Panasonic AG-UX180 Professional 4K Camcorder
72 STREAMING MEDIA April/May 2017
sensor. The manual focus means I track
the subject by hand, but it never hunts or
automatically pushes focus to the background like the other cameras do. With
this configuration, there’s no stabilization
other than the heavy weight of the rig and
The Panasonic held good focus whenever my son’s face was in frame (I didn’t
see any facial tracking parameters in the
menu system), but at other times it pushed
focus to the background with a lot of detail. The optical stabilizer had so much isolation that I found myself working against
it, swinging back and forth, constantly overcompensating. This is clearly visible in the
test video ( go2sm.com/ux180).
I concluded my tests with a simple demonstration of the zoom range of Micro 4/3
versus UX180. Both cameras offer the wide
open field of view of a 24mm full-frame camera.
However, you get only a 10x lens on the Micro
4/3, and a 20x lens on the UX180. The 20x lens
provides the convenience of a long servo zoom,
with autofocus and image stabilization on a
larger-sensor camcorder, which is simply not
Overall, I was impressed with the Panasonic
AG-UX180. Before its arrival, the convenience
of a camcorder with a 20x optical zoom had
fallen by the wayside with the move to larger-sensor cameras. While not as large as Micro 4/3
or APS-C, the 1" sensor in the UX180 offers a
shallower depth of field than the tiny prosumer camcorders we’ve used in the past. It restores the flexibility and convenience of a wide
lens and long zoom without having to change
glass as you would on an interchangeable-lens
This combination is perfectly suited to events
where you need to go from very wide to long
telephoto to capture a variety of shots and it’s
just not possible to change lenses. It’s a good
match for weddings, live performances, sports,
competitions, and more.
The UX180’s potential use in multicamera
live events is hampered only by the lack of Genlock (which would save the video switcher from
having to lose a frame to sync it with the other
cameras) and the inability to use both HDMI
and SDI out (one output for the operator’s
monitor and the other for the house feed). To
accomplish this, you’ll need to use more expensive gear with loop-through, or split the signal if
you want to send 4K HDMI out to the mixer, but
need to feed an on-camera monitor too.
The UX180 balances nicely in the hand and
gives you features that would take time building up and then taking apart if you were using
an interchangeable-lens camcorder or DSLR.
In places where you need to produce content
quickly, but still want to get some shallower DoF
than a tiny-chip camcorder, the UX180 finds a
sweet spot that has eluded large-sensor camcorders until now.
Anthony Burokas ( email@example.com) has provided corporate
communication services and consulting through IEBA Communications
for 20-plus years. His award-winning video has been seen on PBS
for more than a decade, he helped build in-mall advertising, and he
is currently transitioning to 4K.
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