Panasonic aims to bring cinema-style video techniques into the hands of more users with a new high-end camcorder introduced at CES. The company also introduced a pair of advanced compact cameras and a new 100-400mm f/4-6.3 telephoto lens–the longest focal length available for the Micro Four Thirds system.
Let’s take the lens first. The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH offers a 200-800mm 35mm equivalent focal length and power optical image stabilization. It features nine aperture blades and a gapless construction to keep moisture and dust from penetrating the lens body.
It boasts a new, two-part tripod mount to quickly switch from landscape to portrait framing without moving key controls like focus limiting, power OIS and manual focus. It also features an integrated, hideaway lens hood. It ships in April for $1,800.
The ZS100 boasts a 20-megapixel, 1-inch image sensor and an f/2.8 Vario Elmarit Leica zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 25-250mm (the aperture is variable and stops down to f/5.9 at the end of the focal length).
It uses Panasonic’s Venus engine processor with the same noise reduction processing that’s found in more advanced models such as the GH4. The native ISO range is 100-12,800.
You can record 4K video (3840×2160) at either 24 or 30fps and take advantage of Panasonic’s 4K photo modes to isolate 8-megapixel still images from 4K video clips. It can also record a rapid sequence of 4K clips at varying focus points to create an image file that can be refocused, in camera, after it’s been captured.
Two new 4K features have also been introduced on this camera that take advantage of the abundant pixels. The first is Light Composition mode, which compiles multiple 4K stills to properly balance exposure. The second is 4K Live Cropping, which allows you to crop a 4K video down to an HD file in-camera. The cropping function allows users to pan within a video (Ken Burns-style) or zoom in on a subject without having to manually adjust the focal length during filming.
Additional features include:
- high-speed AF with depth-to-defocus technology
- high-resolution live viewfinder with adjustable saturation, brightness and contrast
- 3-inch touch LCD display
- control ring and two customizable dials
- in-camera RAW processing
- 10 fps burst shooting, 5fps with AF engaged
- 1/16,000 sec. electronic shutter
- 5-axis hybrid optical image stabilization
The ZS100 ships in March for $700 and is available for pre-order now.
Also due in March is the ZS60. It packs an 18-megapixel image sensor that’s smaller, at 1/2.3-inches than the ZS100 to accommodate a longer 24-720mm equivalent zoom lens.
The ZS60 records 4K video with the aforementioned 4K photo modes, 4K live cropping and post focusing capability.
Additional specs include:
- 10fps burst mode or 5fps with AF tracking engaged
- 5 axis hybrid image stabilization system
- 3-inch touch screen display with touch focusing
- control ring
The ZS60 ships in March for $450 and is available for pre-order now.
Finally, Panasonic launched a high-end video camera that aims to bring some of its 4K cropping features into the hands of student filmmakers, videographers and the ambitious soccer mom/dad.
The WXF991 records 4K video at 24 or 30 fps via an 8-megapixel backside-illuminated image sensor. It has a 20x optical zoom lens with 5-axis image stabilization.
In addition to 4K photo mode, Panasonic incorporate several scene modes that use the extra pixels in the 4K video to create cinematic camera movements without the user having to physically move the camera (the resulting video will be delivered in HD). The camera can stabilize a 4K video by cropping out the edges to deliver smooth video that resembles a shot taken with a Steadicam. It can create a dolly zoom effect, pan across a scene, or speed up/slow down footage–all in camera, after the video has been recorded.
An HDR movie feature captures 30 frames of over exposed video, 30 frames of under exposed video in succession then combines the resulting frames into a single, properly exposed HD video.
The camera also incorporates a high-resolution, tilting EVF and Wi-Fi.
The WXF 991 ships in march for $1,000 and is available for pre-order now.
Follow PDN’s CES 2016 coverage here.