Panasonic announces new 4K Camcorders and 18mm Ultra-Wide lens
Panasonic has announced the expansion of its LUMIX S lens range with the 18mm F1.8 (S-S18), a new super wide-angle lens with a 100° angle of view. It is the fifth high-speed F1.8 lens in the LUMIX S Series L-Mount system. Despite its large aperture and compact size, it offers high optical performance that exceeds the highest professional quality standards.
The 18mm F.8 (S-S18) will be available from October 2022 for £799.99 RRP.
All five F1.8 fixed focal length lenses in the full-frame LUMIX S series - including the 85mm lens (S-S85), the 50mm lens (S-S50), the 35mm lens (S-S35), the 24mm lens (S-S24) and the new 18mm lens (S-S18) – are uniform in size and position of the controls. The center of gravity of these lenses is nearly identical, so when the camera is mounted on a gimbal, a quick lens change with minimal balance adjustment is possible. Thanks to the uniform diameter, the same 67 mm filters can be used. With the complete set of LUMIX F1.8 fixed focal lengths, virtually all situations and subjects can be covered, simplifying the workflow in shooting and post-processing.
Thanks to its extremely wide angle of view, the 18mm lens is suitable for a wide range of applications such as landscape, astro, and architectural photography. Its shortest distance setting of 0.18m extends its application possibilities at close range.
The lens consists of thirteen lens elements in twelve groups, including three aspherical lenses, three ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses, one UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) lens and one UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. Three aspherical lenses ensure both high imaging performance as with all lenses in the F1.8 series. The three ED lenses effectively suppress chromatic aberration. A circular aperture of 9 aperture blades provides beautiful bokeh.
The lens works smoothly and silently with the camera's fast AF system, reading the sensor at a maximum of 240 frames per second. With manual focusing, non-linear adjustment, the focus is shifted by a variable amount according to the speed of rotation of the focusing ring, while in linear adjustment, the focus is shifted by a specific amount according to the angle of rotation of the focusing ring. The degree of focus shift in relation to the angle of rotation can be selected from 90 to 360 degrees in 30 degree increments to provide the desired focus character1. When shooting video, a mechanism in the lens suppresses "focus breathing", an unsightly problem with all interchangeable lenses designed for still photography. Together with micro-step iris control for smooth exposure changes, this enables professional-quality video recording.
With its compact design and low weight of 340 g, the lens is amazingly mobile, especially on the LUMIX S5, currently Panasonic's smallest full-frame model. The robust, dust and splash-proof2 design even allows use in harsh conditions down to 10 degrees Celsius below zero.
Panasonic and L-Mount system alliance is committed to the development of L-Mount lenses for the further expansion of its lineup to fulfill the needs of customers.
The LUMIX S-S18 is a qualifying product for the LUMIX PRO program. The LUMIX PRO program is designed to support LUMIX users when they need it the most, with a range of benefits available to members not only in their own countries but also in countries that they visit for work. Check out www.lumix-pro.com for details and Terms & Conditions, on eligible levels, countries and products.
Panasonic today introduces two new 4K camcorders with integrated lenses and 1.0-type sensors, offering the advanced features and performance demanded by professionals alongside excellent weight balance and portability. The Panasonic HC-X2 and HC-X20’s high levels of video quality, expandability and adaptability allow them to be quickly and capably deployed in a wide variety of roles including news, interviews and events.
The HC-X2/X20 offers superb optical performance via its integrated 24.5mm1 wide angle lens with 20x optical zoom and 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S.+, plus high-precision, high-speed AF with new face detection capabilities.
The Panasonic HC-X2 will be available in October for £2879.99RRP
The Panasonic HC-X20 will be available in October for £2249.99 RRP
The camcorders support 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 30p/25p internal video recording, an extensive variety of recording formats including Super Slow Motion (100/120fps) and Variable Frame Rate (2fps to 60fps), and HEVC recording for more efficient storage.
Both models include professional video production features such as simultaneous display on the LCD monitor and Electronic Viewfinder, Triple Manual Rings for easy control, XLR audio input terminals, ND filter, dual SD card slots, unlimited shooting length and built-in Wi-Fi.
The HC-X2, the higher-end model of the pair, additionally offers HLG2 (Hybrid Log Gamma) and V-log recording for creating 4K HDR content, as well as Ethernet connectivity and simultaneous SDI/HDMI output and HD live streaming capabilities via a range of streaming protocols.
Panasonic will be proposing the HC-X2 as suitable for medium-scale news gathering and streaming, while the HC-X20 is ideal for small-scale independent interviews and events.
Remarkable Optical Performance for Precise Shooting
The integrated lens offers outstanding versatility thanks to a 20x optical zoom which ranges from 24.5mm1 wide angle to 490mm1 telephoto. Additionally, i.ZOOM allows the HC-X2/X20 to reach 24x zoom at 4K and 32x zoom at FHD resolution. The high zoom range is achievable in a compact body thanks to a 4-Lens Drive System wherein each group of lenses is driven independently.
High-Speed, High-Precision AF with Face Detection
Ensure subjects are always in sharp focus and accurately exposed with Face Detection AF/AE and a precise focus lens drive, which offers superior focussing speed, stability and tracking performance for both 4K and FHD recording. Additionally, the LCD monitor can be touched to activate subject tracking with colour recognition.
Eliminate Handshake with 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+
The HC-X2/X20 feature a hybrid system in which optical and electronic image stabilisation work together to detect and correct camera shake across five axes, including rotational blurring. This enables smooth panning and beautifully steady handheld shooting even at 20x zoom or under unstable conditions like low- or high-angle shooting. By reducing friction on the drive section, the Ball O.I.S. System allows for delicate, precise and unobtrusive correction, even for tiny degrees of movement.
High-Sensitivity 1.0-Type (1.0-inch) 4K Sensor for Superb Image Quality
Boasting a resolution of approximately 15.03 effective megapixels, the 1.0-Type MOS sensor offers UHD (3840 x 2160) recording with zero cropping, a moderate depth of field and an effective balance between image quality and sensitivity.
Variety of Recording Modes to Meet Professional Workflows
The camcorders support a wide range of bit rates and formats to suit professional and creative needs. For internal recording, UHD at 29.98p/25p and FHD up to 59.97p/50p in 4:2:2 10-bit quality is available, while UHD 60p 4:2:2 10-bit can be recorded externally via the HDMI output. Highly efficient HEVC recording (LongGOP/10-bit 4:2:0/MOV) is available at 59.97p/200Mbps, while the file format can be selected from MOV (QuickTime), MP4 and AVCHD.
Equipped for HDR Video Production (HC-X2 only)
High Dynamic Range (HDR) video recording is available on the HC-X2 through its Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) shooting mode. HDR video offers a wider brightness range than standard video, rendering images more natural and true-to-life. Additionally, users can shoot in 13-stop V-Log mode, providing the ideal base for accurate, uniform colour grading of footage in post-production.
Super Slow Motion and 4K (UHD) VFR Shooting
By recording FHD images at high 100fps/120fps frame rates, then playing them back at standard 50fps/59.94fps frame rates, the camcorders can create a smooth slow-motion effect. Additionally, the HC-X2 offers a Variable Frame Rate (VFR) shooting function, allowing the user to set the frame rate to one of ten steps between 2fps and 50/60fps (with the selectable frame rate depending on the recording format) and produce creative, expressive videos with techniques such as overcranking and undercranking.
Versatile Network Functions
Built-in Wi-Fi makes connectivity easier than ever, while the HC-ROP mobile app enables users to operate the camcorders (including lens control and camera settings) wirelessly using tablets and smartphones.
The HC-X2 is equipped with Ethernet, allowing for a highly stable live streaming setup, while the HC-X20 can be connected to a wired LAN through its optional USB Ethernet Adapter (sold separately). FHD live streaming uses popular RTSP/RTP/RTMP/RTMPS protocols, and allows for direct broadcast of concerts, sporting events, press conferences and more to platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Users can also record and stream simultaneously.
Additionally, the HC-X2’s USB tethering function allows users to live stream via 5G smartphones.
Efficiency-Boosting Display Options
The 3.5-inch, 2,760k-dot LCD monitor more than doubles the resolution and brightness of the previous model3, providing excellent clarity and visibility even in bright sunlight. It offers electrostatic touch functions, allowing users to select menus with the tap of a finger.
The camcorders also include a 2,360k-dot tiltable OLED viewfinder, which can be used simultaneously with the LCD monitor to improve work efficiency.
To support fast, accurate manual focussing, the displays offer Focus Assist functions including Expand, Peaking and Area Mode.
Design Features to Support Professionals
The camcorders’ controls and features have been designed with the needs of video professionals in mind. The lens barrel features Triple Manual Rings for fast, simple and precise control of zoom, focus and iris operations, and there are 14 customisable User buttons available (nine on the body and five on the LCD touch panel).
The integrated ND filter has four settings (Clear, 1/4, 1/16 and 1/64) and there are dedicated controls for Gain and AWB.
The included battery has been designed to sit within the camera body shape rather than protrude and provides long continuous shooting times: approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes on the HC-X2 and 4 hours and 25 minutes on the HC-X20.
Two SD Card Slots and Dual Codec Recording
The two SD card slots allow for long continuous shooting: recording media switches automatically and seamlessly from Slot 1 to Slot 2, and users can switch full cards with fresh cards while shooting is ongoing (known as Unlimited Relay Recording4).
Other functions include Simultaneous Recording (identical data is record onto both cards), Background Recording (one card records continuously, the other records necessary scenes when the Rec button is turned on) and Dual Codec Recording5 (simultaneous recording in two different formats i.e. UHD and FHD).
48-kHz/24-bit High Resolution Linear PCM Audio Recording
Two switchable XLR inputs support +48V Phantom Power Supply/MIC/LINE. Audio can also be recorded in 24-bit linear PCM (MOV), 16-bit AAC (MP4) or Dolby Audio (AVCHD).
Broadcast-Ready Image Adjustment
The HC-X2/X20 offer a number of broadcast-grade image adjustment functions, including Soft Skin (automatically adjusts and smoothens skin tones), 16-Axis Independent Colour Correction (allows colour matching for multiple cameras) and 8-Mode Gamma, which offers eight gamma presets, including two types of CINE-LIKE. In addition to the gamma modes, the HC-X2 is equipped with HLG and V-log, allowing the user to achieve the level of gradation their specific production requires.