Panasonic HC-X1500 Review, Unboxing, User Manual

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Leica Dicomar f/1.8 – f/4 lens with 24X Optical and 48X Digital Zoom
  • 8.29 MP Resolution 1/2.5-inch Large MOS Sensor and Venus Engine
  • Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization of 5-Axis + Ball OIS Mechanism
  • 4K Ultra HD 60FPS Video Capturing Ability
  • Full HD Slow and Quick Motion at 120 FPS
  • Live RTP Streaming in Full HD Resolution
  • MP4, MOV, AVCHD Recording Formats

PANASONIC HC-X1500 - OVERVIEW

The Panasonic HC-X1500  4k professional camcorder precisely balances the factor of portability, functional flexibility, and price. The high-spec 4K camcorder model comes under $1700 price range; looks very compact and lightweight but doesn't skimp on features. It is capable of shooting 4K 60p footage; fronted by a Panasonic Leica Dicomar 24X optical lens, 1/2.5-inch sensor, and hybrid optical image stabilization mechanism behind the lens.

So, the manufacturer brand has put this high-spec model top on the 4K professional contenders list. Learn more about the key features in this Panasonic HC-X1500 review.

panasonic hc x1500 review 

Design & Features

  • Handling and Controls

The Panasonic HC X1500 is one of the best portable camcorder models available today, designed ergonomically with a detachable handle unit to make it easier to manage or carry around outdoors. The 900-gram weighty camera body comfortably fits in one's palm, while the functional handle unit increases usability by providing more grip, external accessory mounting interfaces, and the associated control options.

The handle unit is specifically designed for professional event videographers; who need to carry around LED light and microphone along with the camera. So, the detachable handle attachés a holder for the microphone, a multiple-interfaced mounting shoe for a LED light or microphone, a zoom lever, and a record button.


A few function buttons, including two individual rotary rings for focusing and zooming, are also equipped on the Panasonic X1500 camera body to give you easy manual access and control of various parameters.

  • LENS AND IMAGE SENSOR

The Panasonic Leica Dicomar f/1.8 – f/4 lens with the 35mm equivalent 25 to 600 mm focal range, the 24X optical and 48X digital magnification power comes in handy to shoot dramatic landscape footage or when you're very close to your interviewee.

  • Display Features

It has a 3.5 inches large 2,760,000 dots resolution LCD monitor display where the camera is recording in real-time, with adjustable brightness. The touch-friendly screen also presents some highly responsive control setting menus together under your fingertips on the panel; plus, some navigate function buttons around the screen to save your time in menu scrolling.


The 1 555K-dot resolution screen of the viewfinder also provides a natural-looking preview. You can achieve a comfortable shooting angle as the eyepiece allows up/down tilting movement and the LCD monitor is also rotatable.

  • Imaging Features

The hybrid image stabilization system with a five-axis optical stabilization mechanism and Ball image stabilization technology goes some way to counter the handshake plus genuinely delivers an impressive video quality on the go. Here, we can say that the HC-X1500 is a perfect handy option for those; who have shaky hands.

The 1/2.5-inch large 8.29 MP MOS sensor gives average low-light performance but ensures 10-bit 4:2:2 4K resolution video recording with stunning image quality, even during zooming or at the highest magnification point. The Venus image processing engine scales the 4K stills for speedy delivery in full HD resolution, reduces noises, and enables eye-catching imagery.

  • REMOTE CONTROL OPERATION

The Panasonic HC X1500 can be operated from other WI-FI-enabled devices like smartphones or tablets; you need to synchronize them using a dedicated application, the HC ROP app. The app lets you control the camera remotely and provides a clear view of the ongoing shots that comes in handy during live streaming, where you often need to shoot a single spot from multiple cameras.

Image and video quality

  • RESOLUTION

The Panasonic HC X1500 captures 10-bit 4:2:2 colored 4K ultra HD video at up to 30 fps and 1080P full HD at up to 60 fps; plus, it offers up to 60 fps framing rate for 4K ultra HD video and up to 120 fps for 1080P Full HD video while recording in 10-bit 4:2:2 color space. It also allows you to record 10-bit slow-mo or quick motion videos at up to 120 fps framing rate and broadcast the recorded videos in HD resolution. 

  • Recording Formats

The Panasonic HCX1500 uses either progressive AVCHD or MP4 and MOV codec for video recording. The AVCHD encoding format ensures the best video quality, which is perfect for 4K professional filming; and, the MP4 file is suitable for IP streaming and low storage device as it takes up 3 times less space than an AVCHD file.

  • Quality

The HC-X1500 produces color vibrant and is most detailed in brightly lit situations, whereas the ND filters take care of the color temper of the scenes and prevent them from becoming too bright, even under a direct flashlight. The combined power of the hybrid image stabilization mechanism, MOS sensor, and Venus image processing unit ensure satisfying clarity on the run, at the highest zooming point, or during zooming.

STORAGE       

  • BATTERY LIFE

The camcorder comes with a rechargeable battery pack of the Panasonic AG-VBR Series. The Lithium-ion battery provides nearly 4 hours of shooting time.

  • DUAL MEDIA SLOTS

It also features two memory card slots to enable continuous recording, relay recording, and extend the storage capacity. Both media slots support class 10 or class 4 rated SDXC memory cards. Being an expert, we would recommend using the Class 4 rated memory cards for recording in AVCHD format and class 10 for MP4 or MOV codec. 

Connectivity and Compatibility

Unfortunately, the Panasonic HC-X1500 camcorder won't provide the most demanding SDI output or take audio feeds via XLR microphones. But, the multiple wired connection options, and most importantly, the wireless connection compatibility can compensate for these shortcomings.

It features a micro Type-B USB and an HDMI port for video output, a 3.5mm port for headphones, and a 2.5 mm port for other input/output devices. The camcorder supports 2.4 GHz WI-FI bandwidth for video broadcasting or wirelessly files sharing.

To understand this Panasonic X1500 camcorder even better and also read about its previous and latest version.

BEST FEATURES OF PANASONIC X1500 4K PROFESSIONAL CAMCORDER

The Panasonic HC-X1500 camcorder is a handful for filming professional videos to look spectacular on the 4K TV. We particularly liked the specification of the Leica Dicomar lens, the efficiency of hybrid optical image stabilization system, the stunning 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 60P video recording capability of the 1/2.5-inch sensor, versatile recording formats, and connectivity options.

Specifications

LENS SPECIFICATION

Focal Length

4.1 to 98.9mm
35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 25 to 600mm

Zoom

Optical Zoom - 24X

Digital Zoom - 48X

Maximum Aperture

f/1.8

Minimum Aperture

f/4

Minimum Focus Distance

Wide-Angle : 3.9" / 10.0 cm
Telephoto-Zoom : 47.2" / 1.2 m

Filter Size

62 mm

Control Rings

Focus | Zoom | Iris

Focus Control

Auto-focus | Manual Focus

IMAGE SENSOR

Sensor Size

1/2.5"

Sensor Type

MOS Sensor

Effective Resolution

8.29 Megapixel

CAMERA SPECIFICATION

Image Stabilization

Ball O.I.S., 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S. (UHD/FHD)

Built-In ND Filter

2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), 6 Stop (1/64) and clear ND Filter

Shutter Speed

1/1 to 1/30 sec

Gain

0 to 30 dB

Minimum Illumination

1.5 Lux at 1/30 Shutter Speed + F1.8, Super Gain

White Balance

2000 to 15000K

VIDEO RECORDING

Recording Formats

AVCHD/MOV/MP4

Video Resolution

10-Bit 4:2:0:

  • 3840 x 2160p at 50/60 fps
  • 1920 x 1080p at 50/60/120 fps

10-Bit 4:2:2:

  • 3840 x 2160p up to 25/30 fps
  • 1920 x 1080p Full HD up to 25/30/50/60 fps

Audio Recording

  • 2-Channel 24-Bit AAC Audio for MP4 Video
  • 2-Channel 24-Bit LPCM Audio for MOV Video
  • 2-Channel 24-Bit AC-3 Audio for AVCHD Video

Still Image

Image Format

JPEG

Image Size

3840 x 2160 (16:9), 1920 x 1080 (16:9), 1280 x 720 (16:9)

Live Streaming

Video Resolution

1920 x 1080 FHD, 1280 x 720 HD, 640 x 360, 320 x 180

Audio Format

2 channel, 48 kHz/16 bit, AAC-LC Audio

Network Protocol

RTSP/RTP/RTMP/RTMPS

Display Screen

Screen Size

3.5"

Resolution

2,760,000 Dot

Display Type

270-Degree Articulating, Touch Screen LCD

EVF

EVF Display Type

LCD

Screen Size

24"

EVF Resolution

1,560,000 Dots

Connectivity

Wired Connection

Micro Type-B USB, HDMI, 3.5mm port for Headphone, 2.5 mm port for other input/output devices

Wireless Interfaces

2.4 GHz Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)

Mounting Feature

Accessory Mount

Multi Interface Shoe Mount

Tripod Mount

1/4"-20 Female Thread

Power

Compatible Battery Type

Panasonic AG-VBR Series, Lithium-ion

Battery Model

AG-VBR59

Battery Capacity

6000 mAh

PANASONIC HC-X1500 TEST FOOTAGE

PANASONIC HC-X1500 UNBOXING

PANASONIC HC-X1500 USER MANUAL

You will be receiving a detailed user manual while purchasing a PANASONIC HC-X1500. But, you can also view the user manual from the Company's official website. The user manual will have a complete guide on the different camera settings, firmware, and safety precautions you will need to follow while using this camcorder.

If you wish to check the official user manual of this PANASONIC HC-X1500 camcorder, click here.

PANASONIC HC-X1500 ACCESSORIES

Extra Batteries and Memory cards

The imaging unit does not enable such efficient low power consumption features despite an ultra-thin heat dispersing fan. On the other hand, the 4K filming takes up a larger space than other video recording formats. So, it's better to keep extra batteries and SD cards while using the Panasonic HC X1500 camcorder for 4K professional filming.

Microphone

If you want to see it as a perfect run-and-gun shooting unit, you need to clip on a third-party shotgun microphone on the handle unit. Such professional microphones incorporate noise-cancellation technology; plus, they come with windproof covers and sufficient package to handle interviews with ease.

External Flash Light

The 1/2.5-inch sensor doesn't perform well in dimly lit situations and results in image break up, lessened detail, and grainy image quality. You can mount an external flashlight on the handle unit to create preferable lighting conditions around the subject during shooting. 

Conclusion

Overall, the Panasonic HC-X1500 does best in portability, pro-level functionality, input/output flexibility so this means it provides all-in-one convenience at rock bottom price point. Of course, the camcorder also has some limitations compared to other professionals like - it doesn't have ND filters, LED lights; it won't support the XLR interfaced microphones; the batteries may need to be changed way more often.

We also miss the superior low light performance due to the tiny image sensor. Despite these things, this Panasonic camcorder model still maintains its place in today's world of 4K video production rigs, as it produces impressive cinematic looks and yield better stills. 

Xavier
 

I'm Xavier. I am a professional writer and blogger. It all started when I fell in love with my camera, which was presented to me when I was ten as a birthday gift. Since then, I wanted to become a cinematographer and also succeeded in that. So I am here researching and reviewing the filmmaking gadgets and giving out my top gadgets from the market.I hope you find my review articles interesting and helpful.

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