Panasonic has announced a new compact action camera, the HX-A1. And compact it is at 83mm long (just over 3in) and a claimed 45g weight.
Appearing to slot in as a competitor to the entry-level GoPro Hero and the new smaller Sony AZ1VR, the HX-A1 will retail for US$199 and film in 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps and 480p at 240fps. While the 48g Sony AZ1VR outclasses the HX-A1 with its Image Stabilization and 1080p at 60fps ability – it’s also over US$100 more expensive.
The Panasonic camera is said to be waterproof down to 1.5m (5ft), shockproof from 1.5m (5ft), freezeproof down to -10C (14F), and comes with a dust ingress protection of IP6X – without an external housing. There’s no word on whether a waterproof/shockproof housing will be made available.
Panasonic has designed its own proprietary mounting system, despite the popularity of the 1 1/8in bolt ‘GoPro’ mount, which is quickly becoming the industry standard.
Additionally, with a separate infrared light (additional accessory) and included night vision infrared lens, the HX-A1 camera has the ability to film in ‘Night Mode.’ Panasonic says the ‘0 Lux Night Mode’ can “shoot into a dark, unexplored cave with no natural light or record nocturnal wildlife hidden in the depths of a forest”.
We found this promotional video on YouTube from Panasonic USA. While the HX-A1 is no doubt small, the quality of this footage isn’t at the same level as what we’ve seen from the likes of Sony and GoPro.
The HX-A1 features built in Wi-Fi and can connect to a smartphone or tablet via the Panasonic app, through which you can view and share footage to social media.
Wi-Fi connectivity can also be used in combination with some of Panasonic’s 2015 camcorders. When filming with a compatible Panasonic camcorder, the footage from the HX-A1 can be seen in a subwindow allowing the live footage to be merged into one. The HX-A1 can also be connected to a computer via USB and used as a webcam.
The camera records MPEG-4 onto a microSD sized cards and has a built in microphone. Recording longevity from the internal battery is currently unknown.
The HX-A1 includes a ‘Multi Mount’ and the ‘Tripod Mount’, which should allow for the camera to attach to goggles, shoulder bags, helmets or to be secured to a tripod – while other mounts, such a one for a handlebar, will be available as optional extras.
Panasonic is currently taking pre-orders for the HX-A1, and the camera is expected to ship by June 2015. UK and Australian pricing is to be confirmed.
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides on the Gold Coast in Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his father a former European pro convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he can often found exploring singletrack or grinding down a gravel road.