In the first installment of our just-created new series entitled “Blasphemy – My Next Cam May be an Actual Camcorder”, we take a quick peek at the Panasonic DVX200PJ 4K Handheld Camcorder.
Am I the only thinking like this? The Sony a7R II [B&H | Amazon] gives me palpitations, but the hard reality is that I don’t need more from a stills camera for what I do than what the already-fantastic Sony a6000 [B&H | Amazon] gives me, and it’s pretty darned fantastic as a hybrid video camera as well. What will the Sony a7R II give me that I don’t already have?
Yeah, we both know the answer.
Still, my actual wish list for my next camera is all about video: to record 4K internally and have batteries that will go for multiple hours instead of fractional hours. It would be nice if it had internal neutral density filters. It would be nice if I didn’t have to worry about a separate audio recorder (though I do love my TASCAM DR-70D [B&H | Amazon]). It would be nice if I didn’t have to worry about adding a shoulder rig (although I’ve always admired the Zacuto Fee-N-G from afar). It would be nice if I didn’t have to worry about overheating.
That doesn’t sound like a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
If you want a hybrid camera with that kind of stills performance – even without having one in my hand, based solely on my experience with its little brother the a6000 and listening to people who already have been hands-on – by all means, get the a7r II, even with reported problems of overheating while recording 4K internally under very specific conditions.
But once you’re at $3,200, you’re in a new playground with some very interesting choices:
- JVC GY-LS300 4K at $3,495 [B&H | Amazon]
- Panasonic DVX200PJ 4K at $4,195 [B&H]
- JVC Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K at $4,995 [B&H]
- Sony FS7 at $7,999 [B&H | Amazon]
But for my needs and today’s piece, let’s introduce ourselves to the Panasonic DVX 200 4K, spiritual heir to the legendary DVX100. We’re looking to get our hands on one ASAP for a full evaluation.Is it time to ditch DSLRs and mirrorless ILCs for a real camcorder? Click To Tweet
PANASONIC ANNOUNCES PRICING/AVAILABILITY FOR AG-DVX200PJ 4K HANDHELD CAMCORDER
Via Panasonic Press:
*With Wide Dynamic Range Capture, Superb Image Handling, DVX200PJ is Equipped for High-Level Documentary/Reality/Event Production *
NEWARK, NJ (August 27, 2015) – Panasonic has announced that its highly-anticipated AG-DVX200PJ 4K large-sensor, 4/3” handheld camcorder will begin deliveries in October 2015 with a suggested list price of $4,695. The DVX200PJ is the first in a new generation of large sensor, multi-format professional camcorders capable of capturing 4K/UHD, HD and SD, including cinematic DCI 4K 4096×2160.
Offering a suite of top-end features including 4K/24p* and 1080/60p recording, a V-Log L gamma curve and integrated 13X optical zoom lens design, the DVX200PJ will excel in documentary, reality television and event production, and prove an asset as a second-unit camera in 4K filmmaking.
The DVX200PJ is optimized for 4K/HD production, with stunning bokeh effects and a V-Log L curve (measured at 12 stops) emulating the natural grey-scale rendition of the VariCam 35. The camcorder incorporates a newly-developed 4/3” large-format MOS sensor with high sensitivity of F11, and offers variable frame rate recording from 2fps to 120fps in 1080p mode, enhancing the camcorder’s utility in sports and VFX production.
The handheld 4K camcorder offers an array of professional features including a newly-designed Leica Dicomar 4K F2.8~F4.5 zoom lens (4K/24p: 29.5 mm ~ 384.9 mm, HD: 28 mm ~ 365.3mm, 35 mm equivalent) with shallow depth-of-field, time-code in/out, 3G HD-SDI and HDMI 2.0 (4K) video outs (4:2:2 10-bit video), dual XLR audio inputs and 10 programmable user buttons.
The DVX200PJ will record 4K (4096 × 2160) / 24p, UHD (3840 × 2160) / HD (1920 × 1080) 59.94p / 50p / 30p / 25p / 23.98p in either MP4 / MOV file formats. With two SD card** slots, the camcorder facilitates relay, simultaneous, background and dual codec recording. Dual codec recording allows for simultaneous capture of UHD 30p and FHD, or FHD and FHD low bit rates, which essentially produces master and offline/proxy versions of footage. For professionals working worldwide, the camera’s master frame rate is selectable between 59.94Hz (23.98Hz) / 50.00Hz / 24.00Hz.
The new Leica Dicomar 4K zoom lens with F2.8 aperture is an optimal choice for 4K video, with the ability to produce exceptional imagery and subtle bokeh. Leica’s exacting quality standards keep the occurrence of ghosting and flare to a minimum. Since the DVX200PJ is an integrated lens camcorder, there is no need to perform flange back adjustments or shading corrections when changing lenses. Even with a large diameter lens, the camcorder’s weight and balance have been optimized to facilitate agile, mobile 4K acquisition. With superb center-of-gravity balance, the camcorder is ideal for flexible shooting applications such as mounting on today’s popular stabilized camera rigs.
The DVX200PJ incorporates an enhanced Optical Image Stabilizer with a five-axis hybrid Image Stabilizer and 4x expansion of the correction accuracy, producing clear images without blurring. The Intelligent AF (Auto Focus) system features a new micro-drive focus unit that improves focus speed, tracking and capture performance, and facilitates smooth, fast focus tracking for 4K video and shallow depth-of-field. The Intelligent AF system, with touch area selection, can be customized for speed, sensitivity and object size.
Other assets of the camcorder’s new Leica 4K lens include a seven iris panel, ND filter (1/4, 1/16, 1/64), IR filter cut on/off and cam-driven zoom. The DVX200PJ utilizes a front element lens / filter diameter of 72mm, a very common size: it is expected that many third party lens accessory manufacturers will announce items such as close-up lenses and other desired options.
The DVX200PJ is ergonomically designed with the battery positioned in the rear so as not to interfere during handheld shooting. The camcorder comes with a rugged woven carbon fiber-like finish, and the recording section is distinctively styled with crimson shading. The 4/3-inch touch-panel LCD and OLED EVF can be automatically switched on by the eye sensor.
Three manual operation lens rings–13x zoom (Cam driven), focus and iris– provide a comfortable manual control similar to an interchangeable lens camera, but without the need for actual lens changes. The zoom ring's solid feel and smooth action allow delicate ultra-slow zooming. In addition, the camcorder’s multi-step zoom control provides fast response and smooth zoom action, yielding the creative freedom every camera operator desires. The zoom control on the handle enables variable speed zoom, allowing fine zoom control even for low angle shots.
The DVX200PJ works “out of the box” with integrated lens, viewfinder and included battery (just add optional UHS-2/3SDXC cards).
* UHD (3840×2160) resolution, when 60p mode is selected.
** Requires a SD card of UHS speed class 3 (U3) for 4K recording.
For more information about Panasonic professional video products, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast or contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492.
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(cover photo credit: snap from Panasonic)