Panasonic UX90/180 – UHD/4K Capable ENG-Style Work Horses

Camera manufacturer Panasonic announced their new compact UX90 and UX180 cameras during Inter BEE 2016 with an eye towards the news & event markets. Both cameras are designed to get you out the door shooting 4K & UHD images quickly, with a simplified post workflow. Read on for more details on these new cameras.

First off, these are not cinema cameras and Panasonic clearly understands that with how these cameras are spec’ed. Both the UX90 and UX180 fill the professional “Camcorder” line niche nestled right beneath the flashy red DVX200. For more on the big brother in this category (DVX200), read up Sebastian Wöber’s article HERE.

The more expensive UX180 ($3,495.00) can shoot DCI 4K (4096×2160), while the UX90, priced at $2,095.00, is limited to UHD (3840×2160). Beyond their maximum recording resolution differences, the UX180 also includes 3G-SDI and HDMI ports. The UX90 is limited to HDMI ports only.

Panasonic UX180

 

The UX180 camera shoots DCI 4K at a ceiling of 24fps with a 100 Mb/s bitrate in .MOV or .MP4, but as you might imagine, the resolution options are more varied in full HD (FHD) shooting scenarios. In FHD, the camera can output 4:2:2 8-bit and shoot up to 60fps, but you are limited to 4:2:0 8-bit when recording internally. The color space is the same with the UX90.

With their built in ND’s (1/4, 1/8, 1/16th) and 5-axis built-in image stabilizer, both cameras are meant to be workhorses in ENG handheld shoots with minimal setup time.

With no V-log flat color profile capabilities in either the UX90 or UX180, you are limited in your post color grading options, but it seems clear that these cameras are designed to bring back useable footage in fast news gathering operations where post time is limited. Selecting “Cine-Like D” or “Cine-Like V” profiles in the menu will get you flatter color profiles for a more cinematic look.

Only the UX180 comes equipped with an FHD 120fps slow-motion frame rate option similar to the more expensive DVX200, but again, news camera operators are likely not looking for high speed options for their coverage. The UX180 model also includes an infrared function for shooting in full darkness.

A savings of $1,400 means sacrificing the full DCI 4K 24fps option, slow motion, infrared and SDI ports when purchasing the UX90, but with 4K not yet fully implemented in the broadcast or event market, it is difficult to see the need in this category for full 4K (4096×2160) beyond future proofing your investment. In my opinion, the UHD capabilities of the UX90 should be just fine for most ENG situations currently, but we’ll see how the ENG sector adapts to 4K in the years to come.

Panasonic UX90 Technical Highlights: 

  • Max Recording Resolution of UHD (3840×2160)
  • 1″ CMOS Sensor
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Slow-motion in HD: 60fps
  • ND Filters Built In
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • 15x Optical Zoom
  • Full control of camera through “AG ROP” app
  • Two Channel XLR Input

Note: The Panasonic UX90 is available in a 50 Hz model as well for international post delivery requirements. For the UX180, you can switch between 59.94 Hz and 50 Hz in the menu.

Panasonic UX180 Technical Highlights: 

  • Max Recording Resolution of DCI 4K upto 24fps (4096×2160)
  • 1″ CMOS Sensor
  • Slow-motion in HD:120 fps (59.94 Hz) & 100 fps (50.00 Hz)
  • 3G-SDI/HDMI 2.0
  • IR Recording
  • ND Filters Built In
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • 20x Optical Zoom
  • Full control of camera through “AG ROP” app
  • Similar crop to 35mm film in 24p/4K mode.
  • Two Channel XLR Input

The Panasonic AG-UX180 and UX90 appear to be solid ENG cameras with all the tools needed to get that unexpected shot quickly and in sharp focus. My colleague, Johnnie Behiri, will be testing the cameras in the field and will have his first impressions live on cinema5D in the coming weeks.

Pricing: 

  • Panasonic UX90: $2.095.00 
  • Panasonic UX180: $3,495.00

Availability: 

  • The UX90 is available from B&H HERE.
    The UX180 is available for pre-order from B&H HERE.

*Updated (11/26) to reflect new information on specifications for both cameras. 

What do you think of the UX180 and UX90 from Panasonic? Would these cameras fill a spot in your kit? Let us know in the comments below!

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