4K image capture, 4:2:2 10-bit recording, built-in optical stabilisation,wireless streaming, the option to upgrade to NDI|HX. All of these features are found in the AG-CX350, hence why we are particularly excited about it!
‘Engineered to impress’ is the slogan that Panasonic have used to describe the AG-CX350, and we’d say that it is one that sums up its features nicely. The CX350 aims to reach a wide array of users, in addition to those from the more traditional newsgathering and documentary professionals.
The camera is equipped with a LAN terminal with RTMP/RTSP support, or via a Wi-Fi dongle you can also stream wirelessly to live platforms from Facebook and YouTube. The CX350 can also be upgraded to NDI|HX as an option, meaning you can add the camera into a live production system using a simple ethernet cable that will carry audio, video, tally and even control. This can be outlined below:
The above set-up allows you to use the camera in a live setting for the likes of conferences, sports and events. A future update will also allow you to use a 4G/5G dongle and send images over a network.
Another benefit of the CX350 is the overwhelming amount of available recording formats found in-camera. This includes 4K image capture in 4:2:2 10-bit with an All-Intra codec at 400 Mbps (as found on the EVA1), as well as both H264 and H265. The latter is currently the best in terms of file weight to image quality ratio. This allows you to choose either the All-Intra codec (remember to use UHSII/V60 cards or above!) for post-production work, or the HEVC codec up to 50p that will allow for smaller file sizes. The list of recording formats can be seen here:
Another new feature found is the VFR mode (Variable Frame Rate), which is now available in 4K up to 60P. This allows us to create a nice time-lapses or slowdowns during shooting. A Super-Slo mode is also available in FHD, which allows you to record up to 120fps without cropping.
The CX250 is equipped with a new 1-type MOS sensor, giving you a whopping total of 15 million pixels to play with and no more image cropping. The camera has different Gamma curves, including HDR and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), with sensitivity of F13 when in 50P. The five-axis optical stabilisation is something that, in our opinion, Panasonic master better than anyone else. The lens also covers a range of between 24.5 and 490mm, which combined with a 20x optical zoom is one of the best on the market. There is also a neat little feature called iZoom, which allows you to push the zoom up to 24x in UHD and 32x in HD.
As we know, handheld camcorders are less popular than before thanks to the rise of DSLRs and other hybrids. However, in working with both types of cameras, we love the option of a true camera whereby you don’t need to worry about the optics nor about adding accessories in order to gain more functionality. Instead, we can take the camera out and instantly shoot because everything is integrated.
Panasonic have unveiled a camera that is more compact and lighter than the previous DVX200 or UX180 cameras, whilst embedding lots of features including a wide array of recording formats and connectivities needed for today (SDI) and the future (NDI), making it a solid camera for those that are aiming to shoot with run-and-gun applications, but also for V-Loggers and live productions. All of this for a RRP of under £3,415 / €3,850.00 excluding VAT. We cannot wait to get our hands on one!
AG-CX350 first footage: