Panasonic Showcases 2015 Camcorders at CES

Top camera brands are showcasing their latest products at the recent CES at Las Vegas. Panasonic was indeed highly prominent in their displays and demos with a wide range of cameras and camcorders to retain their market share. Panasonic introduced 3 new 4K and Full-HD camcorders namely the:

  1. Panasonic HC-W570 (RRP $449)
  2. Panasonic HC-V270 (RRP $299)
  3. Panasonic HC-V160 (RRP $229)

All three models come with a improved 2.2MP back-lit sensor (BSI). The HC-W570 and HC-V270 models have a 28mm wide angle lens while the HC-V160 has a more restricted 32.3mm wide angle lens. The higher range models also have 50x optical zoom lenses, whereas the HC-V160 has a 38x optical zoom lens. Also, the W570 and V270 feature five-axis HYBRID OIS+.

Another innovation is what Panasonic calls it as the Twin Camera. It features a rotatable second camera on the side of the LCD screen. . This camera can shoot different angles capturing two scene simultaneously and layers the images onto one file with a Picture-In-Picture (PIP) effect.

New 4K High-End Camcorders

Panasonic 4K FHD camcorders

For higher end prosumers, Panasonic added the HC-WX970, HC-VX870, and HC-V770. These top models are equipped with 4K Video Recording and 4K Photo model. Featuring a 4-Drive Lens System, the HC-WX970 and HC-VX870 models enable 20x optical zoom in 4K resolution. Movie making can be even more creative with the addition of High Dynamic Range (HDR) Movie capability. We believe this is a first in the world of consumer camcorders.

Likewise the HC-WX970 has a Twin Camera. Price-wise the HC-WX970, HC-VX870, and HC-V770 retails for $999, $899 and $599 respectively.

GoPro Hero4 Black Holds Onto Top Spot In Its Category

GoPro Hero4 Silver

GoPro Hero4 Silver

GoPro certainly took the action video world by storm when they first launched years ago. Today, they continue to wow consumers with their niche range of products, only further solidifying their number one position in the action camcorder category.

Once again, the GoPro Hero4 Black delivers the best-in-class video with resolutions of up to 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 120fps, delivering smooth video even when shooting fast-moving scenes. Its processor is twice as powerful as its predecessor’s and with a high 60Mbps recording bitrate, together with the wide assortment of mounting options available, it sure makes one tiny yet powerful camera.

For a $100 less, consumers can go for the GoPro Hero4 Silver which would more than suffice for most. It even comes with a built-in touchscreen! Folks, on the other hand, who only want the best, will find that the Black the only way to go!

Canon Launches All New Canon EOS C100 Mark II HD Video Camera

Canon EOS C100 Mark II HD Video Camera

Canon EOS C100 Mark II HD Video Camera

Look out for the new Canon EOS C100 Mark II HD Video Camera in stores now! Recently launched, this all new lightweight, compact HD video camera boasts improved image quality, basic performance and operability to satisfy a wide range of user needs.

This successor to the widely acclaimed EOS C100 is the first Cinema EOS System camera to employ Canon’s DIGIC DV 4 imaging platform for accurate color reproduction and high image quality performance with reduced noise, especially when shooting in low-light conditions. It also allows users to take advantage of Canon’s wide lineup of interchangeable EF lenses for EOS SLR cameras, as well as the EF Cinema Lens lineup.

The new Canon EOS C100 Mark II supports a wide range of shooting styles and includes a variety of advanced wireless network functions, including a Browser Remote feature that allows users to wirelessly operate the camera via a web browser using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device.

GoPro Ups the Game With The New Hero4

Consumers and investors alike are going over the moon with GoPro. Not only are GoPro’s innovative action camcorders flying off the shelf, it’s newly listed stock are also flying up to all time highs.

But competition in this actioncam segment is getting hotter than ever with many brands jumping on the bandwagon. So it’s about time for GoPro to step up its game. GoPro recently announced 3 brand new models:

1. Hero4+ Black ($499),
2. Hero Silver ($399),
3. A brand-new model simply called Hero ($129.99)

The HERO4+ Black and Silver are the new flagships while the HERO is a budget entry level model ($129.99) that sits beneath everything else in their lineup.

GoPro HERO4

GoPro HERO4 Black

The top Hero4 Black features UltraHD 4K resolution at 30 fps, along with 1080p/120 high-speed video. Both Black and Silver models have some standard new features like a HiLight Tag feature which enables you to conveniently mark important moments while recording so you can quickly locate your best clips later for playback. It’s high quality Protune compression has been improved to provide higher-quality stills. Both cameras are able to shoot impressive 12-megapixel still images and up to 30 fps in continuous shooting mode.

The HERO4 Black also features SuperView, a GoPro-exclusive video mode that captures an immersive wide-angle perspective so you see more of yourself in action.

The new models are priced very competitively especially the new entry level HERO at $129. Competitors will find it hard to match this level of performance and innovation at this price. They will be available in three configurations with different mounts intended for music recording and surf/snow, along with the standard classic kit.

New Panasonic Camcorder With Twin Lenses

Imaginative new designs are the order of the day for camcorder manufacturers to always keep that competitive edge. Sony has tried it with projectors on theirs with lukewarm response, or Canon with the Legria mini for the sporting pedigree, and the plethora of rugged action cameras led by GoPro in recent years. Panasonic is trying something radical this time – Twin lenses!

Announced at this year’s CES, the Panasonic HC-W850, which is the flagship model in the 2014 range, comes with an additional camera lens mounted on the flip cover. Called Twin Camera for good measure, this new camcorder is able to capture simultaneous videos and display them picture-in-picture on screen. Trying to frame and take a good video with one lens is already a challenge. Doing it well with two might be too daunting for some. So it remains to be seen whether this will catch on.

Panasonic HC-W850

The twin lens setup has many advantages of course. The second lens sits on the edge of the flip-out LCD. It can be rotated to point in a completely different direction to the main lens. Taking a video of your son’s soccer game with the main lens while aiming the other lens to capture your facial expressions when he scores a goal will make an interesting watch. That calls for really steady hands and a good feel of your surroundings.

Videos can be recorded in either AVCHD 2.0 or iFrame / MP4 format. The AVCHD 2.0 options range up to 1080/50p at 28Mbits per second, while MP4 max out at the same resolution and frame rate of 50Mbits per second.

Wi-Fi is built in and it also comes with NFC which allows you to wirelessly transmit your video from your camcorder to the internet. With the “Panasonic Image App” you can control your camcorder from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. New WiFi features like Home Monitoring allows you to monitor your soundly sleeping baby from another location.

A 4K Camcorder For Consumers Is Finally Here : Sony FDR-AX100

Sony FDR-AX100

Sony FDR-AX100

The first consumer 4K camcorder has landed! Sony launched the Sony FDR-AX100, an Ultra HD camcorder, last month. This lightweight camcorder uses a 1″ Exmor R® CMOS sensor with direct pixel readout to capture 4K/30p video that far exceeds HD resolution. The larger sensor improves the HandyCam’s ability to capture noise-free images, especially during low-light conditions.

Compared to the AX100 that was released late last year, the Sony FDR-AX100 is considerably more portable, with a 74 percent reduction in size and a 66 percent drop in weight. Other features include a BIONZ X processor, enabling full-resolution 4K shooting at 24p and 30p with XAVC S encoding, an optically stabilized Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 12x optical zoom and a seven-bladed aperture for some significant bokeh and an all new My Voice Canceling feature which reduces vocals from behind the camera.

The Sony FDR-AX100 is set to ship in March for $2000. We can’t wait to get our hands on it. Stay tuned for the full Sony FDR-AX100 review!

Ion Air Pro Plus : A Worthy Action-Cam Competitor

Ion Air Pro Plus

Ion Air Pro Plus

The Ion Air Pro Plus has been in the market for a while now and has certainly given GoPro a run for their money.

The Ion Air Pro Plus is really the standard Ion Air Pro with added Wi-Fi and app connectivity. Waterproof up to 30 meters and shock resistant, it even features a waterproof microphone that allows it to keep recording even when submerged. At the bottom of the Ion Air Pro, you will also find Ion’s Cam Lock system – a plastic clip attached to the base of the camera that allows easy attachment to and removal from the range of mounting options included with the Ion Air Pro Plus and Ion Air Pro Wi-Fi kits.

An ultra-wide angle lens with a 170-degree field of view puts it on par with its main competitors – the GoPro HD Hero cameras and ContourHD cameras. Its lens sits behind dome-shaped glass which Ion claims to let it shed water better for a clearer shot. However, protruding glass sounds like it is going to get scratched easier.

The Ion Air Pro sits smack between the GoPro’s ruggedness and water resistance and the Contour’s user-friendliness. With the ability to quickly snap a photo without having to stop recording or switch modes and its affordable price range, the Ion Air Pro shows it too has its own charms.

Create Music Videos With The All New Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder

Looking to create the next music television video hit? The Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder could be just what you need.

Designed to capture high-quality video and audio, this beautiful camcorder records Full HD 1920 x 1080p video at 30fps and LPCM or AAC stereo audio. It also comes with a 2.7″ LCD monitor, 16MP Exmor R CMOS image sensor and a wide-angle Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with a 120-degree angle of view.

For great audio recording, the HDR-MV1 sports a 120-degree stereo X/Y microphone array, external microphone input, Audio Lip Sync functionality and a headphone jack for more accurate audio monitoring. Users can choose to record in 44.1kHz/16-bit LPCM format or the 48kHz/128kbps AAC format.

Most of all, the HDR-MV1 features built-in Wi-Fi with One Touch NFC, allowing users to use a compatible device as a remote control or remote monitor.

Sony seems to have covered its grounds here. Look out for the full Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder review soon!

Sony Announces All New 4K Consumer Camcorder : Sony Handycam® FDR-AX1

Sony Handycam® FDR-AX1

Sony Handycam® FDR-AX1

Early September, Sony unveiled its first 4K consumer camcorder – the new Sony Handycam® FDR-AX1. Video enthusiasts can now look forward to capturing 4 times the resolution of regular HD content for expressive, powerful imaging with incomparable levels of clarity and exquisite color in every scene.

Equipped with a 60fps camera, 20x zoom range G lens and Optical Steady Shot, this consumer level 4K camcorder offers budding filmmakers cutting edge technology and image quality that has not been available till now.

With the Handycam® FDR-AX1, the masses can now enjoy top quality personal content creation.

Sony Launches Flagship Action Cam HDR-AS30V

With more and more action cams in the offing like the latest GoPro Hero 3+, Sony is not resting on its laurels. The new Sony HDR-AS30V is lighter and more portable than its predecessors. It is 35 per cent lighter and 25 per cent smaller and packs in more features like GPS, Wi-Fi and NFC plus a f2.8 wide angle Zeiss Tessor lens boasting a 170-degree field of view. It also has a back-lit Exmor R CMOS sensor, which captures more light for a better HD image. All that in a housing that weighs a mere 90g. You get a choice of various recording mode for fast-moving or slow-mo for capturing more details. It shoots high definition videos down to a depth of 60m.

Sony HDR-AS30V

Still image capture is a good 11.9-megapixels but do not expect this to replace your DSLR in terms of picture quality.

As a ubiquitous standard in such new devices Wi-Fi capability is built-in so it’s easy to connect your smartphone. This also enables the HDR-AS30V to link to the optional RM-LVR1 Live-View Remote which looks like a waterproof wristwatch-style controller that allows hands-free operation.

A huge range of optional accessories like the AKA-CMH1 Chest Mount Harness and BLT-UHM1 Universal Head Mount Kit are available to cater to the extreme conditions that this action cam is made for.

The Sony HDR-AS30V retails for $299.99. Read the full Sony HDR-AS30V review here.