If you've ever seen 4K footage, you know just how immersive it can be. Animal documentaries in 4K will transport you to the savannah or the jungle. We all enjoy this revolution in high definition, but only the true professionals will pick up a camera capable of shooting in 4K. It is for those professionals we put together this Panasonic HC-X1000 review.
You have no doubt heard of the Panasonic HC-X1000 if you are looking to break into the market for a top of the line HD camcorder. Not only is Panasonic a name to be reckoned with when it comes to electronics, but their line of camcorders has been making waves in the scene for years.
In this Panasonic HC-X1000 review process we set out to test if the titular camcorder was really worth its reputation and its price point. To do this, we looked at three top competitors and processed all four camcorders through our Panasonic HC-X1000 review criteria.
These criteria included the price point which the camcorder sells for, how easy the camcorder was to use, how long its durability lasted, the overall quality of its design, and what sort of warranty came with it.
Be sure to check out our feature section and our summarized pro and con lists. Some of what can be considered the best across the market may not be the best for every user in terms of feature or price point.
What Is a Panasonic HC-X1000?
The Panasonic HC-X1000 is a mid-sized camcorder capable of shooting in 4K without needing to rely on a Hollywood financier's money to get your hands on the technology. 4K technology can finally come to the home front with the Panasonic HC-X1000.
Throughout our Panasonic HC-X1000 review process, we found that the camera handled more like a compact camera than it did a traditional mid-sized camcorder. Even though you will probably guide the shot with two hands, the camera itself does not weigh more than four pounds. We were quite impressed with how much technology fit into such a small package.
The camera is unobtrusively black and attractive in its construction. It has a balanced look and provides a balanced carry. Everything that we needed came in the box except for the SD card. The camera came packaged with its lens hood, a battery charger, its AC power cable, an HDMI cable, its battery, and a USB cable. Once we had it charged and had its SD card popped in, we were more than ready to shoot.
There may not be another camera in its price range that provides two XLR inputs, multiple line inputs that can be selectively adjusted, a solid zoom, focus peaking, the ability to record dually, and smooth motion stabilization.
But these are just a few of its features. Let's dive deeper into our specs section of this Panasonic HC-X1000 review that follows.
In our Panasonic HC-X1000 review process, we found that this camera had no trouble recording in high-resolution 4K, providing smooth 60p/50p motion even when the frame was moved quickly. This was greatly aided by the mobility of the camera. We found it ideal for capturing fleet subjects like rabbits and birds.
The Panasonic HC-X1000 captures a high bit rate recording whether you are using it in 4K or Full-HD modes. The footage is so true to life that it is almost eerie.
Professionals will love that the Panasonic HC-X1000 comes with a 20X Leica Lens with Lens Mounted Control Rings, backup recording features, and an ND filter. Amateurs and professionals alike will enjoy that it communicates with standard IEEE 802.11b/g/n wifi to make transferring your footage a breeze. Not only does it function with wifi, but near field communication allows it to provide Remote Shooting, one-touch NFC Connection, and easy QR code connection.
It can record in AVCHD, MOV, and MP4, which many video editing programs easily accept. You can easily switch between the formats to suit your software's needs. On top of all of this, the Panasonic HC-X1000 even comes with an LED ring to provide light.
All these features combine to make an ideal documentary camera. It is light, compact, powerful, and can record audio, visual, and provide light all at once.
The Panasonic HC-X1000 tends to sell for around $2000. This is by no means the cheapest that you can find a camcorder, but it is a completely reasonable price for the features and quality asked by Panasonic.
Its competition often met or exceeded this price point. Some budget options can be purchased for less, but this usually corresponds to a lack of technology, quality, or brand reputation.
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Ease of Use 5 Stars
This camcorder measures 12.4 x 6.3 x 6.7 inches and it weighs only 3.42 pounds. This makes it extremely maneuverable. Some of the advanced features may not be the most obvious to amateur users, but we do not see this being a problem for most who purchase this camcorder.
Durability 5 Stars
Many professionals that have used this camera in the past still do years later. Luckily, this investment is built to last.
Design Quality 4 Stars
The camera exhibits a balanced design, a streamlined interface, and tough construction. However, lenses cannot be exchanged, which means the camera may struggle to keep up with certain innovations in the future.
Warranty 5 Stars
Panasonic provides a one-year warranty on its Panasonic HC-X1000 and a ninety-day warranty on all of the camera's accessories.
Shoots high definition 4K
Records at a high bit rate
Utilizes a 20x Zoom with 4-Drive Leica Dicomar Lens System
Can record in multiple formats
High precision AF
USes 2-Channel XLR Audio Input Terminals
Affordable price range
No SD card included
The lens is not parfocal nor interchangeable
If you do not have two thousand dollars at your disposal, you can still opt for the full HD capable Canon Vixia HF R800. This minuscule handheld camera weighs only 8.5 ounces yet still provides passable footage. In terms of our Panasonic HC-X1000 review criteria, it does not really meet professional standards, but it is an excellent home recording device.
The Canon Vixia HF R800 provides 57x advanced zoom and 32x optical zoom. It is equipped with a Canon 3.28 Megapixel Full HD CMOS image sensor. While this does not provide the 4K footage which is the selling point of the Panasonic HC-X1000, it will make your home recordings look great.
We found the fast motion to potentially be more powerful than the camera's slow-motion mode. One can record up to a top speed of 1200 times faster than standard filming. That means an incredible 20 hours of action can be condensed into a single scene spanning only a minute. This is a great camera for family sporting events and time-lapses.
Ultimately, the Canon Vixia HF R800 lacked the high quality of other entries that made this Panasonic HC-X1000 review shortlist. However, it costs only one-tenth of the price of the Panasonic it competes with.
This camcorder is perfect for recording family outings. It is easy to use with its touch screen and comprehensible design. Plus, it is extremely lightweight, so you will not tire while using it.
Durability 4 Stars
While you will almost certainly get your money's worth out of this camera, it is not as durable as higher-end models. Expect to use it for a while, but do not expect it to be your lifelong camera.
Design Quality 3 Stars
Everything works on this camcorder, and we even liked the tubelike design enough for what it is worth. However, it is not a sexy design. You will not look like a professional with one of these in your hands.
Warranty 5 Stars
This camcorder comes with a one-year warranty.
Budget price point
The touch screen makes organization easy
Slow-motion capturing down to half speed
Fast motion recording up to 1200 times faster
Lightweight and easily handheld
If you need a durable, lightweight camera for something akin to covert operations, the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D EnvrioR might be the camcorder for you. Looking like something out of a 1980's technological spy flick, this camcorder boasts a quad-proof body that can resist water, dust, shocking, and freezing.
You don't have to worry about cards as much with this model since it comes with a built-in 8 gigabytes of flash memory, making it ideal for capturing moments that arise spontaneously. You can even use it for five straight hours while it is unplugged. The stills it takes can be up to ten megapixels, which is impressive, although it does not shoot video footage with the same height of quality.
Ease of Use 4 Stars
This camera is slightly more difficult to use than those meant for home recording, but not by a significant amount.
Durability 5 Stars
This camera ought to last you. It resists water, dust, frost, and even electrical shocks to a certain degree.
Design Quality 4 Stars
While we dig the “retro” look of this piece, we know many people want more modern looking equipment.
Warranty 2 Stars
Since this camera is very difficult to find first hand, it is unlikely that it will come with a warranty from the manufacturer.
The quad-proof design greatly aids longevity
8GB of built-in memory
5 hours of internal battery
Weighs only 780 grams
A wonderful middle ground is provided by the Sony AX700. The camera has a 4K resolution in addition to full HD, so you can expect a great quality of the video.
It can also shoot long-range, 12 times the distance from the camera without loss of resolution, making it perfect for sports and bird watching. This is easily seen on the 3.5-inch display. The Sony Ax700 is a really high-quality option for almost everyone.
The camera even has a ZEISS Vario Sonnar optical wide-angle zoom lens, so you can practically shoot anything that you want without breaking the bank. Sony has made a quality camera for less than some of the other options on our list.
Ease of Use 4 Stars
Many features on this camera are easy to use even for a beginner; however, an expert will find the settings exciting in terms of options. If you plan on using the camera for live streaming, then there is an additional package for only a bit more money that will enable you to switch easily.
Durability 3 Stars
The camera is very durable, but it is not built to be dropped or left in water. If you need a camera that can go with you into high-stress situations, then you should look to a more sport-friendly model.
Design Quality 5 Stars
The camera is easy to use, light and has a high resolution. Sony has created a truly great handheld camcorder here with the AX700. Between the 4K resolution and the HD capability, there is hardly a spec of dust this camera will not pick up.
The camera uses lithium batteries for long life and reliability. Further features for the camera include hyper quick focusing abilities. Your video will not be out of focus with this automatic feature engaged.
Warranty 5 Stars
Sony protects the camera with a 1-year warranty on parts to keep you capturing images longer. However, the camera is built so well that you will probably not need to use the warranty.
Full HD resolution included
Comparable price to other cameras on the market
Light when held
4k resolution included
After much deliberation, the Panasonic HC-X1000 earns our highest rating of 5 stars overall. We considered the pros, cons, warranty, design, durability. And ease of use in addition to the prices of the camera. The Panasonic HC-X1000 came out ahead of all the competition.
Huge points were scored in the camera's favor due to its use of 4K technology without costing an arm and a leg. It has great design due to its mid-sized and lightweight body; not to mention that everything comes included with the purchase of the camera. You are ready to shoot straight out of the box.
Jane is news writer presenting the latest trending information as it's released. She's spends most of her time sourcing premium news from our top sources bringing fresh updates to her loyal subscribers. She loves ice-cream and her dog Sally!