Panasonic introduces twin-camera 4K camcorder with wireless capture

Family captures and enthusiast movie makers may have a new outlet to explore when it comes to creative story telling, as Panasonic introduces a 4K video camera that can capture a second camera angle that the camera’s lens isn’t being pointed at.

Arriving for Panasonic in the next month will be a new video camera that could really get those creative juices flowing, providing parents with a way of grabbing video of several kids at once, while also offering movie makers a way of thinking out of the box.

It’s called the WX970, and it’s another 4K Ultra HD capable camera made for people who have one of those new fandangled 4K TVs and really want something to show on it outside of the trailers and off demo video you can find online. With UHD content lacking at the moment, 4K videos that you can shoot yourself are among the only things that you can actually put on a TV that will be in a native resolution, with phones able to shoot to this resolution now also.

But while 4K camcorders aren’t new for Panasonic, the company is throwing a few new extras in there to make the WX970 more compelling.

For instance, there’s a new lens system to grab 20x optical resolution in that 4K resolution working alongside a fast auto-focus technology, making Ultra HD video possible even from a distance, ideal if you’re planning to go on vacation and want to capture your destination in its entirety for that 4K screen at home.

There’s also a high-dynamic range movie mode that capture 50 images per second and combines them in real time, to provide balanced lights and darks, similar to an HDR image, except with video, as you’d expect.

But it’s the “twin camera” idea Panasonic is bringing to the table that intrigues us the most, with the WX970 incorporating a small secondary camera along the edge of the LCD of the camera, sitting on a rotating piece that means you can position an extra camera to aim at something else.

As an example, you could capture the kids coming down the slide with the main camera, but position the secondary camera either at you to grab a selfie that will go picture in picture, or even aim it at another kid running around the place, letting you capture both at the same time.

Panasonic hasn’t stopped with a secondary sub camera, also providing a wireless twin camera mode that will let a smartphone or tablet connect to the camera and use the camera in that device as the secondary camera. In the last example, you could record the kid coming down the slide, but someone else could follow another child and capture them using a phone, with the camera putting the two video feeds together.

“For greater creative freedom when capturing memorable moments, the ‘Twin Camera’ lets the film maker put themselves in the scene, show crowd reactions, and capture both close-up and wide angle viewpoints,” said Doug Campbell, Senior Product Manager for Imaging at Panasonic Australia.

“Our new camcorders offer affordable 4K shooting, allowing families to capture their world in stunning cinematic quality. HDR recording ensures detail in both light and dark areas is preserved in high-contrast scenes, whether you are capturing blowing out the candles on the birthday cake or a beachside picnic.”

Panasonic's VX870

Panasonic’s 4K WX970 won’t be the only camera getting this wireless twin camera mode, and it will be joined by two Full HD models — the V700 and W570 — as well as another 4K model, the VX870. That said, only the WX970 and the mid-range Full HD W570 will get the secondary sub-camera built along the side of the LCD, making it a rather unique feature.

We don’t think either of these picture-in-picture cameras will shoot at 4K, though, and they wouldn’t need to: picture-in-picture will be smaller than the 4K image, so there’s no reason to capture at that resolution. Playing back, however, you could end up seeing lots of detail of the main focus point, and just enough of everything else.

Availability for the cameras is in March, and you can expect to find them on shelves starting g from $599 for the Full HD W570, $849 for the Full HD V770, $999 for the Ultra HD VX840, and $1349 for the flagship WX970.