Another big benefit that Panasonic has over their rivals which will shortly include a cylindrical camera from Tom Tom is that the new HX -A1 fits onto any Go Pro accessory when a Panasonic adaptor is purchased.
According to Panasonic executives at today’s launch their new action will be available at mass retailers including JB Hi Fi who are currently selling a Go Pro Hero 4 for over $600.
The first thing you notice about this device is that it is very light weighing in at 45grams. While it is not a 4K device it does deliver Full HD at 30 fames per second with a battery life of 1 hour 15 minutes or with a battery extender 2 hours 45 minutes. In comparision the Go Pro Hero 4 only delivers 55 minutes of battery life at 30fps in 4K mode and only 55 minutes in Full HD mode.
The HX-A1 has been designed to be worn on your person, with an elongated torch-like shape making it suitable for strapping onto your head with a simple Panasonic accessory that easily fits on a ski helmet.
The device launched today at Fox Studio’s in Sydney, is waterproof to a depth of 1.5 metres, shock proof from a height 1.5 metres, and freeze proof to minus 10 degrees Celsius. Another big benefit is the night shooting capability, all you need is an infrared camera according to Panasonic executives and you can shoot in pitch blackness. Images shot at a NSW Zoo at night looked impressive when shown at todays launch event.
The Panasonic HX-A1 also has IP68 certification, meaning it’s well protected against dust ingress.
As for its camera credentials, the Panasonic HX-A1 can capture 720p video at 60fps, or 480p video at 120fps – the latter of which will enable those super slow motion shots.
The HX-A1 also has built-in Wi-Fi, so it can be hooked up to a smartphone using the Panasonic Image app. Wi-Fi can also be used to link the HX-A1 to one of Panasonic’s 2015 range camcorders, providing a wireless twin camera set-up.
In the latter scenario, the HX-A1’s view will be portrayed in a sub-window on the camcorder. The usage scenario provided by Panasonic is a snowboarder being captured by the camcorder while his point of view is being simultaneously captured.
The camera comes with a multi-mount and a tripod mount, but there are plenty more optional mounts and accessories available depending on your extreme activity of choice.
What’s appealing about the HX-A1 is the plethora of accessories that it can be used with. Thanks to these, it can be fixed to just about anything and used in a much broader range of circumstances. The following accessories are available:
video camera mount (RP-CMC10), to fix the cam to the handlebars of a bike or motorbike;
suction-cup mount (VW-SCA100), to fix the action cam to a flat surface, like a surfboard or car;
twin mount (VW-TMA1), to have two HX-A1s filming in opposite directions at the same time;
clip mount (VW-CLA100), to clip the cam to the peak of a cap or the strap of a rucksack;
head mount (VW-HMA1), fix the HX-A1 to either side of your head at eye level;
extended battery (VW-BTA1) to film continuously with the HX-A1 (without waterproof case (IPX8)) for around 2 hrs 45 mins;
wind jammer (VW-WJA100), to reduce the effect of wind on the mic;
strap adaptor (VW-SAA1), to attach a strap or carabiner for portability;
multi belt (VW-MBA100), worn over the shoulder or attached to a rucksack, this accessory can be used along with a portable charger for longer videos.
The Panasonic HX-A1 will be available from June 2015 for $299 at specialist camera stores, and mass retailers.