamma, and knee settings. To tailor your look for a specific project, both cameras offer eight gamma modes, including two Cine-Like modes developed with VariCam expertise. Six Scene Files offer presets tailored to different situations, including fluorescent lighting, still photo capture, and cine-like contrast.
Dual SD Card Slots
Dual SD recording slots offer the recording options mentioned above plus the ability to save settings to an SD card for later use or for multicamera setups.
The 3.5" LCD monitor and the color OLED viewfinder tilt for optimal positioning. The 3.5" is a touchscreen display with 2760K resolution that is almost twice that of earlier models.
Built-in pro imaging tools include waveform, vectorscope, zebra, a horizon level, adjustable luminance levels, and flash-band correction.
Dual XLR audio inputs offer selectable 48v phantom power/mic/line options, 24-bit linear PCM recording, and independent level control for each channel, onscreen display levels, and of course, a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
Assign a user button to the IR (infrared) cut filter to turn the filter off, then add a separately available IR light to capture wildlife or other night scenes.
Nine buttons on the camera body and five on the 3.5" touchscreen display provide a total of 14 user-assignable selections.
Get up to around 7.5 hours of recording time with the X2 and almost 9 hours for the X20 when using the 86Wh AG-VBR118 battery, or choose the smaller 65Wh AG-VBR89 or 43Wh AG-VBR59 (included) batteries when weight is more of a concern than run time.
Can you picture using one of these new Panasonic camcorders on your next mobile narrative, documentary, sports, or news shoot? Let us know in the Comments section, below.