Review: Panasonic HX-A500
on Tuesday 2nd December, 2014 @ 10:19 GMT
With Christmas on the horizon and the ski season kicking off throughout the northern hemisphere, I reckon this is the perfect time to start talking you through a product that landed in the Natives office earlier this week.
When the Panasonic HX-A500 was first introduced in the summer, it was the world's first 4K wearable camera capable of filming at 25fps. It now has competition from rivals, most notably GoPro who have since unveiled the Hero 4 Black Edition.
I would have preferred to have put the camera through its paces before this review it but that will all be covered in a follow up later on in the season.
On first impression the camera looks and feels solid, it differs from a GoPro as the lens/ camera is connected by a cable to the main unit. I personally like that set up as one of the things that really frustrated me with my GoPro was the inability to see what was going on with the camera when it’s attached to your helmet (I know they’ve got the WiFi app, but you know what I mean).
The camera's main unit features a 1.5 inch LCD screen along with 2 buttons and a joystick to make menu navigation a bit easier. Despite being packed with the features the user interface is very simplistic.
Inside the box is the camera itself, a headmount/ headband as well as an armband in which the main unit sits when you’re wearing it. You’re also given a USB cable for charging and connecting it up to your PC or Mac.
So, why should you buy this camera over it's rivals? I’ll talk you through the pricing, features and specification.
RRP - £379.99
Weighing in at only 33 grams, the HX-A500 is one of the lightest on the market. Because the camera is in two pieces, it means you can clip the camera onto your goggle strap whilst still being able to see what it’s pointing at via the main unit. This can be placed in your pocket or into the armband provided.
The HX-A500 is able to shoot 4K videos at 25fps which means less blur and more detail.
Easy to Use
The HX-A500 has an LCD on the main unit which allows you to see exactly where the camera is pointing. The joystick and 2 button system makes it extremely easy to navigate through the menus.
Say goodbye to shaky footage. The level shot feature automatically adjusts the horizon of your recording to ensure there are no slanted landscapes in your videos.
If you’re looking to use your camera off the slopes then this feature might come in handy if you’re hoping to stream live onto the web.
Waterproof & Dustproof
the HX-A500 is waterproof up to 3 metres which means that you can be worry free when you’re taking it out on the slopes with you.
Camera type - Pocket camcorder
Colour - Black or Orange
Waterproof - Yes
Wearable - Yes
3 hours approx
Size - 1.5 inches
Video capture - Yes
Max. resolution - 4k
Standard framerate - 25, 50, 120, 200
Wi-Fi - Yes
NFC - Yes
Supported media - SD, SDHC, SDXC
Built-in speaker - Yes
Built-in microphone - Yes
Video out - Yes
Connection(s) - HDMI mini
On first impressions I’ve been massively impressed with the Panasonic HX-A500. It looks great and its specs blow a lot of its rivals out of the water. Check back in January for a full review of its performance on the slopes of Chamonix.