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March 25, 2014

What Were They Thinking?

Panasonic will release its new HX-A500 action cam in May 2014. The standard method for introducing new action cams is to give them one or two features that will make them just a smidge better than a GoPro. For this Panasonic it's 4K at 25 fps. GoPro can only do 15 fps in 4K.

Beyond that one feat, this Panasonic looks like a mess. It comes in two parts connected by a cable. The camera part weighs 31 grams, the other part weighs 119 grams for a total of 150 grams. A GoPro in its waterproof case weighs 136 grams. The real downfall with this Panasonic is that you would have to mount two objects when you go out to do whatever your "action" is.

Googling around I have found several articles based on Panasonic's press release. No one has a hands-on review yet. There's a promotional video, but it includes virtually no usable information. It only shows action cam uses (including some of Joshua Tree N.P.), but almost nothing about the camera. It does, however, give us a brief glimpse of the camera mounted on a surfboard. While the camera part gets a suction cup mount, like a GoPro, the other half looks like it's being held on by Velcro™? Maybe there's a new improved Velcro™ that I haven't heard of, but I wouldn't trust any camera to the Velcro™ that I'm familiar with.

Best feature of the Panasonic? The price. $627. The top-o-the-line GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition is $400. This Panasonic camera should fly off the shelves like the Titanic.

Filed under GoPro,Photography | permalink | March 25, 2014 at 10:45 AM

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