Panasonic North America introduced at CES 2020 three of the industry’s smallest and lightest 4K/60p camcorders designed for pro-level video recording and a next-generation 4K OLED TV series using a new pro-caliber panel design.

Unfortunately for U.S. enthusiasts, the company’s new 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs will still not be made available to consumers here. As in the past, Panasonic executives said these new TVs will only be available here as commercial studio production monitors and not as consumer electronics products. Consumer versions will, however, continue to be available to consumers in Canada, Europe and other international markets.

Panasonic Compact Pro-Level 4K Camcorders

Similarly, the new Panasonic 4K camcorders for 2020 are intended for advanced level users and professional videographers. These models include the Panasonic HC-X1500, HC-X2000 and AC-CX10, each of which is designed for high-quality image capture in a highly portable body design. Panasonic said all three camcorders will be available in late March 2020 and prices to be announced.

An included wide-angle 25mm lens and 32x i.ZOOM (4K recording) are said to achieve high-spec optical performance that is enhanced with the company’s exclusive high-precision auto focus system, which is optimized for high-speed, accurate focusing in both 4K and Full-HD shooting.

The new models have a variety of professional functions, including two manual rings (focus and exposure), an ND filter, a built-in LED video light and 24-bit high resolution linear PCM audio recording. The recording formats are further customizable for the shooting environment.

Each of the HC-X1500, HC-X2000 and AC-CX10 models all support 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording and a new high-efficiency HEVC codec, Panasonic said. In addition, built-in Wi-Fi supports HD Live Streaming without additional equipment.

The AG-CX10 model will add support for the broadcast-use P2 MXF file format. Also included is Ethernet HD live streaming and an NDI|HX compatible IP connection function with connectivity for use as a live camera.

Other common features include a 4-Drive Lens System controls the lens groups independently. This integrated lens offers a 24x optical zoom that ranges from 25mm wide angle to 600mm tele. i.ZOOM boosts this 32x at 4K resolution, and 48x at FHD.

A precision Leica Dicomar lens to produce tack-sharp images while suppressing flaring and ghosts. Two manual rings are provided, one for focusing and the other for zoom or iris operation. The manual rings are different sizes, so the appropriate ring be accurately identified by touch. ND Filters can be selected from 1/4, 1/16, 1/64, and Clear, while glass is newly used as a countermeasure against scorching from sunlight condensation.

The high-speed, high-precision AF system includes Face Detection AF/AE that provides precise focusing and sufficient exposure for subjects, and at the same time achieves superior focusing speed, stability and tracking performance for both 4K and Full-HD. In addition, subject tracking with color recognition can be activated on the LCD panel.

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The 5-Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) system can be used for both UHD and FHD modes, and combines an optical stabilization with electronic image stabilization to detect and correct handshake on 5 axes, including rotational blurring. The Ball O.I.S. System reduces friction on the drive section, achieving delicate correction even for small-amplitude handshake, Panasonic said. This works even with high, 24x optical zoom extension.

A newly developed fan at the center of Panasonic’s new heat-dispersing design allows for one of the pro-camera industry’s smallest and lightest camcorders with integrated lens capable of 4K 60p recording. Reliable extended shooting is achieved by borrowing air from the rear panel of the camera and efficiently dispersing heat from the front panel.

Panasonic’s Venus Engine image processing system is included enabling 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording with a maximum 29.97p in UHD, and maximum 59.94p in FHD.

When set for 10-bit recording, the camcorder delivers 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output, enabling high image quality capture with an external recorder, Panasonic said. Highly efficient HEVC codec recording (LongGOP/10-bit 4:2:0/MOV) is also supported for recording 59.94p at a high bit rate of 200 Mbps. Supported file formats also include MOV, MP4, and AVCHD, as well as P2 MXF in the AG-CX10 model. Panasonic said AVC-Intra100/50 codec support is planned for the future. In addition, recording by all P2 formats requires a microP2 card.

Super slow motion capture at 120 fps (for 59.94 Hz)/100 Hz is possible in FHD mode. At this level, 10-bit recording is supported, and full-frame images with the image area uncropped can be obtained even at high frame rates. However, no auto focus can be used in this mode.

For sound, 48-kHz/24-bit high resolution Linear PCM audio recording is supported. A +48V Phantom Power Supply/MIC/LINE Selectable XLR Audio Input with Manual Volume is equipped for each of 2 channels. Also supported is a 24-bit linear PCM system (MOV/P2 MXF in the AG-CX10 only), 16-bit AAC (MP4), or Dolby Audio system (AVCHD) high-quality 2-channel audio recording. The optional handle unit (VW-HU1) is required for HC-X1500.

Panasonic HZ2000 Series 4K OLED TVs

Panasonic is also showing its HZ2000 series 4K OLED display series, including the 55- and 65-inch screen sizes that uses a Hollywood custom “Master HDR OLED Professional Edition” panel. This is said to deliver up to an extra 20 percent of peak brightness compared to conventional OLED TVs.

Both models will be available in select global markets outside of the United States in the summer of 2020.

The new OLED displays are designed to present Hollywood-level HDR picture performance in both dark and well-lit living rooms using new Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing. It is also billed as “the world’s first TVs to support Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode in addition to Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG Photo formats.”

The new Panasonic OLED TVs also offer built-in upward-firing speakers that support Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound. The speakers are tuned by Technics with JENO Engine technology.

By Greg Tarr

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