Camcorder time: introducing the Panasonic Lumix HC-V785K

The time has come for a new king of Lumix consumer camcorders: the venerable HC-V770K is being replaced by the new flagship, the HC-V785K. Whether you’re looking to make a big step up from your smartphone or for a camera optimized to record life’s events in the grand tradition of Home Movies, the HC-V785K is an attractive package. Pre-order today at a Mike’s Camera near you!

Highly sensitive, yet highly stable

At the heart of the HC-785K lies a highly sensitive back-side illuminated (BSI) 1/2.3″ MOS sensor. With a much larger surface area than the 1/5.8″ sensor commonly found in camcorders, videos look bright and beautiful in surprisingly low light. An HDR setting pulls details out of highlights and shadows for especially important scenes.

Another key criterion for enjoyable home movies is steadiness, and the HC-785K is well equipped to provide it. Not only will the Level Shot function automagically straighten out mildly skewed video, it will also gauge a scene for jumpiness and automatically turn on the five-axis OIS (optical image stabilization) as needed. Previously, you had to hold a button to turn up the power, which is not nearly as likely at a critical moment. A level gauge display for manual levelling rounds out the gyroscope-based features.

Quality content

So, what kind of imagery could one create with this handy camcorder? The “standard” would probably be 1080p 60 fps, but for ultra slooow moootion the frame rate can be as high as 240 (recorded at 120 fps and interpolated by the Crystal Engine’s Intelligent Frame Creation feature). When you need to get a little creative, you can actually record up to three inset slow motion scenes during a normal recording—that is, it will temporarily bump the frame rate, then output a slower framerate to stretch out the slow-mo section. No post processing needed! For stills, you can record 24 MP images, though that is definitely not the primary focus of this device. A refined windshield over the built-in microphone should help get the best possible audio out of the built-in mic, though we always recommend using dedicated audio gear.

Unlock creative expression with ease

The 3″ touch display makes navigating menus a breeze, plus the HC-785K features a settings dial for manual fine-tuning. You can adjust focus, white balance, shutter speed, iris, sharpness, saturation, and exposure—not bad for a consumer camcorder!

One of the coolest things about this camera is Wireless Twin Camera mode. Naturally, you can use the Panasonic companion app as a remote and to facilitate sharing, but you can also use it to link your smartphone (or other device) to the camcorder as a sub-camera for picture-in-picture recording. You can customize the position and frame of the P-in-P display, and the HC-785K records a back-up version of the footage simultaneously, sans P-in-P, in case it doesn’t turn out quite right. Capture reactions, put your own face in the corner as you interview friends and family, show a zoomed-in and long view of the same scene… the possibilities are exciting and extensive. With the right phone clamp and 1/4″-20 connection, you could mount your second recorder to the camcorder itself for a stable view… just do some arm workouts before an extended recording session!

Bonus points for parents

A unique-to-Panasonic Baby Calendar feature lets you add up to three names & birthdays to allow you to sort footage by child and quickly find your clips from certain months of development. Get rid of all that time scrolling through hundreds of clips, muttering, “was that five months or six months? I think we’re almost there…”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.