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HD camcorder with 32GB of flash memory
Item # 133HCX900M | MFR # HC-X900MK
This item is no longer available.
Our take on the Panasonic HC-X900M by Crutchfield's Woody Sherman
Image is everything
Lots of camcorders on the market brag about their bells and whistles, and believe us, the Panasonic HC-X900M has nothing to be bashful about with regard to its capabilities. But when it comes down to the end product on the screen, only one consideration stands out above all others: image quality. The 'X900M has it in spades. Of course, starting out with the 3MOS System Pro 3 custom-tweaked CMOS image sensors and a light-sensitive 12X Leica Dicomar zoom lens has to help things along. This camera also shoots full-resolution 1080/60 progressive frames-per-second HD for extraordinary detail and clarity.
No great shakes
Shooting scenes while on the move? You'll appreciate the five-axis Hybrid O.I.S. optical image stabilization. This camcorder has the ability to smooth out bumps, shakes, and shimmies that are part of walking while capturing images. Also, the electronic viewfinder enables you to hold the camera close to your eye for better hand-held control. And when it comes time to play back the shot, you'll love the generous 3.5", 1,152K-dot LCD display.
Unleash your inner creativity
The people at Panasonic know you have a creative spirit. That's why they've given you a manual control ring that allows fingertip control of zoom, focus, and exposure settings. In combination with numerous scene settings, time-lapse recording capability, and 24 frame-per-second Digital Cinema mode, you'll be free to capture the world around you in your own personal style.
You're traveling through another dimension
If you have the desire to explore extra dimensions of depth in your videography, the 'X900M can mount an optional 3D conversion lens and create full-resolution 3D images. A number of camcorders on the market claim to record 3D but many do it by halving the resolution of the right and left images, so what you end up with is a lower than HD-quality 3D image. Not the case with the 'X900M it immerses you in every detail.
The 'X900M has dozens of other features that make it a must-have while on vacation. How about easy uploading to Facebook or YouTube with the included HD Writer AE software? Or beautiful 16-megapixel still images, supported by a built-in flash? Not only that, you can put your audience into the moment with the on-board 5.1-channel surround sound. An easy to navigate touchscreen interface helps you with dialing in menu settings in an instant. And 32GB of on-board flash memory means you'll always have the means to shoot for hours.
Storage and Formats:
- records high-definition video to on-board flash memory or optional SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards
- 32GB of on-board flash memory
- maximum video resolution: up to 1920 x 1080/60p
- three 1/4.1" (4.4mm) advanced 3MOS image sensors with pixel-shift technology for exceptional detail and low light performance
- Leica Dicomar f/1.5 12X optical zoom lens
- Crystal Engine Pro II processor provides enhanced resolution and superior noise reduction for clear, rich images in dim light
- optional VW-CLT2 3D conversion lens allows the camcorder to capture full-resolution 3D images
- Hybrid O.I.S. (optical image stabilization) uses five-axis correction to suppress blurring throughout the zoom range
- manual ring allows fingertip control of focus, zoom, or exposure settings for intuitive adjustment on-the-fly
- captures 16-megapixel still images in photo mode with Intelligent Assist scene selection
- on-board flash for still shooting
- 1-second quick power-on and .6-second quick-start ensure you won't miss that fleeting shot opportunity
- Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel audio from built-in zoom microphone
- 3.5" enhanced-definition (1,152K dots) widescreen touch-panel LCD
- .24" electronic viewfinder (263K dots) for better handheld stability
- face detection/recognition with Smile Shot helps your stills and movies reflect the emotion of the day
- zebra, light level percentage, and histogram displays for precise exposure adjustment
- Focus Assist mode shows correct focus with a blue outline
- autofocus tracking locks onto a moving subject
- 60 frame-per-second high-speed burst shooting shoots three seconds of material for motion analysis
- Digital Cinema mode shoots 1080/24p for a nostalgic, film-like quality
- Advanced Highlight Playback mode identifies key scenes from clips you choose and creates a short movie complete with effects that include music, slow motion, still image fading, and flash playback
Connections, Supplied Accessories and Dimensions:
- USB 2.0 high-speed terminal for connection to a computer (cable provided)
- external microphone input and headphone output (stereo minijack)
- accessory shoe (cold) mounts external microphones and lights
- mini HDMI output (cable not included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
- includes AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery
- includes A/V connecting cable
- includes infrared remote control
- includes lens hood
- includes manual and software DVD
- 2-11/16"W x 2-13/16"H x 5-15/16"D
- weight: 15 oz. without battery
- warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Flash memory camcorder (black)
- N2QAEC000024 Wireless Remote Control (with inserted CR2025 Lithium battery)
- VW-VBN130 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (7.2V / 1250 mAh / 9.0 Wh)
- Lens hood
- VSK0732 AC adapter with attached 61" DC output cord (DC output: 9.3V / 1.2A)
- 64" AC cord
- 5' AV Multi-cable (with proprietary connection on one end and 6 male RCA plugs--component video / composite video / stereo audio)
- 2' USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and Mini-B Ver.2.0 on the other end)
- Accessory Shoe Adapter
- HD Writer AE 4.1 CD-ROM
- Owner's Manual
- Product Registration card
- Safety Precautions for AC adapter sheet
Features and Specs
|LCD Screen Size (inches)||3.5"|
|Total Pixel Count||3,050,000 x 3|
|Effective Pixel Count for Video||2,190,000 x 3|
|Optical Zoom||12 x|
|Digital Zoom||58.33 x|
|Image Stabilization||Optical + Digital|
|Built-in Video Light||Yes|
|Built-in Memory||32 GB Flash Memory|
|Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery||90 min|
|Digital Still Camera Features|
|Effective Pixel Count for Stills||2,370,000 x 3|
|Built-in Photo Flash||Yes|
|Still Image Aspect Ratios||4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|USB Port||2.0 High Speed|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||16.96|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||90 Days|
|Image Sensor Warranty||1 Year|
Recording Media: The Panasonic HC-X900M allows you to record Full HD video and still images on the 32 GB built-in memory, or on optional SD/SDHC/SDXC cards up to 64 GB. SD cards with a Speed Class Rating of 4 or higher are recommended. The Relay Record function allows you to continuously record a video to the SD card when there is no more available space in the built-in memory.
3.5" LCD Touch Screen: The large 3.5" (16:9) LCD screen provides excellent viewing clarity. Its Intuitive Touch Operation lets you zoom in and out, and automatically focus when shooting still images by simply touching the subject on the LCD screen. The 1,152,000-dot LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles providing sharp and detailed images for monitoring or playback. The LCD is 3D-compatible, allowing you to check the 3D effects of your 3D images right on the monitor.
Recording Formats: This camera captures video in the following formats:
- MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 version 2.0: This recording format, commonly known as AVCHD Progressive, can record high definition quality images up to 1920 x 1080p. It is suitable for viewing on a large format TV or for saving to a disc. You can also record in AVCHD 3D/Progressive when optional 3D lens is attached.
- iFrame: The iFrame format is suitable for playing back or edition on a Mac (iMovie'11). Using iMovie'11, iFrame motion pictures can be imported faster than AVCHD, and the imported file size is smaller than that of AVCHD.
3MOS System Pro Imaging System: The X900M's 3MOS System Pro uses three 1/4.1" High Sensitivity MOS sensors, each with 3,050,000 pixels. The X900M has a total pixel count of 9,150,000, with 2,190,000-2,070,000 x 3 effective pixels for recording 16:9 high definition video and still images, 2,290,000 x 3 for 4:3 still images and 2,370,000 x 3 for 3:2 still images. The Advanced 3MOS Sensor employs a pixel shifting technology to achieve the equivalent of four times the pixel count of Full HD.
Lens: This camera features a Leica F1.5 (W) - F2.8 (T) lens with a 12x optical zoom, Auto Iris, and a focal length of 2.84mm to 34.1mm. The 35mm equivalent focal length is 29.8mm to 368.8mm for 16:9 motion pictures and still images, 31.0mm to 372mm for 4:3 still images, and 29.8mm to 357.7mm for 3:2. The minimum focus distance is 1.4" for wide angle, 4' for telephoto, and 0.4" for Intelligent Auto Macro.
Optional Lenses: The lens has a filter diameter of 49mm, which allows you to attach optional conversion lenses. The VW-CLT2 3D Conversion lens has dual lenses to capture the separate images that make up a 3D photo. You can also attach the optional VW-W4907H Wide Conversion Lens to further extend (by 0.75x) wide-angle shooting capability.
Intelligent Zoom: The camcorder has an Intelligent Zoom (i.Zoom) function that goes up to 23x while maintaining high definition picture quality. Intelligent Resolution technology lets you shoot at high zoom rates while preserving image sharpness.
Digital Zoom: In addition to the 12x optical zoom, the camcorder has a selectable 30x or 700x (total) digital zoom. Because the picture is processed digitally, the picture quality deteriorates the more you zoom in. The power zoom lever can be moved slightly for a slow zoom, or moved further for a faster zoom.
Intelligent Auto Mode: The Intelligent Auto (iA) mode automatically sets the shooting mode that is appropriate for the condition when you simply point the unit to what you want to record. Intelligent Auto Modes include: Portrait, Scenery, Spotlight, Low Light, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Macro, and Normal.
Hybrid O.I.S.: Panasonic's Hybrid O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) uses five-axis correction to thoroughly suppress blurring throughout the entire zoom range. It also achieves superb effects when shooting while walking. With Hybrid O.I.S. you can capture crisp, clear images, without blurring, in almost every shooting situation. The O.I.S. Lock function increases the image stabilization sensitivity for maximum sharpness at extreme zoom angles.
Face Recognition: Face Recognition is a function for finding faces that resemble faces which have already been registered, and automatically prioritizing focus and exposure for those faces. A maximum of 6 people can be registered.
Illumination Requirements: The camera records video and photos in normal mode at a standard illumination of 1400 lx. You can record at 1.6 lx in the Low Light mode (Scene Modes) and approximately 1 lx in the Color Night Record mode.
White Balance Adjustment: You can set the color balance to the brightness of the recording environment using the following methods:
- Auto: The white balance is adjusted automatically
- Sunny Mode: for recording outdoors under a clear sky
- Cloudy Mode: for recording outdoors under a cloudy sky
- Indoor Mode 1: for recording indoors under incandescent lights and halogen lamps
- Indoor Mode 2: for recording indoors under color fluorescent lamps or sodium lamps
- Manual: You can manually set the white balance using a white card or paper.
Manual Exposure: When automatic exposure settings fail to give you the images you desire, you can manually set the shutter speed and the iris/gain values. The Shutter Speed can be set between 1/60 and 1/8000 (1/30-1/8000 in Auto Slow Shutter mode) for movies and 1/2 to 1/2000 for still images. The Iris/Gain value can be set between F16 and F1.7 (0 dB to 18 dB).
Focus Modes: The X900M focuses automatically for most situations. When auto focus doesn't work, you can switch to Manual Focus and rotate the multi manual ring surrounding the lens to manually focus on the subject.
5.1-ch Surround Microphone: The camcorder is equipped with a 5.1-channel surround microphone. The settings of the microphone can be adjusted to the following modes:
- Zoom Mic: Recorded sound changes in directionality with the zoom operation of the camera. Sounds near the front are recorded more clearly if you zoom in, and surrounding sounds are recorded more realistically if you zoom out.
- Focus Mic: The forward sound is recorded more clearly by enhancing the directionality toward the center of the 5.1-channel surround microphone.
- Stereo Mic: Sound from two directions is recorded in 2-channels by the forward-facing microphones.
Manual Ring: The camcorder includes a manual ring around the lens for easy, fingertip control over the focus, zoom, white balance, shutter speed and iris settings. The ring gives you a more intuitive, comfortable, user-friendly feel than accessing a menu screen.
Shoe Adapter: The X900M includes a shoe adapter which slides into a port on the side of the camcorder and locks into place. The adapter allows you to mount optional accessories, such as the VW-LDC103PP Video DC Light. The shoe adapter has no electrical contacts (cold), so any mounted accessories must have its own power supply, if needed.
HD Video Recording: The X900M records Full HD motion images at 1920 x 1080 resolution onto the built-in 32 GB memory or an inserted SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card. The camera records audio in Dolby Digital 5.1-channel audio using the built-in surround microphone. If the video is going to be uploaded to a Mac, it is recommended that it be recorded in the iFrame format with 2-channel AAC audio (960 x 540 resolution).
Recording Modes: The HC-X900M gives you the choice of eight recording modes; including iFrame and two 3D modes:
|Recording Mode||Resolution||Bit Rate||Recording Capacity |
32 GB Built-in Memory
|1080/60p||1920 x 1080/60p||28 Mbps||2 hrs 40 min|
|HA||1920 x 1080/60i||17 Mbps||4 hrs 10 min|
|HG||1920 x 1080/60i||13 Mbps||5 hrs 30 min|
|HX||1920 x 1080/60i||9 Mbps||8 hrs 20 min|
|HE||1920 x 1080/60i||5 Mbps||13 hrs 40 min|
|iFrame||960 x 540/30p||28 Mbps||2 hrs 40 min|
|AVCHD 3D||1920 x 1080/60i||28 Mbps||2 hrs 40 min|
|SbS 3D||1920 x 1080/60i||17 Mbps||4 hrs 10 min|
Quick Start: The camera will go into standby mode if you close the LCD monitor or push in the viewfinder while the unit is powered on. When the LCD monitor is reopened or the viewfinder is extended, the unit resumes recording mode/pause in approximately 0.6 seconds, allowing you to start recording almost immediately.
Pre-Rec: The Pre-Rec mode allows recording of pictures and sound to start approximately 3 seconds before the start/stop button is pressed. This helps prevent you from missing a shot.
Fader: When you start recording, the image and audio will gradually appear, and when you pause or stop recording, the image/audio gradually disappear. You can select a black or white fader, or turn off the fade mode altogether.
Playback Modes: During playback, you can choose the following operations: Play/pause, rewind, fast forward, stop, skip forward, skip backward, slow-motion, and frame-by-frame. Audio will only be heard during normal playback.
Highlight Playback: You can take a video recording (AVCHD only) and apply effects to enhance the playback. You can choose from Pop, Natural, Classical, Dynamic, or Custom effects.
Recording 3D: With the optional 3D Conversion Lens attached, you can record life-like and powerful 3D movies and still images. Movies are recorded in AVCHD 3D or SbS (side-by-side) 3D formats, while still images are recorded in MPO format. You can view 3D movies and images on the camcorder's LCD monitor, or connect the camcorder to a 3D-capable TV via HDMI.
2D-to-3D Conversion: 2D images can be easily transformed into 3D images with the 2D to 3D Conversion function. The conversion function uses the image processing capability of the Crystal Engine Pro processor.
Still Image Sizes: The X900M can record still images in 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9 aspect ratios. In addition, you can create a still image from a recorded movie. The picture sizes are listed below, along with the approximate number of recordable pictures on the 32 GB built-in memory:
|Aspect Ratio||Picture Size||Recordable Pictures |
32 GB Built-in Memory
|4:3||15.1M: 4480 x 3360||3,900|
|8.6M: 3392 x 2544||6,500|
|5.8M: 2784 x 2088||10,000|
|0.3M: 640 x 480||237,000|
|3:2||16M: 4896 x3264||3,700|
|8.6M: 3600 x 2400||6,500|
|6.1M: 3024 x 2016||9,000|
|16:9||14.7M: 5120 x 2880||4,000|
|8.3M: 3840 x 2160||7,000|
|5.8M: 3200 x 1800||10,000|
|2.1M: 1920 x 1080||26,000|
Hi-Speed Burst: When the Hi-Speed Burst function is activated, you can continuously record up to 180 still images at a rate of 60 frames per second. The picture size is 1920 x 1080.
Battery: This unit comes with the VW-VBN130 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V / 1250 mAh / 9.0 Wh). An optional high-capacity battery for this camcorder is the VW-VBN260 (7.2V/2500mAh). The battery can be charged in the camcorder using the supplied VSK0732 AC adapter. The playback and charging times is as follows (times in parentheses are when using the LCD monitor):
|Battery Model||Charging Time||Recording Mode||Maximum Continuous Recording Time||Actual Recording Time|
|Supplied VW-VBN130||2 hrs 30 min||1080/60p |
|1 hr 20 min |
(1 hr 15 min)
|50 min |
|HA, HG||1 hr 25 min |
(1 hr 15 min)
|50 min |
|HX, HE, SbS 3D||1 hr 25 min |
(1 hr 15 min)
|55 min |
|iFrame||1 hr 30 min |
(1 hr 20 min)
|55 min |
|Optional VW-VBN260||4 hrs 30 min||1080/60p |
|2 hrs 55 min |
(2 hrs 35 min)
|1 hr 45 min |
(1 hr 35 min)
|HA, HG||3 hours |
(2 hrs 40 min)
|1 hr 50 min |
(1 hr 40 min)
|HX||3 hrs 5 min |
(2 hrs 40 min)
|1 hr 50 min |
(1 hr 40 min)
|HE, iFrame, SbS 3D||3 hrs 5 min |
(2 hrs 45 min)
|1 hr 55 min |
(1 hr 40 min)
A/V Multi Output: This camcorder features a proprietary AV multi connector output for use with the supplied A/V multi cable (component video/composite video/stereo audio) for displaying the camera's contents on your television. You can use either the component video plugs (red, green, blue RCAs) or composite video plug (yellow) along with the stereo audio plugs (red, white RCAs) to connect the camcorder to your TV. High definition images up to 1080i are output using the component video plugs, and 480i standard images are output using the component or composite plugs.
HDMI: You can output high definition video up to 1080p and 5.1-channel audio through the camcorder's HDMI output. A mini-HDMI to HDMI cable is required to connect the camcorder to your HDTV. Connecting to a 3D-ready TV via HDMI cable is also required in order to view images converted from 2D to 3D. When connecting to a Panasonic VIERA Link (HDAVI control) compatible TV via HDMI, you can control the camcorder's playback using the TV's remote control. The camcorder is compatible with VIERA Link Ver.5 or earlier.
USB Port: The camera has a mini-USB version 2.0 jack for connecting to a PC via the supplied USB cable. Connecting the camcorder to a PC via USB allows the computer to access the information on the built-in memory or an inserted SD/SDHC/SDXC card. You will be able to download still images and video files to your computer. You can edit and save your video files onto your computer, then make DVDs of them using the software that is supplied with the camera. The camera can also be used as an external storage device, convenient for archiving, storing and transporting your videos and still images.
Microphone Input: A 3.5mm minijack input is provided for connecting an external plug-in powered microphone. The level of the built-in and the external microphone terminal is adjusted automatically, or can be adjusted manually in the menu.
Headphone Output: A 3.5mm stereo minijack output (77mV, 32Ω) allows you to connect headphones for monitoring the audio during video recording or playback.
Included Software: The camera includes HD Writer AE 4.1, which is compatible with Windows operating system only. With HD Writer AE 4.1, you can:
- copy data to a PC (including 3D motion pictures)
- copy in BD/AVCHD format (except iFrame scenes) including 3D motion pictures, or DVD-Video format (3D converted to 2D)
- edit movies
- share movies online
- play back movies on a PC
Computer Requirements: HD Writer AE 4.1 works with the following Operating Systems:
- Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit): Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate (Service Pack 1) (includes 3D playback function)
- Windows Vista (32-bit): Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business (SP2)
- Windows XP (32-bit): Home Edition, Professional (SP3)
iMovie: The X900M lets you record videos in iFrame format for downloading and editing on a Mac. With iFrame, the video in the camera is in the same format as used by Apple's iMovie'11 application (iMovie'11 is not included with camcorder--contact Apple, Inc. for details). Videos shot in AVCHD will need to be converted before importing. (1080/60p must be first converted to 1080/60i). Once you have transferred and edited the movie, you can upload the movie to the Internet, as well as share it on YouTube and Facebook in its original high quality.
Note: The HC-X900M is compatible with Mac OS X 10.7.2.
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